America's Party News - AmericasPartyNews.com - Committees of Correspondence
  • America's Founding Principles
  •   Home  |  About  |  Platform  |  Affiliate  |  No donations  |  National Committee  |  Be a LeaderSearch  |  Inbox  |  My Settings  |  Log-in  

    'America's Summit  –  Restore the Republic'

    Every Tues. & Thurs. night  –  9 pm EST
    712-432-3566  –  passcode 340794#

    Archive  –  Listen on the web

    Contact Posting Guidelines

    Exquisite distrust – TOM HOEFLING
    ::
       Other Endorsed Independent Projects -> Tom Hoefling's Life and Liberty Report

    November 5, 2009

    By Tom Hoefling

    “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.” – Psalm 118:8

    It may shock some these days to know that our American form of republican government was founded in a belief that men are intrinsically wicked power-mongers, but it’s true. “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” Lord Acton famously said a century after our nation’s founding, but the men who framed the American republic already understood this truism well. This knowledge was rooted in their understanding of the Bible, of history, and of fallen human nature.

    Which is why they set up a government of divided, enumerated powers.

    “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government – lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.” -- Patrick Henry
    "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined."  --James Madison, Federalist No. 45

    But, in the founding generation there were already those who, in the pursuit of their own power, had devoted themselves to the [mis]use of the very words of our Constitution against itself, destroying one of its primary purposes, which is the limitation of power.

    The father of that great document, James Madison, was compelled in 1792, just a few short years after its adoption, to stand in the House of Representatives and rail against an unlimited construction on the words “general welfare.”

    Mr. MADISON. It is supposed, by some gentlemen, that Congress have authority not only to grant bounties in the sense here used, merely as a commutation for drawback, but even to grant them under a power by virtue of which they may do any thing which they may think conducive to the general welfare! This, sir, in my mind, raises the important and fundamental question, whether the general terms which have been cited are to be considered as a sort of caption, or general description of the specified powers; and as having no further meaning, and giving no further powers, than what is found in that specification, or as an abstract and indefinite delegation of power extending to all cases whatever -- to all such, at least, as will admit the application of money -- which is giving as much latitude as any government could well desire.

    I, sir, have always conceived -- I believe those who proposed the Constitution conceived -- it is still more fully known, and more material to observe, that those who ratified the Constitution conceived -- that this is not an indefinite government, deriving its powers from the general terms prefixed to the specified powers -- but a limited government, tied down to the specified powers, which explain and define the general terms.

    It is to be recollected that the terms "common defence and general welfare," as here used, are not novel terms, first introduced into this Constitution. They are terms familiar in their construction, and well known to the people of America. They are repeatedly found in the old Articles of Confederation, where, although they are susceptible of as great a latitude as can be given them by the context here, it was never supposed or pretended that they conveyed any such power as is now assigned to them. On the contrary, it was always considered clear and certain that the old Congress was limited to the enumerated powers, and that the enumeration limited and explained the general terms. I ask the gentlemen themselves, whether it was ever supposed or suspected that the old Congress could give away the money of the states to bounties to encourage agriculture, or for any other purpose they pleased. If such a power had been possessed by that body, it would have been much less impotent, or have borne a very different character from that universally ascribed to it.

    The novel idea now annexed to those terms, and never before entertained by the friends or enemies of the government, will have a further consequence, which cannot have been taken into the view of the gentlemen. Their construction would not only give Congress the complete legislative power I have stated, -- it would do more; it would supersede all the restrictions understood at present to lie, in their power with respect to a judiciary. It would put it in the power of Congress to establish courts throughout the United States, with cognizance of suits between citizen and citizen, and in all cases whatsoever.

    This, sir, seems to be demonstrable; for if the clause in question really authorizes Congress to do whatever they think fit, provided it be for the general welfare, of which they are to judge, and money can be applied to it, Congress must have power to create and support a judiciary establishment, with a jurisdiction extending to all cases favorable, in their opinion, to the general welfare, in the same manner as they have power to pass laws, and apply money providing in any other way for the general welfare. I shall be reminded, perhaps, that, according to the terms of the Constitution, the judicial power is to extend to certain cases only, not to all cases. But this circumstance can have no effect in the argument, it being presupposed by the gentlemen, that the specification of certain objects does not limit the import of the general terms. Taking these terms as an abstract and indefinite grant of power, they comprise all the objectsof legislative regulations -- as well such as fall under the judiciary article in the Constitution as those falling immediately under the legislative article; and if the partial enumeration of objects in the legislative article does not, as these gentlemen contend, limit the general power, neither will it be limited by the partial enumeration of objects in the judiciary article.

