Timothy N. Baldwin, JD.
June 23, 2010
Two hundred and twenty years ago, the United States Constitution was ratified by a convention of delegates in the several thirteen states, comprised mostly of an agrarian and Christian culture--back before train tracks were laid across this continent; when the West was considered to be uninhabitable for civilization for another thousand years; before electricity was a usable product; when travel was more than merely inconvenient. Not without serious resistance from some of the most intelligent, noble and articulate statesmen of the day, the United States Constitution became the ratified form of government to secure the blessings of liberty for themselves and for their posterity. Now that they are gone and their posterity is living, the question of slavery or freedom is once again being brought to the forefront of history.
Some in America say we should “get back to the constitution” of 1787 in attempts to “secure the blessings of liberty.” But I ask, what constitution of 1787? The one that some claim is a national form of government with the power to negate state laws or the one that some claim is a confederate form of government where the states have independent, sovereign power? The one from which the States cannot secede or the one from which States can secede? The one based upon Judeo-Christian fundamental belief or the one based upon secular humanism belief? The one whose financial integrity is based upon the fiat money controlled by a cabal, or the one whose financial integrity was based upon the “gold-standard”? The one whose strength rests in diversity or the one whose strength rests in similarity? The one based upon a “living” and ever-changing theory or the one based upon a fixed and unchanging theory? The one which operates to be the provider to and controller of all, or the one which leaves to the people the right to govern themselves? The one which requires the States to submit to all federal laws or the one in which the States have the duty to actively and physically resist any encroachments they determine the federal government makes upon them?
The preceding paragraph illustrates the problem of “getting back” to anything resembling the freedom of 1787 in the United States. People in the United States possess diametrically opposed and irreconcilable views of what the constitution even means. Their representatives are no better. Even as early as 1787, some of the founding fathers held the constitution to be what you likely claim is not “getting back to” the constitution. Try convincing many millions of people throughout this country that your version of the constitution is the correct one and the one to get back to. Can freedom wait that long to be revived?
The reason we (or “they”) will never get back to the constitution of 1787 is because those people, those principles, that culture, those times, that circumstance, those beliefs and those feelings are no longer accepted by most and are certainly not shared to unite the people of the States today. Do we expect that the representatives of those same disunited and diverse people will “get back to the constitution” of 1787? The culture, morals, religion, education, priorities, families and experience of the people of 1787 simply do not cohesively exist today. That is a fact. Arguably, the required likeness did not even exist in 1787 to form such a constitution.
Since the United States’ first generation, freedom’s spirit has waned from our hearts and minds. As decades passed, the process of political and social thermodynamics took a strong hold in every fabric of this country, constantly changing form, character and culture. The result perhaps was inevitable: the consolidation of centralized power taken from the people and States through the use of the constitution. This consolidation-of-power-effect was the fear of many regarding the constitution in the beginning. Ultimately, this fear has become reality for the generations following them, especially for this current generation. Patrick Henry saw the cards being dealt as the constitution was being considered for ratification, the meticulous studier of human nature as he was. Henry prophetically warned his generation, for the sake of their freedom and their posterity’s as well:
“A number of characters, of the greatest eminence in this country, object to this government for its consolidation tendency. This is not imaginary. It is a formidable reality. If consolidation proves to be as mischievous to this country as it has been to other countries, what will the poor inhabitants of this country do? This government will operate like an ambuscade. It will destroy the state governments, and swallow the liberties of the people, without giving previous notice.” 
The question was rightly put: what will we do when the consolidated power of government becomes formidable, operating like a predator against the prey of freedom. Even worse, what will the people do when most everyone else does not believe that tyranny even exists?—when attorneys, judges, media, politicians and religious leaders perpetuate loyalty and submission to a depraved political system?
Many during that day believed the constitution had the germinated seeds of destruction and corruption within itself, only to grow by the watering of time and to blossom by the demoralization of society. Their fear would have been more inflamed and emphatic were they to see how this country would become so diversified and conflicted on the most fundamental levels, as well as so complex and vast in its operations and territories.
What shall we say we are getting back to when we refer to the United States Constitution? Are we getting back to a constitution that America’s most astute and proven statesmen, such as Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee, James Monroe, Thomas Jefferson and their like, deemed to be a serious attack on the independence and liberty of the people?—are we getting back to what Alexander Hamilton hoped the United States would become by means of that same constitution: a consolidated federal government with the power to rule in whatsoever degree and scope it so chose?—as indeed the United States has become under the constitution and the resulting union.
Not so differently from many Americans today, the Tories in the colonies of the 1700s believed that the answer to restoring freedom lay in “getting back to the British constitution.” After all, it was considered to be the best in the world, which most of the western world eventually emulated. All was mostly well. Freedom was not lost. The colonies were virtually represented in Parliament. Great Britain had their best interest in mind. Great Britain was protecting them. The constitution was still intact. Submission was a Christian duty. Loyalty to their government was required. Secession was considered treason. To assist Great Britain in subduing colonial rebels was their duty as a British citizen to “vindicate the constitutional authority of government.” In essence, they were good, patriotic people.
Despite all of the patriotic talk of restoring the constitution and remaining loyal to their political union with Great Britain, that Tory-mentality was flawed in its origin: they denied that “the [British] constitution had undergone deterioration through the carelessness of the people and the arbitrary course of many of the rulers, until the primeval Anglo-Saxon freedom was scarcely recognizable, and liberty was in great jeopardy.” Can anything better be said of America? I can think of much worse to be said. Naturally then, their perception of “restoring freedom” (if they even determined that freedom was in jeopardy) was nothing other than working within the system through the established constitution.
