No Constitution Classes Valentines Day Week

No Constitution Classes Valentines Day Week

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Who's worse? San Francisco Wokesters, or New York Wokesters?

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

In a thread I was participating in earlier this evening a discussion regarding a video of a woman freaking out because a fire department paramedic truck is parked along the curb in the bike lane emerged.  After laughing at the liberal left progressive woke loon, we began to debate if the San Francisco loony in the video who freaked out because the "ambulance" was in her precious bike lane, and her fellow lefty mental illness sufferers who live in California's Bay Area are the worst, or if the brain-dead loons from New York are worse.

I responded: "I feel bad for them.  They are all tools chasing after the B.S. that tyrants deliver to them with a smile and kind words of fairness.  Takes a real needy person incapable of critical thinking and who is steeped in fear & paranoia to be one of them...and their ranks are still too numerous for comfort."

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Mr. Constitution Hour on KPRZ: Religion, Convention, and Nullification

 

Mr. Constitution Hour airs every Saturday Night at 9pm...New Years Eve is no exception.


K-Praise (www.kprz.com)


Mr. Constitution Hour on KPRZ is a radio broadcast that looks at The United States Constitution through the lens of Christianity. The program is hosted by Mr. Constitution Douglas V. Gibbs.


Tonight's episode:


  • Religion, Convention, and Nullification. If we don't have our religious house in order, how can we get our political house in order. If we are a virtuous society we are then capable of maintaining liberty. Two of the tools for the American Culture to use to check federal tyranny are an Article V. Convention and Nullification. Mr. Constitution explains.


Past episodes are available at the radio station's podcast page set up for Doug at -------> https://omny.fm/shows/douglas-v-gibbs/playlists/mr-constitution-hour-by-douglas-v-gibbs


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Constitution Radio: New Year's Eve

Constitution Radio with Douglas V. Gibbs

Saturdays, 1:00 - 3:00 pm Pacific Time

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Topics on Today's program:















Friday, December 30, 2022

Video: State Nullification and Executive Orders

Vidcast: The Citizen 1776, War Hamster, & Mr. Constitution

Mr. Constitution & War Hamster joins The Citizen 1776 on a live YouTube vidcast: The Constitutional Roundtable ... Watch live at 5:30 pm Pacific on Friday Night, or watch at any time later after it posts on YouTube.


https://www.youtube.com/@TheCitizen1776/streams

REPEAL DEMOCRACY goes live!

 

Months of challenges and setbacks have finally been resolved, and my latest book, Repeal Democracy, is live and available for purchase: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BRDFFQG2

I should have paperback copies for sale directly to you in a matter of weeks, and for those of you who attended the Constitution Association Dinner last September your limited edition, special edition hardcover copy should also be in my possession for handing out over the next 4-6 weeks. Thank you for your patience.

Thursday, December 29, 2022

"Because it's the Right Thing To Do"

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

We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair;
persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed;
always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body. -- 2 Corinthians 4: 8-10


Between the pessimism of some of our allies, and the ridicule-laden attacks from the progressive lefties it is a wonder the Freedom Movement still has legs.  Defeatism runs rampant.  It is important to understand that while I am an optimist, I am not in the fight just because I think it is winnable.  In fact, even if I believed it was absolutely an impossible endeavor, that there was no stopping the tyranny that is trying to finish off our Constitution, I would not alter my efforts.  The main reason I fight is because liberty is always worth fighting for.  I do it because it is the right thing to do.  I never waver because I know I am on the right path.  I have faith that it is in God's Will, and that even if we don't stop the tyranny now, eventually they will be defeated.  Evil can only win for a season.  God's Victory is already at hand.

“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  -- Matthew 19:26

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Article V. Convention: The Corrective Measure Against a Tyrannical Federal Government

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

If the United States was intended to be a democracy the States would not have the final say when it comes to the ratification of all proposals to amend the Constitution, and Congress, or the States through Convention, would not be the only way to propose amendments ― the population through democratic vote would have been given the ability to amend the Constitution.

The States wrote the Constitution to create the federal government.  The federal government was not a party to the compact we call the United States Constitution, it was the document's creation.  Therefore, altering the Constitution was never intended to be something the federal government had the sole power to do.  However, amending the Constitution is something the States have the sole power to accomplish without any involvement by the federal government.  In fact, until the last week of the Philadelphia Convention in 1787 Congress was not going to be allowed to propose amendments and throughout the convention there had been warnings issued by various delegates not to allow the federal government to have any hand in the amendment process. Four days before the end of the Constitutional Convention the attending delegation added to the document that Congress, with two-thirds approval from each House of Congress, may propose amendments.

The sovereignty and autonomy of the States, and the individualism of the citizens, represent the greatest threats to the centralization of power.  The proper distribution of power that does not allow political authority to consolidate into any one office or chamber of government is necessary to preserve liberty. 

In our current modern age power has been amassed by the ruling class that inhabits the halls of government in the United States.  Over the last two centuries, the enemies of the United States Constitution have been consolidating government power to neutralize individuality and the autonomy of the States.  Early on those who would be tyrants have known that the States serving as a voice in the government was a danger to their lust for power, and they knew that the way to destroy any resistance against the rise of tyranny was to dismantle the system of checks and balance, silence the voice of the States, and negate individualism among We the People.

