It’s Constitution Day and the knowledge that this incredible document which transformed not just a continent but a sizable portion of the world has been getting shredded decade after decade for over 100 years is – to say the least – disheartening.
While it’s not a lot of fun to be a realist – I’d much prefer to wave some magic wand and have all the anti-Federalist interpretations of the Constitution instantly disappear – that’s the mindset I’m stuck with so the question becomes what can we do about it.
There’s so much talk about term limits being the answer because they would do what we don’t do: turn out the bums. So, I’ll ask you: what makes you think that a higher turnover would produce better representatives? What makes you think that elected officials who get rich over 20 years of “public service” won’t just try and accumulate the same amount of money in a much shorter time?
That doesn’t seem to hold much hope. Personally, I don’t care whether the same old face steals my freedom or a series of new faces do it. Either way my freedom’s gone and my grandchildren are indebted.
Perhaps we ought to concern ourselves with who we elect in the first place and then we can move on to how long they ought to feed at the public trough. Let’s ask every candidate for every office at every level of government to read and sign the following.
The Candidate’ Pledge
I have read the Constitution of the United States and all the amendments thereto.
I believe in the Federalist system established by the Constitution, understand the 17 enumerated powers granted to the Federal Government and that all other powers not explicitly granted remain with the States and with the people thereof.
I understand that the provision “providing for the general welfare” means all the people of the United States and should not be interpreted to allow providing something one group wants or believe they need at the expense in money, property or freedom of any other group or the population at large.
I recognize that no government, at any level, has anything to “give” to the citizens that it did not first take from the citizens.
I agree that the “Commerce Clause” of the Constitution was intended to prevent one state from interfering, taxing or otherwise inhibiting the free flow of goods and services from other states and that it was not intended to allow the Federal Government to control every aspect of its citizen’s lives because it involved goods or services moved between states.
I fully recognize and agree that I am an employee at will of the citizens of the jurisdiction that elected me and that my failure to perform my oath of office to the best of my abilities, without regard for my personal enrichment and glorification, are sufficient reason for them to terminate my employment.
* * *
There’s more, I’m sure, that could be added but it’s a start. I thought about a pledge to consult the writings of the Founding Fathers to understand why each provision of the Constitution exists and was written as it was. But, how much reading can we really expect them to do. Well, the bills they’re voting on would be nice, I guess.
Now it’s up to us – you and I – to take this to every candidate in your township, city, county, Congressional district, state, et al and get them to sign it. Those that will deserve, at least initially, your support. Those that won’t…
It took 100 years of progressive politics to get us to this point. If it takes 20, 50 or even another 100 to roll it back then we might as well get started.