Monday, November 21, 2011

Your Voice May Save the Country

It seems that every Presidential election is important. Looking back, some were more important than others. For instance, the election of Ronald Reagan over Jimmy Carter was important. It corrected, at least in some respects, the mistake of electing a weak and indecisive President.

This coming election will be a similar election, and it is very likely that the incumbent President will have so much fraudulent control over the election process, so much money (most likely obtained illegally) and a bully pulpit in the media, that he will be able to tell the most outrageous lies and wind up the winner by default.

This President will be able to make the issue whatever he wants. He will say that the Republicans represent big business (when it is he who represents crony capitalism), or he will say that the Republicans are fascists (when it is he who has enabled fascism), or he will say that the Republicans want to dismantle entitlements for seniors, Veterans and the poor. He could, and likely, will get away with this because many people already believe that the Republicans are cruel and inconsiderate of a large numbers of voters.

Yet, the real issue in this coming election should be that the President is a communist who is instituting fascism in America. He is destroying the economy by looting productive citizens and stealing their wealth. Not only has the President handed the middle east to radical Muslims, he has virtually set up the next war in the region which could mean the destruction of Israel and the next holocaust. This is bad enough, but he has also weakened America to such a degree that the hordes of communists in league with him could bring revolution, destruction and Marshall Law to our cities.

Our situation is really more like that in 1968 when Nixon ran against Humphrey. During that election, the American people, including myself, saw the rise of the new left, a group of young people who wanted to destroy America and turn it into a colony of the Soviet Communists. This group exposed themselves as destroyers, haters and anti-Americans. The American people saw it and reacted appropriately. The result was a victory for Richard Nixon. The American people had had enough in 1968 and the “silent majority” spoke loudly. When McGovern came along in 1972, expressing a similar agenda, he was defeated in a landslide.

We are back in the '60s again and the silent majority has become the Tea Party movement. It is time that the American people make their convictions clear once and for all. Capitalism, limited government individual rights and pro-Americanism can never be defeated by liars, freeloaders, cheaters, crony capitalists and phony protest movements. This next election must make the principles of America clear; not sacrifice, not re-distribution, not government entitlement programs, not freeloading and theft of taxpayer money, not some people living off of others. The next election should be a vote for limited government. It should be about having a government that protects rights and liberties - not one that violates them routinely.

We must make sure that we drown out the media and make Obama run on his record. We want him to run the most negative campaign in history and to spend billions in lying and deceiving and insulting. We need to defeat progressivism under the worst circumstances...or else we will never get rid of it. We have to have a bi-partisan citizens' campaign made up of individual truth-tellers who are willing to take on the lies and deceptions of the left, and, once and for all, rid the world of government coercion. We must defeat progressivism as a philosophy of government. We must expose the immorality and the failure of this philosophy. We must expose, not the failure of capitalism, but the failure of socialism/fascism. We have to purge, through the vote, the dishonesty and corruption of the progressive movement, crony capitalism and the idea that one man owes a living to another.

Please make sure you make yourself heard by voting in 2012. And if you can, join the citizen army of truth-tellers. Speak your mind, wear t-shirts that express your views, talk, write blogs and letters to the editors and be part of a movement that intends to put the government back into the hands of the people. Your vote and your voice may be the one that saves our country.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Cult of Sacrifice

President Obama’s recent Press Conference in Hawaii can provide us with a “light-bulb” moment about the President’s mindset. It provides a microcosm of insight into a pattern of thinking that has characterized mankind for centuries to its detriment. I call it the Cult of Sacrifice. Here is the President’s statement regarding the “need” for Congress to pass his “American Jobs Act”:

“This doesn’t require radical changes to America or its way of life. It just means that we spread out the sacrifice across every sector so that it’s fair; so that people don’t feel as if once again people who are well connected, people who have lobbyists, special interests get off easy, and the burden is placed on middle-class families that are already struggling. So if other countries can do it, we can do it — and we can do it in a responsible way.

I’m not going to comment on whether I’d veto a particular bill until I actually see a bill, because I still hold out the prospect that there’s going to be a light-bulb moment where everybody says “Ah-ha! Here’s what we’ve got to do.””

As the President indicates, “what we’ve got to do” is sacrifice, spread out the suffering so that no one person suffers too much. Yet, one thing he overlooks is that the debt of this country cannot be dealt with even if you took all the money made by the richest in America. In fact, the debt is so massive that it would barely put a dent into the deficit. Even spreading out the suffering would accomplish no negligible benefit to our society. More sacrifice will not work.

One would think that the President’s logic is flawless. Certainly, as patriotic Americans we all want to make things better in our society. And, some think, considering the present circumstances, our leaders are only trying to encourage Americans to do their part to lift society out of the doldrums. But, I think that the President’s remarks are nothing more than a ritualized (in other words, automatized) response that has been repeatedly imposed upon mankind for centuries and that it has never worked. In fact, it is a form of “sleight of hand” where the President offers great benefits to the people if they would only sacrifice; but, historically, in other similar cases, those benefits were never accomplished. The only thing we did is lose people, energy and time.

In fact, our deficit problem was created by the very same thinking in which the President is asking us to engage. He asks us to sacrifice for our fellow man. Yet, the trigger for the economic collapse, the subprime crisis was caused by a former President Clinton who asked the banks to sacrifice so that more people could buy homes. The result was a massive number of foreclosures; and those people who got homes are now sacrificing whatever money they have left to the banks that were decimated by the original sacrifice. It seems that someone has figured out how to use sacrifice to convince people to re-distribute lots of money. It is an old game.

Along the way, President Obama’s biggest supporters have become exceedingly wealthy by taking in more sacrifice from the tax payers, creating a crony capitalist scheme that rewards his supporters with stimulus dollars so that they can do it all over again in 2012. Everyone gets rich but the taxpayers who are sacrificing. This is the ancient Cult of Sacrifice made contemporary.

It appears that Ayn Rand, in her novel Atlas Shrugged was correct in her assessment of crony capitalism. In the universe she created, it was the crony capitalists that were using the language of duty, of collective salvation and of love in order to justify their thefts. They used this language to condition society to the necessity of sacrifice, all the while, destroying their industrial enemies in order to keep their grip on power. As each new producer rose up, he was immediately seized upon as by vultures and eaten alive by laws, government programs and regulations. Each new sacrifice was supposedly engaged in for the good of society, to save society, to get us out of the doldrums. And the argument was always: “we should spread the sacrifice around”.

In spite of the fact that Atlas Shrugged was a fictional story, today we are seeing it come to life as if it were a prophesy. And, as happened in Ayn Rand’s fictional universe, our universe keeps descending into more poverty and more calls for sacrifice. How could she get it so right? How could she know that cronyism is the hallmark of collectivism, of communism, of socialism and of fascism? Her answer was “Identify the dominant philosophy of a society and you can predict its future.” (1) Today, the dominant philosophy of society is “The Cult of Sacrifice”.

Today, cronyism has exposed itself as a “bubble” and it is ready to burst. The entire house of cards built by the President, a house made up of “looters” as Ayn Rand would call them, is beginning to collapse around the President. The cronies have taken over the economy and no one is safe until the American people put a stop to it. They must restore the Constitution by limiting the power of the President.

Everyone knows that the President is lying with virtually every sentence he utters and that nothing he says or does will bring about an economic resurgence. His words are more of the same; more calls for the very sacrifice that got us into the situation. What is the Cult of Sacrifice; and how is it destroying us? It is not something new, but something very old, like a dusty old skeleton dug up after centuries in the sand…propped up as the source of life when it is merely old and dead.

