NOTE: When reading this article, you can substitute the words “Ron Paul” with the name of any of the thousands of people his message has inspired who will be seeking office over the next three decades.
In a previous article I issued a challenge: if you support Barack Obama or any other candidate besides Ron Paul, read this article to find out what the President is actually supposed to do and why it is important, and then convince me that your candidate would be better at doing it than Ron Paul.
If anyone could pull it off, I vowed to publicly change my allegiance and post a picture of my voting for their candidate on this website in November. You'll have to click the link above to see the full chain of discussion that led to this, but this particular comment is so ridiculous and simultaneously emblematic of what we are fighting the Revolution against, and why fighting it ever became necessary in the first place, I had to repost it here followed by my response. Enjoy.
YOU don't understand the Constitution. YOU don't understand the fact that it was written 220 years ago in very, VERY different times. Our Constitution is one of the shortest in the world. It is this way intentionally. It is not meant to be a limiting factor in the growth of our nation – the very opposite, in fact. Ron Paul and his supporters operate under this idea that anything not explicitly mentioned by the Constitution should just not be allowed. Do you have any idea what that actually entails? There are hundreds of programs that do a great deal for this country that Ron Paul would just destroy without a second thought. Ron Paul, for example, wants to get rid of the Department of Education. Do you have any idea what that means to me? The Department of Education pays my way through college. If it weren't for the DoE, I would not be in college right now. And you think you can improve on that process? How?
Listen, I stated from the beginning that I have no desire to explain why I support Obama. I don't need to justify you why. That's why it's MY decision and not yours. But as this conversation continues, I find a more pertinant question to be: why do YOU support Ron Paul? All I ever hear from you people is “let's bring back liberty!” and (direct quote-ish) “high school economics would show you why Ron Paul is the best candidate.” I've never heard a single concrete statement why he is the best.
So go ahead. Give it a shot. I don't think you can.
If you really believe the first part of what you just wrote, I can understand how you wouldn't believe that I could respond. You probably don't believe A-Rod can hit a hanging curveball out of the park either. Regardless of what you think, YES I CAN! educate you, young man. Read on.
First, if you'd actually read the previous article, you'd already understand this, then again, maybe you wouldn't. And although you have repeatedly dodged the question of why Obama, your candidate, is a better candidate to do the job than Ron Paul (notice, I said “do the job” not “win the election”) I will be courteous enough to answer the question you asked me before addressing your other silly little points.
Why do I support Ron Paul?
The Job the President Swears to do on inauguration day is this:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
I support Ron Paul because he has a 20 year voting record that shows that he will, without fail, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. Thus I'd say “the best of (his) ability” is pretty damned good.
This whole Constitution thingy may not mean much to someone who has decided to support a candidate who voted for the reauthorization of the Patriot Act, but just because you are ignorant (not stupid, but ignorant) doesn't mean that you shouldn't be allowed to vote for whom you choose; it is YOUR decision, as you stated. You also said that you had no desire to explain why you support Obama. If I supported Obama and were asked to consider a simple question like “what is a President actually supposed to do?”, discovered that I had no clue, and after actually learning the answer realized that my candidate was completely unfit for the job, I probably wouldn't have any desire to explain why I supported him either.
While you didn't point out that Obama was a constitutional law professor, another reader did so I'll address that here in order to save space in the comments below. As a constitutional law professor, Barack Obama would be expected to possess profound knowledge of the Constitution. As a priest, men like James Porter would be expected to possess profound knowledge of why they shouldn't molest little boys. I'm sure that priest could give a wonderful knowledge based pretty speech about how atrocious molesting children is minutes before playing “want a lollipop” with little Billy. Barack Obama actually gave a knowledge based Pretty Speech about how atrociously the reauthorization of the Patriot Act violates civil liberties (you know, the ones the 4th Amendment that outdated Constitution thing-a-ma-bob protects) immediately prior to his announcing that he would be voting FOR it. Pretty speeches don't keep little boys from getting molested, nor do pretty words keep our Constitution from getting raped.
I care about what someone says far less than I care about what they actually do. Integrity is not standing for what you “believe in” it is created by doing what you say you will do. Ron Paul said he'd defend the Constitution, so he voted NO on that bill instead of giving a pretty little speech before voting YEA. If I had a gun to your head and gave a nice speech about how horrible murder is right before I pulled the trigger, it wouldn't make me any less guilty or you any less dead.
But since what someone says seems to matter more to you than what they do here's what Dr. Paul had to say about his vote. This is what he said about the bill while the Senators were off coming up with some compromises that somehow allowed Obama to feel okay about voting in favor of since the amended bill didn't violate the Constitution quite as much and it. You can understand this difference by imagining my killing you quickly with a gun instead of bludgeoning you with a hammer. Not quite as bad, I suppose. The link also addresses your absurd assertion that the Constitution is somehow irrelevant because it is 220 years old. I'll continue that explanation for your sadly confused mind below.
