Timothy N. Baldwin, JD.
November 12, 2010
Those who would classify themselves as the enemies of tyranny and advocates of freedom have offered—and for quite some time—many reasons why the United States are in the condition they are in. These reasons need to be reduced to their principle and need to be studied in terms of both society and government phenomenon before real remedies can be applied to the problems caused by the reasons. The reasons can be summarized into three main statements. The problem with the United States:
is not with the United States Constitution (“USC”) but with
the people of America;
(2) is not with the USC or the people but with government rulers; and
(3) is with the USC, regardless of the people or rulers.
It is admitted that the complexity of this subject cannot be fully dealt with in a short article as this, but perhaps the content herein will aspire more people to truly identify the real causes of our plight so that an enlightenment of the mind will produce freedom, happiness and peace in all of the societies in America. To that end, I will take the proposed reasons in order.
(2) The problem with the United States is not with the USC or the people but with government rulers.
(a) Like the arguments expressed in parts 1 and 2 of this article series, regarding the “innocence” of the USC, I find this argument lacking in genuine and thorough analysis and conclusion. After all, the Anti-Federalists predicted largely the predicaments we find ourselves in today even before the USC was ratified. If the events we have seen for decades cannot be contributed to the opening of a sort of Pandora’s box—known as the “experiment” of the USC—then how could the Anti-Federalists have been so correct in their assessments of the natural consequences of ratifying the USC? The Anti-Federalists did not rely on just what the proponents of the USC “intended” or proposed but what human nature would allow and indeed require based upon this new federal power and construction of the federal constitution. History proves that the Anti-Federalists were more correct in their assessments than were the Federalists.
(b) The it’s-the rulers-fault argument falls short of the deeper reality and implication stemming from this statement, which would have an ignorant person think that the federal (and state) officials were not placed in office by the very people that the proponent of the statement claims are not the problem of the political plight. Were the proponent to admit that, yes, there are some who do not understand the USC and that those are the ones voting people like Obama into office and allowing socialists and communists to run the country, he would have to admit that at some point, it would be impossible for the entire Union to remain in a free condition because there is absolutely no way to control the minds and hearts (and votes) of hundreds of millions of people across a 3,537,441 square mile area and force them to see the light as to what the USC means. The USC constitution is composed of people as much as it is composed of words.
Since constitutions do not enforce themselves, one cannot rest his political positions entirely on what he wants the USC to do for him or his State individually. He has to acknowledge that at some point, it is impossible for certain parts of the union to cohabitate politically with other parts of the union, for “getting back to the USC” is as much a religious and philosophical decision as a political and legal one—a process which cannot be enforced in courts or even through constitutional amendments. He has to admit what the political philosophers of yesteryear observed: that a political structure can become too complex, diverse and large for its own good, which will eventually cause it to fall due to its imbalance, heavy weight and lack of foundation.
The truer observation derived from the its-the-rulers-fault argument should be stated as such:
The composition of the union under the United States Constitution as developed over 200 years of political and constitutional development does not render the federal government sufficiently controllable by the masses of people alone within the 50 states composing the union.
Truly, it is conceivable that the federal agents of the States’ people may and will misuse the power granted to them by election. But this can only be known by an educated people. Only an educated people can govern itself and select qualified representatives to secure freedom. Under that assumption, Alexander Hamilton proposed that “[t]he natural cure for an ill-administration, in a popular or representative constitution, is a change of men.” But America’s history proves that a change of men has not cured ill-administration. It has only gotten worse—and under both media-advanced political parties.
Despite changing from one party official to another for generations, the political structure of the United States has developed to the point that the purported powers, controls and roles of federal and state jurisdiction have all but inverted, for as once was proposed, “powers of the general government should be limited, and that, beyond this limit…the States should be left in possession of their sovereignty and independence.” This has taken place upon the elections of thousands of federal and state officials by the people. In essence, they have asked for what they have received. Thus, when Hamilton said, “[e]ither the mode in which the federal government is to be constructed will render it sufficiently dependent on the people, or it will not,” it is a truism that federal encroachment upon the States and the people respectively would possibly not be controlled by the people. Based upon this observation, one can easily see then how the federal government’s continuing and entrenching usurpations could be mistakenly construed as unilateral in nature, without the consent of the people.
This reason for this phenomenon is clearly perceived: it is virtually and essentially impossible to destroy the self-perpetuating and self-aggrandizing beast once it is born and reaches a certain size with a certain sized appetite. Any attempts of restraining it are feeble at best. So, what is to be said of the people where, for generations, federal encroachments have ever so surely been overlooked, ignored or even accepted by the people? Are they innocent in their role and duty as guardians of their own liberty? Or are masses of people naturally incapable of knowing when jurisdiction is usurped, when power is abused or when they are being lied to? If not, then the only reasons which can be attached to the problem of federal encroachment is that (1) the people have shirked their responsibility and/or (2) the composition of the political system itself does not adequately provide the people with sufficient control over the federal government (just as the Anti-Federalists predicted).
