An Appeal To Reason: Re-establishing and Preserving Our RepublicSubmitted by ConsciouslyBeing on Tue, 12/27/2011 - 15:27
The following is a paper I wrote in an attempt to appeal to all my family members who had gathered for the holidays and turn them on to the message of Dr. Paul. It is a bit lengthy, but the response so far has been all positive, and many have asked permission to re-distribute (which I encourage). I hope you all enjoy and re-post as you see fit.
An Appeal To Reason: Re-establishing and Preserving Our Republic
Family members and friends: as you may or may not know, my field of study when I attended college was political science. And as much as I now feel that it was not necessarily the most practical subject in which to earn a Bachelor’s Degree, I gained a good amount of insight into government and policy from that experience which most Americans seem to lack.
While it is true that the types of political choices we make as voters are justifiably based almost entirely on our personal opinions, and there is no absolute right or wrong in such decisions, there are certain fundamentals of what the role of government is supposed to be that I think most of us have never come to properly understand. It is those understandings which I will attempt to convey to you now, and I ask only that you take a couple of minutes to consider the importance of this information, especially in light of the upcoming presidential primary elections.
First and foremost, as stated by the Declaration of Independence in 1776, human beings “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 [humans], deriving their just powers from the CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED…” (Emphasis and gender neutrality added by me).
It is important to understand that we do not derive our rights from the government; rather, just by virtue of the fact that we are living beings, we have certain rights that cannot be taken away by anyone for any reason (unless we infringe on another’s rights and are convicted of doing so by a jury of our peers). Aside from those basic rights mentioned in the Declaration of Independence are our rights to breathe clean air, drink potable water, and nourish our bodies with food. Simply put, none of us consciously chose to be born, but since we were, no other person or entity can justifiably infringe on our right to exist and sustain ourselves. Further, we can essentially do whatever we want while we are alive so long as we are not infringing on these most basic rights of others (remember the Golden Rule). And while the U.S. Constitution (and more specifically the Bill of Rights) makes an attempt at upholding and protecting these rights and freedoms, the reality is that we needed neither the Declaration of Independence nor the Constitution/Bill of Rights in order to maintain them since they already belonged to us and, in fact, apply to humans even in countries without these documents.
With that said, our nation being a Constitutional Republic – as opposed to a Democracy, we respect individual rights and the Rule of Law over the wishes and desires of the majority (“tyranny of the majority,” as it is called). The purpose of our government being designed this way was to protect those holding a minority opinion from being oppressed by the stronger majority. This is why the Constitution makes so arduous the process involved in passing new federal legislation and even more difficult to amend the document itself.
Despite the aforementioned point that the Constitution/Bill of Rights was not necessary in order for us to have our rights, ironically, upholding our founding document is the single most important issue and goal for our nation in order for us to progress in a legal and agreeable fashion – even if what “we the people” want is to abolish it completely and start anew.
In light of this discussion of the Constitution, it is imperative to note a few specific parts of this great document which are extremely important yet have been largely ignored and/or disobeyed by our federal government for quite a long time now.
One such issue is that of national defense. The meaning of this has been blurred beyond recognition over time. The definition of “defend”, according to The Oxford American College Dictionary, is to “resist an attack made on (someone or something); protect from harm or danger.” Conversely, the definition of “militarism” is “the belief that a country should maintain a strong military capability and be prepared to use it aggressively to defend or promote national interests.” Which of these two definitions sound more like the current use of military force of the United States?
Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution (which lays out the powers of the legislature) allows the Congress “To lay and to collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts, and Excises, to…provide for the common defense…; to declare War…; to raise and support armies;…to provide and maintain a Navy;…to provide for calling forth the militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions….” In addition, Article II, Section 2 (Presidential powers) states that, “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and the Militia of the several States when called into the actual service of the United States.” These are the government’s only military powers as laid out by the Constitution.
Now that both the semantic and constitutional meanings of “defense” have been clearly stated, it seems obvious that our use of military force as a nation has not fit this description for quite some time. There has not been a formal declaration of war in this country since World War II. It is also worth noting that, in fact, a faction of the founding fathers (namely, the “anti-federalists”) warned against the country having a standing army, partly for fear of a government that was too centralized (much like it is today). Also worth noting are the farewell addresses of two former U.S. Presidents. The first of which also happens to have been our first president, George Washington. His address warned against permanent alliances and entanglement in foreign affairs and also recommended that the nation take advantage of its geographical isolation. Perhaps even more forceful and relevant than the advice of Washington was that of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, our thirty-fourth president. His farewell speech warned that, "We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military–industrial complex." Although both men are regarded as extremely important figures in our history, the advice of each has gone largely unheeded.
Another issue of exponential importance to our nation is economics, monetary policy, currency, etc. And although I am unqualified to adequately annotate these topics, I will do my best out of necessity.
It has been stated (by sources immemorial) that the U.S. dollar has been devalued 95% since the establishment of the Federal Reserve Act in 1913. This Act, written in secret by private bankers at a place called Jekyll Island, put the power of currency issuance in the hands of a private entity not connected to the government or accountable to anyone – The Federal Reserve Bank. These are powers expressly given only to the U.S. Congress in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution.
