this is a discussion within the Poli-Sci Community Forum; Restoring the American Republic I undertook this project not because I believe the Constitution, as originally structured, is outdated and outmoded, thereby requiring modernization through amendments, but because of the opposite—that is, the necessity and urgency of restoring constitutional republicanism ...
||LinkBack||Thread Tools||Display Modes|
|08-12-2013, 10:52 PM||#1|
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: The Woodlands
Blog Entries: 23
The Liberty Amendments
Restoring the American Republic
I undertook this project not because I believe the Constitution, as originally structured, is outdated and outmoded,
thereby requiring modernization through amendments, but because of the opposite—that is, the necessity and urgency of restoring constitutional republicanism and preserving the civil society
from the growing authoritarianism of a federal Leviathan. This is
not doomsaying or fearmongering but an acknowledgment of fact.
The Statists have been successful in their century-long march to
disﬁgure and mangle the constitutional order and undo the social
compact. To disclaim the Statists’ campaign and aims is to imprudently ignore the inventions and schemes hatched and promoted
openly by their philosophers, experts, and academics, and the coercive application of their designs on the citizenry by a delusional
governing elite. Their handiwork is omnipresent, for all to see—
MARK R. LEVIN HAS MADE THE CASE, IN NUMEROUS NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING BOOKS - MEN IN BLACK, LIBERTY AND TYRANNY, AND AMERITOPIA - THAT THE PRINCIPLES UNDERGIRDING OUR SOCIETY AND GOVERNMENTAL SYSTEM ARE UNRAVELING. IN THE LIBERTY AMENDMENTS, HE TURNS TO THE FOUNDING FATHERS AND THE CONSTITUTION ITSELF FOR GUIDANCE IN RESTORING THE AMERICAN REPUBLIC.
For a century, the Statists have steadfastly constructed a federal Leviathan, distorting and evading our constitutional system in pursuit of an all-powerful, ubiquitous central government. The result is an ongoing and growing assault on individual liberty, state sovereignty, and the social compact. Levin argues that if we cherish our American heritage, it is time to embrace a constitutional revival.
The delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia and the delegates to each state's ratification convention foresaw a time when—despite their best efforts to forestall it—the Federal government might breach the Constitution's limits and become oppressive. Agencies such as the IRS and EPA and programs such as Obamacare demonstrate that the Framers' fear was prescient.
Levin argues that the Framers provided a method in the Constitution for addressing our current circumstances - which, he insists, must be resuscitated - and lays forth specific prescriptions for restoring the American republic. The answers, Levin insists, are not found in Congress, the Supreme Court, or the presidency.
This is a historic and compelling book, like few before it. Levin turns to the Constitution to save the Constitution and the nation's future. Levin declares that we, the people, have the power to reestablish constitutional republicanism, protect individual and state sovereignty, and reverse the centralization and concentration of power in the hands of governing masterminds and a massive bureaucracy. Levin explains that our demise is not inevitable if we rally to reclaim our heritage and follow the Framers' guidance.
Mark Levin Show - Get Your Copy of The Liberty Amendments
It's quite a good read ...
Said Pope Benedict: "WOW ... that ring is bigger than mine!!!"
|08-12-2013, 11:04 PM||#2|
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: The Woodlands
Blog Entries: 23
Re: The Liberty Amendments
Breitbart News: With The Liberty Amendments, you're attempting to launch a movement to amend the Constitution. Do you expect to be successful, and how long would it take?
Levin: What I hope to do, at least in some small way, is begin a discussion among those of us who believe the Republic is unraveling, and find a way to re-establish the Constitution and reclaim our heritage. When you look at the massive debt and reckless monetary policies of the federal government; the ability of five Supreme Court justices to pervert the Constitution and impose via fiat their personal policy preferences on the whole of society without any recourse; Congress's legislating, through massive bills, outside its enumerated powers and its delegation of unchecked power to a massive and growing bureaucracy, which legislates thousands of times each year by regulatory fiat; and the increasing authoritarianism of presidents who issue executive orders to create their own law and also blatantly rewrite statutes by interpretation and execution (or not) based on whether they agree with them or not; I think this and much more evinces the growing and steady decline of constitutional republicanism.
And I've concluded that Washington is incapable of reforming itself, which should seem fairly obvious. After all, it has designed the federal Leviathan, which is getting bigger and more aggressive. And I was thinking: What has this federal government become? It is not a constitutional, federal, or representative republic, as our Framers understood those institutions. I believe the federal government is increasingly operating outside the Constitution and that we are in a post-constitutional period. This is how justices, presidents, and members of Congress are able to concoct and then impose such monstrous laws as Obamacare and Dodd-Frank, among thousands of other laws and rules every year, on an unwitting population.
