Harry Morris is a fine gentlemen.
He is in his 80′s. Fought in three wars for this country. And is descendant from the Founders.
Harry, like many in the country, is concerned about what he sees as a national drift away from our founding principles.
A couple weeks ago, Harry contacted me and asked if I wouldn’t mind posting his revision of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. He is deeply disappointed with the current structure and overstretch of government.
“Thomas Jefferson wrote that the tree of liberty requires the nurturing of the blood of patriots and
tyrants from time to time,” wrote Harry to me via email. “But he and others of his period provided an alternative solution. Recalling their spirits, the following is an outline of the need and action to implement that alternative.”
Quite honestly, when I first saw it, I thought Harry was nuts. But, upon further review, there is some good stuff in this document that our current representatives at least ought to consider when they cast their votes on legislation…and we as citizens ought to also consider when we go to the ballot box.
Do I advocate revamping our Constitution with a Constitutional Convention? No. I am still idealistic enough to believe that we can limit government
But every American is entitled to free political speech, and I am happy to help Harry exercise his.
A RE-DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE FOR THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
WHEN IN THE COURSE OF HUMAN EVENTS IT BECOMES NECESSARY FOR ONE PEOPLE TO DISSOLVE THE POLITICAL BANDS WHICH ENSNARL THEM IN A GRID-LOCK OF FEDERALISM, AN ENIGMA WHICH LEAVES THEM INSECURE IN THEIR PERSON, WEAK IN RESOLVE AND POOR IN SPIRIT, A DECENT RESPECT TO THEMSELVES, THEIR HERITAGE, AND THEIR POSTERITY MUST IMPEL THEM TO THROW OFF THIS TYRANNY.—WE HOLD THAT THE QUALITY OF INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM, AND PERSONAL SECURITY RESTS UPON INDIVIDUAL COMMITMENT TO THOSE RESPONSIBILITIES NECESSARY TO SUSTAIN A STATE OF ORDERLINESS; A STATE WHEREIN EQUALITY AND MORALITY UPHOLD AND ENSHRINE THE DIGNITY OF MANKIND; THAT ENHANCEMENT OF THE QUALITY OF LIFE, THE
PRESERVATION OF LIBERTY, AND THE OPPORTUNITY TO PURSUE HAPPINESS IS THE INALIENABLE RIGHT OF THE CITIZENS OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY; THAT TO REESTABLISH THESE RIGHTS WE MUST APPLY ARTICLE FIVE OF THE CONSTITUTION TO ABOLISH THOSE FORMS AND STRUCTURES OF GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHED BY ARTICLES ONE THROUGH THREE WHICH HAVE EVOLVED TO SUCH AN EVIL AND DESTRUCTIVE FORM OF GOVERNANCE.
PRUDENCE, INDEED WILL DICTATE THAT GOVERNMENTS LONG ESTABLISHED SHOULD NOT BE CHANGED FOR LIGHT AND TRANSIENT CAUSES; AND ACCORDINGLY ALL EXPERIENCE HAS SHOWN THAT MANKIND ARE MORE DISPOSED TO SUFFER, WHILE EVILS ARE SUFFERABLE, THAN TO RIGHT THEMSELVES BY ABOLISHING THE FORMS TO WHICH THEY ARE ACCUSTOMED. BUT WHEN A LONG TRAIN OF ABUSES AND USURPATIONS, PURSUING INVARIABLY THE SAME OBJECT TO CREATE AND SUSTAIN A BUREAUCRATIC WELFARE STATE, ADDICTING THE NATION TO DEPENDENCY ON GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIZATION, IT IS THEIR RIGHT, IT IS THEIR DUTY TO THROW OFF SUCH GOVERNMENT, AND TO PROVIDE NEW SAFE GUARDS FOR THEIR FUTURE SECURITY. SUCH HAS BEEN THE PATIENT SUFFERANCE OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE; AND SUCH IS NOW THE NECESSITY WHICH
