Saturday, May 18, 2019

Central California Valley, Ten Years Later, Water is still off ... over a small fish

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

Paul Rodriguez fought the fight, still fights the fight, but the most fertile valley in the world has become a dust bowl.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Constitution Radio: Silver and Gold

● Article I. Section 8., Congress shall have the power to coin money, regulate the value thereof.
● Article I. Section 10., No State shall coin money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts.

Alan Meyers joins us to ask why those two clauses are worded as they are, and how far from the Constitution we've strayed regarding each.

Constitution Radio with Douglas V. Gibbs, Saturdays 1:00 pm, KMET 1490-AM

Tyrants in Training

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

The eye-popping truth is that all public colleges and universities, and a heavy dose of the private ones, are very liberal.  The leftist lean has been there for more than a hundred years, but lately it's gotten so bad that it is downright dangerous for a conservative to attend one of these institutions.  The problem is, if one wants a college education, you either better be able to afford a private Christian college or conservative leaning institution like Hillsdale, or go without college at all.

The ideological and political imbalance is continuing to widen.  A new study of 8,688 tenure-track professors at 51 of the 66 top-ranked liberal arts colleges in the U.S. published by the National Association of Scholars found that the ratio of faculty members registered as Democrats compared to those registered Republican is now a stunning 10.4 to 1. If two military colleges that are technically described as "liberal arts colleges" are removed from the calculations, the ratio is 12.7 to 1.

The researcher, Mitchell Langbert, Associate Professor of Business at Brooklyn College, found that nearly 40% of the colleges in the study had zero faculty members who were registered Republican. Not a single one. Nearly 80% of the 51 colleges had so few Republican faculty members that they were statistically insignificant.

How many times have you heard the story that a child raised in a conservative Christian home came back from college a left-wing atheist homosexual?  I can't count the times I've experienced that story.  And it's getting downright dangerous to be a student at these colleges (much less a citizen in their line of fire after they receive their degree).  

Kaitlin Bennett, a Kent State graduate and conservative who is willing to reveal how bad it has truly gotten, first went to George Mason University and had the students signing petitions supporting post-birth abortion (yes, folks, these kids were okay with murdering babies after birth)  Then, she went to UCLA to promote a petition that would put conservatives in concentration camps.  Guess what?  You got it, the students were lining up to sign the petition.

These kids are being indoctrinated to follow a party that is citing Attorney General Barr for contempt of Congress because he will not act illegally with the Mueller Report, they claim Trump is abusing his executive power yet Kamala Harris says that if Congress doesn't act when she's President she will unilaterally act to take 'executive action' regarding gun control, Christian bakers are being targeted, there's an ongoing war on Chick-fil-A because the owners of the national fast-food chicken franchise dare to be Christian conservatives, leftist politicians mock those praying outside Planned Parenthood facilities, and even Vice President Pence has been slammed by the lefties for daring to warn students graduating from Liberty University that their Christianity will be challenged and mocked (and for daring to utter that those attacks on Christian education are un-American).

After eight years of Obama shredding the U.S. Constitution, the Democrats claim we are in a constitutional crisis because they are not getting their way.  Social media has all but shut down any dissent against leftism in the corridors of the internet.  In the end, it's an all out onslaught against Christian conservatives, and the kids are rapidly losing their religion, and becoming violent carriers of the flag of progressivism. 

Is there a way to regain control of our schools, or are we destined to travel down a road similar to another civilization who used the Hitler Youth to retrain their children and turn the country against its traditions?

A godly revival must be on the horizon, or else a bloody collapse will take place likely within our lifetimes.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Thursday, May 16, 2019

F-16 Crashes in Riverside California

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host
The 215 freeway is backed up in both directions. I suppose you could call it a parking lot. The crash happened just before rush hour really got into full swing and so the traffic is even worse than it would have been had the crash been at a different time. The 215 freeway connects San Bernardino with Southwest Riverside County and in the heart of that region is the city of Riverside and March Air Reserve Base. An F-16, piloted by an Air Force pilot, crashed on the opposite side of the freeway from the base into
a warehouse complex. Emergency services are on the scene, and all reports show that there have been no injuries and that the pilot is all right. I was supposed to go to the Republican Party Central Committee Meeting tonight in Riverside, but I had another meeting in Temecula (Friends of the Ronald Reagan Sports Park) as well, and chose the Temecula meeting, which turned out to be fortunate because had I have gone towards Riverside tonight I would be sitting in the 215 parking lot.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Pizza and Constitution

Reminder, Wednesday Night ...

4:00 pm - Constitution Association Weekly Strategy Meeting
6:00 pm - Temecula Constitution Class (Legislative Authorities)

GOP HQ, 28120 Jefferson Ave., Temecula, CA

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Temecula City Hall Aftermath

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

On April 23 the City of Temecula entertained a proposed resolution that would proclaim the city a constitutional city.  In the same proposal it took a shot at socialism, and a group of socialist-minded locals descended upon the city council meeting to encourage the council to shoot down their own proposal . . . and in response, Temecula shelved it.

Tonight, though Resolution 19 was not on the agenda, during public comments we hammered out the issue.  Twenty-four commenters, mostly in favor of the resolution and protecting the Constitution, spoke.

The meeting for patriots, I believe, was a rousing success.