Let’s begin at the beginning; somewhere in a distant past, before history was being written. It is within this past that we can see the remnants of the Cult of Sacrifice. Imagine that archaeologists have just dug up a group of people who had not gone through the Industrial Revolution, whose level of knowledge was miniscule compared to ours. These people knew so little that they interpreted everything they saw from a primitive perspective. They saw the influence of “spirits” everywhere and their most fundamental principle is that there were two dimensions of reality, the world of the spirits and the world of reality in which they lived. One realm was superior, active and real (the world of the spirits) and the other was full of fear, terror and catastrophe (the reality in which they lived). These people yearned for the paradise of the spiritual world and wanted to escape the drudgery of the real.

Everywhere the archaeologists dig, they uncover bodies without heads in one place, and in another place, heads without bodies. They find children buried at the cornerstones of buildings and the tombs of kings with hundreds of dead “attendants” including people, animals, chariots of war and even whole horses. They find a “cemetery” with bodies thrown in as in a mass grave and they find votive offerings with statues of ancient gods whose names are long lost to history. Everywhere, they find the Cult of Sacrifice.

The gods and spirits were everywhere for the men in this society, influencing their daily lives and sometimes even raining down disaster, hurricane and earthquake as punishment for not honoring them. The archaeologists find layer upon layer of dust in the village and layer upon layer of buildings built upon older buildings as if periodic destruction came to this society. And with each destruction layer, they found more bodies.

For these people, the spirits lived, not only in the heavens, but in the animals and objects of nature, everything had an animating spirit and everything that happened on this earth was influenced by their interventions. Understanding what the gods demanded was a daunting task that could only have been accomplished by the priest/rulers who presumed to have a deep connection to the gods and spirits.

We must understand that these people had no science. They had no view of reality that informed them of cause and effect and they had only their trust in their leaders. If their leaders told them that in order to save society, they must offer up their children in sacrifice to the gods, they believed it. If they were told that in order to ensure that earthquakes did not destroy their buildings, they had to bury a living child at the cornerstone of each building. If they were told that the gods were angry at them and could only be appeased through the brutal murder of some of their citizens, they believed such sacrifice was necessary. If they were told that, as servants of the king, they must continue their service by being buried with him upon his death, they believed that as soon as they died en masse they would resume a new life of service to the king.

This new archaeological find, however, is not so different from other finds which have been discovered all over the world, on every continent, in virtually every country and river bank on the planet. And, as we examine the writing of recent history and explore our planet, we see strains of human sacrifice, even up to modern times. The brutal truth is that the Cult of Sacrifice has informed the lives of people for century upon century.

Throughout these many centuries, most men believed that all causes were enacted by the gods and all men must live in their service. Did any of them notice that sometimes their devout sacrifice did not accomplish the end they sought? Yes, but they were told that they had not sacrificed enough. Did any of them question their religion for asking them to give up their highest values? Yes, they were soon offered up as the next to be sacrificed. Did any of them offer their own bodies in order to save the lives of their children? Yes, but they were told that only the sacrifice of children could appease the gods. At each questioning of the wisdom of the ruling elites, there was an argument ready and one thing they did not question: the belief that the gods existed and that they could rain devastation upon them.

The cult of sacrifice was so engrained in men during past ages that even today men believe they have to sacrifice to God or Allah in order to live moral lives. Sacrifice, today called altruism, is a remnant of the human sacrifice that was practiced by our ancient forebears. And all the negatives of ancient ritual sacrifice are with us today in lost human energy, lost dignity and lost love; in devastated societies and people resigned to suffering and death. It has come down to us by means of religion and those philosophers influenced by Plato who preached a two-dimensional universe. We can see how ingrained sacrifice is today if we understand the meaning and purpose of ritual.

Ritual is the scripted reenactment of mythological tales about the lives of the gods. Ritual is the ancient version of moral thinking. In fact, ritual is the method by which ancient leaders kept the “people” in line, controlled their activities and instituted their sacrificing. A ritual was both a commemoration of the lives of the gods and a moral lesson on how to act at all times. Ritual told men how to live, how to be god-like. Ritual always included obedience and sacrifice and was the means through which ancient rulers earned their booty or “made their living” so to speak. Ritualized practices were the means of maintaining the Cult of Sacrifice.

Many people think that very few cultures actually engaged in ritual human sacrifice. In fact, the practice took many forms throughout pre-history and was practiced in almost every culture of the past. Those forms we read about from ancient Egypt and ancient Greece were some of the most brutal form of sacrifice that had been practiced for centuries before as archaeology has borne witness. The only changes men saw throughout pre-history were the various different forms of sacrifice, some more brutal than others, with different sacrificial objects to accomplish different results. Religious reformation was slow but sometimes it was more deadly and at other times more benign. Eventually, many cultures were told that the gods no longer interfered in the affairs of men. It was no longer necessary to fear catastrophe at their hands. Brutal deadly sacrifice was slowly replaced by animal and money sacrifice. The gods became fatherly and motherly figures teaching love, knowledge and piety. Still the means of control were ritual reenactments of the lives of the gods that became morality. The Cult of Sacrifice has always been alive and well.

We obtain a hint at how religious reformations came about if we look at how the reformation of Greek myths slowly evolved into secular philosophy. Early Greeks began to question the premises of their brutal religious practices by inventing some key questions about the nature of the universe. These questions challenged the view of the gods as brutal masters who demanded human sacrifice. The Greeks asked such questions as what is the relationship between the one and the many. What principles create change? Is it the spirits or earth-bound processes such as air, water, fire and earth? What is the role of the individual as an autonomous thinker and what of the collectives that demanded various forms of human sacrifice? As they grappled with these questions, their society developed along two tracks, one religious demanding sacrifice and another secular demanding that the individual mind be allowed to question and investigate without the influence of religion. To a great extent, Ancient Greece was very much like our society in that both societies experimented with various forms of social structure and investigated such issues as a separation of church and state, the role of the individual in solving his own problems and the role of government in the lives of individuals.

If you examine the writings of Greek philosophers, you see the tension between secular analysis and religious dominance. Their example reminds us of the many intellectuals during our Enlightenment period that experienced a similar tension as they strove to understand the difference between a free mind and one enslaved by doctrine. A new vision once again strove to remove men from the slavery of the mind. These issues continue to influence us today as we question the viability of sacrificing the individual to the demands of the state. We ask whether it is society or religion to which we should sacrifice our minds, our time, our possessions; and some of us ask whether there should be any sacrificing at all. Some of us think that the legacy of the Enlightenment, what thinkers like Locke and others struggled to understand was the issue of freedom versus tyranny. Should society defend and protect the human mind seeking to understand, prosper and flourish or should it be the instrument of enforcing sacrifice? This is the Founding Fathers versus the progressives.

Through the influence of the progressives today, the residue of the demand for human sacrifice looms as a deep threat. According to the progressives, it is immoral to be for “yourself” and moral to think of the whole. It is immoral to seek profit and moral to sacrifice for the good of the group. Indeed, the statement by President Obama quoted above is nothing more than an echo of the ideas that confounded the Greeks so many centuries ago and still confound us today. The Cult of Sacrifice is alive and well among the President’s allies in the “Occupy Wall Street” pseudo-movement, while others, the true historical radicals in the Tea Party movement, cry out for capitalism, freedom and individual rights.

Some would say that connecting ancient human sacrifice to modern calls for altruism is unfair. Yet, one of the most ancient examples of the tension between the one and the many has come down to us today in the form of Greek tragedy, a ritualized recreation of the lives of the gods and demigods. These plays helped people experience catharsis by seeing for themselves, as we see today on television and in the theater, how the gods lived and how they acted. Greek plays were virtual examples, morality plays if you will, on how ancient Greek citizens were supposed to live their lives.