CONSTRAINS THEM TO ALTER THEIR CURRENT SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT. THE HISTORY OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF THE PAST FIFTY YEARS IS ONE OF INSIDIOUS GROWTH OF A CENTRALIZED BUREAUCRACY INFLICTING UPON THE BODY OF THIS NATION REPEATED INJURIES AND USURPATIONS, ALL HAVING IN DIRECT OBJECT AND EFFECT THE DISESTABLISHMENT OF A RESPONSIBLE DEMOCRATIC FORM OF GOVERNMENT. TO PROVE THIS, LET FACTS BE SUBMITTED TO A CANDID WORLD— THE GOVERNMENT HAS GIVEN ITS ASSENT TO LAWS, THE MOST UNWHOLESOME AND DEPRAVING TO THE PUBLIC GOOD.—MEMBERS OF THE LEGISLATIVE AND EXECUTIVE BRANCHES CONSPIRE TO MAINTAIN AND ENHANCE THEIR INDIVIDUAL POLITICAL AND PERSONAL POSITIONS AND FORTUNES BY LOOTING THE TREASURY TO PURCHASE THE SUPPORT OF SPECIAL INTERESTS GROUPS, LACKING CONVICTION OR COURAGE TO ACT FOR THE GREATER
PUBLIC GOOD. THEIR FISCAL IRRESPONSIBILITIES CONSTITUTE NOTHING LESS THAN TREASONABLE CONDUCT.— THE GOVERNMENT, BY OMISSION AND COMMISSION HAS PLACED THE INDIVIDUAL SECURITY OF THE CITIZEN IN HIS OR HER PERSON, HOME, AND COMMUNITY IN JEOPARDY OF EVERY CRIMINAL, SOCIAL, AND ECONOMICALLY DEROGATORY ELEMENT IN THE SOCIETY. THE GOVERNMENT HAS OBSTRUCTED THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE BY ITS EXCESSIVE CONCERN FOR CHARGED AND CONVICTED FELONS IMBALANCE TO THE GREATER OBLIGATION OF THE STATE TOWARD CONCERNS AND PROTECTIONS OF VICTIM, THE INNOCENT, AND THEIR PROPERTIES.—CONGRESS HAS FAILED TO ENACT, OR THE EXECUTIVE TO ENFORCE FAIR AN EQUITABLE IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION LAWS IN A FASHION TO ASSURE ORDERLY ASSIMILATION, AND NECESSARY TO GUARANTEE TO ALL MAINTENANCE OF HEALTH, ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL STANDARDS NECESSARY TO THE HOMOGENIZATION OF A NATIONAL SOCIETY OF WORLDS
PEOPLE. CONGRESS HAS RELEGATED TO THE JUDICIARY THROUGH ITS OWN FAILURES AND OMISSIONS, THE POWER TO LEGISLATE, AND THE JUDICIARY, IN CONTRAVENTION TO ITS MOST SACRED TRUST, HAS USURPED THAT FUNCTION. CONGRESS HAS ERECTED A MULTITUDE OF NEW OFFICES, AND SENT HITHER SWARMS OF OFFICERS TO HARASS THE PEOPLE AND EAT OUT THEIR SUSTENANCE. CONGRESS, AND THE EXECUTIVE HAVE MAINTAINED IN TIME OF PEACE STANDING ARMED FORCES, AND CREATED A MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX OF SUCH POWER AS TO FORMULATE FOREIGN POLICY AND DOMINATE THE NATIONAL ECONOMY. IT HAS QUARTERED LARGE BODIES OF ARMED FORCES IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES AND COMMITTED THEM TO UNDECLARED WARS IN DIRECT CONFLICT WITH NATIONAL INTERESTS OR SECURITY. IT HAS THUS CAUSED THE PLUNDERING, RAVAGING, AND BURNING OF TOWNS AND DESTROYED NEEDLESSLY THE LIVES OF OUR
SOLDIERS, AND BROUGHT HORRIFYING DEATH AND DESTRUCTION TO OTHER NATIONS WHOSE PRESENCE AND ASPIRATIONS POSED NO THREAT TO THIS COUNTRY (THE VIETNAM WAR AND IRAQ WARS). CONGRESS and the EXECUTIVE BRANCH HAVE EXCITED DOMESTIC INSURRECTION AMONGST US BE THESE ACTS. THEY HAVE DEPLETED OUR NATIONAL TREASURY AND CREATED DISUNITY AND DISHARMONY AMONG OUR PEOPLE. THEY HAVE THEREFORE ESTABLISHED FOR ALL THESE REASONS, THAT THEY ARE UNFIT TO SERVE AS THE LEGISLATIVE AND EXECUTIVE BODYS OF THESE UNITED STATES, AND SHOULD THEREFORE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH ARTICLE FIVE OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES, BE DISSOLVED BY CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION; TO BE CONCURRENTLY
REPLACED BY A GOVERNING BODY, THE STRUCTURE AND FORM OF WHICH SHALL BE DEVISED IN A SERIES OF STATE AND REGIONAL PRE-CONVENTIONS; THE DELEGATES TO WHICH SHALL BE APPOINTED IN A MANNER PRESCRIBED BY THE RESPECTIVE STATE LEGISLATURES, OR ELECTED AS MEMBERS-AT-LARGE BY POPULAR VOTE, OR SUCH METHOD OR COMBINATION AS THE ELECTORATE MAY CHOOSE.
