Centralism Trumps “Checks and Balances”

by Al Benson

Well, we’ve just had an election and it looks to most people like the good guys won for a change. However, voters need to be discerning enough to realize that not all those who appear to be good guys (Republicans) really are. Some of them are no better than the Democratic socialists, the only difference being the party label. Remember that the first two Republican candidates for president in this country, John C. Fremont and Abraham Lincoln, were both socialists in their worldviews even if they may not have officially belonged to any socialist ” Party.” You can check out the backgrounds of both of these individuals in the book Lincoln’s Marxists.

Now that we have a Republican majority in both houses Comrade Obama has stated that he will just take “executive action” in regard to making illegal immigrants part of the national culture. Will the checks and balances that are supposed to operate with our current Constitution be enough to stop him. Will Congress do what it should do or will Obama just continue to get away with his lawlessness? Most of us know the answer and it’s not pretty. Congress will fume and fuss and make great pontifications about who should do what and that will be it.

The checks and balances that one branch of government is supposed to employ under the Constitution to check the usurpations of another branch will amount to nothing. It’s all, as one Christian pastor once said–“meaningless drivel.” Always has been.

Interestingly, one of the most insightful of the Anti-Federalists in the beginning was Robert Yates, a judge from New York who was also a delegate to the Constitutional Convention. At some point Judge Yates withdrew because he felt the convention was exceeding the instructions it had been given. Yates later wrote as “Brutus” about the debates over the Constitution. Given that he had expertise as a judge he claimed that the Supreme Court was destined to become a source of almost unlimited federal over-reaching, and his insight in this area has proven correct.

As “Brutus,” he observed that the Supreme Court, as envisioned under the Constitution, would end up becoming a source of growing abuse because they were beyond the control of both legislatures and ordinary citizens and they were in no way subject to being “corrected by any power above them.” Who is there out there that will correct them regarding their farcial ruling that Obamacare is constitutional? Where are the checks and balances in this situation? If any are present they are hidden under the political rug, never to be seen. Yates thought that the power the Court would command would be so irresistible that the judiciary would use it to make law. Gee, when has that ever happened? (Let us count the times).

That being the case, the Court could then proceed to interpret the Constitution according to the “spirit” of the law rather than the letter of the law. Looking at some of the “decisions” the Court has handed down in our lifetime, can anyone seriously doubt the concerns that Robert Yates had? In fact, if anything, his concerns could have been labeled as optimistic, because in his day, he could have had no possible concept of just how far the Court would go in promoting the agendas of radical, activist judges who would shamelessly promote their version of what they wished the Constitution had really said.

I can recall author and columnist, the late Joseph Sobran, writing on this subject years ago when he noted that the Court had found many “enumerated penumbras” in the Constitution that justified abortion, the murder of unborn babies. Many folks will ask “what’s a penumbra?” Good question. For want of being able to explain it legally, I will note that it is nothing more than the judicial version of “seeing through a glass darkly.” The lawyers see “rights” there that are never spelled out anywhere, except in their own minds. So there are no real checks and balances in play regarding the Supreme Court. It is truly a law unto itself.

Back in 2008, Dr. Clyde Wilson wrote an article called Nathaniel Macon and The Way Things Should Be in which he dealt with the career of Nathaniel Macon, the man that Macon, Georgia was named after. Macon and others in his family were quite discerning. He served with North Carolina troops in the War for Independence. Dr. Wilson noted of him that: “He was offered but refused a commission and he refused also the bounty that was paid for enlisting…In the next few years he was offered a place in the North Carolina delegation to the Continental Congress which he declined. It is noteworthy that his brother, John, voted against ratification of the new U.S. Constitution in both conventions of the sovereign people of North Carolina to consider that question; and that our State did not ratify until the first ten amendments, especially the 9th and 10th, were in place to limit the federal government.” And he commented on the new government, saying “As soon as the U.S. government went into operation, Hamilton and his Yankee friends, claiming that they were acting in behalf of ‘good government’ began to turn the government into a centralized power and a money-making machine for themselves by banks, tariffs, government bonds, and other paper swindles that would be paid for out of the pockets of the farmers who produced the tangible wealth of the country. To oppose this Macon accepted election to the U.S. House of Representatives for the Second Congress.” However, Dr. Wilson noted that “By the end of his life Macon had realized that the cause of republicanism was lost at the federal level, and also that the North was determined to exploit and rule the South. South Carolina tried in 1832 to use ‘nullification,’ state interposition, to force the federal government back within the limits of the Constitution. After he read Andrew Jackson’s proclamation against South Carolina, Macon told his friends that it was too late for nullification. The Constitution was dead. The only recourse was secession–…” These folks had it figured out by the 1830s that the Constitution was not going to work because no one was staying within the sphere of authority that was delegated to them. The checks and balances that were supposed to keep everyone where they belonged were just not being practiced. Each branch of the new government was doing what it wanted to do with no resistance from the other branches save a little breast-beating. It was only to get worse during the Lincoln administration, and worse yet during the “reconstruction” period, when Congress basically just did whatever they wanted. Johnson vetoed their indiscretions but they overrode that while the Supreme Court did little. Now we have a president (a would-be dictator for life if he could get away with it) who doesn’t even bother to consult Congress anymore. He just issues “executive orders” and rules like a Muslim potentate, so where are the checks and balances?