We fight a war that pits collectivism against individuality, and we have been programmed to reject the sovereignty of the States, and individuality, whenever we encounter it.  We have been convinced that the powers behind the federal government, and the corporatism that engages in political mercantilism, are too powerful to overcome and that any attempt we may make to dissolve their iron fist over our lives is both foolish and dangerous.

After all, as Biden put it, the federal government has F-35s and nuclear weapons.  How can a collection of angry citizens with little fire-sticks that have limitations placed on how much ammunition the guns may hold and limitations on the type of firearm that may be owned be of any threat to the big, bad government?

In the Declaration of Independence, the words are clear: when government "reduces them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government…whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

If the government is not to be abolished by revolution, have its powers severed by nullification, or abandoned by the secession of the States, then it must be altered.  Congress, however, cannot be depended upon to propose the amendments necessary to reduce the tyrannical power of the federal government, adjust its powers to better fit the original intent of the Constitution's Enumeration Doctrine as laid out in the Tenth Amendment, nor clarify the language the federal courts and political class have interpreted to fit their tyrannical agenda.  Therefore, the task of proposing the amendments necessary to properly alter the stature of the federal government must be accomplished by the States.

The United States Constitution may only be changed through the process of amendment, as established in Article V. of the U.S. Constitution.  The ability to amend the Constitution was created for the primary purpose of granting additional authorities to the federal government or taking away powers.  As the parents of the federal government, the States have the final say regarding whether or not an authority may be added, or removed, by virtue of the ratification process.  No matter how an amendment is proposed, in order to become a part of the Constitution and become the law of the land, every amendment must receive at least three-quarters approval by the States.

Article V. of the Constitution establishes that amendments may be proposed either by Congress, or the States.  The authority for the States to amend the United States Constitution by proposing amendments through convention was viewed by the Founding Fathers as being a way for the States to take back control of a tyrannical federal government.  As the parents of the federal government, amending the Constitution through an Article V. Convention was a specifically designed mechanism for the States to grab a hold of the reins of a tyrannical federal government so that the States may reel the expanding system back into the control and oversight of the two constituencies – the States, and We the People.  In an Article V. Convention the States may propose amendments, which then can be, in turn, presented to the States for approval through a three-quarters ratification vote.  The Article V. Convention was not designed to, and may not be used for, rewriting the U.S. Constitution, or replacing it with a different document.

James Madison defended the Article V. Convention in Federalist Paper #49, and Alexander Hamilton did the same in Federalist Paper #85.  Madison and Hamilton desired to convince the Anti-Federalists that despite their fears regarding the creation of a centralized federal government through the U.S. Constitution, they had a fail-safe mechanism in place that they could use in case the government began to overstep the powers granted to it by the States.

An Article V. Convention, according to the language offered in the Constitution, shall be called when two-thirds of the States make an application for a convention.  Their applications never expire, unless an expiration date is established in the application.  Over the last two centuries, all 50 of the 50 States have applied, with over 750 applications (one State has rescinded its only application, so the current count sits at 49 States).  The only involvement by the federal government is for Congress to "call" a convention when enough applications have been made, and if it so desires, to establish the style of ratification.

To "call" a convention is to set up the place and time.  To date, Congress has unconstitutionally refused to call a convention.

If Congress chooses to establish the style of ratification, either by vote of the State Legislatures or by State Conventions, it must be established at the time of calling the convention.  If no style of ratification is established by Congress, the choice devolves to the States.

The purveyors of a strong central government fear convention.  An Article V. Convention is a valuable tool that enables the States to work together against the federal government, proposing and ratifying amendments without federal control or influence.  This means that amendments could be passed to further limit the authorities of the federal government, or clarify constitutional applications the federal government has been misinterpreting through judicial review, such as the Commerce Clause, Citizenship Clause, and the General Welfare Clause.

Passing amendments to limit the authorities of the federal government as a whole, a particular branch of the federal government, or a smaller component of the federal government, is nothing new.  The Eleventh Amendment, for example, was proposed and ratified with the express purpose of limiting the powers of the federal court system, eliminating a portion of the range of cases the federal courts were authorized to hear.

The Eleventh Amendment had originally been planned as a proposal by an Article V. Convention, but before delegates from the States could gather together to make the proposal, Congress stepped in to propose the amendment themselves.

During the entire history of the United States, we have seen the statists among our political leaders discard any willingness to follow the Constitution's original intent.  Instead, the statists depend on case law and judicial interpretation (and interpretations by political office holders and influential figures) so as to stray our society from the original intent of the Constitution, and instead follow the statist aspirations of tyrants.  They have abandoned the Rule of Law and now pursue the Rule of Man.

"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

"It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages that mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." ~ Daniel Webster

Those who challenge the safety of holding an Article V. Convention state that in today’s political environment, the risk of a runaway convention is too great, so despite being given to us by the Founding Fathers on the pages of the United States Constitution, an Article V. Convention is just too risky to pursue, and therefore must not be put into play.