The following TREATISE is therefore directed toward the SUPPORT OF A CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION TO CONSIDER THE DISSOLUTION OF SUCH PORTIONS OF ARTICLES I, II, AND III OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES AS MAY THEREIN BE PROPOSED, AND THE CONCOMITANT ADOPTION OF PROPOSALS DESIGNED TO ACCOMPLISH A RESTRUCTURING OF THE LEGISLATIVE, EXECUTIVE, AND JUDICIAL BRANCHES OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
POSTULATE NO. 1.
In pursuance of this objective the first point to be examined is the “insufficiency” of the evolved Federal government. It may perhaps be asked what need there is of reasoning or proof to illustrate a position which is generally recognized and self evident. The facts that support this opinion are no longer objects of speculation. From Vietnam to the S&L/BCCI disasters, from the Keating five to , Whitewater Enron, and the Iraq war, we may indeed with propriety feel that we have reached the last stage of degradation and humiliation. There is scarcely anything that can wound the pride or degrade the character of an independent nation which we do not experience.
To forgo an enumeration of particulars, we would simply refer the reader to the Congressional record. The Congress, often aided and abetted by the Executive and the Judiciary, have led this country to the brink of an abyss within whose darkness evil will triumph over good, and despair will replace hope. Are we not now a nation where disorder and divisiveness characterize our daily intercourse? Are we not now impelled toward sloth, poverty and dependency thus negating the natural advantages of which we were so richly endowed? This is indeed the dark shadow that spreads across the country and extinguishes the spirit of liberty and responsibility. Here and now,
citizens of America, impelled by every motive that ought to influence an enlightened people let us make a firm stand for our safety, our tranquillity, our dignity, and our posterity.
It is true that among the current bevy of politicians there is a general assent to the abstract proposition that there exists material defects in our national system, but the usefulness of the concession is moot since the membership displays no inclination toward corrective action.
There are perhaps few men who can for any great length of time enjoy office and power, without being more or less under the influence of feelings unfavorable to the faithful discharge of their public duties. Their integrity may be proof against improper considerations immediately addressed
to themselves; but they are apt to acquire a habit of looking with indifference upon the public interests, and of tolerating or participating in conduct from which an unpracticed man would revolt. Office is considered as a species of property; and Government, rather as a means of promoting
individual interests, than as an instrument created solely for the service of the People. Corruption is some, and in others a perversion of correct feelings and principles, divert Government from its legitimate ends, and make it an engine driven by the fuel of avarice and ambition. The state of
our country as we enter upon a new century cannot be attributed to minute or partial imperfections, but from fundamental errors in the structure of government as it has evolved. These errors cannot be amended otherwise than by an alteration in the first principles and main pillars of the institution. This process must be undertaken with as great a degree of care and devotion to principles by the progeny of those who knowingly contrived that option by inclusion of the Fifth Article of the Constitution.
