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Howard Phillips discusses the Constitution
Accuracy in Academia ^ | Howard Phillips

Posted on 05/20/2002 9:12:46 PM PDT by aconservaguy

The Constitution: Sovereignty & Accountability A Lesson in American Governance An Accuracy in Academia address by Howard Phillips

This lecture was given as part of AIA's Conservative University conference held on Saturday, June 18, 2000 at American University.

Nineteenth century theologian R.L. Dabney got it right when he observed regarding conservatives, "This is a party which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is today one of the accepted principles of conservatism. It is now ‘conservative’ only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be forced upon its timidity and will be succeeded by some third revolution to be denounced and then adopted in its turn. American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows radicalism as it moves forward toward perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. This pretended salt hath utterly lost its savor. Wherewith shall it be salted? Its impotency is not hard, indeed, to explain. It is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It intends to risk nothing serious for the sake of truth, and has no idea of being guilty of the folly of martyrdom. It always, when about to enter a protest, very blandly informs the wild beast whose path it assays to stop that its bark is worse than its bite, and that it only means to save its manners by enacting its decent role of resistance. The only practical purpose which it now serves in American politics is to give enough exercise to radicalism to keep it in wind and to prevent it from becoming prissy and lazy from having nothing to whip."

Well, that was written a century ago, and things are not much different. You can describe that as the modern Republican Party, and apply that to the GOP, because whether the issue is the 2nd Amendment or the right to life, they never defend the correct position on principle. They only say, "well, we will deal with this incrementally." But when you have accepted the presupposition of your adversary, incrementalism works against you. The only way we can win is not by incrementalism or gradualism on the other side’s premises, but by swift, sure victories. And we get very few chances to have those victories, but when we do, we need to press them to the full.

When you watch a baseball game and a team has three men on base and only scores one run or no runs, that team may very well lose the game later because it has not pressed its advantage when it has it. Believe me, the liberals never fail to press their advantage, and we all too often fail to press ours when we really get them.

Let me get to the topic of my remarks concerning the Constitution, which is "Sovereignty and Accountability."

In every society, you need to ask, who is the god of this society? Wherein reposes sovereignty? That is the key question, because law is always the will of the sovereign. Whoever is sovereign is the lawgiver.

There really are only three choices about who is sovereign: Either God is sovereign (that’s what the Framers believed), or man’s reason is sovereign (that’s what the libertarians believe), or the state is sovereign (that’s what the Republicans and Democrats believe—and the Nazis and the communists, and the fascists). That’s what most rulers have believed throughout history. If the state says abortion is okay, sodomy is okay, whatever, then that’s the last word because the state is the sovereign of that society.

That’s why I’m very careful not to speak of national sovereignty. I speak of national independence, because I believe the preservation of the nation-state is essential to the preservation of liberty. The nation-state protects our law system. If you look at what’s happening in Europe, countries which have joined the European Union supposedly got into bed on trade, but they have been raped on every issue. They are no longer permitted to assert—even in Briton—the source of our great common law heritage. Even in Briton they have to bend the knee to edicts from Strasbourg and Brussels and Luxembourg, which proclaim that the death penalty is not permitted; that abortion must in all cases be tolerated; that sodomy can’t be outlawed; that you can’t spank your children; etc.

Sovereignty is about law: Whose law rules? We must preserve the nation-state—not to preserve the sovereignty of the nation, but to preserve the sovereignty of God.

Now, the Framers understood this implicitly, if not explicitly. And I would urge that in studying the Constitution, you cannot properly do so without considering it in the context of the Declaration of Independence. In the Declaration, it is asserted that "we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights." In other words, our rights come from God. It is further asserted in the Declaration that government—meaning civil government—derives its just powers from the consent of the governed. And that is because the governed are God’s creatures. We are endowed by our Creator—He is our Lord, our Sovereign, our Savior, our Creator—and we, as His creatures, all are accountable to Him, and we owe a duty of stewardship to His sovereignty. To the degree that we delegate—not surrender, but delegate—responsibility to the federal republic, we must hold the federal republic accountable to us, so that we may be accountable to Him.