    There are consequences, sir, still more extensive, which, as they follow dearly from the doctrine combated, must either be admitted, or the doctrine must be given up. If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their Own hands; they may a point teachers in every state, county, and parish, and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision for the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress; for every object I have mentioned would admit of the application of money, and might be called, if Congress pleased, provisions for the general welfare.
    The language held in various discussions of this house is a proof that the doctrine in question was never entertained by this body. Arguments, wherever the subject would permit, have constantly been drawn from the peculiar nature of this government, as limited to certain enumerated powers, instead of extending, like other governments, to all cases not particularly excepted. In a very late instance -- I mean the debate on the representation bill -- it must be remembered that an argument much used, particularly by gentlemen from Massachusetts, against the ratio of 1 for 30,000, was, that this government was unlike the state governments, which had an indefinite variety of objects within their power; that it had a small number of objects only to attend to; and therefore, that a smaller number of representatives would be sufficient to administer it.

    Arguments have been advanced to show that because, in the regulation of trade, indirect and eventual encouragement is given to manufactures, therefore Congress have power to give money in direct bounties, or to grant it in any other way that would answer the same purpose. But surely, sir, there is a great and obvious difference, which it cannot be necessary to enlarge upon. A duty laid on imported implements of husbandry would, in its operation, be an indirect tax on exported produce; but will any one say that, by virtue of a mere power to lay duties on imports, Congress might go directly to the produce or implements of agriculture, or to the articles exported? It is true, duties on exports are expressly prohibited; but if there were no article forbidding them, a power directly to tax exports could never be deduced from a power to tax imports, although such a power might indirectly and incidentally affect exports.
    In short, sir, without going farther into the subject. Which I should not have here touched at all but for the reasons already mentioned, I venture to declare it as my opinion, that, were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited government established by the people of America; and what inferences might be drawn, or what consequences ensue, from such a step, it is incumbent on us all to consider.

    How far have succeeding generations, and this generation in particular, departed from the core principles of America’s founding? So far that our corrupt oath-breaking politicians scoff at any who dare raise a mere question that might suggest any limitation on the scope of their personal power. Madison, along with the entire founding generation, would be appalled. We now have a lawless government that totally ignores the clear purposes of our Constitution and seeks to control every single aspect of our lives.

    Perhaps if “We the People” could find the will and the strength to force our politicians back within their proper jurisdiction, these "public servants" could then find the time to do their real job, which according to the cornerstone of the organic law of the United States, the Declaration of Independence, is to secure the God-given and unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to all.

    Perhaps they could then find a way to fulfill their duty, sworn before God, to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution, which states as its ultimate purpose: “to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”

    "With respect to the words general welfare, I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators."
    -- James Madison
    "In questions of power then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."

    -- Thomas Jefferson

     

    Tom Hoefling is the chairman and founder of America's Party .

    Posted 2009-11-05 7:40 AM (#27315) By: EternalVigilance


    Also posted HERE.
    Posted 2009-11-05 7:58 AM (#27317 - in reply to #27315) By: EternalVigilance


    Posted 2009-11-05 9:41 AM (#27333 - in reply to #27315) By: EternalVigilance


    Every American should read the James Madison speech.
    Posted 2009-11-05 1:26 PM (#27352 - in reply to #27315) By: Siena


    Celebrating James Madison

    Posted by John Samples

    I think Madison would also be surprised by how far the executive has taken on the prerogatives of an English king, in fact if not in law. Like many republicans of the founding era, he worried that the legislature would dominate the executive. We live in a time where Congress happily delegates its power to the executive branch and awaits the executive's budget agenda.

    Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds are added to those of subduing the force of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes and the opportunities of fraud growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals engendered by both. No nation could reserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare. -- James Madison 1795

    Read more at CATO Institute


    Not sure if Madison was thinking all powers to the executive would create in the minds of men these things. But Tom Hoefling has it right;

    It may shock some these days to know that our American form of republican government was founded in a belief that men are intrinsically wicked power-mongers, but it’s true. “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” Lord Acton famously said a century after our nation’s founding, but the men who framed the American republic already understood this truism well. This knowledge was rooted in their understanding of the Bible, of history, and of fallen human nature.