A good measure of the difficulty this action will encounter can be anticipated in proportion to the number of citizens that will be unaware of the substance of that article, or those preceding it. But we charge the press with the responsibility to present the challenge outlined in this, and subsequent postulates to ensue. Although our citizenry in general may today lack an historical perspective, they are, at least, instinctively aware that this nation is in peril. Whether or not they must await the clatter in the streets of the hoofs of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, or can act now as the clatter of pistol and machine gun fire already resound throughout our cities, we are uncertain.
We are not unmindful of the reality so keenly perceived by James Sundquist when he wrote “However grave the structural weakness of the American Government, those that are embedded in the Constitution are quite beyond the reach of reformers, barring some governmental breakdown more catastrophic than any so far experienced”.
We foresaw the follies of men in the drafting of the Constitution. We could not imagine, however, that our sons and daughters would fail to perceive the dangers when the structure of government became so infected with parasites that the body of the country would submit to being thus ravished. We bequeathed to them the power to eradicate this evil, but they must act in concert if they are to reverse the catastrophic breakdown already far advance. As for you, the members of the fourth estate, take care that you show more interest in promoting ideals least the chains you forge by failure to fuel the lamp of liberty bring you to Marley’s fate.
POSTULATE NO. 2
In postulate number one we conclude the government itself has more than amply made our case of the need for major reform in structure and modus operandi. Yet this accomplishment may be more difficult than was the task of the founding fathers in effecting the drafting and adoption of the
Constitution itself. The people need to understand that it is the Constitution, not the government, that is the guarantor of suffrage and the attendant rights and privileges enumerated therein. The government is a product of the Constitution. If that product proves ineffective, or incapable of administering the affairs of State in a manner that maintains justice for all, insures domestic tranquillity, effects security, promotes the general welfare, and sustains the blessings of liberty, that product, that government must be dissolved.
Among the most formidable of the obstacles such an action will have to encounter may readily be distinguished the obvious interest of incumbents and bureaucrats to resist all changes which may hazard a diminution of the power, emolument and consequence of the offices they hold. If the citizenry has by now reviewed Article Five referred to in the first writing, they will have noted that the only ways to effect this action is through “The Congress, whenever two-thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this constitution, or on the application of the
legislatures of two-thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this constitution, when ratified by the legislature of three-fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress—-”.
This article, designed to protect against ill-conceived and transitory issues and passions is, wisely applied, the key to the door of our salvation. The Congress will be most reluctant to assent to opening this door; for as it shall serve as the entrance for a reconfirmation and rededication to the principles of freedom and responsibility, it will serve as an exit to those who sustain their public positions through appeasement and proliferation of the more base instincts of human nature.
It is true that America today has little in common with the rural, frontier wilderness that inspired our forefathers to create a nation of laws intended to perpetuate freedom and opportunity. While society is vastly more complex, requiring more profound solutions to the social and economic circumstances ensuing there from, we retrogress in the quality of our lives. At a time when technological innovation and social consciousness should have led us to a level of national cohesiveness, viability and prosperity unmatched in the history of civilization, we face the specter of moral and monetary bankruptcy.
While blame needs to be assessed, it is vastly more urgent that we seek solutions. The Congress, and the Executive, lacking the courage or intellect necessary to meet the challenges, castigate each other. The checks and balances that the founders envisioned would ensue from a division
of power has degenerated into partisan politics destructive of the very purpose they were designed to serve. And men of even worse reputation and motives than many of the immediate holders of elective office clamor to take their place.
A final question must proceed the consideration of solutions to our dilemma. Have we, the citizenry ourselves, the capacities so lacking in our political and cultural leadership, to formulate those concepts, and implement those actions necessary to an invigoration of this nation? Have we a sense of personal integrity and commitment to those values and principles necessary to a well ordered, productive society? Are we willing to limit our obsession toward trivia and entertainment long enough to activate our minds toward the task of formulating those considerations necessary to our future well being?