It’s not accidental that Article I of the Constitution speaks of the legislature, Article II of the executive, Article III of the judiciary. The legislature was most important. The first sentence in Article I following the Preamble to the Constitution asserts that "all legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States." " All…vested." In other words, no other entity may make policy or control resources, insofar as the federal republic is concerned, except for the Congress of the United States. And because those powers are vested in the Congress, Congress cannot delegate those powers. And I’m glad to see that even this Supreme Court is beginning to take another look at the principle of non-delegability. It’s an essential principle.

Now, let me give some examples of how our federal republic and our Congress have strayed from defending that principle of non-delegability and accountability. First of all, the President. Bill Clinton is not the first, or frankly even the worst, when it comes to the arrogation of power to the executive. It began with Lincoln. Woodrow Wilson did a horrendous job to this country. F.D.R. did. So did Ronald Reagan.

On November 11th, 1988, after the election, Ronald Reagan promulgated one of the worst executive orders in the history of the republic, in which enormous powers were assigned to, in effect, a dictator, who, if a state of emergency were declared, would have the power to determine whether and where you could travel; whether and where you could work; would have the power to imprison you; would have the power to determine what your wages would be; etc., etc. An absolutely horrendous executive order.

Bill Clinton has carried on this tradition, and has, for example, declared a national emergency so to impose sanctions on the anti-communist freedom fighter movement in Angola, led by my friend Dr. Jonas Sevemby. He had to declare a national emergency to do it.

He also, of course, has purported to have the authority under the Antiquities Act to confiscate private property, to do a variety of other things. He has issued executive orders which have a legislative aspect to them, rather than an administrative aspect to them. Now let’s be clear: the President is the Chief Executive. He does have the right to execute the laws enacted by Congress and to promulgate procedures and instructions to accomplish that. But he is not the Legislator in Chief. Chief Executive, Commander in Chief, but not Legislator in Chief. He participates in the budget process, but he has no authority whatsoever to initiate policy. This President has done that, and this congress—like others before it—has been negligent in failing to assert the primacy of the Constitution, and to reign in this inappropriate abuse of power by President Clinton.

Second, regulatory agencies. Again, a regulatory agency can implement a policy clearly enunciated by Congress. But Congress has no authority to give a regulatory agency—whether it is the FDA, or the SEC, or the EPA, or any other—the power to make policy. It has no authority to surrender that policy-making control.

The same with the bureaucracy. There was a time when it was clearly understood that the purpose of the civil service was to implement policy, not to make it. But as the federal government has strayed beyond its appropriate Constitutional bounds, increasingly, permanent employees of the executive branch are making policy decisions as they craft regulations; as they determine where funds shall be dispatched; as they create organizations to receive funds. And a corollary to this problem is what I call government by non-profit corporation, wherein many thousands of private organizations, employing some 2.4 million people currently, are given money and authority to lobby, litigate, propagandize, proselytize, for their preferred political views.

It was mentioned that during the Nixon Administration I served several years heading a couple of agencies. I learned a lot in those agencies. When I was head of the President’s Youth Council, I reported to the Vice-President, I was able to sit in on cabinet meetings, I had a chance to meet with key officials in all of the cabinet departments, and what I discovered was that the decision-making civil servants were in many cases people who had worked in successful Democratic political campaigns (or unsuccessful campaigns) who had been assigned a life-time job in the bureaucracy, who then had authority to say, "alright, I’m giving a half-million dollars to my buddy in San Diego," or, "I’m giving three million dollars to there," whatever it may be. And they were invisible. Very few people were aware of what they were doing. Almost no one ever supervised them. This was an incredible education for me.

Then, when I was Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity, in the two years of the agency before that, I discovered that there was this vast army of people out there working for organizations that didn’t sound as if they were part of the U.S. government, which had self-designating, self-perpetuating boards of directors, [and] which included on their boards heads of organized labor unions, representatives of homosexual groups, pro-abortion groups, ACLU, etc. And these people, during the Nixon Administration, were getting money to promote their agenda.

Under Richard Nixon, some 500 chapters of the welfare rights organization were created under this type of activity. I tried to close it down. It required a Presidential veto to get that done. The President initially pledged that he would do that, but he reneged on that pledge, and in fact virtually doubled what he had inherited.

My experience is that Republicans are far worse than Democrats, because they institutionalize, legitimize, and expand what the Democrats put in. They fly the false flag claiming to be the defender of conservative principle and constitutional liberty, when in fact they surrender the principle and legitimize that which they profess to oppose.