Ironically, what Hamilton showed as the second control over the federal government’s encroachments over the people is the control which the federal government has purported is contrary to the USC. Hamilton specifically shows that where the people do not sufficiently control the federal government, the State governments would and must. Hamilton says,
“Either the mode in which the federal government is to be constructed will render it sufficiently dependent on the people, or it will not. On the first supposition, it will be restrained by that dependence from forming schemes obnoxious to their constituents. On the other supposition, it will not possess the confidence of the people, and its schemes of usurpation will be easily defeated by the State governments, who will be supported by the people.”
Despite the most notable Federalist (Hamilton) saying (baiting?) that the State governments could control federal usurpation, we have been ordered through the US Supreme Court since the early 1800s that the States cannot control the federal government under the USC. (How does one reconcile what was proposed as being what the USC means to obtain ratification and what the USC has been rendered to mean after ratification?) Now, we see that the only external controls over the federal government—the people and the State governments—fall short of the federal controls proposed by Alexander Hamilton. Thus, if what we are being told concerning political power and redress is true (and perhaps the evidence proves as such), then there is NO control over the federal government and Alexander Hamilton’s definition of tyranny exists today: “‘[L]iberty can have nothing to fear from the judiciary alone, but would have every thing to fear from its union with either of the other departments,” seeing that the federal branches of government coalesce in the ever strengthening of federal power.
The problem then is not that the rulers alone are to blame but that the political system itself is to blame because the people and the States at large do not possess the characteristics to stop federal encroachment. After all, human nature and experience prove that the extent of government’s power is not the biggest danger of abuse but is rather the composition and structure of the political association:
“[A]ll observations founded upon the danger of usurpation ought to be referred to the composition and structure of the government, NOT to the nature or extent of its powers.”
Perhaps the conclusion should be that since the people and the States are (at least purportedly) insufficient to control the federal government (i.e. the composition and structure of the union), the union as is should be altered or abolished and new forms of government instituted for the protection of God-given rights, for James Madison proposed this were the form of federal government destructive to these ends:
“[We] rest all our political experiments on the capacity of mankind for self-government. If the plan of the convention, therefore, be found to depart from the republican character, its advocates must abandon it as no longer defensible.” *** “We have heard of the impious doctrine in the Old World, that the people were made for kings, not kings for the people. Is the same doctrine to be revived in the New?...[If] the Union itself [becomes] inconsistent with the public happiness…Abolish the Union.”
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No matter how one states the argument—whether the federal government is acting unilaterally against the will of the people and a change of men is not the natural cure for ill-administration or whether the composition of the people in their societal and political condition cannot sufficiently control the federal government—the evidence of over 200 years of the United States’ political existence proves that the proposed experimental federal form and system has not adequately protected freedom, sovereignty and liberty. It is time for statesmen to arise.
Note: I added “or the people” to this statement, which was
not contained in parts 1 and 2 of this article series.
2. Alexander Hamilton, Federalist Paper 21.
3. James Madison, Federalist Paper 40.
4. Alexander Hamilton, Federalist Paper 46 (emphasis added).
5. Alexander Hamilton, Federalist Paper 46.
6. Alexander Hamilton, Federalist Paper 78.
7. Alexander Hamilton, Federalist Paper 31 (emphasis added).
8. James Madison, Federalist Paper 39.
9, James Madison, Federalist Paper 45 (emphasis added).
© 2010 Timothy N. Baldwin, JD - All Rights Reserved
Timothy N. Baldwin is an attorney from Pensacola, FL. He received his bachelor of arts degree at the University of West Florida in 2001 and received his Juris Doctorate degree from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in 2004. Baldwin was a Prosecutor in the 1st District of Florida from 2004 to 2006. In 2006, he started his own law practice, where he created specialized legal services entirely for property management companies.
Like his father, Chuck Baldwin, Timothy Baldwin is an astute articulator of cutting-edge political ideas, which he posts on his website, www.libertydefenseleague.com and speaks about in various public forum. Baldwin is the author of Freedom For A Change, in which he expounds the fundamental principles of freedom believed by America’s forefathers and gives inspiring and intelligent application of those principles to America’s current political and cultural standing. Baldwin believes that the times require all freedom-loving Americans to educate, invigorate and activate the principles of freedom within the STATES of America for ourselves and our posterity.
Web site: LibertyDefenseLeague