You can observe two basic themes in Greek plays that you can also observe today in American theater and movies. These themes make up the “natural resources” so to speak of both Greek and American story telling. They are the “suffering savior” and “the battle of the sexes”. These themes are repeated constantly in our stories today as they were in the plays of Greek tragedy. Each theme represented an ancient religious perspectives; they were primitive forms of religion, so to speak, that laid the foundation for modern religion and political theory today.

Stories of Prometheus, Atlas, Hercules, Theseus, Odysseus, Oedipus, Perseus and more provided for the Greeks the examples that taught them how a creature like man, all too human and frivolous, could participate in world consuming events, suffer, struggle and fight against the gods and nature, take on tremendous challenges and defeat violent enemies, sometimes to die (sacrifice himself) as an offering or scapegoat for the good of the earth or the people.

Likewise, today, actors such as Tom Cruise, Bruce Willis and others play heroes who suffer and die to save the planet, America and little children. They participate in world consuming events, suffer, struggle and fight against the odds and nature, take on tremendous challenges and defeat violent enemies, sometimes to die (sacrifice themselves) as an offering or scapegoat for the good of the earth or the people. The images of these sacrificial offerings, these virtuous men, are intended to elicit admiration and a desire to live as they lived, to experience the "magnificence" of life as a successful sacrifice. These tragedies are the symbols of the Cult of Sacrifice.

These stories, both ancient Greek and contemporary American, are derived from the earlier rituals and myths of pre-history where men were called upon to give up their lives, their children and their possessions for the sake of setting the world right. They represent the constantly repeating themes of the Cult of Sacrifice, the idea that was more than a mere suggestion but a demand for sacrifice made upon all men, of all parts of the world and almost for all time.

The Cult of Sacrifice has gone through many reformations throughout history. As the Enlightenment began taking shape, many philosophers realized that religion had come under attack because of the new focus on reason inaugurated by the Enlightenment. Men began seeing that life could be “lived”, enjoyed and that reason was the means of that enjoyment. Men began to question the religious life of self-sacrifice, humility and self-denial and liberated themselves from the shackles of religious intolerance. As some have observed, Ayn Rand for one, the backlash against the ideas of the Enlightenment took the shape of a “new” morality invented by Kant, but based upon the dusty old skeletons of the past, the Cult of Sacrifice. Kant’s goal was to save religion from the Enlightenment and he did it by elevating “duty” as prime motivation, turning it into an "imperative" built into the structure of the mind. Through this “new” morality, we have the effort of the Cult of Sacrifice to throw off the dust of the past and redeem itself by once again controlling man’s mind and actions. When Comte began to elaborate upon the principles of “altruism”, otherism, the victory of Kant was sealed and the Enlightenment was killed. The Founding Fathers never had a chance.

Yet, the Enlightenment left us one legacy; the Constitution of the United States that defined liberty and rights for man. This document rescued one nation from the Cult of Sacrifice and provided, for a couple of hundred years, an example of the magnificence possible to a nation built on reason. For the next few centuries the struggle was between a new morality of freedom and the reconstituted but still dusty Cult of Sacrifice now championed by Kant and the pragmatists. Because the thinkers that ruled the universities were essentially Kantians and their descendents, the victory of the Cult of Sacrifice is near complete. Today, the President can say, as if it is a foregone conclusion, that he will not accept a bill (that is supposed to solve our problems) unless there is some sacrifice in the bill. In fact, because of the resurgence of the Cult of Sacrifice, you cannot be considered a good person unless you convince people that you are pious practitioner of duty, altruism and “love”. The suffering savior is back on the ash.

Let’s look back to the past again so we can identify the one fact that centuries of world leaders, witch doctors, kings, queens and prime ministers have missed. With every demand of sacrifice that has been made, there has always been a presumption that something good would happen; earthquakes would be mild, the gods would be fed and appeased, the world would be set right. Just as our President promises a prosperous economy if there is more sacrifice, men have always been promised that each and every sacrifice will save men, quiet the seas, bring good fortune and generally make things better. When the feared consequences did not come, the sacrifice was considered to have worked. The rulers were please at their accuracy and demanded more loot. When the feared consequences came anyway, the rulers told men that they had not sacrificed enough, that next time they would need to sacrifice more people, more goats and chickens and more money. They demanded more blood and loot.

What did we miss through all these centuries of sacrificing? There was seldom a thought that the dreaded catastrophes had nothing to do with whether men sacrificed or not; that no matter what men did or gave up, the consequence that eventually came, good or bad, would have come anyway. The sacrificing was irrelevant, a brutal, sad waste of human energy and love. It was sacrifice for the sake of sacrificing...as is the call for sacrifice today by the President.

It also did not occur to many men in the past to question the rulers who proclaimed themselves proficient at knowing what the gods wanted from men. They did not notice that the demand for sacrifice kept the rulers alive while they, the pious ones, lost their loved ones, even their goats and chickens not to mention their passion for life. And it does not occur to us today that President Obama is seeking sacrifice, not because he knows it will solve our problems, but because he knows it will not solve our problems. President Obama is a high priest of the Cult of Sacrifice doing what other high priests before him have done: he is faking a moral superiority and making it possible for him and his cronies to loot the substance of society.

The Cult of Sacrifice has never solved our problems and perhaps it is time to stop the sacrificing, recognize that the thinkers of the Enlightenment were on the right track. We should complete their work and profess again the idea that men do have rights and that the first purpose of government should be to prevent sacrifice, to protect the lives and property of the people.

If we want to solve our problems as a nation, we should look at the practitioners of the Cult of Sacrifice and “throw them all out”.

(1)quoted in “Ayn Rand – The Prophesy of Atlas Shrugged

Thursday, November 10, 2011

What is Executive Power?

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." – Lord Acton

Recently, the President made the following statement: “I’m here to say that we can’t wait for an increasingly dysfunctional Congress to do its job. Where they won’t act, I will.”

This statement is intended to reflect the image of an increasingly gridlocked Congress so ineffectual that only an American President can act. Is it true? Is Congress dysfunctional or is the President seeking to denigrate reasoned opposition to his policies? And, more importantly, is the President’s goal really to get something done, to win the next election or to turn our nation into a dictatorship?

Is the President the only person today who has the moral power to act? Is it really as simple as that? Will the history books tell future students about the courage of our President or his deviousness? Will they examine his deep personal struggle on behalf of the poor or his cynical power play?

We must remind voters that in times past, in particular, during the days leading up to World War II, the European nations had a similar debate. Parliamentary bodies in several European countries were vilified by radicals who favored sweeping aside parliamentary government in favor of dictatorship. During those times, the idea of dictatorship did not have the negative connotation that it does today; it was viewed as a viable option for some nations. Some argued that one man, with the power and charisma to move people, could better implement the will of the people. This man, freed from the shackles of parliamentary weakness, could be the key to making things happen.

Needless to say, two of these men, Mussolini and Hitler, wreaked havoc on Europe, joining a small group of the most hated and murderous men in world history. The absolute power they were given corrupted the entire planet absolutely. Today, we see one-man-rule, not as a saving idea but as a deadly one. At least we did until we got our own charismatic leader with a will of his own. So let’s look a little closer at the issue of whether we are becoming a dictatorship.

First, let’s examine some important principles upon which our government was founded. The first principle is called “checks and balances”. Merriam-Webster.com defines checks and balances as “a system that allows each branch of a government to amend or veto acts of another branch so as to prevent any one branch from exerting too much power.”(1)

Keep in mind that the goal of checks and balances is to limit power. No branch of government should have the power to dictate government action, which means to unilaterally write laws without approval and input from the other branches and from the source of government, the people. In short, unilateral action by any branch or individual is prohibited by the framers of the Constitution. If the President cannot get Congress to act as he would like, then he must desist until he can convince the people of the wisdom of his recommendations. He cannot simply go ahead and act. To do so would violate the purpose of government which is to protect the rights of citizens. Ours is a system of laws, not of men.