    Posted 2011-03-16 12:46 PM (#50874 - in reply to #27315) By: gcsteven


    Back to the top.
    Posted 2012-01-29 6:44 AM (#60298 - in reply to #50874) By: EternalVigilance

    Search this forum
    Printer friendly version
    E-mail a link to this thread

    Latest Posts From All Affiliates
    John Kerry -- long-time enemy of America - TomK--V-USA (0 replies)

    Resist tyranny -- it CAN be done! - TomK--V-USA (0 replies)

    Once Upon a Town - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    God's words to His people who are called by His name in Israel and in America - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    An insightful column by Evan Sayet - TomK--V-USA (0 replies)

    Prodigal Nation - Part 1 [Peter Marshall] - gcsteven (6 replies)

    Well... they ASKED for it - TomK--V-USA (0 replies)

    The Sower knows, "The SEED of LIFE." - gcsteven (5 replies)

    It is simply not enough for Christians to change the laws; people’s hearts must be changed. - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Understanding Involves Responsibility - DAVID JEFFERS - gcsteven (1 replies)

    Whose responsibility is the health care of illegal immigrants? - gcsteven (1 replies)

    If you control the language... - TomK--V-USA (0 replies)

    New Political Party takes stand on social issues! - EternalVigilance (0 replies)

    Same-sex marriage fight is a lie, sez lesbian activist. Real goal: abolish marriage - Philomena (1 replies)

    The 28 fundamental beliefs of the Founding Fathers - Philomena (1 replies)

    The U.S. Constitution: Original Intent or a Living Document? - Philomena (3 replies)

    A succinct reply to the ISIS leader - TomK--V-USA (0 replies)

    The *real* problem at the VA is... - TomK--V-USA (0 replies)

    Huckabee's Speech Against Judicial Supremacy - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    A Miracle For Justina - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Jesus, Yours will be the only Name that matters to me - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Franklin Ed Shoemaker, America's Party candidate for Florida House, District 40 - Gregory (1 replies)

    This Nation's greatest Political and Economic 'Deficit'. - gcsteven (17 replies)

    Email to Massachusetts Governor Patrick On Behalf of Justina Pelletier and Her Family - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    The Scientific and Prophetic Accuracy of the Bible - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    History Repeats Itself - God Warned Israel, Now America - Deuteronomy 8 and 32 - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Significance Of This Primary Campaign To All Who With Tom Hoefling Love Our Lord Jesus Christ - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Is this a Judge? - forJustice (0 replies)

    Message from Tom Hoefling - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Message to Tom Hoefling and Franklin Ed Shoemaker - 1 John 5:4 - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Already Gone - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Global Warming: A Scientific and Biblical Expose of Climate Change - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    1854 US Congress And 1892 US Supreme Court Declared Our Nation And Its Founders To Be Christian - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Who DARES to limit God?? - TomK--V-USA (0 replies)

    What did you ask for on your 16th birthday? Hear what Justina asked for. - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Political Candidates For The Upcoming Elections Consider Your Ways - Proverbs 21 - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Uninstall Firefox - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Birth Patrol the New Sentry - Bishop Sheen, 1960 - gcsteven (2 replies)

    Christ Is Enough - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Yes, sadly, you DID read correctly - TomK--V-USA (0 replies)

    Judie Brown: The Problems Created by Pro-Lifers - Philomena (4 replies)

    This Week with True the Vote - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    A Battlecry (Psalm 119) - It is time for You to act, O LORD, for they have regarded Your law as void - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    STOP COMMON CORE IN NY - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    G. K. Chesterton: It’s Not Gay, and It’s Not Marriage - gcsteven (2 replies)

    Marijuana 'edibles' pack a wallop - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    LIVE FEED: Pro-LIFE Witness with Arrests at Notre Dame - Philomena (53 replies)

    South Dakota Gubernatorial Candidate Lora Hubbel's HCR1001 Floor Speech (how SB38 leads to abortion) - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    This Week with True the Vote - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Will a popular TV drama series DESTROY itself by...? - TomK--V-USA (1 replies)

    Supreme Court Upholds Prayer At Government Meetings - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Reminder -- V-USA is on Facebook and Twitter - TomK--V-USA (1 replies)

    UH-OH, is Hillary 'testing the waters' for 2016 run? - TomK--V-USA (0 replies)

    Are We in a “Post Christian” Era? - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Update and National Day Of Prayer Call for Justina - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Legislative Updates & Smart Voting News for April 29, 2014 - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    The Bible Is a Textbook of Science - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Justice, just a word? - gcsteven (3 replies)

    No conflict between science and our Creator, Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Aborted babies burned to make electricity - Philomena (1 replies)

    The Right Tool for the Job - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Legislative Updates & Smart Voting News for April 22, 2014 - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    Let us raise a standard to be strong: Part V, Fulton J. Sheen - gcsteven (3 replies)

    Tom Hoefling at Iowa GOP Lincoln Dinner 04.11.2014 - gcsteven (0 replies)

    THE SHORT VERSION -- why America's Party is so much better than the Republican Party - TomK--V-USA (0 replies)

    Legislative Updates & Smart Voting News for April 8, 2014 - SavedByGrace (0 replies)

    RECLAIMING WASHINGTON'S CHRISTIAN HERITAGE - SavedByGrace (0 replies)