Let me simplify this for you: The Constitution of the United States is nothing more than a Contract between we the people and our Government. It is a contract created by “We the People” in which we spelled out plainly the role of government. You should read the “P.S.” section of the article linked at the top of the page if you actually care to find out how and why Politicians have convinced you that the Constitution is no longer relevant. It's written in terms even you can understand, and addresses an issue many Ron Paul supporters have slightly confused: Voting based on your beliefs or on “issues” is the dumbest thing you could possibly do. Now to your specific claims that I don't understand the Constitution.
As you noted, the Constitution is 220 years old and was written in very, very, Very different times. Again, the Constitution is a contract. So is marriage. If your Grandparents were married 50 years ago, and Gramps decided to pop a little blue pill and hire a hooker only to have grandma walk in and catch him violating the “forsaking all others” clause of their contract, she probably would care, right? Why would she? When that Contract was made way back in 1958 that was a very, very, Very different time. Just as violating a marriage contract intitially weakens and ultimately destroys a marriage, violating The Contract does the same thing to our Country. I could take this metaphor much further if you'd like, but I won't do it here in order to conserve space.
I have deleted this paragraph four times. Your comment about the length of the Contract is so absurd I don't know where to start. It's absurd because your assertion that the Contract was never meant to inhibit the growth of the Country is dead on. Where my brain keeps hearing twilight zone music is when I read the rest of what you wrote. It seems that you are saying “we (as in the government) obviously should be able to do more than what that short little thing allows” and then go on to equate the “growth of our country” which was caused by the freedom of our people with the growth of government and all of its agencies. Despite your political views, an absolute economic fact is that lower taxes promote growth. Think about it, if the government received 100% of your income, why would you work? By limiting the government (and thus taxes) the country does grow. So to simplify this, just understand that The Contract is short for two reasons.
1. So any citizen can read and understand it since it is so important.
2. Because it doesn't take a long, complicated contract to list all of the powers we the people decided to grant the Federal Government.
Your assertion that the government should obviously be doing more since the Contract is short is absolutely ludicrous. Congress can make all laws needed to enforce the powers granted in the contract, but none that aren't. Yet they do it anyway, and every time they do you lose a little more freedom (either in terms of economic freedom or civil liberties). I'm not okay with that. The only thing that has grown because of the Contract violating laws and regulations enacted is the government and its power–exactly what the Contract's length was intended to prevent.
In fact, our country growing larger is more of a reason for decentralization of power. Think about it like this: If you ran a business with 10 workers, you could do a good job of establishing all the policies because you'd have time to spend with all of the workers and find out what they needed to get the job done. If you ran a business of 300 employees, it would be much harder and you'd need other people managing segments. Running a business of 300 million would be absolutely impossible if you tried to control everything. The only decisions you could possibly make as the leader of a large organization without a decentralization of power would be ones that limit people's freedom in an attempt to force compliance, thus robbing them of their desire and creativity. On the contrary, if you had people you trusted underneath you to make decisions based on core principles that everyone ascribed to (unalienable rights, if you will), and allowed these trusted unit leaders to come up with specific policies for behavior and compliance that worked for their team based on what their team told them they needed to get the job done instead of trying to figure out was best for them by talking to a few of them, your business would be far more successful.
If the Founders limited the role of the federal government at a time when it probably could have done a pretty decent job of calling all the shots for the country by listening to the people, why would you possibly believe that it makes sense for it to be so large at a time when there is no way they could possibly know what policies are truly in the best interest of the people due to the country's size? The functions of the Federal Government that were truly necessary would grow in direct proportion to economic growth as total tax revenue (not tax levels) increased along with production. It won't take you long to see that this is not what is happening if you Read this.
In a moment too ironically thick to fabricate, an ad from the Federal Government telling parents that their kids didn't need a drug dealer to get drugs because they could just get them from their parents' medicine cabinets popped up when I went to get the above link. The War on Drugs is a different story for a different time, but I can't resist putting a little bit about it in here since it fits so perfectly. We the people have spent over $50 Billion dollars this year in taxes and the
devaluation of our currency via government efforts like that nice pop up ad and legal enforcement of a prohibition policy that we the people never authorized them to create. But the Politicians decided it would be a good idea to protect people from themselves so they went ahead and created it anyway. By the way, the Contract was created solely to protect our rights from being infringed upon by others, including our government so that we could freely make our own choices–even if those choices kill us. As Thomas Jefferson, who wasn't at the Constitutional Convention but still had an impact on it from his work in Virginia said:
Of liberty I would say that…it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add “within the limits of the law” because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.