I addressed the left's argument that the Constitution has nothing to do with what our economic system.  I pointed out that the Constitution was written purposely to protect us from socialism. While the word "socialism" was not in use yet, the Framers were fully aware of what the economic system is all about.  They called it utopianism, communitarianism, or communalism.  The redistribution of wealth was called "schemes of leveling," and was declared by Samuel Adams to be both "despotic and unconstitutional."

There are no authorities allowing the federal government to control or own the means of production, and in Article 4, Section 4 it states that each State must be guaranteed a republican form of government - which - if you read Madison's Notes and the ratification conventions - includes a lassiez faire economic system which is (are you sitting?) a free market system.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Steven Crowder Slams Transgender Propaganda

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

No Corona Constitution Class, Temecula City Council Instead

Normally on Tuesday Nights I am in Corona teaching a Constitution Class to a group of adults at the CARSTAR/AllStar Collision location on Railroad Street.  However, this week's class is cancelled so that I may attend tonight's Temecula City Council Meeting.  A few weeks ago, April 23, a proposal to categorize Temecula as a constitutional city, and to establish socialism as an enemy to the American System, was shot down and shelved after a roomful of socialists talked fear into the hearts of the city council members.  On May 14 a number of patriotic Americans will be at the city council meeting to defend the Constitution, and the proposal.  I plan to be there.  I hope to see you there, as well.

God Bless,


The Great Vietnam Lie

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

I grew up during the tail-end of the Vietnam War.  My step-dad fought in Vietnam as a member of the United States Marine Corps.  When I gave my dad a signed copy of the book "A Love Beyond Explaining," in which the author, Jason Robertson, signed it "Welcome Home," my dad did something I rarely see.  He welled up in tears.  The Vietnam Veterans, after all, were never told "welcome home," and instead were called "baby killers," and they were told that America did not support them, nor their sacrifice in a war that was billed as being one that was intended to stop a domino effect spread of communism in southeast Asia.

My dad is not rare among the Vietnam Veterans.  They feel like they were the only ones not to get a welcome home like they should have, like the World War vets received.

Except, it's all a lie ... a carefully orchestrated lie by the media of then (and now).

Americans overwhelmingly supported the war, and our troops, and in fact a welcome home parade of immense proportions took place in New York City in 1973.  The left, however, refused to report on it, and instead reported on a small group of protesters.

The Vietnam Veterans were lied to, and cheated, and the witness to all of that is a journalist named Charles Wiley.

Learn more at

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Monday, May 13, 2019

Protected Classes and the 14th Amendment: Video

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Video: Contempt of Congress? Constitutional Crisis?

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

The Democrats wouldn't know a constitutional crisis if it bit them in the ...

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Iranian Threat Nothing New

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

When I entered the United States Navy, the first vessel I was stationed on was the USS Chandler, DDG-996.  The guided missile destroyer was a part of a unique quartet of ships.  I arrived on the vessel in January of 1985.  It had been commissioned in 1982.  It was a part of the Kidd Class.  The ships in the class were the USS Kidd, the USS Scott, the USS Callahan, and the USS Chandler.

The four ships were originally ordered by the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, for his Iranian Imperial Navy.  However, they were never delivered.  The Spruance hulls remained in the United States when, prior to delivery, the Islamic Revolution engulfed the country of Iran, which resulted in the removal of the Shah from power, and the establishment of a Muslim totalitarian theocracy with the Ayatollah Khomeini grabbing the reins of control.

During the revolution the Hostage Crisis also emerged. The Iran hostage crisis lasted 444 days, during which fifty-two Americans were held hostage.  It began November 4, 1979, and lasted to inauguration day for Ronald Reagan on January 20, 1981.  The hostages were held by a group of Iranian college students who supported the Iranian Revolution.  They took over the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, where they held the hostages.

The United States then took the destroyers and converted them to guided missile destroyers, packing them with the most advanced weaponry of the time.  Then, after jacking these ships up with powerful weaponry, the West Coast ships, Callahan and Chandler, became regular visitors to the Persian Gulf.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has been a challenge ever since.  Now, they've become so hostile that the United States, under Trump, has recently made preparations against a possible Iranian attack.

Among those missiles is the Patriot system, which has been deployed in the area before, mostly for the purpose of protecting Israel from her dangerous Islamic neighbors.

Are we on the verge of war?  Could the decades of tension caused by Iran be coming to a head?

The next few weeks may reveal the answer.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Constitution Radio: Clara versus the Deep State Cult

Imagine for just a moment a church using Child Protective Services to take your child from you, issuing a restraining order against you, and then suddenly your life goes into shambles as the deep state joins the church to ruin your life.

Clara, today, will tell you her story.

Constitution Radio with Douglas V. Gibbs
Saturdays at 1:00 pm

Podcast page is HERE.

Doug has written seven books . . .

A Promise of American Liberty

Everything you need to know about the Constitution, the Founding of this Country, and the principles of Americanism are in this textbook style tome of more than 500 pages.  This is the most comprehensive study of the American Government by a conservative on sale today.  This is a resource you will return to again and again, complete with lessons, four glossaries, and an index. Based on the curriculum Doug uses to teach government to homeschool students, this book is a must have for anyone who claims to adore the U.S. Constitution.

7 Worst Constitutional Liars

The Journey from Alexander Hamilton to Barack Obama, which is also the journey from a Constitutional Republic to a Liberal Democracy.  This book, however, has a surprise ending.  Who is the historical figure who is listed in the post script?

