AWAITING OBAMA’S CALL
Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., Ph.D., J.D.
August 20, 2008
At this point in the course of human events, why would any astute—for that matter, any rational—politician in the Democratic or Republican Parties want to be President of the United States? On Inauguration Day, either Barack Obama or John McCain will find himself in deep trouble. (Oh, yes, I should prefer nominal Republican Ron Paul or Pastor Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party as President, because I know for what they stand, that they can be depended upon to do what they say, that they have a sound grasp of what needs to be done, and that they just might be able to do it. But, as of now, their chances for election are vanishingly slim.)
In January of 2009, among other problems, the new President will find himself confronted with:
extreme pressure to expand costly military adventures in the Middle
East, and to enact vastly expensive new domestic programs, in order
to pay off insatiably greedy special-interest groups;
* international conflicts arising out of competition for global markets, energy, natural resources, food, and even water;
* terrorism (either real or of the “false-flag” variety);
* terminal monetary and banking crises, resulting most likely in hyperinflation;
* national bankruptcy (see Kotlikoff, “Is the United States Bankrupt?”, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Review, July/August 2006, at 235); and, behind it all,
* the looming presence of a national police-state apparatus which functions as a permanent secret government, some components of which are apparently willing to employ any means whatsoever to assert its control (as many researchers believe JFK learned the hard way after he threatened to smash the CIA).
And when the new President looks for support, he will find himself surrounded by an ever-present coterie of unelected “advisors” who intend to use him as their stooge and mouthpiece, and upon whom the puppetized Chief Executive will be forced to rely, because he will have isolated himself from the real America in the faux-ivory towers of the Disgrace of Columbia.
Not a pretty picture. So what, for instance, could Obama be thinking as he labors to put himself into this wringer? Is he mesmerized by the possibility of a sweeping personal power-grab—that he will enter the Oval Office in the midst of a crisis of 1930s’ proportions, cloaked in the mantle of FDR, with an apparent electoral mandate for unlimited New-Deal-style programs and a pliant Congress, top-heavy with big-government Democrats, to enact whatever bills he proposes? Is Obama so obsessed with such a fantasy that he is oblivious to the obvious dangers facing him?
To be sure, if a major crisis began during the last days of the Bush Administration, Obama would certainly blame it on Bush, the Republican Party, and by extension McCain. This could enable him to win the election. Yet, even if Obama could successfully tar Bush and the Republicans with initial responsibility, should a Democratic President and Congress not deal with the crisis effectively and in short order, Obama would then become the proximate cause of the country’s woes, because he would not be providing the necessary, sufficient, and above all timely responses to them. Most Americans, after all, are extremely short-sighted and impatient politically. They have been conditioned to think in terms of a childishly simplistic version of the Leader Principle: If Obama is the Leader he is responsible for whatever happens—good or bad—right now. And, of course, the situation would be even worse for Obama if the crisis broke out only during the first year of his Administration. In either case, overwhelmed by disastrous events most of which he had not caused and none of which he could control, he would go down in history as the worst President of all time (so far)—which, after George W. Bush’s terrible tenure, would be quite an accomplishment. Thus, Obama is doing his utmost to make himself a hostage to a very hostile Fate. Is this the behavior of a rational man, even a rational politician?
Then what should Obama do if he were a rational politician? First and foremost, if he persists in seeking the office of President he should do so in the interest, not of personal power, but of patriotism. In the fewest words: Serve the people! Save the country!
This would require Obama’s recognizing that he cannot change what is coming as the result of many years’ worth of events with which he had essentially nothing to do; he can try to change only public officials’ responses to the challenges with which the consequences of those events will confront him and the country. America is treading water in History’s septic tank because, for decade after decade, elitists and special interests have perverted her governmental institutions in order to feather their own nests at the expense of the people, and fully intend to continue to ride this gravy train—even if it carries America over a cliff—while We the People continue to pay the freight for their own impoverishment. If that complex of institutionalized corruption and criminality is not changed, nothing of consequence will change. And it is too late for nothing to change, if America is to be saved. If nothing really changes, and quickly, Obama’s Presidency will constitute a disaster for America. Not only for America, either, but for Obama personally, too.