Even if those actions may kill you. If you are like Ron Paul who has never even seen anyone smoke marijuana or you are a drug fiend, your personal beliefs should have nothing to do with the way you vote. When they do, as 1 in 4 black men between 20-29 who are locked away (the majority of which are non-violent drug offenders) can tell you, someone else's rights are always affected even if they didn't violate anyone else's, when the government (I really mean politicians running the government) decides to do something about a problem without the consent of the governed.
In response to this comment:
“Ron Paul and his supporters operate under this idea that anything not explicitly mentioned by the Constitution should just not be allowed.”
All I can say is this:
Dude, this isn't an “assumption” under which we operate; it is a Contract. And the Contract can be changed. If the people see a need great enough to amend (change) it, thus sacrificing some liberty in order to allow the government to solve some problem for them they can. But unless the people directly authorize the Contract's being changed, the Politicians simply aren't allowed to do something simply because they want to solve a problem for someone.
Read The last line from Article 1 Section 8. Which laws may Congress pass according to that? Exactly–the ones based on executing the powers government was given in the Constitution. Just to make sure this was perfectly clear since that line says that Congress can make these laws but doesn't expressly forbid it from making other ones, the 10th Amendement was passed.
I can just imagine the Founders writing the Bill of Rights. When they were considering Amendment 10, many of them were probably saying, “Isn't it obvious that this has already been settled back in Article 1?” And the other ones probably said, “Yeah, but damn it, you know how government is. If there is a loophole that will allow them to gain power, they'll use it. Don't you remember that war we just fought? We're not writing this for us, we're writing it for the people who will have given nothing for the freedom that we just pledged our live, liberty, and sacred honor to win. If we want to make sure they understand how important this is, we have to be very, very specific about the importance of limiting the role of the federal government.” And the other guys going, “Oh, all right, this seems pretty damned redundant to me, but we might as well throw it in–but after this I'm done.”
They should have added 25 more amendments that repeated exactly the same thing over and over so that it would have been enough of an oddity that even the people who slept through history and government class and possessed minimal knowledge of the Contract between them and their Government would have at least remembered that strange part that was repeated over and over again. Although the Founders were smart enough to forsee changes being necessary and providing a way for the contract to be amended by the people when those changes happened, they weren't smart enough to envision a time when Americans would take their freedom for granted to the extent that they wouldn't even bother reading the simple one page Contract.
Tonight at dinner I asked a college student who was eating with me came to mind when she thought of the Constitution. Her reply was “A list of rules”, and I asked “rules for who to follow”, and she said, “the people.” No wonder Obama is so hell bent on making sure everyone gets a college education where professors who depend on a large federal government for their jobs can “explain” how complicated “politics” is and how “complex” the issues we are facing as a nation are.
Which brings us to your point about the Department of Education. I do understand what it would entail to abolish all of these Contract violating programs, and so does Ron Paul. He doesn't want to go back to the dark ages. He doesn't want to abolish these agencies without a second thought as you suggest. It is because he has given second thought to something that no other politician has–whether or not these programs should even exist based on their cost vs. their benefit and whether or not they are allowed to even exist under the Contract.
Even he knows that entitlement programs couldn't be cut immediately. In his economic stimulus plan, these programs and the military were the only two areas of government where funding wasn't frozen or reduced. If a person is incredibly obese, you can't have him run 25 miles a day and consume 500 calories–he would die. But you can get him to stop eating copious amounts of junk food and walk a little bit. As he gets healthier, he can do more. The longer he sticks to it, the healthier he will become and the more he'll be able to do without assistance. This is a process, not an event. People who vote for Politicians expect the event of their election to solve our nation's problems. People who understand the root cause of these problems understand that it is a long hard process, but it is worth it. We're not in horrible shape right now (if we were more people would listen to a candidate like Ron Paul), but just as the guy who was once in shape but started making poor choices and turned into the obese guy we were just talking about will eventually die if he continues to make those same choices our country will do the same.
America's government has become incredibly obese. This is the War on Obesity we should be fighting. And you can bet your sweet ass that if government starts paying for national healthcare, the War on Obesity won't be far behind ironically making government even more obese and unhealthy. Here's a great website if you'd like to help put our government on a diet.
All of these programs help some people, but they also hurt others. I had DoE loans as well. But I worked 80 hours a week during my college summers to pay them off. How can you be okay with a family's money whose children decided not to go to college paying for your education? Have you thought about how that hurts them? Probably for the same reason I was–I didn't understand the Contract so I was okay with its being violated as long is its violation benefitted me.