That is like owning a hammer to pound in nails, but refusing to use it out of fear of striking one’s thumb.

What other tool do we have to alter the system of government if necessary?

There is a third kind of convention.  The third kind of convention is provided by James Madison in Federalist Paper #49.  He wrote, quoting Thomas Jefferson, "that whenever any two of the three branches of government shall concur in opinion, each by the voices of two-thirds of their whole number, that a convention is necessary for altering the constitution, or CORRECTING BREACHES OF IT, a convention shall be called for the purpose. As the people are the only legitimate fountain of power, and it is from them that the constitutional charter, under which the several branches of government hold their power, is derived, it seems strictly consonant to the republican theory, to recur to the same original authority, not only whenever it may be necessary to enlarge, diminish, or new-model the powers of the government, but also whenever any one of the departments may commit encroachments on the chartered authorities of the others."

Convention, it was believed by the Founding Fathers, was a key tool in the hands of the governed to correct abuses by the political class. 

Convention, or nullification, are best established by a grassroots effort that audits the federal government, exposing the unconstitutional aspects of the federal government, and then makes these constitutional shortcomings of the federal government aware to the State governments and to the people.  An informed public armed with constitutional literacy and a willingness to apply public pressure on the local politicians to go after the federal politicians and their unconstitutional activities at the federal level is a key aspect of the concept of convention, and correcting misbehavior by the federal government. 

When the Constitution was written the Framers of the founding document sought to distribute power in such a way that no part of government, nor the people through democracy, would have too much power.  Correction against tyranny must be available to the people and the States when the federal government chases tyrannical policies or an anti-Constitution narrative.  An Article V. Convention is the method that may be utilized to ensure such correction is put into action.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

States Discuss Constitutionality of Executive Orders

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

Executive Orders were given their name during the early twentieth century, during the Progressive Era.  Originally, they were called "Presidential Proclamations".  The word "order" being a part of its name is deceptive, and the Founding Fathers would have never approved of that word being a part of what the President of the United States does.  After all, the President is not a king, a ruler, or even the "highest office of the land" as we have been convinced.  As with all other offices in American Government, there is no action by the President that can be accomplished (from an original intent standpoint) without direct or indirect oversight by another part of government (in the case of presidential actions most often the oversight is provided by a part of government serving as a direct or indirect voice of the state legislatures).  The President has no authority to "order" anything.  He can make suggestions, he can request that the legislature consider making legislation regarding something he wishes to accomplish, but in the end the primary job of the President of the United States is to serve as Commander in Chief, to execute the laws of the United States, and to act as the figurehead of the country when it comes to foreign relations, and other related external duties.

Executive Orders also hold no power of law.  Article I, Section 1 of the United States Constitution clearly vests all legislative powers (the power to create law, modify law, and repeal law) in the legislative body, the United States Congress.  In short, executive orders are not legally binding, but they may be used as a tool to carry out existing legislation that is legally binding, or they may be used for a "proclamation", which is not legally binding.

According to the article Rep. Brian Seitz (R-Branson) of Missouri, a member of Missouri's State Assembly, is sponsoring a bill that would require state lawmakers to scrutinize and, potentially disregard, some presidential executive orders.  The bill would call for the state legislature to "review all presidential executive orders not affirmed by a Congressional vote to determine if 'they are, in fact, Constitutional.'”

“I’m a firm believer in states’ rights, and am very concerned about losing our authority [as a legislature] to federal overreach,” Seitz said.

“There are three branches of the government—not one,” Seitz said, stressing if adopted, the measure “would cover executive orders from presidents of either party.”

According to The Epoch Times, "Since Democrat Joe Biden was sworn in as president in January 2021, similar bills have been introduced in at least nine other Republican-controlled state legislatures: Alabama, Utah, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Iowa, and South Carolina.  The Oklahoma and Tennessee bills advanced through committees to chamber votes in 2021 but ultimately were not adopted."

[The] American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) senior director for Homeland Security, International Relations, and Federalism Karla Jones said the bills are in response to “federal overreach that infringes on state sovereignty.”

“We just saw [the bills] proliferating because executive orders were becoming such a problem,” Jones told The Epoch Times. “There was a lot of alarm among state lawmakers who care about federalism and worry about federal overreach.”

During his first six months in office, “Biden was on track to issue more executive orders than FDR [Franklin Delano Roosevelt],” she said. “He has since leveled off.”

I am guessing Biden really hasn't backed off, but simply began to do what Barack Obama did, issue Executive Memos and Executive Letters, instead, which are not numbered.

Those who support the use of executive orders claim the President issues them because “Congress doesn’t have the political will to do the hard work.”

In other words, if what the President wants to do does not materialize legally, he must be willing to put into action his will unconstitutionally through executive orders.

Executive Orders are not a mechanism that exists to be put into action if Congress is not willing to do what the President wants, or to fine tune legislation to better fit the President's desires.  Executive Orders are in place to enable the President to put into action what Congress wants, as the law was written.  If he has a problem with any piece of legislation, he may veto it when it crosses his desk, or send a memo or letter to Congress requesting a modification or repeal of the law in question.