5 Solutions to Save America

In the U.S. Constitution the Founding Fathers gave us five tools to save our republic, and restore the supreme law of the land.  One involves revolution, and another involves education.  The remaining may seem even more unlikely as the first two . . . but, somewhere in our system is the proper tool on our tool belt to Save America.

Concepts of the United States Constitution

After reading Doug's first two books, 25 Myths of the U.S. Constitution, and The Basic Constitution, readers asked him to go deeper into certain concepts associated with the U.S. Constitution.  Concepts of the United States Constitution is that Constitution Series of Books companion.

Silenced Screams: Abortion in a Virtuous SocietyIn 1967 a young woman, alone in a small motel room, clung to life because of the sweet baby boy in her life...  This book is Doug's labor of love.  Our rights are God-given; is it possible for abortion to be a right?  Satan's greatest trick has been to convince an entire civilization that he doesn't exist.  His second greatest trick has been to convince civilization that killing their own children is not evil.

The Basic Constitution: An Examination of the Principles and Philosophies of the United States Constitution: The Basic Constitution takes a detailed journey through the text of the document that created the American System of Government.  The United States Constitution has proven to be the context of American conservatism, and the blueprint for American Exceptionalism.  During the Summer of 1787, a brilliant assembly of American Patriots created the Constitution of the United States. The Basic Constitution examines the details of the text from that document.  The book includes a glossary of terms, index, bibliography listing the resources used, The Declaration of Independence, and The Constitution of the United States.

25 Myths of the United States Constitution: If the United States Constitution is the Owner's Manual for America, 25 Myths is its Repair Manual.  25 Myths of the United States Constitution exposes myths regarding the U.S. Constitution that have emerged over time, designed to compromise, and ultimately dismantle, the American System of Liberty.  25 Myths presents a defense against the assault on the U.S. Constitution based on the original intent of the Founding Fathers as revealed by the debates during the Constitutional Convention, and the writings of the men of that era.

Socialist Con-Artists

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

A couple weeks ago the City of Temecula proposed becoming a constitutional city, and then after a bunch of socialists showed up with their scare tactics and misleading arguments, the council-critters (except the mayor) curled up in the corner and shelved the proposal with fear in their eyes.

Shortly after it happened I jotted down a quick post about it: Temecula Idiots Fold on Constitution

One of the angry comments by a person named Liam O'Mara is as follows:

This post is straight-up gibberish. I sincerely hope that you are there if this comes back up, because you might learn something. You seem to have no idea how "socialism", "communism", "Marxism", or "republic" are even defined, and your conflation of Democratic policy priorities with socialism and Marxism is laughably absurd. Socialism is an economic model; republicanism is a governance model -- they are entirely distinct. There have been quite a number of socialist republics already, and there has never been any incompatibility, either in practice or in theory. Socialism also does not require a strong state, or one that takes any of your liberties. In fact, a large number of schools of socialism are explicitly anti-authoritarian and anti-statist. What socialism opposes is concentration of economic power in the hands of a few. Technically speaking, capitalism requires a strong state, and socialism can exist with no state at all! None of this is especially relevant to the inane proposal in Temecula, however, since there is no push anywhere in the US by the Democratic party to embrace socialist, Marxist, or communist principles, aside from the extremely loose sense used by the poster above. (None of that stuff is actually socialist in any way, but I can see why it is mixed up with socialism by many people.) If you would like to understand how this stuff works, feel free to reach out to me -- I'll happily appear on your radio show to clarify it for you (given I am a professor of the history of ideas).

To respond I wish to do so in parts.

The comment begins, "This post is straight-up gibberish."  A common kind of start that tries to establish dominance out the gate.  By calling the post "gibberish" the commenter is establishing immediately that the post is crap, and therefore is not worth your time to read.  "Gibberish" is a word used with the hopes of silencing the voice of the writer by telling the readers it is not worth reading in the first place.

"I sincerely hope that you are there if this comes back up, because you might learn something."  This line now attacks the writer directly, essentially calling me stupid or ignorant.  They don't know me, and they are basing their opinion on the fact that I disagree with them.  It's an attempt to ridicule me into silence, a common Saul Alinsky tactic.

"You seem to have no idea how "socialism", "communism", "Marxism", or "republic" are even defined."  If you read the post, I didn't define socialism, communism, Marxism or republic other than to point out that socialism is control of the means of production (which is a more accurate definition than the one you provided, Mr. O'Mara, while standing at the podium at the Temecula City Council meeting on April 23, 2019).  Then, I provided constitutional evidence that socialism is not legal in the United States.  At the federal level there are no authorities granted to the government to control or own the means of production, and at the State level the States are required to maintain a "republican form of government."  From the founders' point of view, a republican form of government was one based on, among other things, a laissez faire style of economic system.

"your conflation of Democratic policy priorities with socialism and Marxism is laughably absurd."  This is a false statement largely because I never said anything about democratic policy priorities.  While this country may use some democratic processes, we are not a democracy, we are a republic, so I tend not to use the word "democratic" or "democracy" very often.  If you are referring to my claim that the Constitution provides no authority for socialism, your denial of that fact is what is laughably absurd.

"Socialism is an economic model; republicanism is a governance model."  True point, but from the Founding Fathers' point of view, the use of the word republic for their purposes was one that also went with the free market system they established, which is why the federal government has no authority to control the means of production in any way, and the States are expected to follow suit.  In fact, as I stated in the post, if the States do not, the federal government is required to "guarantee" that each State maintains a republican form of government.  The word republic has been hijacked in the modern day lexicon, so from the commenter's point of view, it could mean a number of things.  But from my point of view, which is in line with the original intent of the U.S. Constitution, a republic is a system of governance established by the Constitution, and it is expected to operate in a manner consistent with constitutional authorities, and as stated earlier, socialism is illegal in the United States based on a lack of authorities granted, and the demand that the States maintain a republican form of government.