You might say that the present situation is too dire to allow Congress to dawdle while people suffer. You must ask yourself, if the President knows this, why doesn’t the Congress also know it? Why don’t they see the wisdom of the President’s position and make an effort to act; to do their job? The truth is that Congress also realizes that the situation is dire and has passed several proposals that are presently being blocked by the Senate. What the President calls dysfunction is nothing more than checks and balances. The Congress does not agree with the President’s “solutions” to the crisis and is therefore blocking his proposals. By doing little about the President’s proposals, the Congress is checking the power of the President to act in a way they do not approve. In fact, the Senate is blocking the actions of the House of Representatives and both houses are blocking the proposals of the President. Doing nothing is sometimes a legitimate response in a free country. This means the checks and balances are working.

Consider that the President’s proposal, his so-called American Jobs Act, has a strong re-distribution component that many in Congress see as harmful to our nation. They point to numerous examples of re-distribution in the past to show that re-distribution causes economic distortions and lost jobs. In fact, a case can be made that re-distribution, as for instance in the sub-prime crisis, is what caused our economic troubles in the first place. For the President to introduce more re-distribution is analogous to a doctor trying to cure a poisoned patient by giving him more poison.

As Thomas M. Cooley wrote in 1908, "The theory of our political system is that the ultimate sovereignty is in the people, from whom springs all legitimate authority."(2)

This means that legitimate authority does not spring from the President alone but from the governmental body closest to the people; the Congress. If the legislative bodies refuse to pass something the President wants, it in no way means that they are dysfunctional. They are, in fact, performing their constitutional responsibility.

To carry the President’s logic forward, he is saying that the people are dysfunctional, that they have lost control of their representatives and that he alone should act. Is this true? Remember, in 2010 the people elected a new Congress and Senate and they brought into government a large number of people who campaigned against President Obama’s policies of deficit spending, health care and stimulus programs. If Congress is opposing the President’s policies and legislative agendas, then Congress is doing what the voters instructed them to do; which is to obstruct the President in advancing his agenda. It is the President’s responsibility to acquiesce to the will of the people, to get the message of the last election and to desist from deficit spending, regulatory programs and his health care program.

"Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories." – Thomas Jefferson 1781

The second principle is called “separation of powers”. This is “the principle or system of vesting in separate branches the executive, legislative, and judicial powers of a government.”(3) In our system, the executive branch is responsible for seeing to it that the laws of the land are enforced. The House of Representatives is responsible for writing those laws while the Supreme Court is responsible for interpreting those laws. The Senate is responsible for advice and consent to the Executive.

If one branch of government attempts to operate in an area which is not within its range of powers, legal procedures as well as the Supreme Court should intervene and put a stop to it.

There is nothing in the Constitution about any form of unilateral Executive Power. For instance, Section 2 of Article 1 delegates to the Executive the power to issue writs of election to fill vacancies of elected representatives. Section 3 of Article 1 discusses additional Executive powers regarding Senatorial vacancies.

Article 2 Section 1 spells out the nature of Executive Power.

“1: The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows”… It goes on to discuss the procedures for the election of the President and Vice President.

At this point in our examination of the Constitution, we’ve only been told that there is such a concept as “Executive Power” but the Constitution has not yet defined that power. There is no implication that such power is in any way like the power of any other branch or that there are overlapping powers.

We find out what real Executive Power is in the next paragraph Article 2 Section 2:

“Section 2

1: The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

2: He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

3: The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

Section 3

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

Section 4

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

There is nothing here that gives the President the power to make law, to issue decrees or otherwise make decisions that overlap with decisions that are the Constitutional province of any other branch. It says, simply, that the President “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed”. We still do not have any justification for unilateral Presidential action.

It has been argued that the mere mention that the President has “Executive Power” is a justification for unilateral action. There is no reason to make that assumption and any effort to act upon that assumption should be roundly challenged.

A major “power” or responsibility of the President is discussed in Section 7:

“2: Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.”

Again, we have no justification for unilateral action by the President. There is no mention of an “Executive Order” in the Constitution. Yet, we read elsewhere:

“The president:
• is the Commander in Chief of the armed forces. He or she has the power to call into service the state units of the National Guard, and in times of emergency may be given the power by Congress to manage national security or the economy.
• has the power make treaties with Senate approval. He or she can also receive ambassadors and work with leaders of other nations.
• is responsible for nominating the heads of governmental departments, which the Senate must then approve. In addition, the president nominates judges to federal courts and justices to the United States Supreme Court.
can issue executive orders, which have the force of law but do not have to be approved by congress.
• can issue pardons for federal offenses.
• can convene Congress for special sessions.
• can veto legislation approved by Congress. However, the veto is limited. It is not a line-item veto, meaning that he or she cannot veto only specific parts of legislation, and it can be overridden by a two-thirds vote by Congress.
• delivers a State of the Union address annually to a joint session of Congress.”(4)

What happened? Where did this come from? The only mention of “executive orders” I find in the Constitution is the power to issue pardons and reprieves. Our friends at Cornell try to explain:

“In times of emergency, the president can override congress and issue executive orders with almost limitless power. Abraham Lincoln used an executive order in order to fight the Civil War, Woodrow Wilson issued one in order to arm the United States just before it entered World War I, and Franklin Roosevelt approved Japanese internment camps during World War II with an executive order. Many other executive orders are on file and could be enacted at any time.”(5)

So, it appears that “Executive Orders” are justified by precedent alone. Lincoln just began issuing them and no one challenged him (except the south, of course). The fact that Lincoln, Wilson and Roosevelt issued Executive Orders is given as a justification for the acts of any President who thinks it is appropriate to issue an Executive Order. Yet, these Executive Orders, according to Cornell, are issued only during times of emergencies.

It appears that the framers of the Constitution wanted the legislative authority to reside with the people; so they determined that the power to make law was vested in the House of Representatives. It was not given to the Executive for a good reason; they knew that eventually the Executive would turn that power into a dictatorship. Thomas Jefferson said it best:

"Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories." 1781

and “Unless the mass retains sufficient control over those entrusted with the powers of their government, these will be perverted to their own oppression, and to the perpetuation of wealth and power in the individuals and their families selected for the trust.” 1812

As Martin and Caul explain:

“The greatest fear the founders of this nation had was the establishment of a strong central government and a strong political leader at the center of that government. They no longer wanted kings, potentates or czars, they wanted a loose association of States in which the power emanated from the States and not from the central government.

John Adams advocated that a good government consists of three balancing powers, the legislative, executive and the judicial, that would produce an equilibrium of interests and thereby promote the happiness of the whole community. It was Adams' theory that the only effectual method to secure the rights of the people and promote their welfare was to create an opposition of interests between the members of two distinct bodies (legislative and executive) in the exercise of the powers of government, and balanced by those of a third (judicial).”(6)

To understand why “Executive Orders” were not countenanced by the Constitution, we must understand that the Constitution, apart from being a “legal” document is also a moral document. It holds implicitly that the moral is the practical; that free people have the power to make their own decisions and act on their own behalf.(7) It held that individual rights were not only moral but also practical. They were inviolable. Living independently of government control meant living morally and therefore, no single man, not even the President, could hold the authority to unilaterally dictate to any other man. Dictatorship was viewed as an immoral form of government that had disastrous consequences for society.