Let not the feeling of helplessness to effect change hold us hostage to inaction. Our first step requires nothing more than to inform our representatives in Congress that we demand a commitment from them to introduce and support the actions necessary to the convening of a constitutional convention for the purpose of considering such proposals as shall be presented therein. These proposals will be designed to restructure the Federal Government and bureaucracy to again make it an instrument of responsible service to the people.
POSTULATE NO. 3
Nothing is more certain than the indispensable necessity of Government.
The fact that its structure and function cannot be separated from the proclivities of human nature creates the necessity as well as a contradiction. The method of dealing with this contradiction has
historically established the form and method of governing.
Some assumptions must be made with regard to human nature. Any assumption thus made will have its protagonist and antagonist. But the basis of these writings will favor the view that, in general, benevolence is the impulse that will direct human conduct if the membership of a society is free of propaganda, and feel secure in their person.
Therefore a primary function of the government of the United States, implicitly or explicitly mandated by the Constitution, is to contain those forces that would threaten or limit the citizens to free and responsible choices, or threaten the personal security, and general well being of the
citizenry. It must be recognized in the first instance that there will always be many species of predators and parasites among us that threaten our well being. Their containment is the first requisite of government. Yet the membership of the Legislative and Executive Branches of recent generations has established that it is not only manifestly unable to create the climate conducive to a peaceful and prosperous society, but constitute the major threat to our survival as a people of character and consequence.
Only a constitutional convention can remedy this state of affairs. In approaching the task of restructuring the government, it is necessary to define the nature of the illness debilitating the present body before we can devise the cure. Since we cannot live without government, let us at least devise one we can live with.
The machinations of our elected representatives of this period of our history are designed to accomplish little more than the perpetuation of their incumbency. That singular concern has spawned the rot that has destroyed the fiscal and moral integrity of our country. No act of treason
could be more reprehensible, and no member of the legislature can be excused, for all are guilty of this looting of the national treasury to sustain their personal political fortunes.
Their mismanagement of the fiscal affairs of state is by no means their only crime. Their inability or unwillingness to address the major social and civic issues plaguing our society has resulted in the Judiciary preempting the legislative function. This is an abrogation of the Constitution itself, and has created a litigious society ruled by black robed high priests that are not accountable to the people.
We are not blameless constituents, for it was we who acquiesced in the pork barrel legislation that favored our individual district without regard to the detrimental effect such ill considered measures would precipitate. It is we who witnessed in silence the abandonment of family values, forgetting
that it is the cement that holds the community together. We tolerate the proliferation of “rights” that defy justice, morality, and responsibility. We seek pleasure rather than challenge, escape instead of commitment. Are we, then, capable of awakening from this lethargy and recognizing the evils that permeates our society? Can we restore discipline in our own lives and inject it into our institutions? If we cannot, then it is true that we will deserve the tragic fate that will overtake us.
But we must know what we are about. We cannot simply demand reform, and charge the present body of office holders to carry it out. We must search out those individuals among us that are the heirs of the spirit of the founders, and attend their council.
The next writing is intended to serve as a challenge to all such citizens who have the capacity for enlightened discourse. The timeliness for such discourse is beyond question when the quality of thought, and the effects of the actions of politicians of today are reviewed.
POSTULATE NO. 4.
The electorate is demanding reform. This writing is intended to offer suggestion to motivate those with concern and abilities to enlarge and improve upon the concepts. If we accept the earlier premise that a major weakness contributing to the inadequacy of Congress stems from its addiction
to fiscal irresponsibility, and failure to formulate effective legislation to resolve major social problems, the cure for that weakness must be formulated. One idea attracting some attention is that of limiting or modifying the period of tenure in office of an individual. The core of the problem is that to gain tenure within the present structure individual incumbents appeal to and appease local or national special interest without regard to the effect such collusion engenders. This appeasement usually takes the form of monetary awards (pork barreling) in exchange for support at the polls. It has thus become a vicious and uncontrolled pillage of the treasury. This unscrupulous practice is now institutionalized and can only be corrected by reforming the institution.
