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American Founders’ Prescience Continues To Serve Us
Bill Collier- Freedomist.com
The prescience of our founders speaks strongly to a 21st century rebirth of populism and the necessary demise of the warfare-welfare state of the 20th century.
“The way to have safe government is not to trust it all to the one, but to divide it among the many, distributing to everyone exactly the functions in which he is competent….To let the National Government be entrusted with the defense of the nation, and its foreign and federal relations….. The State Governments with the Civil Rights, Laws, Police and administration of what concerns the State generally. The Counties with the local concerns, and each ward direct the interests within itself. It is by dividing and subdividing these Republics from the great national one down through all its subordinations until it ends in the administration of everyman’s farm by himself, by placing under everyone what his own eye may superintend, that all will be done for the best.” Thomas Jefferson
The notion that the courts can use the commerce clause to excuse excesses of Federal power beyond this simple vision of a strictly limited government is a outright betrayal of the intention of the founders.
“Government is not reason; it is not eloquence. It is force. And force, like fire, is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. ” George Washington
Simple truth like this is so lacking from the mouths of our scholars and the Journolist media who want us to see government as elegance and kindness, as something warm and paternal.
“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is argument of tyrants. It is the creed of slaves. ” William Pitt in the House of Commons November 18, 1783
How often have we been told by radical Progressives and the Journolist media of some “necessity”- the bailouts, the TSA molestations, and on and on all pushed over our civil rights by the “necessity” of the hour!
“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government.”
How can anyone read, for instance, the 1st Amendment as a prohibition on the free exercise of religious bodies in ALL aspects of our public life, including political, if the Constitution is meant ONLY to LIMIT and constrain government rather than the private associations of the People?
“Those rights, then, which God and nature have established, and are therefore called natural rights, such as are life and liberty, need not the aid of human laws to be more effectually invested in every man than they are; neither do they receive any additional strength when declared by the municipal [or state] laws to be inviolable. On the contrary, no human legislation has power to abridge or destroy them, unless the owner [of the right] shall himself commit some act that amounts to a forfeiture.” – William Blackstone
In short, we don’t need legal mumbo jumbo or endless debates about this or that “provision” or law or the like in order to claim, assert, or practice our natural, God-given freedom to be secure in our rights, persons, and property.
“The doctrines thus delivered we call the revealed or divine law, and they are to be found only in the Holy Scriptures. These precepts, when revealed, are found by comparison to be really a part of the original law of nature, as they tend in all their consequences to man’s felicity.” – William Blackstone
If the Holy Scriptures and their ancient precepts are true, we should follow them, and those who deny them cannot simply say “we shouldn’t follow this because it is religious in its roots” but, rather, they have the burden, as the accusers, to prove that such precept are guilty of being wrong.
Now, here are some quotes which speak of a freedom that is liberty in our rights, persons, and property within the constraints only of virtue and “the laws of nature and nature’s God.”
“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports…. And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion.” – George Washington
“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” – Benjamin Franklin
“Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt. He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who … will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man.” – Samuel Adams
Liberty is not license without constraint, nor is it “whatever doesn’t hurt others.” Liberty without virtue, or godliness, is the formula for tyranny because people who have no limits other than their own desire and the desires of people around them are bound to do things that are most harmful to themselves and their society.
“Every man, by consenting with others to make one body politic under one government, puts himself under an obligation to every one of that society to submit to the determination of the majority, and to be concluded [bound] by it.” – John Locke
Think about this. Freedom requires participatory self-government, but once a society has determined its values, natures, and characteristic norms, then one is justly bound to respect that, obey that, or failing this, to leave that society for another.
This theme of liberty within the just and useful limits of godliness (virtue) is almost universal amongst those who wrote our Constitution and whoever chooses to ignore this chooses to ignore the law of the People’s right to rule.
“(T)he foundation of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality; …the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained…” George Washington, First Inaugural, April 30 1789
“Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. ” John Adams
“Political interest [can] never be separated in the long run from moral right….
Can the liberties of a nation be sure when we remove their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people, that these liberties are a gift from God? ” Thomas Jefferson
And HOW do we secure such freedom rooted in godliness, self-reliance, and security of our rights, persons, and property?
The intent of our Founders was that we protect this freedom ourselves, not that we rely on others, especially government, to be the sole possessors of arms for such defense.
“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms… disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes… Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man. ” Jefferson’s “Commonplace Book,” 1774_1776, quoting from On Crimes and Punishment, by criminologist Cesare Beccaria, 1764
“When the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised by an artful man, who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually…I ask, who are the militia? They consist of now of the whole people, except a few public officers. But I cannot say who will be the militia of the future day. If that paper on the table gets no alteration, the militia of the future day may not consist of all classes, high and low, and rich and poor…”
George Mason, Virginia Constitution Convention
The Founders even considered the problem of Pan-Islamic Imperialism, or “terrorism” and dealt with it by waging unrestricted warfare on its practitioners, going to North Africa and attacking the “Barbary States.”
In 1786, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson met with Tunisian leaders representing the so-called “Barbary States”, which were pirating the oceans and attacking US merchant ships and taking Americans hostage. This is how they summed up their enemy, and that same enemy exists today, now in a form of Pan-Islamic Imperialism called “terrorism” or “Jihadism.”
“We took the liberty to make some inquiries concerning the Grounds of their pretensions to make war upon a Nation who had done them no Injury, and observed that we considered all mankind as our Friends who had done us no wrong, nor had given us any provocation. The Ambassador answered us that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise.”
When you read these and many other quotes like this you might wonder- how would today’s Journolist media and the quisling Progressive radicals in places of high office label our Founders?