The Founders saw that individual rights, political freedom and the other rights they acknowledged in the Constitution were issues of morality, issues that reflected the individual's responsibility to himself. So, in order to protect the rights of men to live freely, without coercion, the branches of government had to be restricted and controlled, powers had to be separated and balanced…as a matter of having a government that respected the freedom of individuals to make their own moral decisions. Coercion, the forcing of a man against his will, was considered immoral and improper, not only when done by one individual to another but also when done by government toward citizens. The idea of one man, not accountable to the people, with the power to issue unilateral orders, to make laws, was considered coercive and dictatorial. Such unilateral action was outside the bounds of proper government. Further, the final check against government power is the power of the people to approve or reject the proposals of the government. Executive Orders eliminate that important check and corrupt the broad principles of the Constitution.

Yet, it was Andrew Jackson who began usurping the Constitution, not Lincoln.

“President Andrew Jackson used executive powers to force the law-abiding Cherokee Nation off their ancestral lands. The Cherokee fought the illegal action in the U.S. Supreme Court and won. But Jackson, using the power of the Presidency, continued to order the removal of the Cherokee Nation and defied the Court's ruling. He stated, "Let the Court try to enforce their ruling." The Cherokee lost their land and commenced a series of journeys that would be called The Trail of Tears.

President Abraham Lincoln suspended many fundamental rights guaranteed in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. He closed down newspapers opposed to his war-time policies and imprisoned what many historians now call political prisoners. He suspended the right of trial and the right to be confronted by accusers. Lincoln's justification for such drastic actions was the preservation of the Union above all things. After the war and Lincoln's death, Constitutional law was restored.

In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson could not persuade Congress to arm United States vessels plying hostile German waters before the United States entered World War One. When Congress balked, Wilson invoked the policy through a Presidential Executive Order.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued Executive Order No. 9066 in December 1941. His order forced 100,000 Japanese residents in the United States to be rounded up and placed in concentration camps. The property of the Japanese was confiscated.

Both Lincoln's and Roosevelt's actions were taken during wartime, when the very life of the United States was threatened. Wilson's action was taken on the eve of the United States entering World War One. Whether history judges these actions as just, proper or legal, the decision must be left to time. The dire life struggle associated with these actions provided plausible argumentation favoring their implementation during a time when hysteria ruled an age.”(8)

An argument can be made that none of these acts were proper; that they represented a usurpation of the powers delegated to the President and they violated the intent of the Constitution as well as the oath of office. Certainly, today, most of us see the actions of Jackson as unjustified. He clearly violated the individual rights of the Cherokee people. He used government force against individual Americans which was a criminal act every bit as evil as anything done by Hitler. He should have granted to the Cherokee nation their victory under the Constitution. Through his unilateral decision, Jackson put our nation on a “slippery slope” that is getting more slippery by the day.

But Lincoln had a unique situation. He was involved in the only civil war ever to hit the United States of America. The very survival of the Union, as it was founded, was at stake. One could say that Lincoln needed to protect the integrity of our system and that harsh measures were needed against those who would destroy our nation. Yet, one could also argue that the Civil War would have been won without these Executive Orders. The industrial might of the North and the specific battles won by the North would probably have been won without those orders by Lincoln. Shutting down newspapers may have made little difference to the outcome of the war.

Yet, we must ask ourselves: "If the principles of the Constitution are made to apply during peace time, why don’t they apply during war?" If the moral is the practical, aren’t emergency situations times when we need our principles the most? Were there other legal options that Lincoln could have taken to accomplish the goals behind his Executive Orders? Would these not have been preferable to establishing a precedent that violated the Constitution? Remember, an Executive Order violates the individual rights of every citizen purely on the basis of the fact that it circumvents the power of the people to approve laws. By circumventing this power, the President is circumventing the individual rights of the citizens.

One could also argue that Wilson’s order was entirely within his responsibility as Commander in Chief of the military and that an Executive Order was not necessary. One could also say that Roosevelt’s order, though a violation of the Individual Rights of Japanese citizens, was also within his mandate to protect the borders of the country (I disagree with that position). Perhaps, not wise, these orders may have been defensible before the Supreme Court due to the responsibility of the President to be Commander in Chief.

What is an emergency that is so important that the Constitution can be disregarded? One has to understand why it is important that government powers cannot overlap; why did the Founders believe the principle was so important that they virtually prohibited the Executive from violating these divisions of powers? And, since they did not identify any circumstance that could be an “emergency” or “exception to the rule”, why do we think that such emergencies or exceptions give us the authority to violate the Constitution today?

An Executive Order, if it constitutes anything other than a pardon or reprieve by the Executive, is unconstitutional. The Founders did not intend that the separation of powers and checks and balances should EVER be violated. Furthermore, the violation of these principles was undertaken without justification, without a law enacted by Congress and without the advice and consent of the Senate and, when it was tested by the Cherokee Nation, the Supreme Court agreed that Jackson’s Executive Order was unconstitutional.

When a people considers the violation of the separation of powers to be necessary, what is it saying? What is the philosophical implication of such an idea? As mentioned before, the Constitution holds that individual rights are inviolable. It holds that a moral government is one which honors the rights of the people to life, liberty and the pursuit of property. It holds that no emergency could ever justify the violation of individual rights. So how could Jackson, Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt and Obama think that they could violate individual rights by a mere Executive Order?

The flaw in their reasoning is a long-standing principle that has brought much evil into the world. Those Presidents who issue Executive Orders operate according to a philosophy that holds the moral to be impractical. They hold morality to be self-sacrificial and therefore impractical. They see anyone living a "moral" life to be inept and unworthy. In other words, they do not understand that the principles of the Constitution are universal principles that apply to all men for all times and that they work to create a better, practical and affluent society. They see the moral person as weak. They believe that the principles of the Founders are inferior to a broader, and to them more practical, principle. Their view that the end justifies the means enables them to brush aside the rights and morality of individual men trying to live good lives. They hold, implicitly, that it is proper to violate peoples’ rights because only force is practical; only force can accomplish anything worthwhile.

They should ask themselves the question asked by the Founders: Are the coercive acts practiced by potentates, generals, kings, queens and emperors superior to those of individual freedom and the universal rights of man? Isn’t our Constitution telling us that there are no circumstances where individual rights take second place to force exerted by government? Aren’t the Founders telling us that there is never a proper time to disrespect men?

We cannot merely say that because Jackson and other Presidents established the precedent of Executive Powers we should not quibble about our present office holder when he continues the precedent. On the contrary, a bad precedent must be overturned and the integrity of the system must be restored lest dictatorship become the order of the day. We must tell our leaders that there is no circumstance that justifies the arbitrary and artificial suspension of our rights. The end does not justify the means.

To understand the danger of Executive Orders and why we must restore the integrity of our system, let’s look at some of the Executive Orders that have been issued over the last few years. These examples are provided by Martin and Caul.