Tenure, of itself, is not necessarily inconsistent with good government. However when that tenure is sustained in the manner now employed, it corrupts and demeans not only the incumbent, but the constituency as well. The solution, therefore, is to nullify those factors that allow or encourage
such practices. The requirement for the individual incumbent to seek reelection periodically (every two years for members of the House of Representatives) invites such abuse as is now common. For members of the Senate there is the potential for a creditable distinction through the necessity of serving a broader base with a lengthier reprieve between elections, although many do not enhance their public service by virtue of this distinction.
A Parliamentarian system with modifications that would address specific concerns peculiar to American genealogy, could resolve not only the question of individual tenure, but the extreme partisan practices within and between the Legislative and Executive branches. This partisanship has evolved to invalidate the process and quality of legislative and executive functions. The only checks and balances evident today are the checks written by the members of Congress without the balances to cover them by the national treasury.
The purpose of this writing is not to prescribe in any detail specific reforms. It is designed only to emphasize the method available to the people to reestablish their sovereignty over their fate, and that of their posterity. It is an appeal to those among the populace who have inherited the skills of formulating, and expressing democratic forms and concepts, to enlist in this campaign.
Although the first step will involve amendments to the structure only, the form that emerges should assure monetary accountability, i.e. a balanced budget and prohibition against deficit spending, a significant reduction of the bureaucracy, and such oversight of the economy that will encourage where possible, and mandate where necessary such controls or procedures as will allow private enterprise to meet its responsibility toward the citizen and the nation.
A constitution is not a document for the codification of the majority of the laws incident to daily living. However as the drafting of laws is the responsibility of the legislature, an amendment banning the Judiciary from this usurpation is in order. Other amendments effecting the Judiciary to assure that its role meets other priorities of the Constitution, rather than the political ideology of incumbent jurists are in order.
In any event, either by constitutional decree, or legislative writ, assuring the health and well being of the peaceful, law abiding, and responsible citizen must once again become the first and abiding priority of government. Private enterprise, as well, must operate in accordance with this dictum. The service sectors, government or private, that fail to meet this obligation must be contained. The medical, legal, or other professions that pervert their services to the detriment of society for personal and disproportionate remuneration must be placed in check.
We must establish a new system that will attract those with greatness of heart and mind to public service. They must be free from the perceived necessity, or compulsion, to serve or placate special interests, individuals, or groups when such service is contradictory to the general welfare. This nation is blessed with many such citizens, but they have little incentive to participate in a system wherein their potential could not be realized. Those incumbents currently serving who feel they met the criteria of this paragraph should be the first to initiate the action proposed in these writings. The motives of those who oppose it speaks for itself.
POSTULATE No. 5
In considering the nature of governmental reform of the three branches of the Federal government, and where applicable, as they may impact state and local governments, it would seem desirable to review the major reasons such reforms are indicated.
The very purpose of government is stated in the Preamble to the Constitution, and immediately followed by the articles and amendments which together constitute the body of the Constitution. These articles and amendments were and are designed to give effect to that defining introduction:
“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America”
Articles one, two, and three established the governmental mechanism, i.e. the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches which, it was assumed, would enact, enforce and adjudicate such measures as would give effect to the commitments outlined in the Preamble.
The Constitution adopted in l789, as students of History will know, primarily established the governmental structure that seemed best suited to carry out the mandate of the Preamble. It was two years later that the structure was ready to adopt specific measures to implement those
specifications that forms the text of the Preamble.
Acting in accordance with Article Five of the Constitution which outlines the procedure for the adoption of amendments, the first ten such amendments known as The Bill of Rights, were adopted in l791. Over the ensuing years eighteen additional amendments have been added as a part of the
Constitution. All of these with the exception of the Eighteenth Amendment (Liquor prohibition-later repealed) were directed, structurally or operationally, toward establishing, or maintaining the governments ability to fulfill the commitments outlined in the Preamble.
Millions of Americans, if not a considerable majority today, question whether or not the government, as evolved over the past half century, through omission, or commission, has failed to preserve the most fundamental aspects outlined in the Preamble.