This book is written for those of us who fear what is happening to our nation--the increasing authoritarianism and abuse of the individual--and refuse to accept these events either by pretending they are not serious or as the inevitable decline of a great republic. This has been building for decades, since at least the advent of the Progressive era, and, in my view, requires a resolute, decades'-long effort to reverse course. So, the question arises, what do we do? For those of us who care, my book explores some of the possibilities. And they are provided in the Constitution itself.
The Framers knew better than others what it was like to confront actual tyranny. So why wouldn't we look to these greatest men for answers? So, that's what I did. If you look at Article V of the Constitution, it includes, among other things, two processes for amending the Constitution. The first process has resulted in twenty-seven amendments: two-thirds of both Houses of Congress propose an amendment, and three-fourths of the states are required to ratify it. In the second process, which is every bit as legitimate, two-thirds of the states decide to convene a meeting for the purpose of proposing amendments, which are then sent to the states for three-fourths ratification. It is a process that essentially bypasses Congress. Let me be as clear as I can: this second amendment process provides for a convention of the states to propose amendments, which in turn must be ratified by three-fourths of the states; it does not provide for a Constitutional Convention. Furthermore, because three-fourths of the states must ratify proposed amendments, there would be no "runaway convention" overturning the entire Constitution, as some might fear monger. I fully expect the most vociferous critics of this constitutional process to be among those who support or have contributed to all manner of constitutional evasions and distortions in favor of the increasing centralization and concentration of power, which is precisely what the Constitution was established to prevent.
Now, this is something I want to discuss at length on my program, and which I discuss at length in the book. I believe our strongest weapon is the Constitution, and therefore we should do all we can to reacquaint the American people with their Constitution. This is how we push back against a mindset that insists they surrender so much of their liberty to federal institutions; it is a mindset pounded home each and everyday by self-serving politicians, in academia, by the media, et cetera. Alexis de Tocqueville, and many others, eloquently warned about democracies acquiescing to the gradualism of soft tyranny and its destructiveness on man's nature.
The amendment process of which I speak was proposed and enacted by the Framers, who considered it crucial to accomplishing the ratification of the Constitution, for it was specifically established to address the possibility of an oppressive federal government. In particular, George Mason insisted two days before the Constitutional Convention's end that there needed to be a lawful and civil way to address an oppressive federal government, which he believed inevitable, short of violence and revolution. The Convention delegates in Philadelphia agreed. Thus, the Constitution provides that at least two-thirds of the states could ultimately get together, essentially bypassing Congress, and propose amendments to the Constitution which, in turn, all the states would then consider, three-fourths of which would be required to ratify them. This is no easy task. But it is the path the Framers provided in the Constitution to lawfully and civilly address an increasingly oppressive federal government, which ultimately would not control itself. So, we turn to the Constitution to save the Constitution, and restore the Republic.
As I write in the book, I admit that this is something that, originally, I was skeptical about. But having now thoroughly studied the intent of the Framers in this regard, it is crystal clear they put this process in place to provide us recourse under the kind of circumstances we find ourselves confronted with today. I need to underscore that this is not some radical or novel idea, although it has been largely ignored. It will be ferociously opposed by the proponents or beneficiaries of an all powerful federal government, or dismissed by those who delude themselves that nothing of this sort can happen in America and, as they will undoubtedly claim, Americans are resilient and we have overcome worse. But it is those who seek to further impose this alien design on our society who are the target of this amendment process. Their objections, albeit self-serving, are understandable. As for the others, let me say it is because Americans are resilient that I believe we are not destined for all eternity to suffer a miserable existence, which is precisely why we must take matters into our own hands by embracing the Constitution. It was President Reagan who famously stated: "You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say of us that we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done."
The book is called The Liberty Amendments for a reason. I have proposed eleven amendments for people to think about, not because I am all-knowing and all-powerful, but because they are my suggestions to encourage people to think about or, even better, to become active in reclaiming their heritage through this state convention process. The amendments I propose are not abstractions, but concrete suggestions, based precisely on what I believe, through research and scholarship, the Framers intended for this republic. I discuss each amendment at length in the book, and it is impossible to do them justice in a short interview. But it is worth remembering, whereas the statists promise a utopian paradise that conflicts with our constitutional order as justification for an ever-growing federal government, and many Republicans embrace the status quo, as designed by the statists-- I call them neo-statists--I say let's enthusiastically embrace the Constitution rather than fear it. Let's be positive about it. It offers us liberty, opportunity, security. These amendments are all aimed at reclaiming our founding principles by unraveling the federal Leviathan and reducing the excessive and growing power of the ruling class.