It’s all rhetoric, folks, that’s all it is. We have been lied to by so many for so long about so much, we wouldn’t recognize the truth if we saw it floating amongst all the political swill out there.

Three years ago, Mike Crane of Morganton, Georgia did a series in six parts called What Is States Rights? which you can still find on the Internet. Check out the website for the Southern Party of Georgia and read his comments. If that one is gone you can still find these articles on the League of the South website, probably in their archive. He observed: “In the very early days of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, the delegates, the framers of the Constitution, made a deliberate and conscious decision to discontinue a federated form of government and to replace it…let me emphasize…REPLACE IT…with a national form of government in their deliberations. Let me emphasize what this means for the concept of States Rights…By the votes of May 30, 1787 the framers of the Constitution began debating the ultimate elimination of States Rights.”

There’s a lot more to all this and I would encourage everyone to check out Mike’s articles and see what he has to say. You can bet the farm that you will never get this material from what passes for history books today.

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Was Nationalism Sold To the Country As Federalism?

by Al Benson Jr.

It seems that, under the Articles of Confederation, there were states rights, as each state was considered sovereign and independent. However, with the ratification of the new constitution, that seems to have disappeared. Historian Clarence Carson has noted that, regarding the Articles of Confederation: “This bent, or tradition can be traced to many sources. Americans were, above all, a people of the book–the written word–the Bible. There was the Puritan idea, too, of the Covenant, an agreement between man and man and between man and God…Colonists had drawn their own political agreements, such as the Mayflower Compact and the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut…Once the colonies had broken away from England, the only historical allegiances that remained were to the states and localities…At any rate, there should be no doubt that the government of the United States under the Articles of Confederation was brought into being by the states.”

Some delegates saw the new Constitution as potentially tyrannical and refused to sign it. It seems that statesmen in those days had a far clearer view of things than do our present politicians, who I will not dignify by calling them statesmen.

George Mason of Virginia was unwilling to sign. The major objection was that the new document did not contain a bill of rights and there were objections in several state conventions to ratification being enacted too hastily without such being made part of the document. Patrick Henry argued, and rightfully so, in the light of history, that a specific bill of rights was essential. He observed that governments regularly and automatically assumed powers that were not prohibited to them. Can anyone in our day deny this truth? We have a Commander-in-Chief that regularly rules the country by executive fiat when he can’t get a usually-willing Congress to go along with something he has been instructed to ram through. And Congress never seems to complain. They sit back and let him do it. In our day the Executive Branch of government regularly usurps powers denied to it and the courts ignore the whole situation, giving the Executive and Legislative branches a wink and a nod as our rights are stolen. So much for checks and balances–another bill of goods we have been sold.

Added to all this was the continuing problem of differing views of the Constitution, which seems to have been a major problem back before the War of Northern Aggression.

In his book The Confederate Constitution of 1861 Marshall DeRosa noted that: “Within the context of American federalism does sovereignty reside in the people in their national or state capacities? To be more precise, does the U.S. Constitution establish an association of sovereign individuals within their respective states or a national community of sovereign individuals the states notwithstanding?” It seems that within the ‘more perfect Union” there has always been this tension. DeRosa noted that by 1861 this tension had become a major cleavage so that the Constitution “rather served as a vehicle for dissension and separation.”

DeRosa observed that: “This was most certainly the case by 1861, as Northerners insisted on a model of federalism consisting of a national community of individuals, with sovereignty being a national phenomenon–that is, nationalism–whereas Southerners adhered to a model consisting of a community of states.”

John C. Calhoun, while he was still alive, (he died in March, 1850) noticed that a transition was taking place wherein the old Federal Republic was being transformed into a consolidated democracy, which placed sovereign authority at the national level while taking power away from the states. That trend continued, with William Henry Seward claiming that the Constitution had established a national community of individuals and not a community of states. Seward was from New York.

And this thought has occurred to me–is it just possible that what Calhoun observed as a transformation was, in fact, actually there in seed form at the very beginning?

According to DeRosa, Seward claimed that: “the States are not parties to the Constitution as States; it is the Constitution of the people of the United States. But even if the States continue as States, they have surrendered their equality as States, and submitted themselves to the sway of the numerical majority…” There is no way I can agree with Seward’s blatant nationalism, but, what if that was really the intent from the beginning? What if nationalism was sold to the Southern states surreptitiously as federalism and, outside of a few men like Patrick Henry, hardly any grasped that? While that may sound far out to some, is it any further out than the idea of a group of men eagerly signing up for a “Union” they could not secede from only 13 years after they had experienced the same situation with Great Britain?

You have to wonder what would make men yoke themselves and their states again to a bondage they had only recently fought a war of independence to get away from. You have to wonder if some of these delegates had in mind something other than the freedom and liberty for both states and individuals that Patrick Henry envisioned.

An educated pastor once said to me “You have to wonder if there were some anti-Christs in that (constitutional) convention.” At the time, I did not grasp the enormity of his assertion. Now I have begun to.