The Epoch Times states in its article that there is substantial case law regarding presidential executive orders limits and constitutionality...most notably 1952’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co v. Sawyer, which established the framework for analyzing whether a specific executive order is “a valid presidential action.”

Case Law does not apply.  What does the Constitution say, or not say, regarding the matter?  As previously stated, Article I, Section 1 is sufficient enough to show that no executive order may be legally binding (treated as law), making any "order" to the country a proclamation (suggestion, or edict).

Executive authority through executive orders rose to become a more prominent issue during the COVID pandemic.  Executive Orders not only became a concern when issued by the President, but also those issued by State Governors.  As with the federal government, at the State level all legislative powers also are only vested in the legislative body (all State Constitutions confirm that no legislative authority is vested in the gubernatorial part of government).

The argument proclaiming that executive powers became legally binding during the scamdemic uses the claim that we were in a “state of emergency,” giving the President and governors "emergency powers" to issue emergency orders; thus, redefining executive orders and actions.

The problem with that argument is that there is no constitutionally supporting language to be found in the U.S. Constitution...anywhere.

In short, if it is not law that was enacted through the legislative process the executive branch of a State, or the Federal Government, cannot enforce it.  Period.  And that includes any mask mandates, or demands that you get jabbed in the arm with a needle.  And if there is any legislation ever passed regarding those things, they would still be unconstitutional.  The Fifth Amendment (federal) and the Fourteenth Amendment (State) provide that a person can not be deprived of their life, liberty, or property without due process.  Remember, liberty is your freedom to say "no."

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Oath Keepers, Three Percenters, and January 6 Patriots

By Douglas V. Gibbs

Over the years I have spent a lot of time with groups like the Oath Keepers and Three Percenters.  I am a public speaker, among other things, and those two groups often had me come in to talk about the U.S. Constitution, and how far our country has strayed from its original intent.  The Oath Keepers was intended to have as a membership those of us who gave an oath to the U.S. Constitution in an official capacity through our service to the country as a member of the military, law enforcement, or other occupations or offices.  As a military veteran the message was very appealing; like my fellow veterans we recognize that the oath never expires.  Three Percenters tended to attract a similar type of folks, deriving its name from the fact that during the American Revolution it was about three percent of the population that actually participated in the combat effort during The War for Independence.  

On January 6, 2021, Donald J. Trump led a rally in Washington D.C. after losing the 2020 Election that was rife with irregularities and procedural inconsistencies that led many to believe that the election was filled with fraud.  Stolen, some might say.  Many of Trump's supporters at that rally held signs that read "Stop the Steal," referring to their belief that the election had been rigged.  

Fifteen minutes after Trump completed his speech a group of people claiming to be Trump supporters breached the barriers at the U.S. Capitol.  Those who heard Trump's speech and attended his rally didn't begin to arrive at the U.S. Capitol until about forty-five minutes after his speech had concluded.  Those who decided to stop at their hotel rooms, grab a bit to eat, or visit a restroom didn't arrive at the scene of the alleged insurrection for more than an hour after Trump completed his speech.  But, because people "claiming" to be Trump supporters had caused problems at the Capitol, everyone was guilty.  Trump was accused by the Democrats of inciting insurrection.  Hundreds have been jailed accompanied with multiple violations of the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments.  Due Process has been set aside, and since the Oath Keepers and Three Percenters were highly involved with defending Trump and pushing people to attend the rally with "fighting for the truth" in their hearts, minds, and on their lips the paranoid statists in control of our government have branded them rebellious traitors because they dared, along with all of the other Trump supporters on January 6, put into action their First Amendment enumerated rights of a Freedom of Religion, Speech, Press, Assembly and to Petition the Government for a Redress of Grievances.  

The Oath Keepers and Three Percenters have vanished as organizations.  Some of their leaders have been persecuted legally, and any mention of those groups, or that there was fraud in the 2020 Election, puts a target on one's back as an insurrectionist, and a spreader of "misinformation".  An Alaskan office holder has had to fight for his position because there were those who tried to use the court system to keep him from holding office because he had a membership in the Oath Keepers.  A journalist has written that "Election Deniers" should be disqualified from holding office, citing that they lack the character to hold office.  Since when is it the government's job, rather than the voters', to determine if a candidate has the character to hold a political office?  For my crime of saying things regarding the potential of voter fraud I found out today that a third video on one of my You Tube channels has been censored and shutdown (the other two were terminated by You Tube earlier this year).  My Constitution Study Facebook page which at one time had over 10,000 followers (over 9,000 still at this moment) remains online, but I am no longer allowed to post to it.  Is that liberty?  Is that freedom of speech?  I am even having trouble self-publishing a book at this moment because my proposed cover challenges the official government narrative regarding a particular issue.

While I believe that the elections, all of them, have been tilted by illegal, unconstitutional, and fraudulent practices it shouldn't matter what the truth really is when it comes to my right to say or write such things.  Am I not free to have my own opinions?  What would you call a government who works with corporations like social media to shut down anyone's opinions that are contrary to the official government narrative?  If we were talking about any other government in history, other than our own, using its governmental power to shut down dissenting opinions would not Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, Communist Cuba, Communist China, or Cambodia's Pol Pot come to mind?  Why was it tyranny with them, but totally acceptable in today's America?