And you can look at the recent Congresses and see that since the Republicans took over Congress in 1994, federal taxing and spending have increased by a third. The federal government today collects $1.9 trillion a year. When they took over Congress in ’94, it was collecting $1.4 trillion a year. Permanent Most Favored Nation status for Red China. Expansion of the federal role in education. Kosovo. Bosnia. $18 billion bailout of the IMF. U.S. troops under U.N. command. Continuation and more funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. Legal Services Corporation. Etc. All of these things have been done jointly by the Democrats and the Republicans.

In fact, any self-respecting party would have removed Bill Clinton from office for treason and bribery. They wouldn’t let those be the charges brought in the context of impeachment, and they rigged the impeachment trial to make sure that he wouldn’t be convicted. A prominent Republican senator told me, "We don’t want Al Gore to be President or to face him in the year 2000 as an incumbent. There’s no way we are going to convict Bill Clinton." And they put politics, again, in front of principle.

There’s a new book coming out by David Schippers, who was Henry Hyde’s counsel, which confirms that in private meetings with the Republican leadership, they said, "uh uh, fellas, this is not going to be trial that will lead to Bill Clinton’s conviction." They didn’t want him convicted.

They have been Bill Clinton’s principle collaborator, his principle ally.

When I was Director of OEO, there were 2000 people who theoretically reported to me. I presided over a budget of several billion dollars. But there were half a million—500 thousand people—who worked for some ten thousand private non-profit corporations that were working to radicalize the United States of America. They were supporting Axalon, the return of the southwest to Mexico. They wanted to create a Republic of New Africa. I mean, you could not imagine the things that I saw with my own eyes. Had I not seen them with my own eyes, it would have been hard for me to believe.

But this is an example of what happens when Congress does not hold close to itself all responsibility for policy and expenditure.

Another area where Congress has surrendered policy control is, of course, to institutions of the New World Order. There’s no way in which Congress can Constitutional justify sending your tax dollars to an institution like the World Bank, or like the International Monetary Fund, where we have a vote of less than 19 percent to control our own money. That is a clearly un-Constitutional delegation of resources. Our very membership in those organizations is un-Constitutional. Yet, Congress blithely supports this.

One of the main things that I’ve learned over the years is that you have to fight on principle. It’s like wrestling an octopus: if you try to win a victory over every tentacle, eventually the octopus will get you. You’ve got to go for the head of the octopus and not worry about the tentacles. They’ll die when the octopus dies. What we have to do is fight on principle and go for the head of the octopus.

In other areas, Congress has improperly delegated its responsibility. The World Trade Organization. NAFTA. I don’t care whether you are a free trader or whatever; the Constitution makes clear that Congress shall regulate commerce with foreign nations. Before you even get to a debate over trade policy, you have to recognize that that debate must be held in the Congress of the United States. It can’t be set by the President’s special trade representative, nor can it be determined by a tripartite Canadian-Mexican-American NAFTA bureaucracy, or a 155 nation bureaucracy called the World Trade Organization. From the get-go, these things are un-Constitutional.

Similarly, the Judiciary is under the Constitution, not over it. The Judiciary has no power to amend the Constitution, even by unanimous vote. Supreme Court decisions are binding on parties to the case, but they do not have general litigative applicability.

People are mis-taught in the law schools today that Marbury vs. Madison established the principle that the Supreme Court can overturn the Constitution. Not true. If you read Marbury vs. Madison, you find that Chief Justice Marshall simply ruled that a particular decision was void because it was beyond the Constitutional authority of Congress. It was not un-Constitutional; it was not among the delegated and enumerated powers. That is a very, very important distinction.

Finally, let me touch on another aspect of this, which is seldom in the public debate. Don’t you find it curious that one person—Alan Greenspan—should have such extraordinary power? Isn’t that strange? He seems like a nice fellow. He’s obviously very bright. In his youth, he was supposedly very conservative. But should one man, and a few close associates, have the authority to determine the amount of interest on your credit card? Should he have the authority to determine how much money is in circulation? No.

If the Constitution were followed, he would not have that authority. The Constitution clearly says in Article1, Section 8 that there is a particular system intended for the national currency. It says: "The Congress shall have power… to coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures."