“A Presidential Executive Order, whether Constitutional or not, becomes law simply by its publication in the Federal Registry. Congress is by-passed. Here are just a few Executive Orders that would suspend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. These Executive Orders have been on record for nearly 30 years and could be enacted by the stroke of a Presidential pen:

• EXECUTIVE ORDER 10990 allows the government to take over all modes of transportation and control of highways and seaports.
• EXECUTIVE ORDER 10995 allows the government to seize and control the communication media.
• EXECUTIVE ORDER 10997 allows the government to take over all electrical power, gas, petroleum, fuels and minerals.
• EXECUTIVE ORDER 10998 allows the government to take over all food resources and farms.
• EXECUTIVE ORDER 11000 allows the government to mobilize civilians into work brigades under government supervision.
• EXECUTIVE ORDER 11001 allows the government to take over all health, education and welfare functions.
• EXECUTIVE ORDER 11002 designates the Postmaster General to operate a national registration of all persons.
• EXECUTIVE ORDER 11003 allows the government to take over all airports and aircraft, including commercial aircraft.
• EXECUTIVE ORDER 11004 allows the Housing and Finance Authority to relocate communities, build new housing with public funds, designate areas to be abandoned, and establish new locations for populations.
• EXECUTIVE ORDER 11005 allows the government to take over railroads, inland waterways and public storage facilities.
• EXECUTIVE ORDER 11051 specifies the responsibility of the Office of Emergency Planning and gives authorization to put all Executive Orders into effect in times of increased international tensions and economic or financial crisis.
• EXECUTIVE ORDER 11310 grants authority to the Department of Justice to enforce the plans set out in Executive Orders, to institute industrial support, to establish judicial and legislative liaison, to control all aliens, to operate penal and correctional institutions, and to advise and assist the President.“(9)

These orders listed above were issued by previous Presidents. Let’s look at some issued by President Obama.

2009 Executive Orders Disposition Tables
Barack Obama – 2009

Executive Order 13489 Presidential Records
Executive Order 13490 Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel
Executive Order 13491 Ensuring Lawful Interrogation
Executive Order 13492 Review and Disposition of Individuals Detained at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base and Close of Detention Facilities
Executive Order 13493 Review of Detention Policy Options
Executive Order 13494 Economy in Government Contracts
Executive Order 13495 Nondisplacement of Qualified Workers Under Service Contracts
Executive Order 13496 Notification of Employee Rights Under Federal Labor Laws
Executive Order 13497 Revocation of Certain Executive Orders Concerning Regulatory Planning and Review
Executive Order 13498 Amendments to Executive Order 13199 and Establishment of the President's Advisory Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
Executive Order 13499 Further Amendments to Executive Order 12835, Establishment of the National Economic Council
Executive Order 13500 Further Amendments to Executive Order 12859, Establishment of the Domestic Policy Council
Executive Order 13501 Establishing the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board
Executive Order 13502 Use of Project Labor Agreements for Federal Construction Projects
Executive Order 13503 Establishment of the White House Office of Urban Affairs
Executive Order 13504 Amending Executive Order 13390
Executive Order 13505 Removing Barriers to Responsible Scientific Research Involving Human Stem Cells
Executive Order 13506 Establishing a White House Council on Women and Girls
Executive Order 13507 Establishment of the White House Office of Health Reform
Executive Order 13508 Chesapeake Bay Protection and Restoration
Executive Order 13509 Establishing a White House Council on Automotive Communities and Workers
Executive Order 13510 Waiver Under the Trade Act of 1974 With Respect to the Republic of Belarus
Executive Order 13511 Continuance of Certain Federal Advisory Committees
Executive Order 13512 Amending Executive Order 13390
Executive Order 13513 Federal Leadership on Reducing Text Messaging While Driving
Executive Order 13514 Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance
Executive Order 13515 Increasing Participation of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Federal Programs
Executive Order 13516 Amending Executive Order 13462
Executive Order 13517 Amendments to Executive Orders 13183 and 13494
Executive Order 13518 Employment of Veterans in the Federal Government
Executive Order 13519 Establishment of the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force
Executive Order 13520 Reducing Improper Payments
Executive Order 13521 Establishing the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues
Executive Order 13522 Creating Labor-Management Forums to Improve Delivery of Government Services
Executive Order 13523 Half-Day Closing of Executive Departments and Agencies on Thursday, December 24, 2009
Executive Order 13524 Amending Executive Order 12425 Designating Interpol as a Public International Organization Entitled To Enjoy Certain Privileges, Exemptions, and Immunities
Executive Order 13525 Adjustments of Certain Rates of Pay
Executive Order 13526 Classified National Security Information
Executive Order 13527 Establishing Federal Capability for the Timely Provision of Medical Countermeasures Following a Biological Attack

To be “fair” here’s a list of how many Executive Orders were issued by President Bush:

Disposition of Executive orders signed by President George W. Bush:
• Subject Index
• 2009 - E.O. 13484 - E.O. 13488 (5 Executive orders issued)
• 2008 - E.O. 13454 - E.O. 13483 (30 Executive orders issued)
• 2007 - E.O. 13422 - E.O. 13453 (32 Executive orders issued)
• 2006 - E.O. 13395 - E.O. 13421 (27 Executive orders issued)
• 2005 - E.O. 13369 - E.O. 13394 (26 Executive orders issued)
• 2004 - E.O. 13324 - E.O. 13368 (45 Executive orders issued)
• 2003 - E.O. 13283 - E.O. 13323 (41 Executive orders issued)
• 2002 - E.O. 13252 - E.O. 13282 (31 Executive orders issued)
• 2001 - E.O. 13198 - E.O. 13251 (54 Executive orders issued)

291 Total Executive orders Issued by President Bush.(10)

Do we have an enormous problem here? Were you informed of any of these Executive Orders? Would you have approved them had you been asked? Shouldn't there have been open debate about these orders? Doesn't the issuance of these Executive Orders circumvent the responsibility of Congress to write the laws of the land? Don't they circumvent the responsibility of the Senate to advise and consent? Where is the Supreme Court on this? Doesn't the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution state: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” It does not state that they are reserved to the President.

How is it possible that we have forgotten a key principle of government, the unraveling of which threatens our very freedoms and survival? How can we survive as a free people when the government can do whatever it wants?

Did the Constitution want the Congress to be dysfunctional? The answer is “yes”. It did not countenance a Congress that was efficient because it saw "efficient force" as a violation of the rights of the citizens. The framers saw the citizens as the main protectors of their own freedoms and they sought to give the most power to the people as a check on the acquisition of power by the other branches of government.

The framers intended that the government be, in a sense, gridlocked, incapable of doing anything not checked by the people. If the people tell their representatives (through the vote) “no more deficit spending” that meant the Congress could not approve deficit spending. It could not write or pass any laws that enabled such spending. This is the simple practical protection of the Constitution; but the principle that made this possible is the philosophical idea that “all men are created equal”, that it was the responsibility of the government to protect, not violate, individual rights. Any violation of the Constitution was a dereliction of responsibility on the part of the violator.

We must understand this issue; so I’ll state it again: Any violation of the Constitution is a violation of individual rights. Whenever Executive Orders are issued, the rights of the citizens to approve or reject the actions of government are violated. The Constitution is written to protect individual rights and, one of those rights is the right to check the power of government. An Executive Order constitutes a deliberate dictatorial act against the people.

The proper action for the President, when he decides that a specific government action should be taken, should not be whether to write an Executive Order or ask Congress to write a law. The President's power extends only to the act of convincing the people to act through the legislature. That is the proper challenge put forward by the Constitution. If he cannot convince the people, he cannot issue an Executive Order. This is demanded by his oath of office to defend the Constitution.

Put another way: the Constitution is intended to provide the protocols that guide the proper actions of government. First, the President is required to report on the State of the Union to joint sessions of Congress and he is required to present, during this speech, any proposed legislation he would like to put forward. There is no provision in the Constitution for the President to declare that Congress is dysfunctional and therefore he will act alone. Such a declaration violates the constitutionally mandated protocol for making change; it is a declaration that the people are no longer wise enough to run their government and that their representatives are inept. The statement made by the President that he will act alone is improper. There is no accommodation for such action in the Constitution.

The early Executive Orders of past Presidents added fuel to one of our nation's oldest debates about government powers. We cannot base governmental action on emergencies and I submit that there are other “legal” ways to accomplish proper action without violating the Constitution. Those methods include honoring the intent and procedures established in the Constitution.