Insurrection, according to Amendment Fourteen, Section Three of the U.S. Constitution is not defined as daring to disagree with the government, or alter or abolish unconstitutional or illegal practices by such a government.  Insurrection is defined in that clause of the Constitution as being against the Constitution.  So, how can the January 6 people be insurrectionists if their actions were a reaction to the unconstitutional actions of a government that, when it comes to its spending habits, is currently over 90% unconstitutional?  The insurrectionists were not the January 6 Patriots, the Oath Keepers, or the Three Percenters.  The insurrectionists are the ones who accused those people of being traitors.  The insurrectionists are the Democrats and Republicans who violate the U.S. Constitution, and then lash out against those trying to bring their unconstitutional activities to light.

The Brunson v. Adams case is exactly about that, and if our courts were honest and constitutional, the Brunson Case would be taken seriously, and nearly four hundred members of our U.S. Congress and other offices would be arrested and removed from office immediately, and then the bureaucracy would be purged of the traitors who reside there, as well.

How is it insurrection to demand that insurrectionists be removed from the Halls of Government?

The problem is the auditors and the watchers of the federal government are either members of the federal government, or in collusion with them.  

One wonders if we are on the verge of a flashpoint that history will eventually recognize as either the turning point of our country, or the beginning of the final downward spiral.  The problem is, those who are watching consider me an insurrectionist for daring to speak my mind as I just have with you.  The thing is, my principles, and my love of liberty, is stronger than the opposition that stands against us.  In the end, that's what will win the day -- the winners will be those who have the greatest resolve.  And from my point of view, liberty deserves no less than every ounce of my strength, and every effort I can muster. 

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Liberty Movement: Cicero, or Jefferson

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

The Framers of the United States Constitution purposely set up the federal government during the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention to be a limited government, rather than a national government.  They also, knowing the dangers of pure democracy, put into place checks and balances, and other mechanisms, to ensure the system was a republic, rather than a pure democracy.  The States, whose delegates at the Constitutional Convention were the architects of the new American federal government, recognized the dangers of an all-powerful centralized government with all powers consolidated under its umbrella, so they created a limited government, a federal system with only authorities granted to it necessary to carry out its tasks as the country's primary connection with the rest of the world, and one that could act as a mediator between the States when disputes were to arise.  From the annals of the Saxon system of government and the lessons garnered from the volatile history of Israel in the Holy Bible, the Founding Fathers fashioned for the first time in history a federal government with limited powers and a duty to protect, promote, and preserve the Union of States.  In short, the federal government was designed to be a servant, not the master.

The constitutional delegates drew much of their research from history.  In addition to British history, which was largely steeped in the influences of the Saxons and Angles, the Founding Fathers studied the Roman Empire, Ancient Greece, Slovenia, Sweden, and the European Systems that had developed in the aftermath of the Fall of the Roman Empire.  When it came to Greece and Rome the writings of Solon, Polybius, Cato, and Cicero were primary targets.

Despite his absence from the Constitutional Convention, Thomas Jefferson had a significant role in the installation of liberty in America and the formation of the Constitution of the United States.  While George Washington served as the military sword and executive guide to our system of liberty, Patrick Henry served as liberty's greatest vocal advocate, and Thomas Paine provided the catalyst for action with his pamphlet "Common Sense", it was Thomas Jefferson who served as liberty's scribe and author when it came to the Declaration of Independence, and its consultant through correspondence when it came to the Constitution.  In many ways Jefferson confirmed the phrase, "the pen is mightier than the sword."

Jefferson's radical, yet sophisticated, vision of liberty was presented with an eloquence that only he could deliver.  He drew from the Saxon and Christian belief that through divine dispensation we all have natural rights.  The definition of "Created equal" means an equal distribution of all of the rights provided by the Creator; all human beings are equally entitled to liberty because God gave us each all of our natural rights He commanded were due to us. 

All laws that do not preserve liberty, Jefferson argued, are illegitimate.  Whenever liberty is not provided by law then the people have a right to rebel.  When the rights of the people are not being secured by government, then rebellion against that government is not insurrection, it is a corrective action that the people are duty-bound to carry out.  Government, being the primary enemy of liberty and our Natural Rights, must be limited in its power, and corrected when it veers off course. 

Jefferson was a student of history, as well as a staunch observer of the struggles during his lifetime.  He recognized from practical experience human nature, and the cycles of crisis, tyranny, and liberty. 

As a writer, he was gifted.  Jefferson drafted more reports, resolutions, legislation, and related official documents than any other Founding Father.  Most important, Jefferson wrote letters.  He likely wrote more letters than any of his contemporaries.  And, when Jefferson wrote a letter, it was no small affair.  Most of his letters have survived the ravages of history, around 18,000 are known and still available to read.  He corresponded with just about every major character who participated in the founding of America as an independent Union; James Madison, Thomas Paine, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Taylor, Sir William Johnson, James Monroe, Patrick Henry, Matthew Lyon, Marquis de Lafayette, George Mason, Jean-Baptiste Say, Madame de Stael, and George Washington; to name a few.