An analysis of political, economic, and cultural changes of our recent history has been recorded in thousands of volumes. All of these events can be encapsulated in a manner that will produce an image of their effect.
From this image, or x-ray so to speak, of the heart of America, it is possible to see where the veins of cohesiveness and civility and the arteries of cultural and economic progress have become sclerotic.
A failure of our leaders to exercise good judgment is a major cause of this condition. Governmental obesity attributable to gross over indulgence at the public trough has drained our financial resources, exposing a muddy expanse littered with the debris of waste, fraud., and corruption.
A triple by-pass of the three branches of government is essential to prevent a stroke that will paralyze the movements and actions necessary to a restoration of our national health.
This surgery, as stated earlier, is prescribed in the Fifth Article of our Constitution. Once the surgery recommended therein is undertaken (amendments to reform government) we must assure that the house of the patient is purged of the source of the germs that could lead to infection
that could again threaten the health of the body politic.
Since greed is among the most contagious virus that the immune system of Congress is least able to reject, we must maintain the most sanitary conditions therein possible. The gonococcus of the lobbyist, and the syphilis of self and special interest must be eradicated by the penicillin of citizen action.
We must reform and re-dedicate the Federal Government in a way that will allow and require it to competently perform those functions that will best assure the American people that they will be able to live their lives in a secure and healthy environment.
We must not only be free to exercise the right of expression, but simultaneously free from the influences of those forces that would degrade and abase the majesty inherent in our character by the shrill and constant appeal to the most base and perverse elements of human nature.
To the degree that we permit the continued abuse of liberty by those who profit from the unrestrained public proliferation of the most gross, vulgar and obscene ideas and actions conceivable, do we submit to the prostitution of our lady of liberty. To the degree that we tolerate the ravishing and rape of our citizens and our communities by criminals sustained by a litigious system designed to enrich the unscrupulous in the legal profession, do we forfeit the exercise of our freedom, and too often the very lives of the innocent citizen.
If ever a government was broken, in an absolute financial sense, and equally in a sense of moral and ethical abandonment of principles, the Government of the United States stands accused. From Lyndon Johnson to George W. Bush we have been subjected to self centered aspirants to public
office, rather than to statesmen committed to enlightened public service. And even if credit is tendered to some for good intention, the effects resulting from the government’s efforts to implement those intentions more than proves why the road to Hell is so wide. And adding insult to injury campaigning against the government has become the theme of many incumbents or aspirants to public office. They would claim, of course, that they must get inside government in order to fix this malfunctioning entity. None, however, have proposed a course of action that portends a reform of government commensurate to the task. If the American people wish to reaffirm that this nation is “of the people, by the people, and for the people”, they, not the political hypocrites, must initiate the actions indicated.
Without question fiscal irresponsibility of incumbents of recent decades equates to malfeasance equal to felonious conduct. However since large bodies of the constituency either aided and abetted, or ignored the process, they must be held equally accountable. Certainly fiscal reform is one of many elements of government requiring reform. But even if the current, or a future Congress enacts legislation portending to address this condition, it will be but one small step of a much larger stride that must be taken by the American people.
Article Five of the Constitution established a path where upon such a stride could be taken in one of two ways as stated earlier, namely “The Congress, whenever two-thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the
Legislatures of two-thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments–”
If the American people wish to participate in this process, the latter methods should be adopted. However the American people, not simply the professional politician, must demand that their respective State Legislatures establish a procedure whereby the Jeffersons and Hamiltons and
Smiths and Jones of today are given the opportunity to participate in this undertaking. This could be done by convening a series of state and regional pre-conventions in which draft resolutions were perfected, and essentially approved prior to submission to a Constitutional Convention.
In order to assure the participation in this process of a cross section of the public willing and capable of contributing the following suggestions are among those that should be considered: Each State, through an act of its Legislature, should convene a representative group of its citizens, of which no greater number than ten percent could be members of the current Legislature, and no more than the same percentage from any specific professional grouping, i.e. Health Care practitioners, Educators, Attorneys, Union leaders, Students of voting age, Business men not licensed or practicing in another profession, Journalist to include writers or other members of the media, and others as the respective Legislatures may deem appropriate. The method of selection of these delegates shall similarly be left to the Legislatures. The method of funding is an established
prerogative of the Legislature, but minimum expenditures can be realized by innovative planning in the uses of resources already available.
