I thought it necessary in Part 3 to concentrate on the primary author of our Constitution, James Madison. There are so many profound quotations from Madison on how precious our freedom and liberty is, and how fragile freedom and liberty can become as a result of an all-powerful government.
“Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions.”
I believe we have reached the excesses of power long ago. We only have to look as far back as the last few months of 2008 to see how the government, or the elite who actually runs our government, has flexed their muscles and stolen nearly $10 trillion from us. Despite the American taxpayers’ overwhelming opposition to the bailouts, politicians on both sides rammed it down our throats.
“Each State, in ratifying the Constitution, is considered as a sovereign body, independent of all others, and only to be bound by its own voluntary act. In this relation, then, the new Constitution will, if established, be a FEDERAL and not a NATIONAL Constitution.” http://quotes.liberty-tree.ca/quotes_by/james+madison
The 10th Amendment – Powers of the States and People 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.”
The State of Montana enacted Legislative Declaration 2-1-402 to reestablish under the 10th Amendment to The United States Constitution, the states’ constitutional obligation to handle state issues at the state level instead of the federal government. Here is just a portion of the declaration.
“In enacting this part, the legislature employs its legislative authority to establish that the people of the state of Montana, acting through their elected officials in state government, have the responsibility and authority to establish policy in and for Montana pertaining to federal programs mandated in federal statutes. The intent of the legislature is to ensure the primacy of the state of Montana’s legal and political authority to implement in and for Montana the policy mandated by federal statutes and to vigorously challenge and scrutinize the extent and scope of authority asserted by federal executive branch agencies when federal agency actions and interpretations are inconsistent with Montana policy and exceed the lawful authority of the federal government or are not required by federal law.”
“I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”
This is precisely what has happened to our once free society. The only way “gradual and silent encroachments” occur is by a self-indulgent, self-absorbed, narcissistic population. We have a system of government where we elect fellow citizens to represent our ideals. Sadly, our definition of a patriotic American is going to the local polling place and checking a box. We drive home and feel empowered because we were able to some how squeeze enough time out of all-important busy schedules to vote.
Most people have no idea where the candidate of their choice stands on issues that are important to them. They trust what a talking head on television tells them, or automatically believe everything a candidate says. When was the last time a politician of any political party actually told the truth?
“…Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” http://www.jmu.edu/madison/center/main_pages/madison_archives/quotes/quotes.htm
When a fat, happy, decadent society is more concerned about sports and reality television, it is easy to pull the wool over their eyes. Just checking a box is not enough. Investigating the government and questioning the government is the responsibility of the people. Even if half the voting population had a clue, the elites wouldn’t be able to get away with most of their agenda.
“It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.”
This is another example of the voters not paying attention. The banker takeover bill started out at 4 pages and after the Senate got done with the bill, it was 300 pages. It is extremely difficult to absorb 300 pages especially when a small group of congressmen write a bill and immediately vote on it before their fellow congressmen can read it.
The other thing our “well-intentioned” elected representatives do is include an array of other provisions within a respective bill that have nothing to do with the proposed bill. If we don’t take the time to investigate what Congress is doing, why should they stop this practice when nobody seems to care?
“The people are the only legitimate fountain of power, and it is from them that the constitutional charter, under which the several branches of government hold their power, is derived.”
If we enjoy the Republic we live in, then we have to do a little work to help preserve it. The Founders consciously set up our government in this manner to ensure the People maintain most of the power. To be a citizen of this Republic is a full-time job. We have an obligation laid out in our Constitution to keep in-check abuses of power from our government. “I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion.” Thomas Jefferson
Montana Legislative Declaration 2-1-402: http://data.opi.state.mt.us/bills/mca/2/1/2-1-402.htm
The United States Constitution:http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#Am10
Unless noted, all other James Madison quotes can be found at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/james_madison.html
Thomas Jefferson quotes: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/t/thomas_jefferson.html