Changing officialdom’s responses to the challenges now confronting this country is, however, precisely what the Establishment does not want, and will not suffer, Obama (or any President, for that matter) to do—at least not without a fight. The alternatives, then, are starkly drawn: If Obama promotes real change in the people’s interest, he will alienate the Establishment; but if he does not bring about real change, the people—whose patience is already worn to the breaking-point—will cast him aside as a one-term President. The route of escape from Obama’s dilemma, then, is plain to see. He must turn—not to the elitists, special-interest groups, and other parasites he has been rather shamelessly courting up to now—but to the American people themselves, and in the most forthright and radical manner possible.
Bringing about real change will require reliance upon the people. They are the ones who will deservedly benefit from real change. They are the ones Obama repeatedly says he wants to help. And they are the ones whose support Obama will desperately need—in terms not just of votes at election time, but especially of actions for a long time thereafter—if he actually takes on the problems plaguing America, and faces down their causes. In these perilous times, Obama cannot expect the support of the people unless he serves the people; and he cannot effectively serve the people without their support. Unless he will be satisfied to be a mere marionette, gyrating on strings manipulated by elitist “advisors,” Obama will need to solicit guidance “from the bottom up”—to discover what real change must entail, by consulting the people who know the true nature and extent of their own problems, because they are experiencing them first hand. Obama will need to mobilize assistance “from the bottom up”—to provide the people who have the most immediate and personal interest in bringing about real change with the tools necessary to do so. And Obama will need to secure protection for himself and his program “from the bottom up”—to enlist so many people in the cause of real change that simply removing him from office will not stop them.
Well, is there any reader of my commentaries who does not already know what institutions provide for this necessary complementarity: institutions composed of the people themselves, intended to serve the people and save the country, and led at the national level—to the extent the Constitution prescribes—by the President? The answer is, of course, “the Militia of the several States.” Not the disorganized, unarmed, outdated, and thoroughly useless “militia,” merely incidental to the Second Amendment, that appear, almost by way of caricature, in Justice Scalia’s muddled majority opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller; but instead the real constitutional Militia that the Amendment declares to be “necessary to the security of a free State”—a level of importance the Constitution ascribes to no other institution, including Congress, the President, the Supreme Court, and the Army and Navy.
Can Obama figure this out? Perhaps he is already stumbling in the right direction. For blowing in the wind of campaign rhetoric issuing from Obama himself are peculiar straws suggesting that he or some of his councillors vaguely understand what is at stake. In the Chicago Tribune of 26 July 2008, John McCormick reports Obama as saying:
“We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”
This raises a number of thorny questions: What are “the national security objectives we’ve set”? Who are the “we” who have “set” these “objectives”? Why is “our military” no longer sufficient to achieve these “objectives”? Why is such a large “civilian national security force” necessary? And what power has Congress to create such a force?
The last question is both the easiest and the most important to answer: Congress (let alone the President by himself) has no such authority. The only “civilian national security force” the Constitution recognizes is, collectively, “the Militia of the several States”. Indeed, the Militia alone are explicitly held to be “necessary to the security of a free State,” and empowered “to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.” Therefore, no “civilian national security force” can possibly be created to take the place of the Militia. Inclusio unius exclusio alterius. And certainly no “civilian national security force” supposedly supplementary to the Militia can possibly be created while the Militia themselves remain, as they now are, almost entirely unorganized, unarmed, undisciplined, and untrained throughout the States.
So if Obama wants to convince Americans that he will truthfully take the President’s oath or affirmation to “faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and * * * to the best of [his] Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” he should immediately and unequivocally equate his proposed “civilian national security force” with “the Militia of the several States.”
