A FAILING GRADE
Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., Ph.D., J.D.
September 21, 2009
Everyone is familiar with the report cards students in elementary and secondary schools receive to record their academic performances. If these are important indicia of the students’ progress (or lack thereof), much more so should be report cards on the performances of public officials—in particular, their compliance with the Constitution.
Which prompts one to ask, How well have officials in the General Government scored on their “preambular report card”—that is, how well is the General Government serving the purposes for which the Constitution was adopted, as set out in its Preamble?
The answer is a uniform “F” across the board. Consider the Constitution’s goals, one by one:
1. To “form a more perfect Union”. In fact, today this country is more divided than ever before along political, economic, racial, ethnic, social, regional, and even religious lines.
2. To “establish Justice”. In fact, almost invariably when an individual is standing up against some form of usurpation or tyranny by public officials in this country, the only connection between the Judiciary and Justice is that both words happen to begin with the letter “J”. And why does “the land of the free” have probably the largest per capita population of prison inmates in the entire world? Either America is home to a mass of truly lawless people, or many of the criminal laws themselves are basically unjust, and individuals are being packed off to lock down in droves for behavior that does not warrant such punishment.
3. To “insure domestic Tranquility”. In fact, the present volcanic eruption of Tea Party rallies, raucous Town Hall meetings, and the recent massive demonstration in Washington is evidence that the common people who make up this country, who do the real productive work, and who should benefit most from the operations of their own government, are simply fed up with monkey business as usual in the Disgrace of Columbia.
4. To “provide for the common defence”. In fact, this country’s Armed Forces have been committed to serial and apparently endless military adventures across the globe, none of which advances “the common defence” of this country—or, if it does, no plausible explanation for that connection, and no reasonable justification for the cost in lives and treasure, have yet been presented. This is not “defence” at all, but instead imperialism. And if whom it really serves is anyone’s guess, that the primary beneficiaries are not the American people no one can doubt.
To “promote the general Welfare”. In fact, the
merest survey of the rapidly deteriorating economic condition of this
country today proves that the economic and social welfare of average
Americans is the farthest thing from the minds of politicians in Washington.
At base, the entire banking and financial mess is the inevitable product
of the existence of the Federal Reserve System—the incestuous
coupling of bank and state, legal-tender fiat currency, and the never-ending
monetization of public and private debt, all of which are thoroughly
The response of the General Government to this débâcle is not, however, to reform the banking and financial systems along true free-market lines—that is, to “regulate Commerce” by extirpating the systemic fraud that pervades those systems, as the Constitution requires. The government’s response is not to provide the country with the sound monetary system based on silver and gold which the Constitution established. Instead, the government’s response is to bail out the faulty and even criminal institutions in the financial sector with trillions upon trillions of new Federal Reserve fiat monetary units, at the average American’s ultimate expense in taxation and inflation, so that the Ponzi scheme can continue and even expand for the special benefit of the big financial manipulators and their puppet politicians and clients in avaricious special-interest groups.
6. To “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”. In fact, the on-going erection of a massive national para-military police-state apparatus, centered in the Department of Homeland Security in Washington, with its tentacles of control slithering down into every State and Locality throughout this country, is the direct contradiction of the Constitution’s goal. This apparatus promotes paranoia over “security” among the public—conducts pervasive and invasive surveillance of the population—encourages not just overreaching by police forces but their systematic abuse of authority, thuggish oppression, and outright brutality—and even threatens to employ the Armed Forces to impose “martial law” throughout America under color of one alleged “emergency” or another.
“Systematic” is the key point here: What is happening is not merely episodic or accidental—not the random results of typical bureaucratic arrogance, stupidity, and mindless “empire building”—but is plainly proceeding according to a long-range and comprehensive plan, with respect to training, to deployment, to tactics, even to the ideological brainwashing of police officers at every level of government to treat constitutionalists and patriots, or any outspoken opponents of the régime on either the left or the right of the political spectrum, as “extremists” akin to “terrorists”. Common Americans are being conditioned—indeed, are being terrorized—to acquiesce as compliant subjects in a society reminiscent of the Stalinist régimes of Eastern Europe in the 1950s. And run of the mill officers in “law enforcement” throughout this country are being conditioned to administer such a society in the full-fledged “secret-police” fashion of the old East German Stasi or the Hungarian AVO.
So, the “preambular report card” justifiably gives the General Government a failing grade with respect to each and every one of the Constitution’s six goals. The report card would probably be even worse were it to march seriatim through each of the constitutional powers, and especially the constitutional disabilities, of that government and match those powers and disabilities with the government’s actual behavior.
But what is the reason for this dismal performance? When students fall down academically, usually one or more of three causes can be identified:
First, the school may be at fault. In the context of government, that would amount to an indictment of the “Form of Government” itself (to employ the terminology of the Declaration of Independence). Yet, nothing is inherently wrong with America’s “Form of Government” that would justify We the People in wanting “to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government”.
Second, the students themselves may be at fault. That is closer to the truth, because most public officials show little or no interest in fulfilling their constitutional duties, even though they have taken oaths or affirmations to support the Constitution. Why should they, when failure to fulfill those duties is hardly ever severely punished?
Third, the parents may be at fault. That is the most plausible explanation of all, when applied to a representative government. For unlike parents, who usually cannot choose their children, and may simply be unable to oversee their children’s studies, We the People choose their representatives in the General Government, can monitor everything they do in public office, and can remove them from those positions every two, four, or six years if they fail to measure up to constitutional standards.
So why, then, is the General Government’s “preambular report card” so bad? Because We the People have been lax in their duty to exercise popular sovereignty with a firm parental hand. The children in public office have been suffered to turn themselves into raging juvenile delinquents, with no sense of restraint or decency, let alone a commitment to “duty, honor, country”. Throughout history, though, obnoxious behavior that sometimes gets thoroughly out of hand has always been the way of it with wayward children in official positions. Knowing that dismal history, We the People should have clamped down long ago—and had better clamp down very soon, before mere clamping down will not suffice.
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The response to this sorry state of affairs is not to “petition the [General] Government for a redress of grievances”. One may as well spit in the ocean to watch it rise. The solution to the problem—or at least the first step towards a solution—is to compel the State legislatures, one by one, to “revitalize the Militia of the several States”. That, however, will require We the People themselves to return to the school of self-government as students, to crack open a few books, to do their homework, and to take a final examination in civic responsibility. Can they do it? Yes. But WILL they do it? Only time will tell. But, there being precious little time left, Americans will soon enough receive a report card on their own performances. One hopes that their grades will not reflect the old saying, “Experience keeps a very dear school; but fools will learn in no other.”
© 2009 Edwin Vieira, Jr. - All Rights Reserved