To the contrary, those loyal to natural justice chose to believe that freedom must have a real and practical effect for society in the present tense--British constitution notwithstanding. Freedom was priority; political union with Great Britain was secondary. This is in fact what Patrick Henry proclaimed in his day concerning the States’ union: “The first thing I have at heart is American liberty; the second thing is American union.” Naturally then, their perception of “restoring freedom” did not necessarily and blindly exist through a constitutional system proven to be detrimental to their liberty. Rather, restoring freedom meant working outside the status quo causing their demise and working within a new system which they created for themselves, based upon the immutable laws of nature. Were they wrong in their approach?
I feel very safe in emphatically saying that the necessary ingredients of restoring any semblance of the constitution of 1787 do not exist in America within the current union. Perhaps that is a hard pill for some to swallow, but is it so surprising? After all, John Adams predicted this conclusion, saying, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Constitutions do not maintain their intended effect of securing freedom where the social and geo-political conditions do not allow for it. The problem today is much more about personal, familial, social and moral matters than political. If our founding fathers admitted this fact, why cannot we admit this fact and act accordingly?
Why must some act so selfishly to dogmatically hold that freedom MUST be restored through the political association under the United States Constitution? Would freedom be lost to those people who reinstitute new forms of government to better secure life, liberty and pursuit of happiness? To the contrary, freedom would benefit exponentially. Those who refuse to entertain the ideas of state independence and reforming the union into smaller, more manageable parts, based upon the immutable laws of self-government, are evidently self-interested in their entanglement with and reliance on the federal government. There is no patriotism or honor in that.
Was Patrick Henry wrong when he said, “three confederacies would be practicable, and better suited…than one”? Was he wrong when he predicted the elimination of state sovereignty and individual liberty and the encroachment of the federal government into our lives pursuant to the constitution, not in contradiction of it? If he was right in predicting the effect of the constitution, perhaps we should consider his alternative suggestions to the constitution of 1787.
Proceeding under a delusion of “union at all costs” causes more damage to this country by continuing to drag freedom into the despicable muck of what this union has become. Quit waiting for God (as if He is obligated and would choose to do so) to raise a smelly, rotten corpse from the dead and begin plowing the fields of the living. Plan for new life to be born from the fertile seeds of freedom conceived by the work of revival, enlightenment and pro-activation. Begin planning for the reality of a New State Freedom.
Wishing that the United States of America would be what it was in 1787 will not restore freedom, just as the Tories proved to us. Those who formed that constitution of 1787 are dead, as are their great-great-grandchildren. The sun of history shines on their memory with beams of respect, love and admiration; but not because they regarded a political union more important than freedom.
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Their dream was theirs, and they worked for and obtained it; but not through a deteriorated British constitution. Now is the time for this generation to do what that founding generation of people did to restore freedom. After all, if there is any lesson they taught us, it is that, constitutions notwithstanding, freedom is for the living.
“The growth of the Northwest offers an interesting comparison with
the statement of President Jefferson that it would require one thousand
years to settle that portion of our country.” Carroll D. Wright,
LLD, Outline of Practical Sociology, Seventh Ed., (London, Longmans, Green
& Co., 1911), 26.
2, Moses Coit Tyler, Patrick Henry, American Statesmen, Vol. III, (Boston and New York, Houghton, Mifflin and Co., 1899), 324.
3, Lord Mansfield, chief Justice of England, argued during the Stamp Act debates in Parliament that the colonies were virtually represented by those elected into Parliament because the constitution allowed as such and that those representatives “represent[ed] the whole realms, not merely his own constituency.” This virtual representation “is declared by another writer to be grandly true.” John T. Morse, Jr., Samuel Adams, American Statesmen, Vol. II, (Boston and New York, Houghton, Mifflin and Co., 1899), 76.
4, Moses Coit Tyler, Patrick Henry, American Statesmen, Vol. III, (Boston and New York, Houghton, Mifflin and Co., 1899), 163.
5, John T. Morse, Jr., Samuel Adams, American Statesmen, Vol. II, (Boston and New York, Houghton, Mifflin and Co., 1899), 77-78.
6, Moses Coit Tyler, Patrick Henry, American Statesmen, Vol. III, (Boston and New York, Houghton, Mifflin and Co., 1899), 323.
7, Moses Coit Tyler, Patrick Henry, American Statesmen, Vol. III, (Boston and New York, Houghton, Mifflin and Co., 1899), 317.
� 2010 Timothy N. Baldwin, JD - All Rights Reserved
Timothy Baldwin is an attorney from Pensacola, FL, who received his bachelor of arts degree at the University of West Florida and who graduated from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in Birmingham, AL. After having received his Juris Doctorate degree from Cumberland School of Law, Baldwin became a Felony Prosecutor in the 1st District of Florida. In 2006, he started his own law practice, where he created specialized legal services entirely for property management companies.
Like his father, Chuck Baldwin, Timothy Baldwin is an astute writer of cutting-edge political articles, which he posts on his website, www.libertydefenseleague.com. Baldwin is also the author of the soon-to-be-released book entitled, Freedom For A Change, in which Baldwin expounds the fundamental principles of freedom believed by America’s forefathers and gives inspiring and intelligent application of those principles to our current political and cultural standing.
Baldwin is involved in important state sovereignty movement issues, including being co-counsel in the federal litigation in Montana involving the Firearms Freedom Act, the likes of which is undoubtedly a pivotal and essential ingredient to restoring freedom and federalism in the states of America. Baldwin is also a member of freedom organizations, such as The Oath-Keepers, and believes that the times require all freedom-loving Americans to educate, invigorate and activate the principles of freedom within the States of America for ourselves and our posterity.
Web site: LibertyDefenseLeague
E-Mail: [email protected]