Lately I have been reading a book I borrowed from my public library written by W. Cleon Skousen, This is the author of a recent bestseller, The 5,000 Year Leap. The book I am reading is The Making of America (888 pages). I have only read 202 pages, but I am moved to write before I finish.
Politicians, especially conservative ones, will utter a phrase about the founding of our Nation being based on Judeo-Christian values, and trolls will rise up to try to claim that this is false. The Founding Fathers were very knowledgable of books written through the ages. I confess my ignorance in thinking that Judeo-Christian values were only a reference to scripture and verse from the Torah and Holy Bible, and now I know it actually went to detailed political structure and process.
The Founders knew that ninety-nine percent of the human race has had to live out their lives under tyranny. The author listed twelve characteristics of tyranny.
1.Government power is exercised by compulsion, force, conquest, or legislative usurpation.
2. Therefore all power is concentrated in the ruler.
3. The people are treated as “subjects” of the ruler.
4.The land is treated as the “realm” of the ruler.
5. The people have no unalienable rights.
6. Government is by the rule of man rather than the rule of law.
7. The people are structured in social and economic classes.
8. The thrust of government is always from the ruler down, not from the people upward.
9. Problems are always solved by issuing new edicts, creating more bureaus, appointing more administrators, and charging the people more taxes to pay for these “services.” Under this system, taxes and government regulations are always oppressive.
10. Freedom is not considered a solution to anything.
11. The transfer of power from one ruler to another is often by violence - the dagger, the poison cup, or fratricidal civil war.
12. Those in power revel in luxury while the lot of the common people is one of perpetual poverty, excessive taxation, stringent regulations, and a continuous existence of misery.
Jefferson found that ancient Israel was the first nation in history to have a system of representative government According to chronologists, the Israelites came out of Egypt between 1490 and 1290 BC. These freed slaves were led by Moses to the lower part of the Sinai Peninsula along the Horeb range. Moses’s father-in-law, Jethro, visited him there and was astonished to see Moses trying to handle the problems of all these people alone.
Jethro talked to him and gave him some advice for dividing up the administrative tasks and having people elect people to assist in handling the people’s problems, and this advice led to an efficient and practical government. The more than three million in 600,000 families were combined into groups of ten families to each elect a leader. This first step alone gives Moses 60,000 newly elected leaders to assist him. These new groups were combined in groups of fifty families to each elect a leader, and this move gave Moses 12,000 additional assistants. These new groups were combined in groups of one hundred families to each elect a leader, and this move gave Moses 6,000 additional assistants. These new groups were combined in groups of one thousand families to each elect a leader, and this move gave Moses 600 additional assistants. Instead of trying to rule over people alone, Moses suddenly found himself with 78,600 elected leaders to help him administer the affairs of the people.
In addition to the administrative structure records indicate that “elders” from the people met at various intervals as a type of house of representatives. There was also a permanent council of seventy chosen men who acted very much like a senate. Moses, himself had the benefit of two immediate assistants as a type of vice-president. Aaron had charge of internal affairs and Joshua was in charge of the military and defense related matters.
These Founding Fathers had been reared and trained under the canopy of English law and British culture, yet they rejected much of the government structure of the mother country. The author lists eleven parts of their mother country that they rejected.
1. They rejected the entire concept of a monarchy.
2. They rejected the idea of a prime minister selected from the members of Parliament.
3. They rejected the idea of a cabinet selected from among the members of Parliament.
4. They rejected the idea of the members of Parliament serving as the executive administrators of the government in a cabinet.
5. They rejected the idea of parliamentary supremacy in favor of constitutional supremacy.
6. They rejected the British idea of a “living constitution.”
7. They rejected the idea of an upper House of Lords occupied by a body of lifetime aristocrats.
8. They rejected the idea of a unitary republic with all power in the central government.
9. They rejected the idea of the national government having the power to nullify the laws of the local governments.
10. They rejected the power of the executive to dissolve the legislature.
11. They rejected the British coinage system for a decimal system.
The maintenance of the vertical separation of powers between the ward, the city, the county, the state, and the President is a key factor in the successful continuation of this great republic based on constitutional supremacy. Thomas Jefferson made a very wise and prescient observation.
When all government, domestic and foreign, in little and in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.
Cross-posted at The Minority Report