Do I think this is doable, and how quickly? Absolutely, or I wouldn't have written the book.The Framers thought so, because otherwise they wouldn't have bothered including this process in the Constitution. Will it happen tomorrow? Absolutely not. But I dare say that at some point it will. Because the situation in this country will reach a point, with lost liberties and economic dislocation, that I believe the people will look for a legitimate and non-violent means by which to save themselves. The nation's demise is not inevitable, unless we do nothing. We can prevent this, if we, the people, have the desire and motivation to do so. People want to know how we can do it. And the only way I can think of--I'm open to others--is by turning to the Constitution and the recourse the Framers left us.
One other point. Look at the statists. They play for keeps, and they are resolute. They never surrender, and they are never done with their social engineering and societal experiments. For example, for a century they have pushed national health care. They finally achieved it with Obamacare. Yet, Obamacare is just a start. It is a platform from which they intend to pursue endless lifestyle calibrations. The individual will be tormented and coerced endlessly. We conservatives, on the other hand, get impatient. We are too quick to abandon the battlefield. We must be as resolute, as defiant, as ambitious for liberty and constitutionalism as the statist is for the opposite. As I said earlier, there is an American spirit, and we must rekindle it and spread it. We need not accept this, we must not. We have children and grandchildren to think about; we must think about future generations, and not just the next two or three. We must encourage people to engage in the Constitution in the way that our Founders intended.
Breitbart News: Let's get right into the book. I am going to ask you questions about each of your proposals, playing devil's advocate to some extent, to bring out some of your ideas.
On your first proposal, which provides term limits--isn't the judgment of the people enough? What if there is a great conservative legislator--wouldn't you want him or her to remain in Washington?
Levin: For every great one there are twenty-five who are not. Here's the point. No one Senator, Congressman, or President is going to save the Republic or advance society in some spectacular way. It is the civil society, where people acting in their private lives, involving themselves in voluntary economic and community activities, that is the strength of the nation. The civil society has to be strong if a country is to be strong.
In Egypt, Gaza and these other places, constitutional republicanism doesn't work and can't, because they have no civil society. In America today, the problem is that the federal government is devouring the civil society. The result--the redistribution of power from the citizen to the sovereign, and an endless array of rules and regulations involving darn near all that we do.
But the notion that we have to rely on one president or five legislators--that is the problem. We're not going to find national salvation or reformation in one politician, nor should we. We ought not to [depend on] them to lead us to the Promised Land. Furthermore, in a world of imperfect people, and imperfect institutions, you have to have a system, as the Framers understood, to deal with this. Their system was to diversify power through a matrix of checks and balances, the enumeration of duties and roles, and limitations on central authority vis-a-vis the individual, including in the Bill of Rights. During the early period of the House of Representatives, fifty percent of Representatives served one term. Senators were chosen by state legislators. So, yes, we might lose some great Congressman or Senator, but the rotation of citizens in and out of public office was considered essential to the Framers, and for good reason As you can see today, we now have a professional ruling class, led by governing masterminds, and an army of bureaucrats, much of which is immune from the voters' reach. And not just the Framers, but great philosophers on whom they relied, such as Locke and Montesquieu, would reject the notion that a representative republic could co-exist with or survive under an entrenched ruling class exercising enormous power over society.
Breitbart News: What about Madison's point in the Federalist Papers that a national government encourages the concentration and promotion of talent? Wouldn't we struggle to open up the process and attract the best talent to government if we make it difficult for politicians to have political careers?
Levin: Right now we have effective lifetime terms, people who serve three, four, five, and six Senate terms, or twenty or more years in the House. There's many reasons for this including gerrymandering, incumbents' doling out tax dollars, et cetera. Regardless, how does any of this open up the process and encourage consensual government and citizen participation? It doesn't.The goal here is to make sure representatives are more representative by spending more time with the people in their districts and less time cloistered in Washington, surrounded and influenced by a different group of people peddling their interests. There is a growing disconnect.
Let's take Virginia, for example. You have the state Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli, bringing the first lawsuit challenging Obamacare; yet the state's two Senators voted for it. And this happens not only because of the different influences, but because--and this is related--the Senate is not constituted as the Framers' had established. Before the 17th Amendment, most Senators were elected by state legislatures. That way the states have direct input in the federal legislative process. Today, senators treat their own states as they do any lobbying group--no better, no worse--and the states have no effective voice in the federal system. The Constitution would not have been ratified by the states had the Senate been constructed as it is today. And we should keep in mind, the 17th Amendment was a project of the Progressives, along with the federal income tax, both being enacted in 1913. I think it's time to take a sober look at that.