Prior to devoting more time to suggestion relating to organizational procedures such as the establishment of liaison among the fifty state Legislative bodies to correlate the activities associated with this concept, and matters such as schedule that would establish a goal for a
Constitutional Convention for the year Two Thousand and ten, for example.
Some readers may recall that in the mid l970′s a movement was begun with the objective of convening a Constitutional Convention for the singular purpose of adopting an amendment to balance the federal budget. As of April, l987, the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution, thirty two states of the thirty four necessary, had voted to hold what would
have been only the second Constitutional Convention in our history. The votes of the additional two states necessary was never achieved, even though the deficit had grown from a few Million to many Billions by the 7th year of Ronald Reagan’s Presidency. (and quadruple that by the 4th year of Bush 2) The detrimental effect of the defeat of the balanced budget amendment could only be compared in magnitude to what a defeat of the Union Forces at Gettysburg would likely mean to our country today.
There appears to be significant public support currently for the adoption of a balanced budget amendments, and possibly for some form of term limits.
The present requirement of the Constitution which states “The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year..” requires an incumbent desiring continued tenure to devote full-time to campaigning for each successive election. Since the membership of the House
is also the body wherein “All bills for raising revenue” are originated, it is not unlike asking the fox to guard the hen house from inside. Tenure is maintained by practically unlimited access to the National Treasury. That reality, and its consequences are all too evident to require elaboration.
The question posed, therefore, is what nature of remedy do we prescribe that will neutralize the appetite of Congress for pork. I suggest consideration of the following resolution: The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every six years(as are members of the Senate) by the people of the several states. Any member upon concluding a two year term when this amendment is adopted shall not be eligible for election to a six year term until the election following the initial six year term of service following the adoption of this amendment and will be eligible to serve two full six year terms if elected. However any prior member of the house of Representatives who has not been a member of that body for a period of two year shall be eligible to serves two six years terms without regard to the length of prior service as a member of that body.
The Senators and Representatives of each respective state shall receive equal compensation for their service in an amount evenly divided between the State being represented by the incumbent, and the treasury of the United States. The membership of the legislature of each state shall determine the amount of the initial fifty percent to be funded by the state, and the portion contributed from the United States treasury shall not exceed that amount, provided further that the aggregate of the state and federal portions shall not exceed three fourth of the amount of the highest paid state or legislative elected official. Although this may result in unequal compensation between congressional representatives of the separate states, it shall be the prerogative of each state, as it should be, to determine what it considers a fair remuneration for its national representatives.
Such remuneration shall be effective beginning on the date prescribed by the amendment altering the terms currently in effect. Further, that any increases or decreases in such compensation shall be initiated by each state legislative body and applicable only to that states representative.
CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM
No member of Congress in advancing a campaign for election or reelection to that body, shall solicit or receive donations or remuneration from any interstate corporation or organizations, nor any other entity or individual not a citizen or not licensed to conduct business in said state. Equally each state shall determine the limits, if any, on such contributions to its representatives. However Congress may propose under separate legislation dedication of a percentage of air time from those licencees of the Federal Communication Commission for the purpose of granting candidates for federal elective office equal access to the public through that medium. Such access will be considered a portion of the fee for such license, and will therefore be without cost to the candidates.
The above is simply a narration intended to call attention to the nature of the problems that have arisen and some suggestions as to possible solutions. The author of this document has utilized many historical writings without specific credit in making his points. It is not likely that the original
writers would mind a bit of plagiarism in the cause to which many of them “pledged their lives and fortunes”. As is obvious to any student of history, The above writings include paraphrases from many writers and statesmen woven into the above “postulates” and Re-declaration of Independence. I do not believe it is necessary to give specific credit for those portions since I am certain the authors would be pleased to see that their principles and convictions again need to be called forth in the same cause to which they were committed.