If he fails to do so, people concerned with Obama’s perceived socialistic slant may suspect him of desiring to organize a Presidential “political army”—a species of “Red Guards”—to counter the Armed Forces and State and Local police departments which perhaps he or some of his councillors distrust as too patriotic, too conservative, too cohesive—and too powerful as counterweights to or actual open antagonists of a move by an Obama Administration towards national socialism in response to a worldwide breakdown of major monetary, banking, and financial systems precipitated by a meltdown of the Federal Reserve System. Is this, such people may ask, why Obama proposes “a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded” as the Armed Forces? Such fears would hardly be paranoiac. One need recall only that Franklin Roosevelt’s first major legislative step to attack the Depression—after he stole the American people’s gold under color of the 1932 collapse of the Federal Reserve—was to set up the frankly fascist National Recovery Administration. (The Supreme Court soon declared that scheme unconstitutional in A.L.A. Schechter Poultry Corporation v. United States. But such a forthright defense of the Constitution might not, probably would not, reoccur today.)
Some astute political observers might even identify Obama’s proposed “civilian national security force” as the ultimate form of Saul Alinsky’s techniques of community organizing—in which Obama underwent training during his politically formative years. After all, such observers might ask, does a “civilian national security force” need to be fully as large as the entire Armed Forces unless it will supply “political controllers” for communities throughout the country, perhaps in the persons of “block captains” and other “reliable people” trained to serve as local organizers, agitators, agents provocateurs, and informers for a national secret-police apparatus?
Even if Obama receives the benefit of the doubt on these points, there remains the practical problem that a huge “civilian national security force” organized “from the top down” will prove exceedingly, probably prohibitively, expensive. On the other hand, organized “from the bottom up”—with patriotic Americans providing their own time and resources according to the pattern of the pre-constitutional Militia in all of the original thirteen Colonies and independent States (which is the way I should draft a proper statute for revitalizing the Militia)—it could be implemented without ballooning any State’s, let alone the General Government’s, budget.
Finally, even if this “civilian national security force” is Obama’s own idea, he will have to depend upon others to flesh it out. And to correct it—because as of now it is not yet the right idea, which would be to revitalize “the Militia of the several States,” not to create some entirely different entity from scratch. So, to complete this task effectively—and especially in complete conformity with the Constitution—Obama needs to find new councillors with the necessary knowledge and proper perspective. Nothing could be more in his own, as well as this country’s, political interest. For if Obama took the right steps to turn America towards real change, he could become a significant President. Indeed, if he managed to return power to We the People through the Militia and all the complementary reforms that revitalizing the Militia will bring in train, he could become even a great President. Politics may be only the art of the possible; but who can predict what is politically possible in times of acute crisis?
Of course, my interpretation of this matter may be overly optimistic. Certainly, before I read of Obama’s proposal, I had never imagined that he might be, even in principle, in my camp as far as the Militia were concerned. And I shall continue to doubt it, until Obama himself gives me a call to discuss how the Militia should be revitalized in the first 100 days of his Administration. Perhaps I shall receive that call. Perhaps I shall tell him how to revitalize the Militia. Perhaps I shall be offered the position of Presidential Militia Liaison to travel from State to State, starting in Virginia, to see that this task is accomplished. Most likely, not. But, aware of the old adage that politics makes strange bedfellows, I am willing to be surprised.
That unlikely eventuality aside, I am nonetheless encouraged by Obama’s proposal, because whether he knows it or not, now Obama himself has made revitalization of “the Militia of the several States” a campaign issue! Indeed, the most important campaign issue of all.
Obama himself has admitted that America’s impending “homeland security” problems are too big for even the Armed Forces to handle. Which implies domestic economic, political, and social unrest on a massive scale in the near term. Which unrest could only, or will most likely, occur when the monetary and banking systems completely unravel in the not-so-distant future, both by themselves through their own internal contradictions and institutional instability, and as the result of external economic and political pressures and shocks. In response to which We the People must be mobilized as soon as possible for self-defense, self-help, and self-reliance. All that Obama needs to be fully correct is to add to that list “self-government,” all of it operating through the Constitution’s premier “homeland-security” institutions, “the Militia of the several States.”
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Now that Obama has opened the door, this issue can and should become the main focus of every candidate’s campaign. If even Obama senses what must be done, albeit only “through a glass darkly”, the time has surely come.
� 2008 Edwin Vieira, Jr. - All Rights Reserve