He was reserved in his manner and served as a steadfast friend.  He and James Madison enjoyed a friendship that lasted half a century.  Jefferson was diplomatic in his dealings with others, using tact that enabled him to maintain relationships even with the most difficult of personalities.  John Adams, whom he battled with for a while during the period in which Adams was following Hamilton's lead, commended Jefferson for his “friendly warmth that is natural and habitual to you.”

Jefferson was fairly tall, about six feet two inches, thin, with reddish hair and hazel eyes, and a freckled complexion that helped him stand apart.  Early on he cared deeply about his appearance, complimented for being a snappy dresser; but as he trudged along in age he neglected his appearance.  His gray hair in his latter days flopped around his head, and during his presidency, it has been reported that he greeted morning visitors in worn slippers and a worn coat.

Jefferson was among the top intellectuals of his day, which is saying something considering the intellectual giants who surrounded him.  His ideas formed the Declaration of Independence, guided the early government under the Articles of Confederation, and molded the Constitution of the United States.  Even after the end of his two terms as President of the United States, his ideas dominated U.S. government policy.  Revered as the “Sage of Monticello” his part in the story of America, which was largely the first fifty years of the country's existence, is an integral part of the founding of our republic and the preservation of liberty.

While those who support the foundation of the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God when it comes to the American System look favorably upon Jefferson's exploits, statists who call for a consolidation of power in the federal government, and a firm union that disallows secession or State oversight regarding the operations of the federal government, struggle with Jefferson's "right-wing" mentality.  Followers of Alexander Hamilton's statism, John Marshall's version of federal supremacy, and the top-down Jacksonian Democrats who called for democracy and a stronger executive branch challenged Jefferson's rhetoric regarding a republican form of government.  Abraham Lincoln's claim that the United States is a firm union, and his willingness to sacrifice the lives of over 600,000 people to preserve the Union through military force, turned public opinion against Jefferson at the time.  Jefferson argued that States had the right to secession and independence.  The Lincoln Republicans, and later the politicians of the "Progressive Era," imagined that every problem could be fixed by giving the federal government more power.  President Theodore Roosevelt once indicated that his actions as President were not unconstitutional because they were “not expressly prohibited by the Constitution,” a view of federal powers that’s the opposite of the original intent of the Enumeration Doctrine.  Teddy Roosevelt also scorned Jefferson for being a “scholarly, timid, and shifting doctrinaire.”  He, in turn, praised big government-minded Alexander Hamilton for his work towards increasing government power.

The bicentennial of Jefferson’s birth in 1943 changed the public's perception of the author of American independence.  In a sense, the advent of his two-hundredth birthday gave the author of the Declaration of Independence and the third President of the United States a kind of renaissance.  The renewed interest in Jefferson's role in the American Revolution, Declaration of Independence, and the dawn of the Constitutional Republic led to the construction of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C., emblazoned with his stirring oath: “I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”  

As Cultural Marxism oozed through the crevices of American Society the call for bigger government made a comeback during the 1960s, providing an excuse to attack Jefferson, again. 

Some historians revived false Hamiltonian charges that Jefferson fathered children with his young slave, Sally Hemings.  In the 1990s the accusation was even a headline in the New York Times.  DNA evidence revealed that while a Jefferson did indeed father children with Sally Hemings, it was not Thomas.  Instead, according to the DNA evidence, his brother Randolph likely performed the deed.

Despite evidence to the contrary, the falsehood that Thomas Jefferson was mingling sexually with his slave girls continues to be a primary jab by leftwing, Hamiltonians of modern-day America.

Current purveyors of Critical Race Theory are demanding reparations for the progeny of black slaves.  States like California have already put a plan for reparations into action.  The general public has been pelted with claims that America suffers from institutionalized racism, and the fact that Jefferson owned slaves means to them that he didn't necessarily live up to his expressed ideals, making him a fraud, and the ideals he stood for were flawed and unacceptable.

Though Jefferson did indeed have personal failings, such shortcomings do not invalidate the philosophy of liberty he championed.  As the Bible so aptly points out, "he who is without sin cast the first stone," John 8:7.  All humans on every side of every political debate suffer from personal failings.  Human Nature is flawed at its core.  "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God," Romans 3:23.  Therefore, the merit of the ideas developed by the Founding Fathers must not be dismissed as a result.  If personal shortcomings were a factor in the validity of the founding principles championed by the Founding Fathers, then every one of Jefferson’s contemporaries and adversaries, past and present, would need to be dismissed, and each and every one of them would cancel each other out.

Jefferson was an avid reader, and among the titles of books that would influence his understanding of liberty: John Locke’s Two Treatises on Government, Adam Ferguson’s An Essay on the History of Civil Society, and Baron de Montesquieu’s complete works were paramount.  His library would eventually exceed 6,000 volumes.  One wonders if the early bubblings of the phrase, "Readers are Leaders" came from Jefferson's renowned and celebrated reading habits.

