THE DEMISE OF THE GREAT EXPERIMENT IN SELF-GOVERNMENT BY WE THE PEOPLE
Below is an outline of the major factors that led to the demise of the great experiment in self-government by We the People. For unless we understand how it was undermined/destroyed, we won’t know how to fix it.
Why www.PolicyUSA.com ? The name PolicyUSA.com is used because the United States needs a clearly defined policy at the national/federal level, if it is going to get its act together on behalf of We the People.
The following is intended to show major elements of our national demise:
The purpose of the Constitution is to protect We the People against arbitrary power from government:
When the nation was founded, it had colonies/states with functional operating governments. The Constitution was created to provide a national envelope to protect the interests of the various states and the people. Rightfully fearing the typical tyranny that evolves in national governments of its day (and to this day), the founders went to extensive effort to separate responsibilities of the federal/national government into the three branches, provide for checks and balances between the branches, and then stipulate the responsibilities of the branches. And, most critically, its representatives were to be selected and elected by the people.
To further protect the nation from tyranny, many of the ratifying states demanded a Bill of Rights, and as a consequence 12 articles were submitted to the states for ratification, 10 were ratified soon and are referred to as our Bill of Rights. The second on the list was ratified in 1992 as our 27th Amendment. The first of the 12, called Article the First is crucial to self-government by We the People to work as it was intended to limit the size of a representative district to one reasonable for the people (in contrast to powerful special interests) to control the outcome. Iit was sabotaged from the versions passed by the House and Senate, rendering its purpose pointless, and as a result it was not ratified.
As the tendency of government power throughout history is that it leads to tyranny, it is critical to understand that the Constitution, and the necessity to uphold it, was a primary protection for We the People against runaway government. But for that entire system to work, the general public at large had to be able to control the process of selecting and electing and holding accountable its representatives in order for the integrity of the Constitution and the national government power to be restrained to what is stipulated in the Constitution.
Representative government only works if We the People are in charge of the process:
Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution stipulates a minimum of 30,000 population for a congressional district. Of the 12 articles submitted for ratification, the very first was to set a maximum size for a congressional district. Both the House and Senate in 1789 voted on this proposed apportionment amendment called Article the First. The House allowed for districts to grow to 50,000 population and the Senate to 60,000. In reconciliation it was decided to use the House version. However, just before it went to the states for ratification, the word “less” in the final clause was changed to “more” rendering the amendment pointless in limiting the district size and this amendment was never fully ratified. Surprisingly, this topic of district size is not discussed as an issue.
There is a simple reality when it comes to representation: As district size increases there is less and less chance the average person will have knowledge of any particular candidate and as district size grows, it becomes increasingly difficult for the average person to know or have any input into the selection of a candidate other than what they learn via various media...all of which is subject to manipulation by good actors.
Following each census, congressional districts are reapportioned. It too k more than 50 years before district size exceeded the recommendations of the 1789 Congress and by then all the founders had died.
Initially Domestic issues were the prerogative of the States:
At the time our Constitution was ratified, domestic issues were handled individually by each state, local municipalities or the people—domestic issues were NOT the prerogative of the national government.
The start of the lobbying industry:
During and after the Civil War a lobbying industry started to evolve order to gain influence on national government activity and bypassing the scrutiny of the public (We the People).
Steady growth in size of congressional districts:
After the Civil War, Congressional districts continued to grow in population size, such that by the time the “Progressive Era” began, at the start of the 20th Century, House districts were in excess of 200,000 population and the general public was no longer in charge of the process of selecting candidates. It had become an increasingly politically corrupt process as the general population lost control of the process.
Advent of the state primary election process:
Historically, candidates for elections had been chosen by each political party, ostensibly through local meetings and larger conventions of party delegates. Due to such issues as backroom deals and party insiders wielding excessive control, the Progressives were gradually able to sell to states the idea that primary elections would be more transparent and inclusive. While much can be said about the need for party politics to be responsive to the will of its constituents, essentially abandoning local and regional gatherings to select candidates in favor of statewide primary election process is counterproductive to that end. State primaries actually shifted control away from the people towards the powerful special interests who are best able to influence the population through mass advertising and other persuasive processes, especially as when they can gain control over the mainstream media. The argument against the state primary process is the same as the argument against large House districts and statewide election of Senators—it shifts the control in favor of the powerful special interests.
The Constitution an obstacle to the “Progressive” agenda:
To the “Progressives,” the Constitution was an obstacle to their agenda of creating an ever more powerful central government governed through administrative agencies controlled by “experts” who knew better than the average citizen how to manage the affairs of the nation.
Based on the reality that the people no longer controlled the process, the forces of politics using the power of government were able to make changes that never would have been approved or desired by We the People—if given the power to do anything about it.
Congress freezes the size of the House of Representatives:
If you are out to get your way and to do so means manipulating the political process in a way that We the People would not otherwise endorse, the less people you have to deal with the better. Thus, in 1911, Congress passed (to the “Progressive” President’s delight) an apportionment act that froze the size of the House of Representatives to 435 members—to which it remains today.
And that is where we are at the current point in history—super large districts, exceeding 750,000 and growing in direct proportion to the growing population of this nation.