Breitbart News: That's a good segue into your second proposal--to repeal the 17th Amendment and have Senators elected directly by state legislatures. Doesn't that limit the importance of the primary process--which has been critical for conservative candidates?
Levin: My proposal would make the process more interesting and relevant, and I believe we would see more people getting involved in the governing process because they would care very much about their state senator or delegate if they knew that these officials were going to participate in selecting the next U.S. Senator. The way the Senate is constructed today is nonsensical. The Framers did not want both houses to be elected directly. They wanted the Senate to represent the interests of each state.
As for the primary system, I would encourage people to get involved in it, and that would not change with respect to election for the House. The broader problem is that the federal government is so powerful, and getting more so, and its authority increasingly concentrated, that we need to look at how and why the system has broken down. So, this is about more than primary election, or one election cycle, within a system that is distinct from what the Framers intended. In my view, there needs to be a rebalancing of the system to undo the centralization of power--a reform that reestablishes the constitutional construct that has been undermined by the statists.
Said Pope Benedict: "WOW ... that ring is bigger than mine!!!"
|08-13-2013, 09:53 AM||#3|
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Spanish Fort Alabama
Re: The Liberty Amendments
Mark Levin is a genius. I hate his talk show but love his thoughts and ideas.
|08-13-2013, 10:04 AM||#4|
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Cypress Tx.
Re: The Liberty Amendments
The attempt to modernize the constitution is not because it is out dated; principals never become dated, they just become misunderstood.
The framers didn't sit in a cabin one night with a white board and decide to brain storm a list by which our country would be managed, they had centuries of historically bad decisions made by other countries, cultures, and rulers to found their basis for the Constitution.
The Supreme Court has lost its way due to heart strings being stroked which is not what they were tasked to do. They are tasked with upholding the Constitution, not interpreting law. Interpreting law is the job of a judge.
The Founding Fathers were determined to create a judicial system that was independent of political pressure. This was in keeping with their desire to keep a ‘checks and balance’ system by splitting government into three. It also fitted in with their desire to see America governed by the so-called Rule of Law.
The Supreme Court has become a political tool for Presidents from the day the first President figured out he could steer the courts decisions by putting Justices that were of the same mind as he was.
Evidence of Justices with an agenda or Justices that can not simply uphold the Constitution in spite of their own beliefs is evident when a Justice excuses them self from a decision. They excuse them selves because of prejudice, and no other reason.
We have reached a point in the life of our country where political appointees have zero regard for the Constitution or the decisions of the Justices, as evident that when Eric Holder does not like a decision he attempts to circumvent that decision on his own.
There is absolutely zero need for a Federal Attorney general as each and every state has its own.
Barrack Obama stands in front of the camera weekly and rambles on about "common sense approaches"...
Well, common sense would dictate that if I need a photo ID to buy Sudafed, board a plane, buy alcohol, buy cigarettes, cash a welfare or unemployment check then I should be required to present the SAME ID to vote.
All this BS about an ID requirement disenfranchises voters of absolute hog wash. How are these so called disenfranchised voters cashing welfare checks, using food stamps, driving, buying alcohol and cigarettes ?
Here are enough items that require a photo ID that i am not sure there is any citizen left uncovered. I underlined the most important ones.
1. Boarding an airplane
2. Writing a check
3. Cashing a check
4. Using a credit card
5. Driving a motor vehicle
6. Applying for a business license
7. Applying for permission to hold a protest or rally
8. Securing employment
9. Purchasing a house or real estate
10. Renting a domicile
11. Renting a motor vehicle
12. Purchasing a firearm (Includes BB guns)
13. Applying for a hunting license (waived for 16 and 17 year olds when their legal guardian provides a photo ID)
14. Applying for a fishing license (waived for 16 and 17 year olds when their legal guardian provides a photo ID)
15. Purchasing alcoholic beverages
16. Purchasing tobacco or products that contain nicotine
17. Purchasing a motor vehicle
18. Initial registration of a motor vehicle
19. Applying for a building permit
20. Receiving prescription medicine
21. Purchasing OTC medicine that contains pseudoephedrine
22. Serving on jury duty
23. Getting a bank account
24. Cash transactions of $5000.00 or greater
25. Sales tax exemption for people aged 80 and above
Even the poorest of people have to do one of the above listed, and if they do not have an ID to get a job or rent a place to live then they shouldn't be on unemployment or welfare.
I have been waiting for Cruize to answer my question but they never return to answer questions they just copy and paste blurts from Democratic websites.
I'm your huckleberry
Last edited by TheOak; 08-13-2013 at 10:06 AM..