Government action is supposed to be slow. Most often, deliberation and open debate make for better laws, more thoughtful laws, and they prevent a demagogue from steamrolling his or her own agenda. Having a proper government is important and we must take the time necessary to respond to real problems without creating additional other problems through hasty action. The power of the President to issue Executive Orders must be abolished.

President Obama is the only President in modern times who has openly declared his intent to circumvent Congress. In many respects, especially in his unwillingness to compromise with Congress before and after the 2010 elections, he is involved in an intense war against the Constitution and against freedom. The crisis the President declares is one of his own making; one undertaken, either as a deliberate strategy, or as a haughty response to the outrage expressed by the Tea Party over his deficit spending and Health Care Programs. This makes him a dangerous President who must be confronted in the voting booth and made to desist. The American people must intervene, or should I say, they should take their government back.

The President is declaring that Congress is dysfunctional because members of Congress disagree with his policies. The President is using his bully pulpit to insult the intelligence of the American people. To declare that he is the only adult while the rest of the nation is acting like children is to paint over the real ideological and economic principles that divide left and right today. To paint over the disagreement on the proper use of government power denies the real debate we should be having; the debate between those who would use coercion against man (the left) and those who would respect man’s rights and freedoms (Tea Party members).

To answer the question, “Are we a dictatorship?” the answer is “almost”. The President is making a serious effort to defeat his “loyal opposition” by discrediting its motives and continuing with his coercive agenda in spite of the will of the people. By declaring Congress dysfunctional, the President is playing politics with our Constitution. If he truly wants to act for the sake of the nation, he will desist from issuing Executive Orders that advance his unpopular agenda. The people have spoken; it is time for him to listen.

As citizens, we must be vigilant and watch every move made by the Executive Branch. At the present time, the precedent for dictatorship is in place. The President now has the authority to do anything he desires regardless of Constitutional constraints, division of powers and checks and balances. There is nothing that can stop him from declaring Marshall Law, cancelling the elections and declaring his intent to rule by decree. The only political force that can stop him is the people.

The first thing they should do is ensure that this election is a fair one. They should challenge the cadre of vote fraud experts that the President has unleashed. They should monitor the election and ensure that the registration process is not fraught with registration fraud. This leads to stuffed ballots. They should vote in huge numbers to declare their opposition to dictatorship and to ensure that the left is completely disenfranchised. And, once we regain our government, they should fight against any conservatives and neo-cons who want to take advantage of the situation to install a theocracy. Finally, they should advance two Constitutional Amendments: 1)to abolish the power of the President to issue Executive Orders, to submit all previous Executive Orders to the Congress for a vote, and 2)to declare a separation of government and economics; to get the government out of the cronyism business.

They should also institute a new rule in Congress that prohibits Congress from handing over its power to write laws to other agencies or departments of the government.

We can thank the Tea Party movement for standing up. So far, they have slowed the advance of dictatorship. The real political battle is ahead.

(1)http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/checks%20and%20balances
(2)Treatise on the Constitutional Limitations…p. 56

(3)http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/separation+of+powers
(4)http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/executive_power
(5)Ibid
(6)“The Executive Order” http://dmc.members.sonic.net/sentinel/gvcon5.html
(7)For an excellent discussion of the idea that the moral is the practical, read "Capitalist Solutions" by Andrew Bernstein
(8)Ibid
(9)Ibid
(10)All data found at: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/executive-orders/

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Fascism of Today's Left

"I am much interested and deeply impressed by what he has accomplished and by his evidenced honest purpose of restoring Italy and seeking to prevent general European trouble." -Franklin D. Roosevelt (about Mussollini)

Progressives today are in a deep quandry. Their suggestions for improving the economy cannot be explained in terms that people understand. The left can tell us what they want to do for the economy but not the general principles upon which these actions are based. They don't want to use words like socialism, fascism, and corporate welfarism because of the negative connotations of these words. The result is that they can't admit that they absolutely love fascism.

You might think this is a specious charge. But there are only so many things you can call a system of government. You might as well call it what it is.

In a past post, I listed many types of governmental systems:

“Know the types of governments.
• Limited government – a government limited to protecting individual and property rights. It is a government that bans force except in the areas of fighting crime and fraud against otherwise free citizens.
• Statism - a political system where the state makes all decisions and assumes the right to control all aspects of life for the individual.
• Fascist state – a government of private property where the government selectively tells people how to manage their property.
• Socialist state – a government that owns the major industries and decides production quotas for the economy.
• Communist state – a government that owns all property and makes all economic decisions.
• Welfare state – a government that is based on re-distribution of income from the producers to the non-producers – it requires a coercive state.”

The original list was much longer but this is sufficient to indicate that there are different names for different systems. All we have to do is find the right name for our system.

These names mean something; and if people want to learn how to think correctly, they should be willing to identify systems according to the characteristics that a given system displays, not according to the propaganda with which advocates wish to align.

The leftists, in particular, have given us only a rambling discourse about what they represent. Sometimes, they call themselves liberals, progressives, democrats, and while their opposition dutifully follows along; they are totally oblivious to the fact that none of these names represents what they really stand for.

The left has resorted to using focus groups to produce messages that avoid negative words, framing the discussion so they can avoid saying what they really are. Knowing that the opposition will jump on anything that has been discredited, they attempt to find new ways to say things so that the public does not get alarmed. They painfully remember when Presidential candidate George McGovern promised income equality and was branded a communist. The resulting election defeat almost killed the Democratic Party.

Today, they resolve not to tell us anything. They prefer to hint at things, furtively saying words that mean one thing to one group and another thing to another, avoiding whole topics lest people become offended. Their candidates are slick, well trained, with lots of buzz words that make people feel comfortable. No mask will fall to reveal any form of hatred except hatred of the rich. They don't want to use words like communism or fascism unless they can use them to describe their opposition. In this case, words like racist, haters and fascists are ok to use.

Shouldn't political debate be about saving our society and doing the right things to accomplish that goal? That is the motive of the Tea Party protests. For them, isn’t about blaming the Republicans for the problems created by leftist policies such as subprime lending. It isn’t about complaining that the Republicans are playing politics while President Obama plays politics. It isn’t about moral triangulation that seeks to blame the political opposition for everything evil. It isn't about accusations of racism, Nazism, xenophobia, gerontophobia and prefering rape to fiscal responsibility. It isn’t about motivating your base; it is about saving our society from unending deficit spending and the massive institution of bigger and more coercive government. In this sense, the Tea Party people are the only adults in the room who are decidedly not playing politics. They know that in order to save our country, there are many people on the left and the right, who must be removed from power. This is not a game. It is a matter of saving civilization.

I think people would prefer knowing about the broad principles that leftists hold. Why doesn't the left tell us that they want to move toward fascism? Why don’t they tell us that they have a love affair with the idea of regulating and manipulating the economy? Why do they only make out of context assertions designed to hide what they really stand for? People want answers, not vague generalizations. Indeed, progressives are walking a fine line trying to tell us what they are not; it is time to call their bluff and demand an answer. Are they socialists? Why don't they say so? Are they communists, fascists, welfare-statists? Just what are they? As I said, there are only so many “isms”. It shouldn’t be that hard to answer the question.

As Americans concerned about our country, shouldn't we know the broad principles upon which the progressives want to build the future? After all, every "system" has a broad context of argument and knowledge that is intended to support it. Why doesn't the left admit what it stands for? If it is communism, why not say so? If it is fascism, why not say that this is the best system and provide reasons for it? Why do they never discuss the system they advocate? The Tea Party protestors, in spite of all the negative criticism of capitalism in the media today, at least have the courage to tell people that they stand for capitalism. Only the neo-cons, the leftists pretending to be conservatives, are afraid to say what they stand for. What does the left stand for? Is this not a discussion that we need to have out in the open?