Jefferson attended college, studying at William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia for two years.  He then read law for the next five years under George Wythe.  Judge Wythe, considered to be a distinguished jurist, would later become the first professor of law at William & Mary in 1779.  It was in Williamsburg that Jefferson also first became politically involved.  The location at the time put him in the thick of things politically, for not only was Williamsburg the capital of Virginia, but the Commonwealth of Virginia was the largest and richest colony of the thirteen.  He gained the Virginia bar in 1768, began to practice law in 1769, and then later that same year was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses.  He served until 1775, aligning himself with anti-British groups during his time in office.

In 1774, Jefferson wrote his first published work, a 23-page pamphlet called A Summary View of the Rights of British America.  The work was a legal brief boldly declaring that Parliament didn’t have the right to rule the colonies. The work established Jefferson as a man who had a way with words, and a man that was willing to stand firm against British tyranny.

In March 1775 Jefferson was named a delegate to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia.  He got to know John Adams, Samuel Adams, and Benjamin Franklin while serving in the Continental Congress.  John Adams remarked about his observations regarding Jefferson, “Writings of his were banded about, remarkable for their peculiar felicity of expression…. [Jefferson] was so prompt, frank, explicit and decisive upon committees and in conversation … that he soon seized upon my heart.”

June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee called for the Continental Congress to adopt his resolution for independence.  A committee of five was created, combining the great minds of Jefferson, Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston to prepare a document announcing and justifying independence.

Thirty-three-year-old Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on the second floor of a Philadelphia home.  He wrote in an armchair pulled up to a dining table, spending about seventeen days writing the Declaration of Independence.

Mostly a legal brief listing a succession of complaints against England, Jefferson also penned that revolution wasn’t to be undertaken lightly.  That said, Jefferson directed America’s case for independence against King George III rather than Parliament, providing a philosophical justification for the conflict the colonists were engaged in against the British army.

The language of the Declaration of Independence not only united the colonists in their fight but became an inspiration not only for every American but for those in the world who also desired the Blessings of Liberty.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.”

Jefferson’s call for independence was later explained as meaning “to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent, and to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take. Neither aiming at originality of principle or sentiment, nor yet copied from any particular and previous writing, it was intended to be an expression of the American mind, and to give to that expression the proper tone and spirit called for by the occasion.”

While Jefferson’s 168-word attack on George III for not outlawing the slave trade was removed from the document, the remainder became the congressionally approved Declaration of Independence, dated July 4, 1776.  On July 19, fifty-six men officially signed the document, which became the official launch of liberty in America.

About 75 years before the birth of Christ, the Roman Republic had reached its zenith. Rome was the lone superpower in the world. What began as a kingdom, and then a republic, equipped with a system of representation, was becoming something the founders of the Roman Republic never intended. The leadership was wealthy beyond imagination, and had attained incredible political power. The rulers had become suspicious of everyone, intolerant of opposition, indifferent to the demands of the middle class, and considered the Roman Constitution, embodied physically in the Twelve Tables of Law, which was designed to curb their ambitions and serve as an impediment to their aims, archaic and out of date.

Marcus Tullius Cicero was but a young man, a student of law under old Scaevola, the eminent lawyer of his day. Cicero, whose writings many centuries later would be studied by men like Thomas Jefferson, was disillusioned. Caesar, in complete disregard for the rule of law, had by force of arms, guile and trickery, used his military to dominate the world.

Society, like the leaders, were tossing aside cultural standards set by the early Romans. The citizens were no longer worried about defending their rights, and had instead learned to live on the gifts from the treasury the politicians had offered them for their votes. They were fat, immoral, careless, and happy to live on the government's offerings, which had been taken by bureaucratic chicanery from substantial men of business.

One such man, wealthy, but wronged by politicians that coveted his wealth, came to Cicero for representation. Cicero built his case, and presented it, but the judges were not responding in the way Cicero had expected. The law was being set aside, believed Cicero.  The jurists of his day were no longer following the rule of law, and instead ruled based on the demands of the political elite, and society’s lusts and desires.

Cicero plead his client's defense against confiscatory taxation, saying "we are taxed in our bread and our wine, in our incomes and our investments, on our land and on our property, not only for base creatures who do not deserve the name of man, but for foreign nations, for complacent nations who will bow to us and accept our largesse and promise us to assist in the keeping of the peace - these mendicant nations who will destroy us when we show a moment of weakness or our treasury is bare. We are taxed to maintain legions on their soil, in the name of law and order and the Pax Romana, a document which will fall into dust when it pleases our allies and our vassals. We keep them in precarious balance only with our gold. Is the heart-blood of our nation worth these? Shall one Italian be sacrificed for Britain, for Gaul, for Egypt, for India, even for Greece, and a score of other nations? Were they bound to us with ties of love, they would not ask our gold. They would ask only our laws. They take our very flesh, and they hate and despise us. And who shall say we are worthy of more?"

