While it is a bit difficult to address the issues by taking one group at a time (since they really overlap), I’m going to continue to take a stab at it. In this part I am going to discuss the government and its role in the destruction.
There is no nation on earth powerful enough to accomplish our overthrow. Our destruction, should it come at all, will be from another quarter: from the inattention of the people to the concerns of their government, from their carelessness and negligence. I must confess that I do apprehend some danger. I fear that they may place too implicit a confidence in their public servants and fail properly to scrutinize their conduct; that in this way they may be made the dupes of designing men and become the instruments of their own undoing. Daniel Webster
Things really did not start out well for the republic. The Articles of Confederation were written and allowed for great individual state autonomy but did not have the power the nationalist thought a national government should have. Those who came together in Philadelphia were charged with amending the Articles but, instead, staged a coup and wrote a completely different document. The Constitution was written by Federalists (who were actually nationalists). Taking this name gave them the better press since, naturally, those opposed to nationalism had to be called Anti-Federalist (who were actually federalists…but that name had already been taken!) I submit that people in the US would be much more free if the Articles of Confederation had been modified appropriately. However, since we have the Constitution, I will keep my further comments based on that document.
Of course, it didn’t take long, even for the founding generation to break the chains of that Constitution by enacting the Alien and Sedition Acts.
The Alien and Sedition Acts were four bills passed in 1798 by the Federalists in the 5th United States Congress in the aftermath of the French Revolution and during an undeclared naval war with France, later known as the Quasi-War. They were signed into law by President John Adams. Wikipedia
These acts were a direct violation of the 1st Amendment, among others.
Even the great statesman, Thomas Jefferson, when President, couldn’t resist going against the very document he helped write when he engineered the Louisiana Purchase. While it seemed expedient to make the purchase and keep France out of the American backyard, the purchase was not specifically authorized by the Constitution for the federal government to complete. Had he remained faithful to his beliefs, he would have had to seek a Constitutional Amendment granting the federal government that type of power.(Answers.com)
Another transgression of Jefferson was his support of the embargo acts in an attempt to coerce England into leaving the American merchant ships alone instead of commandeering them and impressing the sailors into the British Navy (those mainly that had been British sailors before and had either deserted the British Navy or had left British merchant ships for American ships). These embargo acts ignored the 4th, 5th and 6th Amendments to the Constitution.(Mises.org)
President Andrew Jackson was able to get rid of the national bank, one of the few bright spots between the founding and the War for Southern Secession. That war helped to greatly consolidate power in Washington, D.C. and diminish states’ rights. It was a continuation of the descent of state power and ascendance of federal power. Around the first of the new century, Washington, D.C. was beginning to push its expansion into being an empire in actions such as the Philippine insurrection, the Spanish-American War, and the conquering of the Hawaiian Islands.
Also during this time period, the Progressive Movement was taking place. Great areas of land in the West were being bought by wealthy Easterners and donated to the Federal Government for use as national parks and national monuments. Authorization for the procurement, even if not specifically bought by the Federal Government, cannot be found within the confines of the Constitution. One result is the vast amount of territory in the Western U.S. owned and controlled by the Federal Government (see map below courtesy of http://nationalatlas.gov/mapmaker?AppCmd=CUSTOM&LayerList=federallands&visCats=CAT-boundary,CAT-boundary).
This land has recently been in the Nevada news involving Clive Bundy, his ranch, turtles, the Bureau of Land Management (another agency not authorized by the Constitution) and various militia groups. Constitutionally speaking, the Federal Government can own land in various states “for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings;…” (Article 1, Section 8, paragraph 17). Even this land must be “purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be.” (from the same paragraph).
1913 was a great year for progressives but a very bad year for the Constitution. The first two blows came almost together, with one infraction supporting the other. I am talking about the Federal Reserve and the Income Tax (16th Amendment). These two monsters were created to allow the Federal Government to finance anything it wanted, insuring the wealth of favored people and interests at the expense of American citizens as a whole. As we should understand by now, the Federal Government and its politicians lie when they want to get something passed. The lie concerning the income tax was that it was designed to “soak the rich”, playing to envy, and was actually a political game gone wrong. The Republicans introduced the proposed amendment to embarrass the Democrats, believing the amendment would not pass. It did.
Another amendment that was passed during this year was the 17th Amendment, allowing the popular vote for US Senators. This amendment was another nail in the states’ rights coffin and destroyed another constitutional protection by allowing the Senate to become an extension of the House, both being filled by popular vote, effectively stopping what the founders were trying to avoid…impassioned bills without a more stately outlook. At that point, states lost any representation within the Federal Government they may have had previously. An extension of this type of populist desire can be seen in the recurring election year topic of doing away with the Electoral College in favor of a popular vote.
Woodrow Wilson and FDR ran on non intervention in the world wars of their time but then pushed for entering the wars. Because President Wilson was unable to get the League of Nations off the ground, the Treaty of Versailles was written to ensure another war would occur and it was hoped that the country would be so tired of warfare that the League of Nations or something like it would finally be successful. Of course, in hindsight, his plan was successful since WWII did occur and the United Nations was approved.
President Roosevelt used the Great Depression in order to institute many of the ideas Mussolini adopted in Italy. It was during this time that the ponzi scheme of Social Security was born. It was sold to the public as a safety net for workers, allowing the Federal Government to collect money to be put aside for the worker to withdraw upon retirement. It didn’t take long for the government to show that to be a lie. Finally, under the Johnson administration, the Social Security Trust Fund was moved to the general fund and became just another tax. None of the cases brought before the courts concerning the right to social security benefits have been successful. It was, and has always been a ponzi scheme – an illegal program that has landed many (Bernie Madoff, for one) in prison.
President Truman was the first President to use the United Nations as a shield against the Constitution concerning warfare. He got permission from the UN to go to war in Korea and, calling it a “police action”, declared he did not have to go to Congress to get a declaration of war. During this time, the Chinese were part of the security council and were in the decision loop during the war. Anytime MacArthur was gaining, the Chinese were able to counter the gains. The Soviets were also part of that council and had the inside scoop on US actions in Vietnam. This arrangement was not rectified until after 1990 and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Since WWII there has been no declaration of war in any of the many wars in which the US has participated, with the UN being relied upon for justification.
President Johnson gave us “The Great Society” and escalation of the Vietnam War; President Nixon took us off the gold standard; President Reagan ran on dissolving the US Department of Education but didn’t; President GHW Bush said “No new taxes”, then promptly raised them after the election; President Clinton bombed Iraq for 10 years; President GW Bush launched two undeclared wars almost simultaneously and signed into law the Patriot Act and Indefinite Detention, introduced and allowed torture to become standard, created a prison camp in Guantanamo, started the use of drone attacks, and bailed out Wall Street; President Obama ran on transparency and undoing many of the Bush atrocities but has, in fact, perfected and increased most of them while undermining government transparency and spying on Americans. I don’t believe you will find authorization for any of these things within the Constitution. Progressives, no matter what party, are still in control, attempting to dictate every aspect of life in America, assuming they know best what each individual wants and needs.
So, as you can see, the Federal Government, as it is currently run, will not provide the materials needed for liberty and freedom. There are other examples, such as the “War on Drugs”, abortion and gun control that continue to eat away at the freedoms still available to us. These programs are not conducive to a prosperous and happy family and do nothing for the betterment of the nation.
The next post will be about education in America. I hope it will not be so long between posts.