"There have been quite a number of socialist republics already, and there has never been any incompatibility, either in practice or in theory."  Again, just because socialist states have called themselves a republic does not make them the kind of republic that the Framers of the U.S. Constitution were referring to.  The use of the word "republic" by socialist states is a play on words.  I can call the pile of crap in my yard a twinkie all I wish, but that doesn't truly mean that it is.

"Socialism also does not require a strong state, or one that takes any of your liberties. In fact, a large number of schools of socialism are explicitly anti-authoritarian and anti-statist."  Socialism does require a strong state, once the people realize what they have bought into.  As the socialist state progresses, more and more rules are added to keep the people in line, until eventually and inevitably resorting to authoritarianism.  While socialists may wish to be anti-authoritarian and anti-statist, the reality is that the natural state of humans is to have possessions, and the ability to improve their place in the world in a competitive marketplace.  Therefore, once the reality of what socialism truly is sets in, some members of society begin to flex their desires for possessions and an incentive-based system of profit and upward mobility, which then triggers the necessity of authoritarianism to keep them from rising out of a state of communal equity.  The problem also accompanies the wiping away of a moral standard.  Socialism tends to be anti-religion because people are not willing to depend on government when they believe their lives are in God's hands.  But as religion is slowly stripped away, so is our moral compass, which also eventually leads to an authoritarian system.  Benjamin Franklin said it best.  "Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.  As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."

"What socialism opposes is concentration of economic power in the hands of a few."  In a free market system the economic power exists in the hands of all.  During one's individual journey, some persons become economically stronger than others, and through natural market forces those positions of economic strength are constantly changing hands.  It is natural for some to achieve more than others, and that is okay.  The fact is, anyone may become a large economic power, in a free market system, but by forcing all economic players to be the same, it kills incentive driven individual innovation, which in the end stifles growth and in the long run kills the economy altogether.  Also, while one may complain about large economic powers, it is those same economic powers who fuel the economic engine, creates innovation, and provides jobs for those who have not taken the same kind of entrepreneurial course.  Unlike the socialist who wrote the comment, I don't hate the wealthy and powerful, but instead I would like to someday work my way up to their ranks.  I may reach that level of economic success, or I may not, but at least in a free market system I have the allowance to make a stab at it.

"Technically speaking, capitalism requires a strong state, and socialism can exist with no state at all!"  Not true at all.  The whole concept of capitalism is laissez faire; or, allowing things to take their own course with as little governmental influence as possible.  While the pipe dream of socialism is communalism, the very nature of socialism stands against human nature and therefore it ultimately seeks to force people from seeking upward mobility in their economic system.  To achieve keeping everyone in line, a strong state must be in place to enforce its brand of communitarianism.

"None of this is especially relevant to the inane proposal in Temecula, however, since there is no push anywhere in the US by the Democratic party to embrace socialist, Marxist, or communist principles, aside from the extremely loose sense used by the poster above."  If this statement were true, then why did the socialists come out in droves to Temecula's city council meeting on the issue?  And the statement about the Democrat Party is wildly inaccurate.  The very basis of their platform is a charge in a socialist direction.  Among the leading candidates for president is a self-proclaimed socialist, Bernie Sanders.  Characters like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez openly cry out for socialism.  The reality is, the rest of the democrats scream socialism by another name, and then claim they are not pushing it.  It's very deceptive to say the least.  The Democrat Party is all about socialism, and in the case of Temecula's proposal, socialism is not compatible with the U.S. Constitution, so if Temecula wishes to be a constitutional city, the natural result is that they will have to recognize socialism as being incompatible with the American System.

Mr. O'Mara, you are welcome on my radio program any time.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Constitution Study Television: Vested

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Friday, May 10, 2019

Rotten Apples

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host
There is an old saying, "One rotten apple spoils the bunch."  This comes from a time when apples were stored in barrels, and surely if only one was rotten, it wouldn't be long before the entire barrel was rotten to the core and needed to be thrown out.

The same thing happens in politics.  Once a rotten politician enters the room, it ruins the bunch.  However, the difference between apples and politicians is that if exposed to rot, a politician can be turned around and become less rotten.

Lyndsey Graham is a great example.

As long as John McCain was around, and the two were hanging out together, Graham was nearly as rotten as ol' no name.  Once the former POW met his demise, something miraculous happened to Lyndsey.  He suddenly began to move towards conservatism, he began to make a little sense when he spoke, he suddenly became a champion for our president, and he grew a pair in the department of testicular fortitude.

Is it possible that deep down the rotten apple had a golden core?

McCain was hardly a republican, and to be honest, I always thought the maverick rode in the wrong party.  Sometimes, I thought the same of Graham, as well.