The Fed has single-handedly destroyed the value of the U.S. dollar through Keynesian-style currency manipulation. Whether it is through artificially low interest rates causing malinvestment or through the type of runaway inflation caused by the recent “quantitative easing” practices and bank and corporate bailouts (both domestic and foreign) implemented by the Fed, all such currency manipulation serves only to destroy the value of our currency, spiraling us further into debt both as a nation and, by extension, as individuals. These practices of the U.S. Central Bank are not only responsible for the boom-and-bust cycles but also for the economic bubbles created when the dollar is artificially propped up. Ultimately, what happens as a result is the inevitable bursting of said bubbles and events like the housing crisis experienced around 2008 when the housing bubble burst. This has caused a ripple-effect in the U.S. and world economies and led to the economic downturn felt not only in this country but also in Europe and beyond, partly as a result of the fact that the U.S. Dollar is the world reserve currency. It is the effects of this the world is still trying to straighten out to this day while average American citizens are scratching their heads trying to figure out how things got so messed up. Meanwhile some presidential candidates pander to the unemployed by claiming they will create jobs as if that is all that is required to strengthen the economy.
As most people know, the U.S. Dollar was, at various times in our history, backed by gold and/or silver. This meant not only that the Dollar possessed intrinsic value but also that dollars could be exchanged for these commodities; most importantly, however, it allowed only a certain amount of money to be in circulation at any given time. Unbeknownst to many, however, as a result of the United States backing out of the Bretton Woods Agreement in 1971, the Dollar became a complete “fiat” currency, meaning it has no real value and, in fact, could be more accurately described as “debt notes” than “dollars”, in a certain sense. In contrast to a commodity-based currency, the Fed can circulate as much fiat currency as it sees fit to “stimulate the economy”.
On a related note, our system utilizes something called “fractional reserve banking,” which means not only that individual banks are able to create money in addition to what is created by the Federal Reserve but also that it is quite literally created out of thin air – or more specifically, that they can lend out more than they have in reserve and thus profit from lending money they do not and have never actually possessed. Such practices also create a climate where those with a great deal of money basically have unlimited potential to grow their personal wealth without making any real sacrifice while the rest of us, in many cases, are just scraping by and struggling to make rent/mortgage payments to keep roofs over our heads and pay outrageous interest rates when we need a loan. It seems clear that this is largely responsible for the lack of a fair, level playing field in the world of finances.
While it is not necessarily my intention to say that this is some evil conspiracy designed to hurt common people, I am saying that it is destructive of our currency’s value and, in the long-run, most definitely does more harm than good to everyone except the banks and the very wealthy who smartly profit from a down economy; furthermore, if anyone not working for a bank loaned out money they didn’t have, they would be prosecuted in federal court and likely imprisoned for counterfeiting.
I believe, as many others do, that these issues are the fundamental underlying problems with our economy, and the economic inequities they create are largely responsible for many of the societal problems we face. I also believe that utilizing an Austrian-style free-market system would help remedy many of these problems on a long-term basis and create a fairer climate for everyone. Although this system is inevitably still subject to cycles, without artificially propping up the Dollar as in a Keynesian system, we would be far less likely to experience massive crises like The Great Depression and the aforementioned housing crisis. In a free-market system, “we the people” are empowered to solve societal problems through private industry rather than government bureaucracies which have proven themselves inept time and time again.
In conclusion, it is imperative for me to emphasize that these are not issues that can be resolved by simply electing a member of a different political party; in fact, the mere existence of political parties is a large part of the problem (this is another thing George Washington foresaw and warned against in his farewell address). Much like race, gender, religion, national heritage, and every other personal trait with which we identify ourselves in lieu of simply seeing ourselves as Americans or humans, the prominence of political parties creates false divisions among us and prevents us from ever uniting to make real change for the betterment of our nation and the world. Granted, none of the necessary changes can take place overnight, but if we fail to get the ball rolling in the right direction, it is unlikely that they will occur at all. It is my firm belief that the best way to move in the direction of achieving the necessary changes to preserve our republic is by returning to the Constitution and only allowing our government to act within the authority afforded therein.
There is only one candidate running for President of the United States promising to do just that. Not only has this person been singing the same tune longer than he’s had a voice in government, but he’s the only one who seems to understand the importance and true intent of the document. He’s also someone who really understands (far better than I) the economic issues our nation faces; in fact, that’s the main reason he initially ran for the U.S. Congress in 1974. That man is twelve-term Libertarian Congressman Dr. Ron Paul, who is vying for the Republican nomination to go up against Barrack Obama and become our next president. Frankly, in my humble opinion, he is the only Republican candidate who can draw enough Democratic Party and independent votes to win the office and unseat a man who has broken just about every promise he made during his campaign. Dr. Paul is someone who can unite us as a nation based on the principles of liberty rather than maintaining the status quo, upholding the false right-left paradigm which has kept us divided for so long, and gradually dwindling away at the few civil liberties we have left.
Whether you want sound money, greater personal liberty, an end to the welfare state, abolishment of the illegal Internal Revenue Service, a federal government that only acts within its constitutional authority, or an end to undeclared wars of aggression which only serve the interest of the military-industrial complex and result in blowback that we end up dealing with in the future at the expense of additional lives, all these (and many more) are reasons I endorse Ron Paul for our next president and encourage you to do the same. And even if you can’t bring yourself to support and vote for him, it is worth asking yourself why the mainstream media and establishment continually ignore him, shun him, and/or paint his remarkably consistent views in a negative light.
It is time we start thinking for ourselves and forming our own opinions rather than allowing the media to spoon-feed us. With that said, I urge you not to take my word for it. Do your own research, and be an informed voter. Listen to the man speak. There is a reason that his supporters are far more fervent and impassioned than those of any other candidate, including the current president: the message of liberty is a powerful one.
Yours in love and liberty,
“An idea whose time has come cannot be stopped by any army or any government.”
-Dr. Ron Paul (adapted from a quote by French poet, Victor Hugo)
Thank you all for reading and re-posting. My only aim in writing this was to put the issues in the proper political context and not only encourage a vote for Ron Paul but also encourage the understanding of why it is so vital for our nation. I hope I succeeded in doing so. Thanks again