Cicero did not save his client. But he did live to argue the cause of honest government and to talk with Sulla, the Dictator (Senate appointed leader), about integrity and fair dealing. Sulla had little faith in the people. He believed them too deeply interested in their own welfare to concern themselves, too timid to stand up for their rights. He told Cicero the middle class, the lawyers, the physicians, the bankers, and the merchants would make no sacrifices. He said none of your lawyers will challenge the lawmakers and cry to them, "This is unconstitutional, an affront to a free people, and it must not pass!"  Cicero asked "Will one of these, your own, lift his eyes from his ledgers long enough to scan the Twelve Tables of Roman Law, and then expose those who violate them and help to remove them from power, even if it costs their lives? These fat men. Will six of them in this city, disregarding personal safety, rise up from their offices and stand in the Forum, and tell the people the inevitable fate of Rome unless they return to virtue and thrift and drive from the Senate the evil men who have corrupted them for the power they have to bestow?"

Rome continued to decay. The liberties of the people were being trampled upon in the name of emergencies (crisis), or they were relinquished voluntarily so as to be awarded government benefits.

Cicero, in his Second Oration before the Senate, provided, "Too long have we said to ourselves 'intolerance of another's politics is barbarous and not to be countenanced in a civilized country. Are we not free? Shall a man be denied his right to speak under the law which established that right?' I tell you that freedom does not mean the freedom to exploit law in order to destroy it! It is not freedom which permits the Trojan Horse to be wheeled within the gates. . . He who is not for Rome and Roman Law and Roman liberty is against Rome. He who espouses tyranny and oppression and the old dead despotisms is against Rome. He who plots against established authority and incites the populace to violence is against Rome. He cannot ride two horses at the same time. We cannot be for lawful ordinances and for an alien conspiracy at one and the same moment. Though liberty is established by law, we must be vigilant, for liberty to enslave us is always present under that very liberty. Our Constitution speaks of the 'general welfare of the people.' Under that phrase all sorts of excesses can be employed by lusting tyrants to make us bondsmen."

Years later Cicero appeared before the Senate again.

He said "The Senate, in truth, has no right to censure me for anything, for I did but my duty and exposed traitors and treason against the State. If that is a crime, then I am indeed a criminal."

Crassus, Caesar and Pompey were in the hall listening to Cicero, but turned away to reject his words. He said to them, "You have succeeded against me. Be it as you will. I will depart."

He then told the Senate: "For this day's work, lords, you have encouraged treason and opened the prison doors to free the traitors. A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and he carries his banners openly against the city. But the traitor moves among those within the gates freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears no traitor; he speaks in the accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their garments, and he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation; he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city; he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared. The traitor is the carrier of the plague. You have unbarred the gates of Rome to him."

Cicero was exiled from Rome for his words. From outside of Rome he continued to plead the cause of honest government. The people were not concerned. They were satisfied living a mediocre life on the public dole. His friends were also satisfied, and did not wish to make waves. They were lawyers, doctors, and businessmen, and they told him, "We do not meddle in politics. Rome is prosperous and at peace. We have our villas in Caprae, our racing vessels, our houses, our servants, our pretty mistresses, and our comfort and treasures. We implore you, Cicero, do not disturb us with your lamentations of disaster. Rome is on the march to the mighty society, for all Romans."

Cicero was in despair. He began to write his book De Legibus, but Atticus, his publisher, asked, "But who will read it? Romans care nothing for law any longer, their bellies are too full."

Cicero, however, was not completely unheard. Brutus, the long-time sycophant of the ambitious Caesar, went to Cicero with his plea that something be done to save the nation. He confessed his error, he said he had believed in Caesar. Brutus believed that Caesar would restore the republic. Caesar had betrayed his trust.

Cicero replied, "Do not blame Caesar, blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically acclaimed and adored him and rejoiced in their loss of freedom and danced in his path and gave him triumphal processions and laughed delightedly at his licentiousness and thought it very superior of him to acquire vast amounts of gold illicitly. Blame the people who hail him when he speaks in the Forum of the 'new, wonderful good society' which shall now be Rome's, interpreted to mean 'more money, more ease, more security, more living fatly at the expense of the industrious.' Julius was always an ambitious villain, but he is only one man."

In the end, Cicero was unable to save the Roman Republic, and the system of liberty that accompanied Rome’s republic before Caesar changed it into a tyranny that wore the face of a democracy promising peace, safety, and the common good based on the best of intentions.

Despite Rome moving from a republic to a tyranny that suffered under a succession of Caesars, his work was not all for nothing.  Nearly 1,800 years later Thomas Jefferson read Cicero’s writings and built his case for liberty partially based on what he had learned from Cicero.  Jefferson assisted in establishing liberty for America, and Cicero assisted also in establishing liberty through what he wrote during a time in which he was fighting to save liberty in his own doomed civilization.

Which brings us to the current situation here in the first quarter of the twenty-first century.  Are we “Jefferson” who had a hand in preserving liberty, or are we Cicero, whose work to save liberty failed during his time, but was an integral part in establishing liberty in America.  In short, either we will succeed in preserving liberty like Jefferson, or our work will become the inspiration for a future generation as they work to resurrect liberty like it was for Cicero.  Either way, our fight is admirable, and worthy.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary