While Article VI of the U.S. Constitution states that “…no religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States,” throughout history, there have been those elements in society that have attempted, and sometimes succeeded, in applying that which the Constitution strictly forbids.
In the presidential election of 1800, those elements applied the religious test to Thomas Jefferson in his contest with Aaron Burr solely because Jefferson was a Deist. In 1928, the test was applied to Al Smith because he was a Catholic. In 1960, the test was applied to John Fitzgerald Kennedy because he was also a Catholic. In 2011, these elements, in which a majority of them can be found in the mainstream press, are applying the test to Republican candidates Michelle Bachmann, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry.
Since the Progressive Era, a belief has been established by the American people that when something is wrong in society, that it is the duty of government to act and get involved. Often times, the remedies that they put forth and enact make matters only worse for the people that it is suppose to serve. Furthermore, when the situation does make the matter unbearable, government cures it all with more government intervention. For example, if there aren’t adequate housing apartments in a great metropolis, government forces landlords and landowners to reduce their rents through Rent Stabilization laws, i.e. Rent Control. This causes even more of a shortage of housing apartments (We see this case in New York City). If people are worried about high incidents of crime being committed afterhours in big cities like Newark, New Jersey, they call on the City Council and The Mayor to act. Recently, the City Council passed and Mayor Cory Booker signed a law that if business establishments were open afterhours, then these businesses must hire contract security. This law will cause some businesses to close and will cause others to lose money. If the automobile industry is not building enough hybrid or fuel efficient motor vehicles, then government uses CAFE standards to punish these businesses until they comply, never mind that some of these standards causes safety hazards in designs and construction.
Suppose that the welfare state, with its promise of cradle to grave entitlements and its promise of wealth redistribution, “social justice,” and “benefits,” ceased to exist. Suppose that the welfare state, constructed during the progressive and New Deal era and afterwards, ended totally and permanently. What would happen? If we are to believe the progressive philosophy, old people, the unemployed, the weak and the needy, children, the disabled and others would suffer immensely. The progressives, along with “moderates” and “compassionate conservatives” would claim that the streets of every town, hamlet and city would be littered with a sea of human misery and awash in human tragedy. I believe otherwise.
If the welfare state were to end, the following would transpire:
In his book, ‘Leviathan,” it was Thomas Hobbs that wrote that in the state of nature, man is entitled to everything. He or she is not only entitled to his or her own property and possessions, but also to the property and possessions of others. To some in this society, this kind of reasoning is a sacrilege and an abomination to civilized and human norms. However, when one survey’s the environment and the politicians not only in Washington, D.C. but around the globe, there is no question that Hobbs’ philosophy is followed down to the last letter.
In American Society today, there is a great many misconceptions of what is meant by “The American Dream.” There are forces in the mainstream press, in politics, in academia and elsewhere who claim that the dream is to own a home, regardless if one can afford it or not; that it entails having a government sponsored heath care system and other entitlements; that it means getting paid by government to do, what they believe, is “the right thing;” and that it entails society being controlled by a central power located in a distant capital.
It is not nor will it ever be any of these things.
In every war that the U.S. has fought in, from the Korean conflict to today, these wars were never declared by the institution called Congress. They were declared, instead, by the presidency, both in Democratic and Republican hands. Under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, the power to declare war is the sole responsibility of Congress and no other. Yet, as with most issues, Congress has been diverting more and more power to the executive branch. Even the War Powers Act of 1973 allows for the President to commit troops to battle provided that Congress is notified 60 to 90 days of deployment. This act is nothing more than a poor and faulty attempt at compromise. The question of whether it is the president or Congress that has the power to declare war has never been decided by the Federal Courts, let alone the U.S. Supreme Court.
If I had the standing, I would challenge the authority of the executive not only to wage war, but to also commit troops overseas. I would file the papers in court if I were allowed to do so. I am surprised that a member of Congress, who would have more of a standing than I, has never filed with the courts on such an important issue such as war, peace, life and death. It is high time that the question be answered once and for all. Can one person decide to send young men and women to face gun fire? Or is that the duty of 535 persons? Can the executive commit troops to battle? Or is that the right of the legislative? These and other questions must be resolved and must be answered for the sake of the future and the sake of the American people.
For over 40 years, this nation has spent $40 Billion a year to fight a war that is not winnable. This war is not against a hostile or enemy nation, nor is it against an enemy organization such as Al-Qaeda. This war is none other than the war on drugs. It is a war on the American populace itself; it is war that breeds law enforcement corruption; it is a war that breeds violence in the street of every metropolitan city; it is war that makes criminality and criminal conduct sound appealing; it is war where profits are earned in the black market; and it treats those who abuse and use drugs like criminals and the dreads of society at large.
A War on the American Populace: There are individuals whom believe that the war on drugs targets only those who are considered “Kingpins” and members of organized crime. This may be true in some aspects, but it is not the whole picture. Often times, innocent civilians and regular folks are targeted. These people may or may not use drugs, but acting on tips from informants and others, police officers use their S.W.A.T teams to break into homes without a search warrant and search the dwelling. This has happened in states like Louisiana, Georgia, Florida and elsewhere. If the person is arrested, he or she is subject to asset forfeiture laws, child authorities are notified, his or her children are seized and the person’s life is turned into a living nightmare.
On K Street in Washington, D.C., there are many offices that are occupied by special interest groups. Everyday, those offices send a lobbyist for the purposes of attempting to make some members of Capital Hill and The White House to support their causes and their endeavors. About 95% of the time, what these lobbyists request is tax monies to fund their projects as well as lobby for other spending legislation and monetary support. It is these special interest groups and their political supporters whom are an impediment to reducing the size and scope of government, and an impediment to reducing this nation’s $14 Trillion dollar and counting national debt.