It's amazing that while in politics one rotten apple can ruin the bunch, a departure of that rotten apple can actually have a healing effect that not only chases away rot, but can actually polish an apple bright red.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Corona Constitution Class: Incorporation Doctrine

Tuesday Night at 6:00 pm at AllStar/CARSTAR Collision (522 Railroad St., Corona, CA) 

Constitution Class Handout
Instructor: Douglas V. Gibbs
Lesson 18
The Civil War Amendments 13, 14, and 15
The End of Slavery
Prior to the Civil War, any federal legislation related to slavery dealt with the importation of slaves. Aspects of slavery inside State lines were considered a State issue.
Article I, Section 9, Clause 1 abolished the Atlantic slave trade, and the United States Government intervened militarily to ensure the law prohibiting the importation of slaves was enforced. The Framers of the Constitution believed that in order to ensure the southern States did their part in ratifying the Constitution, while remaining consistent with the concept of the federal government only having authority over external issues, and disputes between the States, they could not abolish slavery nationally through the articles presented by the Constitution. A large number of delegates at the federal convention in 1787 desired the immediate abolition of slavery, but the fear was that the southern States would not only refuse to ratify the Constitution, but that they would refuse to remain a part of the union, eventually succumbing to attacks from Florida and absorbed into the Spanish Empire.
A proposed amendment to abolish slavery during the American Civil War finally passed the Senate on April 8, 1864, by a vote of 38 to 6, but the House did not approve it.
When the proposed amendment was reintroduced by Representative Ashley, President Lincoln took an active role in working for its passage through the House by ensuring the amendment was added to the Republican Party platform for the upcoming Presidential elections. Lincoln's efforts, combined with the result of the War Between the States, ensured the House passed the bill on January 31, 1865, by a vote of 119 to 56.
The 13th Amendment was ratified into law on December 6, 1865.
Atlantic Slave Trade - Started by the Portuguese, but soon dominated by the English, the Atlantic Slave Trade was the sale and exploitation of African slaves by Europeans that occurred in and around the Atlantic Ocean from the 15th century to the 19th century.
War Between the States - The Civil War was fought from 1861 to 1865 after Seven Southern slave States seceded from the United States, forming the Confederate States of America. The "Confederacy" grew to include eleven States. The war was fought between the States that did not declare secession, known as the "Union" or the "North", and the Confederate States. The war found its origin in the concept of State's Rights, but became largely regarding the issue of slavery after President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Emancipation Proclamation. Over 600,000 Union and Confederate soldiers died, and much of the South's infrastructure was destroyed. After the War, Amendments 13, 14, and 15 were proposed and ratified to abolish slavery in the United States, and to begin the process of protecting the civil rights of the freed slaves.
Questions for Discussion:
1. Why wasn't slavery abolished at the founding of this nation?
2. Why did the House of Representatives not originally approve this amendment?
3. How has the abolition of slavery affected this nation since the ratification of the 13th Amendment?
Congressional Proposals and Senate Passage Harper Weekly. The
Creation of the 13th Amendment. Retrieved Feb. 15, 2007
Joseph Andrews, A Guide for Learning and Teaching The Declaration of
Independence and The U.S. Constitution - Learning from the Original Texts Using Classical Learning Methods of the Founders; San Marcos: The Center for Teaching the Constitution (2010).
Citizenship, Civil Rights, and Apportionment
            Citizenship Clause
The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution failed in 1866 after the southern States rejected the proposed amendment. After a second attempt to ratify the amendment, it was adopted on July 9, 1868. The ratification of the 14th Amendment occurred after the federal government began to govern the South through a system of military districts. Some historians question the validity of the ratification of the 14th Amendment because it is believed by these historians that the southern States ratified the amendment under duress, and pressure applied by the northern governorships in each of the southern States during the early part of the Reconstruction Period.
The first clause of the 14th Amendment is known as "The Citizenship Clause." The clause was intended to ensure the children of the emancipated slaves, as well as the newly freed slaves, would be considered citizens without any room for argument. The clause reads:
"All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."
This clause has been misinterpreted to mean all persons born in the United States are automatically citizens, which is not the case. The defining term in this clause that enables the reader to recognize that citizenship needs more than just being born on American soil reads: "subject to the jurisdiction, thereof."
To understand the term jurisdiction, one may go to the debates on the congressional record of the 14th Amendment. In those debates, and in articles of that time period written to explain the intent of the language of the amendment, one finds that "full jurisdiction" was meant to mean "full allegiance to America." The intention was to protect the nation against persons with divided loyalties.
The writers of the 14th Amendment wished to follow the importance of "full loyalty" as portrayed by the Founding Fathers. As far as the founders were concerned, there could be no divided allegiances. They expected citizens to be fully American.
Despite the defeat of the Confederacy in the American Civil War, the emancipated slaves were not receiving the rights and privileges of American citizens as they should have been. The former slaves were present in the United States legally, and because they were here legally they were "subject to the jurisdiction thereof," but they were still not receiving any assurance of equal protection under the law.
The Civil Rights Act of 1866 was created in the hopes of correcting the problem. Some of the language in the Civil Rights Act of 1866 states, "All persons born in the United States, and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States. ... All persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall have the same right in every State and Territory to make and enforce contracts, to sue, be parties, give evidence, and to the full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of persons and property as is enjoyed by white citizens, and shall be subject to like punishment, pains, penalties, taxes, licenses, and exactions of every kind, and to no other."
The definition of "persons within the jurisdiction of the United States" in that act was all persons at the time of its passage, born in the United States, including all slaves and their offspring, but not having any allegiances to any foreign government.