If these programs didn't exist, you'd be able to afford your own college education and the private sector would be healthy enough that if college really were a good education, loans would be available to you through them. If society felt that ensuring people had a college education was important and had half of their income back two things could happen: they could provide help for their fellow citizens through giving or they could decide the Federal Government would be the best way to address the issue, change the Contract to allow them to do it and give up part of their economic freedom to allow them to enforce that mandate given to them by the people. As of now, the word “education” is mentioned exactly zero times in the Contract.
And by the way, the DoE doesn't “pay” for your college education. I do. You're welcome. And the part that isn't paid for by people like me who are taxed at a very high rate is paid for by the middle class through an inflation tax when the government uses another way to get money it doesn't have–the printing of money from thin air by the mandate of a private bank called the Federal Reserve. As long as you pay your loans back, it isn't that big of a deal but grants and other things like that (which I also had) hurt everyone who doesn't receive them. Thanks to those of you older readers who helped me pay for school, sorry you didn't get to do it by choice. And thanks for the rich guys who gave me a scholarship for my first year and told me that I was smart enough to find a way to stay there if I wanted to–you were right. I'm sorry that you can't do more for people like me.
If you support Obama, I'm guessing you aren't okay with the War in Iraq. Unfortunately, you probably don't support the war because you “feel” that it is “wrong” instead of not supporting it because it violated your Contract since it wasn't issued by Congress as outlined in Article 1, Section 8. If you understood this, you'd understand that simply voting for someone because you're “sick of the status quo” (which I just heard an Obama supporter at this coffee house say was the only thing to consider when you decided to vote) may end the war but it wouldn't solve any problems because it doesn't address the real issue.
Fixing something of value by “changing it” is like having a '57 Chevy that's rusted out and doesn't run that well and deciding that it needs to be changed. It is a car that when in great condition has incredibly high value, but to simply “change” it would imply doing something along the lines of changing its tires. This would help improve performance, but before long the tires would wear down and need to be changed again. If you made enough changes, it eventually wouldn't even resemble the thing that once was worth a great deal when in great condition. If you really wanted to make this car worth something, you'd have to Restore it. America doesn't need change, we need a restoration. It's harder, and it takes longer, but it's worth it.
Just voting for someone who believes something doesn't give them the right to do what they believe in if they are elected. It would if this were a one-branch straight democratic form of government, but it isn't. It is a republic. And until the Contract is scrapped completely (and there is a clause in Article Five that would essentially allow the PEOPLE to do this if we wish) and we start all over again, it is still the Contract in effect for this country.
Obama is right when he says “we” need to do something about the problems facing America. But “we” are the people. If he is elected, he will be the government. By “uniting” people under the banner of “Yes WE Can!” he is further confounding the situation by basically saying that if he is elected “we” give him the right to do what he wants to “change” America. If “We the People” were fully free, I'm quite certain that 300,000,000 people would do a better job of solving a problem than 536. If “We the People” decided to allow the government to solve the problem, “we” could change the Contract and allow them to do it. Doing it any other way is always going to divide the country because half of it is going to disagree with any “change” made.
Voting for anyone who doesn't understand this is no different than saying, “I don't really give a damn if someone else's rights are violated as long as the rights being violated aren't mine, and I believe in the cause for which those other people's rights are being violated.” If you can't read that last sentence and see it everywhere from Iraq, Gitmo, our overcrowded prisons, and the Patriot Act, you are dumber than you seem.
There was once another country which was facing problems and wanted change. The people of that country allowed another great speaker to rise to power in the late 1930's. He was incredible at eloquently and passionately explaining what he saw as the major problems his country was facing. The solution to these problems was “Change”, all the people had to do was chant a catchy slogan in unison, believe that he was actually right about the cause of the problems, give up a little freedom, and all their problems would go away. Everyone knew there were problems, but not everyone agreed with his assessment of the cause of those problems or his Final Solution to them–but they didn't speak up, or stand up for the people whose property was taken or destroyed as they were categorized solely as a collective group with no individual rights and carted away. By the time these few good people may have decided to actually do something, it was too late.
So if you are an Obama supporter and won't change your vote after reading this article, please encourage your candidate to show his integrity by keeping his word about his Oath in order to truly return the power to the people he inspires.
Since that isn't likely to happen, have fun voting for your charismatic candidate, I think I'll stick to the boring old man who never changes who I know I can trust to protect my rights by fulfilling his Oath no matter what. And it might not matter this year, but I still believe enough in America to think that when it does happen it won't be too late. The Revolution is nigh. Our Obama is out there somewhere. We can't wait to meet you.
Your Fellow American,
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