It didn’t start with Obama. Nor Clinton, Carter, JFK, or even FDR.
In 1913, Woodrow Wilson was the newly elected president. Wilson and his fellow progressives scorned the Constitution and the Declaration. They moved swiftly to replace the Founders’ republic with a new regime.
There is widespread agreement that Wilson did not always show good judgment – for example, in his blunders in international relations – but in the project of overturning the Founding, he and the movement he led selected their targets shrewdly. By the time he left office, the American republic was, as they say, history. The fundamentals of the new regime were in place, and the expansion of government under FDR, LBJ, and Obama was made easy, perhaps even inevitable.
Nineteen-thirteen gave us the 16th and 17th Amendments to the Constitution. That year also saw the creation of the Federal Reserve. This burst of changes marks the effective beginning of the Progressive Era in American politics, the era in which we now live. Wilson was to do much more that would once have been considered out of bounds, but these three changes were enough to change everything. In 1913, the fundamental agreement the Founders made with the American people about the relation of the states and the federal government was broken.
Here is the Founders’ original bargain, stated by James Madison in Federalist 45:
The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce…The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.
It is important to remember that when we speak of the ratification of the Constitution, this is what was ratified. But this is not the government we now have. Today’s central government is not the federal government of the original Constitution.
Boy, he said a mouthful there. He mentions the three pillars of Progressivism that were the first big steps on the road to undoing America as founded; the 17th Amendment, the abomination that allowed for direct popular election of Senators, is mentioned first, as well it ought to be. I’ve certainly railed about it here often enough.
Clearly, the bargain, honorably entered into by the Founders’ generation, was broken. It was broken by the 17th Amendment, which instituted the direct election of U.S. senators. That amendment struck directly at the heart of the Founders’ design. According to the original Constitution, senators were chosen by the state legislators. Unlike the members of the House, who represent the people of their district, the senators had a special responsibility to represent their states in the deliberations having to do with the those “few and defined” powers the Constitution transferred from the states to the federal government. That is why the states with small populations and the states with larger populations got the same number of senators and the same number of votes in the Senate. It is also why the Constitution gives the Senate power over treaties and over the appointment of the senior officials of the executive, those whose responsibilities include “war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce.” The 17th Amendment eliminated the fundamental electoral guarantee of the Founders’ vision of a federal government with limited powers.
The system we have today bypasses the state legislatures. The consequences have been many and profound. Probably the most obvious has been the inevitable erosion of the independence of the states and of their ability to counterbalance federal power. The Senate was a barrier to the passage of federal laws infringing on the powers reserved to state governments, but senators abandoned that responsibility under the incentives of the new system of election. Because the states no longer have a powerful standing body representing their interests within the central government, the power of the central government has rapidly grown at the expense of the states. The states increasingly are relegated to functioning as administrative units of today’s gargantuan central government.
To my way of thinking, this was the Big One, the one crucial step to transforming Constitutionally limited government into something the Founders would have abhorred. He goes on to make the case against the 16th and the creation of the Federal Reserve, winding up thusly:
It is perfectly obvious that we are far down the path to a new kind of tyranny by way of endless bureaucratic regulation and confiscation. If we are to recover and secure our liberty, much must be done, and much must be undone. We cannot succeed unless we carefully remove these three pillars of the Progressive State.
Again: he said a mouthful there. But to accomplish that would require the determined and unequivocal insistence of a benighted and historically-ignorant populace well-indoctrinated via a monolith consisting of government schools, the media-entertainment complex, the university system, and the government itself to regard a too-powerful central government as the natural order of things, and the answer to all their problems. Frankly, I don’t see it happening—not now, not ever. The country will break apart long before that ever happens…and I don’t see that as being particularly likely, either.
But at least we all have the satisfaction of knowing that Woodrow Wilson—a hateful, conniving, treacherous, rancidly evil bastard—will burn in Hell for a thousand years.
Update! Related? Oh, you better believe it is.
Yet another Orwellian restatement of the obvious: Marxism isn’t done. It’s alive and well. Every time it fails, it re-brands itself, peddles itself to the next generation of wishful thinkers, and wrecks another country. Venezuela is the most recent, glaring example. The U.S. may be wrecked in time, too, because the proselytizers of Marxism (under various types of shiny Christmas wrapping) infest our university system, the entertainment establishment, the news media, and government.
Think Marxism will never happen here? Upton Sinclair—the ardent socialist intellectual—said: the American people will never accept socialism when it’s labeled as socialism, but they *will* accept socialism under different names.
Which is why modern American Marxists will so hotly and adamantly deny that their brand of socialism, is in any way Marxist, or especially communist. Because they know Marxism and communism have a bad rap. They are depending on their ability to re-brand the same bad ideas (which “sound good” in the words of Thomas Sowell) in order to push those ideas forward.
In the end, every time socialism fails, the Marxists will claim it’s magically not socialism. We have had numerous examples of different interpretations of Marxist theory implemented at the national level, and those examples speak of unprecedented human suffering. Which somehow doesn’t count, we are told, because these countries weren’t doing it right.
So, clearly, we have to try again.
And destroy another nation.
And another. And another. And another.
And now, at long last, they have America itself squarely in their crosshairs—making it a bitter irony indeed to hear people talk about how we “won” the Cold War. But hey, THIS time they’ll get it right for SURE. Right, libtards?
(Via Sarah Hoyt)