Michigan Senator Jacob Howard, one of two principal authors of Section 1 of the 14th Amendment (Citizenship Clause), noted that its provision, "subject to the jurisdiction thereof," excluded American Indians who had tribal nationalities, and "persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers."
Senator Howard's responses to questions regarding the language he used in the Citizenship Clause were recorded in The Congressional Globe, which are the recorded transcripts of the debates over the 14th Amendment by the 139th Congress:
Mr. HOWARD: "I now move to take up House joint resolution No. 127."
The motion was agreed to; and the Senate, as in Committee of the Whole, resumed the consideration of the joint resolution (H.R. No. 127) proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
"The 1st Amendment is to section one, declaring that all persons born in the United States and Subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the States wherein they reside. I do not propose to say anything on that subject except that the question of citizenship has been fully discussed in this body as not to need any further elucidation, in my opinion. This amendment which I have offered is simply declaratory of what I regard as the law of the land already, that every person born within the limits of the United States, and subject to their jurisdiction, is by virtue of natural law and national law a citizen of the United States. This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons. It settles the great question of citizenship and removes all doubt as to what persons are or are not citizens of the United States. This has long been a great desideratum in the jurisprudence and legislation of this country."
Senator Howard even went out of his way to indicate that children born on American soil of foreign citizens are not included.
Clearly, the framers of the 14th Amendment had no intention of freely giving away American citizenship to just anyone simply because they may have been born on American soil.
The second author of the Citizenship Clause, Illinois Senator Lyman Trumbull, added that "subject to the jurisdiction of the United States" meant "not owing allegiance to anybody else."
The full quote by Senator Trumbull:
"The provision is, that 'all persons born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens.' That means 'subject to the complete jurisdiction thereof.' What do we mean by 'complete jurisdiction thereof?' Not owing allegiance to anybody else. That is what it means."
Trumbull continues, "Can you sue a Navajo Indian in court? Are they in any sense subject to the complete jurisdiction of the United States? By no means. We make treaties with them, and therefore they are not subject to our jurisdiction. If they were, we wouldn't make treaties with them...It is only those persons who come completely within our jurisdiction, who are subject to our laws, that we think of making citizens; and there can be no objection to the proposition that such persons should be citizens."
Senator Howard concurred with what Mr. Trumbull had to say:
"I concur entirely with the honorable Senator from Illinois [Trumbull], in holding that the word 'jurisdiction,' as here employed, ought to be construed so as to imply a full and complete jurisdiction on the part of the United States, whether exercised by Congress, by the executive, or by the judicial department; that is to say, the same jurisdiction in extent and quality as applies to every citizen of the United States now."
Based on these explanations by the writers of the clause, then, it is understood that the intention was for those who are not born to American citizens to have no birthright to citizenship just because they simply were born inside the borders of this country.
The courts have interpreted the Citizenship Clause to mean other things, but we must remember that the Constitution cannot be changed by the courts. Changes to the Constitution can only be made by amendment (Article V.).
It was through the progressive actions of the Lincoln administration in the American Civil War, and the actions of the courts to incorporate the Bill of Rights to the States, that America ceased to be "The United States Are," and became a more nationalistic "The United States Is."
            Privileges and Immunities Clause
The next clause, "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States," was expected to protect the newly emancipated slaves from local legislation that may treat them differently. This clause was a direct response to the Black Codes, laws passed in the States that were designed to limit the former slaves from obtaining all of the freedoms they thought they had been guaranteed.
The Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment prohibits state and local governments from depriving persons of the proper due process of law. The right to a fair trial was to be extended to all persons, including the emancipated slaves.
            Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause
The Due Process Clause, and the Equal Protection clause, have been the subject of debate since the language written by Congressman John Bingham, the principal author of the later part of Section 1 of the 14th Amendment, was first penned. Bingham believed the federal government should use all national tools available to ensure the southern States behaved as instructed. Bingham repeatedly stated his belief that the Fourteenth Amendment would enforce the Bill of Rights against the States, but the majority of the members of Congress present did not concur with his muddled and inconsistent argument.
Author Raoul Berger, in his book Government by Judiciary, discussed whether the 14th Amendment should be construed to enforce the Bill of Rights against the States. Relying on the analysis of Professor Charles Fairman in his published article, Does the Fourteenth Amendment Incorporate the Bill of Rights?, Berger concluded that Bingham was a "muddled" thinker whose views should be discounted. Berger agreed with Fairman that the framers of the 14th Amendment did not intend it to enforce the Bill of Rights against the States. Berger rejected even selective incorporation, arguing that the Amendment's framers did not intend that any of the first eight amendments should be made applicable to the States through the 14th Amendment
Antislavery activists largely supported Bingham's conclusion that that Bill of Rights must be applied to the States, and such application must be enforced by the federal government. Though the Bill of Rights was originally intended by the Founding Fathers not to apply to the States, and with less than a centuryt since the American Revolution and the writing of the Constitution behind them, Bingham's supporters contended that local jurisdiction over cases regarding an individual's rights could no longer be allowed because the southern States could not be trusted to be fair to the newly emancipated slaves.
