I’m asking you, the reader, to set that aside for a minute and accept that I might have a serious side and would like for you to read the following and reply with your thoughts because I’m at an impasse. At the end of this post I’m going to have a list of questions. There are no “right or wrong” answers… this is not a test. You can post your answers in a comment to this post (encouraged method as I’d like to incite discussion on the matter), or you can email them to me if you’d like to keep it private. BUT I WOULD LIKE YOUR INPUT!
On Monday I begin school again. I’m going back to college for a degree in International Relations with a concentration in Comparative Politics. I chose that simply because it’s an area I’m interested in and if you’ve read half of my posts, you’ll know that to be true. Any-who, my first class is on American Foreign Policy and a question I’d like for that class to answer is this: “If we are a country established as a Constitutional Republic, why do we help establish and encourage the establishment of Democracies (a political system our founders spoke vehemently against) in other countries?”
Well, I’ve been thinking more and more about it (the question) and wondered if we are indeed still a Constitutional Republic. Here’s my rationale:
The first hit our Constitution took was with the ratification of the 17th Amendment. Before the 17th came along, Senators were appointed by the governments of their respective states and were in place to be a voice for that State.. NOT the people *of* the state, but of the State itself. The people had their own house of congress called the House of Representatives. This was fine because it was the House, not the Senate, who held (and continue to hold) the purse strings of our Federal Government. When the 17th Amendment was ratified it stripped the States of their representation in Congress and gave the people both houses. On a side note, this left the only State control in the hands of the Presidential election with the presence of the Electoral College… more on that later.
The second item on my list actually lies, historically, before that (the 17th Amendment) and I’m a little miffed at the founders for not doing anything about this in the Constitution’s original script. The whole system of Checks and Balances. The President can veto. The Congress can overrule a veto. The Supreme Court can overrule either. The President appoints Supreme Court Justices but they must go through Congressional approval. Yadda yadda yadda… Where is the Check or Balance for the Supreme Court after the Justices are confirmed?!? These people are in their seats for LIFE. L-I-F-E!!!! So we’re to think that a Presidential appointment and a couple of months of scrutiny (if that) are enough insight into a potential Justice to have him (her) sit in that chair for life?!? I recommend having an Amendment whereby Congress can, with a super majority and approval of the States (similar to the ratification of a Constitutional Amendment), remove a sitting Justice from their seat should we find their actions censure-worthy.
So I started thinking more and more…
I am a member of the United States Armed Forces. I have taken an oath to support and defend the Constitution against ALL enemies foreign AND DOMESTIC. Is our Constitution under attack? Here’s some substantiating reasoning behind this question…
Article II, Section 1, Clause 3 and the 12th Amendment to the Constitution established and refined the procedures of the Electoral College. We now have Massachusetts and a hand full of other states (Illinois, New Jersey, Hawaii, Maryland, and Washington.. read more @ http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2010/07/mass_legislatur.html) who have decided to allocate their Electors according to whichever candidate wins the national popular vote. Now a State has the right to vote for whomever they choose with these Electors. These new laws can me challenged and/or repealed. The problem is with the desire to establish them in the first place. This goes DIRECTLY against the construct of the Constitution and the methodology for electing our President. Here’s the Reader’s Digest version: If we go off the popular vote, California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Georgia, and North Carolina… the 10 most populous States in the union, could carry the election. The other 40 States could (read: would) be ignored. Why care about them? You’d only need these ten to carry over half the US population! James Bovard said it best when he said, “Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.”
The Fifth Amendment reads (in part) “No person shall be … deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” Eminent Domain laws have been stretched to the limits in our country to include “taken for public use” to mean that if a State can garner a higher tax income from a business than from your property, then they can take your land/home, and “just compensation” does not mean “fair market value”. If WalMart convinces a local government of their tax importance (in combined business, sales and income taxes) and agree to move into the town at a particular location, guess who’s looking for a new home.
The Second Amendment secures the right of individual citizens to bear arms. During the Katrina debacle National Guard units went door to door confiscating weapons. (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/08/national/nationalspecial/08cnd-storm.html)
The Tenth Amendment states “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.” This has been all but destroyed and forgotten. A single recent example includes the national mandate for individual citizens to enter into a contractual agreement with another party to pay for services not necessarily desired by the paying party. There are many, many, many, MANY more examples coming from both sides of the aisle… this is not meant to be partisan.
In addition to these direct assaults on the Constitution, we’ve got indirect attacks with the branches giving themselves powers not delegated by the Constitution. Executive Orders are not a power of the President. Passing law through judicial precedent is not a power of the judiciary.
Okay… it’s late and I want to get this out before I go to bed so I’ll stop the rant portion of my post here and move on to the questions…
- Are we still a Constitutional Republic?
- Why do we push Democracies on other countries if we do not practice the same?
- As I am sworn to protect (in a military manner) the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, at what point am I failing in my duties by allowing these assaults to continue?
- (With the same premise) at what point am I expected to retaliate?
- (With the same premise) how would I retaliate?
- (With the same premise) At what point do I quit, accepting the fact that I am unable to fulfill my sworn obligations?
- Why are we doing this to ourselves?
Please let me know what you think. Ask questions back. Rant alongside or against me.