Imagine an election cycle where politicians tell us what they really stand for. They could tell us which system they advocate and why they think it is good for us, what they will do consistent with that system and what we can expect in terms of policy and government action. It would simplify the choice so people wouldn't have to be in the dark. Candidate A says he is a fascist and he'd create massive new government businesses to solve our major problems. Candidate B says she's a capitalist and would eliminate government interference in the economy. That would be a clear choice, society could decide and move forward. The people would be in control of their government again. Why all the secrecy and silence on these issues?

Indeed, when trying to explain to leftists that the broad principle they appear to be following is fascism, I can't get a word in edgewise. How could I say such a thing? How could I accuse our leaders of being fascists? I must be an uneducated right wing radical who doesn't know anything. Our leaders are good people trying to make things better. For them, anyone who would say such a thing is an insane twisted fool. The least you could expect is for them to stop telling you what they are not and give you an explanation of what they are.

Many people, both progressives and conservatives, say they have no problem with a benign mixture of freedom and compulsion. The government can and should decide when to use compulsion in order to advance collective goals, they think. What they ignore is that there is no such thing as a benign compulsion. Compulsion violates the fundamental right of people to use their minds. Compulsion is the opposite of freedom. Mixed government still requires citizens to acquiesce even when their rights are violated. This “social contract” argument means that the government picks winners and losers and decides when someone should be sacrificed for the sake of others. To have a mixed society is to have a collectivist society and to eliminate the principle of individual rights from men’s dealings. Some commentators have shown that this sort of mixture inevitably leads to totalitarianism. As the government attempts to deal with the failures of “a little” control, it must move toward more and more control, until inevitably society becomes totalitarian and collapses.

To prove that our system is fascism, let's look at the situation we are establishing today under the President. What are the basic premises of fascism? What basic ideas make it possible?

1) Fascism is anti-capitalist and crony capitalist
2) Fascism denies individual and full property rights
3) Fascism jails or kills the most productive people in society
4) Fascism uses pseudo-science to justify itself in its broadest policies
5) Fascism engages in group warfare
6) Fascism requires altruism, sacrifice of the individual, and collectivism, sacrifice for the state

Let’s look at each point and identify the similarities with our present system.

1) Fascism is anti-capitalist and crony capitalist. Because fascism must “justify” its actions, it must first accuse businesspeople who seek profit of being against society (as it is doing today against the Tea Party protesters and Wall Street (and sometimes Jews)). It also enlists the aid of the largest business organizations to control the rest of society. It creates cronies who are kept in business by government and who enrich themselves in the process. These cronies are often called "useful idiots".

2) Fascism denies individual and full property rights. It must take the income of the rich in order to partially pay its deficits while expressing a fake populism (that’s what the Occupy Wall Street people are advocating). It assumes the right to do whatever it likes with any citizen, his property and his rights. In a fascist society, the citizen who does not go along with the state is admonished for his selfishness and “anti-social” behavior.

3) Fascism jails or kills the most productive people in society. In a fascist state, there is no due process or it is selective based upon the desires of the state. Anyone who is deemed “self-interested”, as opposed to properly socialized, is considered a criminal worthy of public chastisement and ridicule, even imprisonment (that is also what the Occupiers want).

4) Fascism uses pseudo-science to justify itself in its broadest policies. The government uses fake science to provide a “scientific” argument to justify the government’s coercive actions (note the left’s statements that all the best economists have blessed their policies?).

5) Fascism engages in group warfare. They pretend to act as representatives for the largest collective (or race) that will be used to purify the society of the profit-makers (racism and multiculturalism).

6) Fascism requires altruism, sacrifice of the individual, and collectivism, sacrifice for the state. It uses these broad ideas to demand that people sacrifice for the state (listen to the speeches of President Obama who counsels community service and shared sacrifice and spreading the wealth).

Although some other coercive systems have tendencies in these areas, fascism is distinctly a mixture of coercive elements and property rights. In fact, our representative government, the government founded upon the Constitution was explicitly created to eliminate all tendencies found in coercive-style governments.

I mentioned that today’s leftists have a love affair with fascism and one need only look at the history of the last century to see this. Progressives have always engaged in the practices listed in my six characteristics; and where they have refused to praise fascism by name, they still praise, in glowing phrases, the ideas that support fascism, the anti-capitalism, the ridicule of profit, the selective disregard for property rights, the crony capitalism, the pseudo-science, the collectivism and the calls for sacrifice to the group. What they do not praise in name, they praise in practice.

The opposite of fascist society is capitalism. Yet, the left accuses capitalism of needing the government; while the left uses and needs the government to achieve its coercive ends. The left accuses capitalism of being zero-sum; of choosing winners and losers; yet it is the left who uses government to create winners and losers, through the cronies who receive government bailouts, grants and loan guarantees. The left accuses capitalism of fostering corporate welfare; yet it is the left that practices and demands corporate welfare and cronyism.

Most leftists assume that their premises are correct, scientific and moral. The truth is their ideas are incorrect, unscientific and immoral. Fascists have always sought the destruction of civilizations built up by human values as well as the destruction of individuals. Those people who think that the coercive measures of the Obama administration are intended to do good, do not understand that these very ideas are the same that guided the rulers of brutal and murderous fascist dictatorships. Leftists think they are good people; yet they have countenanced for decades the very form of fascism that caused the holocaust and concentration camps. The Jews were sacrificed because they were good, prosperous and educated…just as capitalists throughout history have been sacrificed, vilified and hated…because they are good, prosperous and educated.

Leftists attempt to portray themselves as advancing a moral ideal, sacrifice for the collective, when this very idea caused the atrocities and wars of the last century. And they are animating and justifying the wars of our existing President through the self-sacrificial idea of “responsibility to protect” which is nothing more than the sacrifice of young Americans for the sake of the President’s next election.

The ideas of the left are so wrong, so disconnected from society, that they cloud the left’s ability to operate according to the principles upon which our society was founded. This makes them enemies of civilization who demand that the rights of some must be violated in order to create artificial rights and dubious entitlements for others.

We must understand what the progressives have been hiding and obfuscating for decades. They don't want you to understand that they advocate coercion as a basic principle. They advocate the violation of individual rights, some more than others, but in essence; that is progressivism. This is true of all progressives, even those who long for the old days of being called "liberals". All progressives are against the Constitution as it was originally intended. When you understand this, you understand why they are so dangerous...particularly this band of gangsters in charge today.

When it comes to society, there are only two options, freedom or coercion. It is your choice.

A society based upon freedom outlaws all forms of coercion especially the selective violation of property rights. Properly, capitalism does not allow the government to interfere in the economy as a matter of protecting individual rights. And, more importantly, a free society, over time, not only becomes freer, but also more civilized and morally superior. Fascism will always be less productive and morally inferior to capitalism. The advocacy of fascism borders on insanity. History has shown this.

Some people mistakenly think that some coercion is proper. This is the mistake they make that turns them into compromisers for fascism. They believe that government should regulate certain parts of the economy, not because of some realistic evaluation of capitalism but because they believe man is a predator who must be controlled. Their view of capitalism as dog-eat-dog, which is wrong, moves them to make forced adjustments to the economy, each of which results in violations of the rights of individuals. All coercive societies such as communism, fascism, socialism and welfare-statism require that some citizens be forced to support other citizens. In fact, the controls and regulations that leftists want, do no good, make things worse and create inefficiencies. Almost all the problems in our nation today are the result of leftist ideas intended to “correct” the capitalist system that needs no correction.

The left is responsible for all of our problems and it is time to get rid of them so society can advance, once again, to freedom and prosperity.

Vote them out. Vote them all out.