Bingham's call for an incorporation of the Bill of Rights to the States established the concept that all people's rights are supposed to be protected by the federal government. The Founding Fathers did not apply the Bill of Rights to the States from the beginning because giving that kind of power to a potentially tyrannical federal government carries with it many pitfalls. As the quote by Gerald Ford goes, "A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have." Nonetheless, despite the dangers of a central government dictating to the States regarding their laws regarding individual rights, because of the mistreatment of the former slaves by the Southern States, the Privileges and Immunities Clause, the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause, have been commonly interpreted to mean that the Bill of Rights is applicable to the States.
Since the Incorporation of the Bill of Rights did not take hold as a result of the 14th Amendment, as the statists that supported Bingham's position had desired, the federal courts stepped in and took pursuit. Pursuing a nationalist agenda, the courts disregarded the original intent of the Framers of the Constitution, as well as the conclusions of the Congress regarding the 14th Amendment, and began to selectively incorporate the Bill of Rights to the States, beginning with the Slaughterhouse Cases just five years after the ratification of the 14th Amendment in 1868. A five to four vote by the high court interpreted the Privileges and Immunities Clause as the authority to enforce The Bill of Rights against the States. Subsequent cases also used the 14th Amendment as an authority for incorporation.
The courts, through this process of incorporating The Bill of Rights to the States, have changed the Constitution through unconstitutional means, and against original intent. As originally intended, all provisions in the U.S. Constitution apply to the federal government, unless otherwise noted. The Bill of Rights was originally intended to apply only to the federal government, and if we are to remain in line with the original intent of the Founding Fathers, State sovereignty must remain protected by that original intent.
The attitude of the southern States, and their refusal to treat the former slaves fairly led to a perceived need for clarification and enforcement by the federal government, which led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, and eventually to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.
A separate but equal doctrine existed for more than fifty years, despite numerous attempts to ensure blacks enjoyed full rights and privileges of citizenship.
In modern politics, laws continue to test the limits of the Equal Protection Clause. While the clause was intended to make sure that everyone is treated equally under the law, politicians supporting the Affordable Care Act have handed out exemptions to members of Congress, and some individuals or corporations, allowing those that receive the exemptions to be treated differently under the law.
Section 2 of the 14th Amendment altered the rules for the apportioning of Representatives in the Congress to the States. The enumeration was changed to include all residents, while also calling for a reduction of a State's apportionment if it wrongfully denies any adult male's right to vote.
For fear that the former slaves would support the Republicans, southern Democrats worked feverishly to dissuade blacks from voting. Section 2 addressed this problem by offering to the southern States the opportunity to enfranchise black voters, or lose congressional representation.
            Consequences of Insurrection
Section 3 of the 14th Amendment prohibits the election or appointment to any federal or state office of any person who had held any of certain offices and then engaged in insurrection, rebellion or treason. A two-thirds vote by each House of the Congress could override this limitation. The interest was to ban the service of any members of the Confederacy that refused to renounce their participation in the Confederacy.
            Public Debt as a Result of the War
Section 4 of the 14th Amendment confirmed the legitimacy of all United States public debt appropriated by Congress. The clause also indicated that neither the United States nor any State would pay for the loss of slaves or debts that had been incurred by the Confederacy. This clause was to ensure that all States recognized the validity of the debt appropriated by Congress as a result of the war, while bonds secured by the Confederacy in order to help finance the South's part of the war "went beyond congressional power."
Political battles over the debt ceiling in 2011 and 2013 encouraged some politicians to argue that the "validity of the public debt" clause outlawed a debt ceiling, because placing a limit on federal spending interferes with the duty of the government to pay interest on outstanding bonds and to make payments owed to pensioners (such as Social Security). The clause in the 14th Amendment addressing the validity of the public debt, however, was never intended to be a general clause to be used by future administrations, but a specific clause only addressing the debt accrued as a result of the American Civil War.
The final clause of the 14th Amendment authorizes Congress to "enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article." Federal intrusion upon the States, however, has been a long-time fear by those that support the concept of State Sovereignty. The question regarding enforcement was addressed in the Civil Rights Cases of 1883, where the opinion of the Supreme Court interpreted Section 5 of the 14th Amendment to mean that "the legislation which Congress is authorized to adopt in this behalf is not general legislation upon the rights of the citizen, but corrective legislation".
In a more recent case, City of Boerne v. Flores, 1997, the Supreme Court ruled that Congress's enforcement power according to the last clause of the 14th Amendment is limited to only enacting legislation as a response to a "congruence and proportionality" between the injury to a person's 14th Amendment rights and the means Congress adopted to prevent or remedy that injury.
Court interpretation of the Constitution can be a dangerous practice, and we must remember that any interpretation of the Constitution offered by the courts in a ruling are merely opinions. The final authority regarding the definitions of Constitutional law resides with the people, through their States. Any allowance of the courts to fully define the Constitution at the whims of the judges opens up the opportunity for the courts to change definitions for ideological purposes, resulting in a judicial oligarchy, rather than a constitutional republic driven by the consent of the governed, and the self-evident standards of Natural Law.
Black Codes - Laws put in place in the United States after the Civil War with the effect of limiting the basic human rights and civil liberties of blacks.
Constitutional Republic - Government that adheres to the rule or authority of the principles of a constitution. A representative government that operates under the rule of law.
Equal Protection Under the Law - Laws must treat an individual resident or citizen in the same manner.
Incorporation of the Bill of Rights - The process through court rulings based on the interpretation of the 14th Amendment to apply the Bill of Rights to the States.
Jurisdiction - Full loyalty, a condition in which all foreign allegiances have been released; not owing allegiance to anybody else.