Political special interests fool the public and change the way Senators are selected:
Also, as Senators were selected by the state legislatures, it was much harder to control Senators that were committed to the interests of their state. Thus, they were able to fool the public into thinking it was much more democratic to have statewide elections to select senators than to let the legislatures do it. As such the “Progressives” were able to get the 17th Amendment passed and ratified changing the method selecting Senators to a single statewide election—which is much easier to corrupt and control than legislative bodies of many legislators.
Corruption of the Supreme Court and hence the entire federal judicial system:
It took a while but eventually the “Progressives” were able to corrupt the Supreme Court. Traditionally, the Supreme Court rendered its decision based on the letter of the Constitution and founding documents of the time it was written, notably the Federalist Papers.
Corruption of the meaning and original intent of the Constitution:
As the “Progressive” movement proceeded, the original interpretation became an increasing obstacle to new laws and the growth of the administrative state. The court began to reinvent interpretations, notably the “interstate commerce” clause that had been put in place because under the Articles of Confederation, various states had been imposing tariffs and other hindrances to interstate commerce. The idea was that the federal government would be able to stop these activities and promote interstate commerce.
Well, the new interpretation under the New Deal discarded that interpretation into changing the definition of commerce to that of all “industry” something not considered as commerce at the time of the founding. This opened a world of opportunity for the federal government to begin the process of interfering and regulating industry. So, we had the process or “reinterpreting” the Constitution growing as a legal process.
There are many ways to pervert a law. One way is through the process of “stare decisis” whereby a jurist can take language from a previous court decision to become the basis of a new decision. While this can make sense in common law, it is perverted when a judge renders a court decision that expounds on a wide range of considerations, none of which are germane to the actual court decision. And then, in a future court decision, that language in that past decision is referred to as a legal basis for the new decision. You might read Daniel Horowitz’ book Stolen Sovereignty, which details how this process was used by the courts to totally corrupt and reverse standing immigration policy in this nation.
It has now become common practice for the Supreme Court and other federal courts to exceed the Constitutional limitations and render decisions that impact our nation—none of which would have been tolerated prior to the “Progressive” era. This includes, such landmark cases as Reynolds v Sims, Roe v Wade, Obergefell v. Hodges and many, many others.
There is no longer a limit on what the federal government can do (or more accurately, get away with):
When Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) was being pushed, someone challenged Pelosi, asking where in the Constitution it permitted Congress to mandate health care. Her response, “Are you serious.” At this point in time there is no limitation to how the federal government can impose its will upon We the People.
America created an immense military industrial complex as a result of World War II. The reality that businesses seek to grow and expand their profit is a reality that many believe was and remains an impetus for America engaging in so many wars of questionable necessity.
Historically, the entertainment media has always focused on the sensational and pushed the envelope of social mores—in America, theatrical production for the general public (such as films and television) had been held in check by a production code, which in 1967 was discarded in favor of a loose rating system which transformed the entertainment industry into a social engineering operation, dedicated to decimating what had historically been the values which work for a functional civil society. The fabric of our society has been disintegrating since.
Over this same time period, the consolidation of education under bureaucratic and union control has occurred. Local newspapers, television and other media has been gobbled up to the point that 6 major corporations can (and do) control the editorial agenda.
In the 1990’s federal government efforts to contain executive pay for corporations backfired, as executives income became linked to stock prices when increased stock options became a way to increase executive pay. As a consequence, short term profit became more important in many instances than long term, resulting in many negative consequences.
In many cases, a once robust manufacturing base in the United States has diminished, as manufacturers close domestic plants and shift production to other countries to increase profit margins on products that once produced, are then shipped back to America to be marketed.
Evolving tech companies, wielding immense power over communications, become part of the media cabal to promote an agenda. This is resulting in the squelching and censoring of opinion they don’t like and undermining diversity and the free exchange of ideas.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the government has joined the action of those who use coercive power and censorship to curtail any opinion or factual information that is contrary to its agenda.
Dividing the people into groups in a way designed to make them hate or be alienated from one another has been a common tactic of those who wish to impose their will over others—divide and conquer. This has escalated in recent years to the point that it must be dealt with or the nation will fragment (Balkanize) to the point of societal destruction.
While a certain degree of election fraud has existed; in recent years, the forms of election fraud have increased dramatically, to the point that a significant share of the public have justification to question the integrity of past and future elections, if something is not done to rectify the problem, which Congress does have the Constitutional authority to do.
Government imposed censorship, condemnation, and even criminalization of dissenting opinions:
In recent years, what is construed as the “politically correct” opinion on an issue—such as climate change, sexual orientation, election integrity, and a growing number of issues has increasingly become something that is destroying our First Amendment Rights. Increasingly, people are fearful that they could be socially ostracized, lose their jobs, and even have their homes invaded by a swarm of armed government agents—and arrested for the crime of exercising their First Amendment Rights. This is chilling to the idea of people at the grass roots even getting together to discuss issues of relevancy.
The above is not an exhaustive list of what is going wrong, but it is to point out significant milestones on the progress away from the original intent of our Constitutional Republic:
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, 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.”
We have reached a crisis stage.
To repeat what was stated at the start: It is time to restore the damage done to our Constitutional Republic since its founding and clearly establish the policy under which our national government is to operate.
Developing the grass roots is where it must start if we are to gain lasting traction. Read and think about the importance of these four issues, then discuss it with others, as educating the public to the importance is the only way we can overcome the resistance of the swamp of corruption and truly have a hope of restoring self-government as a viable option for this nation.