Military Districts - Districts created in the seceded states (not including Tennessee, which had ratified the 14th Amendment and was readmitted to the Union), headed by a military official empowered to appoint and remove state officials.
Nationalist - An advocate of Nationalism.
Natural Law - Unchanging moral principles regarded as a basis for all human conduct; observable law relating to natural existence; birthright law.
Original Intent - Original meaning of the United States Constitution as intended by the framers during the Federal Convention of 1787, and the subsequent State Ratification Conventions.
Public Debt - National debt; the financial obligations of a national government resulting from deficit spending.
Reconstruction Period - Period following the American Civil War during which the United States government began to rebuild the States that had seceded from the Union to form the Confederacy, lasting from 1865-1877. During Reconstruction, the federal government proposed a number of plans and committed large amount of resources, to the readmittance to the union, and the rebuilding, of the defeated Confederate States.
Separate But Equal - Various laws designed to undermine the 14th Amendment requirement that former slaves be treated equally under the law, contending that the requirement of equality could be met in a manner that kept the races separate. The result of these laws was a generally accepted doctrine of segregation throughout The South.
State Sovereignty - The individual autonomy of the several states; strong local government was considered the key to freedom; a limited government is the essence of liberty.
United States are - These States that are united; a group of sovereign member States in America voluntarily united into a republic.
United States is - Nation of the United States containing a number of States similar to provinces ruled over by a centralized federal government.
Questions for Discussion:
1. How might have the governors of the military districts influenced the ratification of the 14th Amendment?
2. Does the Citizenship Clause have anything to do with Natural Born Citizenship? Why?
3. Why was Congress concerned with the threat of divided allegiance?
4. Did the 14th Amendment eliminate laws like the Black Codes, as intended?
5. How is it that despite the original intent of those that voted for the 14th Amendment that the Bill of Rights not be applied to the States most of the first ten amendments have been applied to the States anyway?
6. What pieces of legislation since the ratification of this amendment have been passed in order to ensure that the Equal Protection Clause is properly enforced?
Congressional Globe, 39th Congress (1866) pg. 2890: Senator Jacob
Howard States the Intent of the Fourteenth Amendment Published in the Congressional Record, May 30, 1866.
Civil Rights Act, The - April 9, 1866,
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of
Abraham Lincoln; New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks (2005)
Frank J. Williams, Judging Lincoln; Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press (2002)
John F. Marszalek, Sherman: A Soldier's Passion for Order; New York:
Vintage Civil War Library (1993)
Joseph Andrews, A Guide for Learning and Teaching The Declaration of
Independence and The U.S. Constitution - Learning from the Original Texts Using Classical Learning Methods of the Founders; San Marcos: The Center for Teaching the Constitution (2010).
Thomas J. DiLorenzo, The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham
Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War; Roseville, California: Prima Publishing, a division of Random House (2002)
William S. NcFeely, Grant; New York: W.W. Norton & Company
Voting Rights
The 15th Amendment was designed to protect the voting rights of all citizens, regardless of race, color, or if the voter had previously been a slave or indentured servant. As stated in the amendment, this article applies to both the federal government, and the States.
As the third reconstruction amendment, the 15th Amendment faced another challenge that was unexpected. In some States the requirements were that all voters and candidates must be Christians. As originally written, the amendment would require these States to change their rules regarding the manner of elections. Realizing the ratification of the amendment may depend on the support of the States with Christianity requirements regarding elections, the amendment was revised in a conference committee to remove any reference to holding office or religion and only prohibited discrimination based on race, color or previous condition of servitude.
Democrat Party created militias, like the Ku Klux Klan, continued to try and intimidate black voters and white Republicans. The federal government promised support, assuring that black and Republican voters could both vote, and serve, in confidence. When an all-white mob in the Battle of Liberty Place attempted to take over the interracial government of New Orleans, President Ulysses S. Grant sent in federal troops to restore the elected mayor.
President Rutherford B. Hayes narrowly won the election in 1876. To appease the South after his close election, in the hopes of gaining their support and soothing angry Democrats, President Hayes agreed to withdraw the federal troops who had been occupying the South since the end of the Civil War. The hope was that the southern States were ready to handle their own affairs without a need for any interference from the North.
In the process, President Hayes also overlooked rampant fraud and electoral violence in the Deep South, despite several attempts by Republicans to pass laws protecting the rights of black voters and to punish intimidation. Without the restrictions, voting place violence against blacks and Republicans increased, including instances of murder.
By the 1890s many of the southern States had enacted voter eligibility laws that included literacy tests and poll taxes. Since the black population was normally steeped in poverty, the inability to afford the poll tax kept them from voting in elections.
It took nearly a century for the promise of the Fifteenth Amendment to finally take hold. The ratification of the 24th Amendment in 1964, which eliminated poll taxes, and the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, served to ensure that blacks in the South were able to freely register to vote, and vote without any obstacles.
Poll Tax - A tax levied on people rather than on property, often as a requirement for voting.
Questions for Discussion:
1. Why was the wording of the Fifteenth Amendment changed to not include discrimination based on religion?
2. Why do you think the Democrat Party played a part in forming the Ku Klux Klan?
3. Why did President Hayes withdraw federal protections against racial discrimination in the South?
4. How did poll taxes enable the Southern Democrats from keeping Blacks from being able to vote without violating the Constitution?
5. Why do you think it took nearly a century for the promise of the Fifteenth Amendment to be realized?
Congressional Globe, 40th Cong., 3d Sess (1869) pg. 1318
Foner, Eric, Reconstruction: America's Unfinished
Revolution, 1863-1877; New York: Harper Perennial Modern
Classics (2002)
Gillette, William, The Right to Vote: Politics and the Passage of the
Fifteenth Amendment; Baltimore: John Hopkins Press (1969)
Copyright 2015 Douglas V. Gibbs