Money was to be by weight, not by fiat. That’s why in that clause, it talks about "weights and measures." Money was by weight, not by fiat. Think about it.

I don’t know how many of you read the Wall Street Journal. The most important thing I learned in college was the advice from George Bundy that every morning before breakfast I should read the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. He said that is the most important thing you’ll learn in four years at Harvard. And I would encourage each of you who wants to be a leader, to read those papers, even though I have profound disagreements with both of them. There is information which they convey which you simply cannot get anywhere else.

The Wall Street Journal, earlier this week, reported that at long last the SEC had forced the Stock Exchange to move from a system of reporting Buys and Sells by fraction, to decimals. Most people have no idea why initially it was in fractions. It used to be stock was a dollar and one-eighth, or two eighths or three-eighths or five eighths. Now it is going to be 1.1 or 1.2. Why was that? Well, that’s because the dollar, in the early days of the Republic and for much of our history, was the Spanish coin—popularly referred to as "pieces of eight."

Now I’m an old man, but when I was a kid I would go to the barber shop and the barber would say, "haircut—two bits." "Shave and a haircut—four bits." That was four bits of eight bits—Spanish pieces of eight. And if you go to some of the National Park Service sites where they have museum shops, such as Gunston Hall—home of George Mason—they will sell pieces of eight imitations. And you will see that the coin is divisible into eight parts. Money was by weight. Two-eighths (or one-fourth) was a quarter dollar. And the dollar was eight-eighths. The actual weight of the dollar—of the Spanish coin—was 371 ¼ grains of silver. That’s what a dollar was. That’s how Congress defined the dollar.

Did that mean you had to carry all of that around in your pocket? No. You could have paper representing real value. You didn’t have to carry the coin with you. But it was based on weight.

One of my favorite Presidents is Andrew Jackson, because Jackson vetoed the reauthorization of the Second Bank of the United States, which was one of the precursors to the Federal Reserve system, which was established in 1913. And he did so in defiance of the Supreme Court. He said the Supreme Court is entitled to its opinion, but insofar as the Executive Branch is concerned, I tell you what the Constitution means.

From 1787, when this Constitution was created, until 1913, when the Fed was created, cumulatively, inflation in the United States was less than 17 percent. 126 years—less than 17 percent inflation. Since 1913, inflation has been in excess of 1000 percent. That means the Fed, which is responsible for the value of your money, has more legislative authority than the Congress, because the Congress in ignorance and carelessness and cowardice has delegated its responsibility to the Federal Reserve. Congress must take that back.

And let me just put it in personal terms: My wife and I were married in 1964. We had no money. Her dad gave us a car. It broke down in 1965; we had to get a new car. So I negotiated a deal with the Alston-Brighton Chrysler-Plymouth dealer, and bought a new Plymouth—on credit—for $1921. Today that car would cost at least 15 – 16 – 17 thousand dollars. Eight hundred percent inflation during that period of some thirty-five years. And that’s not an accident. That was a policy of the Fed to inflate the money supply.

What power does the Congress have to tax? Well, the Constitution makes clear—and just so I get it precisely right, I’ll read it to you—Section 8, first sentence: "the Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises to pay the debts and to provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts, excises shall be uniform throughout the United States."

Three purposes: pay the debts, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare. What do they mean by general welfare? It was not redistribution. It meant that no section [of the nation] would be favored over another. The general good would be promoted. You could substitute the word "good" for "welfare." To promote the general good, not the particular group of any favored class or region.

And then they spell out in Article I, Section 8 what they meant by those three things. They define the specifics of those three authorities. If we had a Constitutional budget today, the Federal government would not be spending $2 trillion a year. It would be spending less than $500 billion a year, and most of that would be going for the common defense. Not for the defense of U.N. peacekeeper operations. Not for the defense of foreign countries. But for the defense of the United States of America.

Now, does that mean we cannot do anything overseas? No. We are a maritime nation, we have to keep open the sea-lanes of communication and supply, we need a strong navy. Secretary of the Navy John Lehman under Ronald Reagan built the Navy up to about 600 ships. That was a good thing. We are now down to about 305 ships. That’s a bad thing. We should rebuild our navy.

We also need to be able to project power for the defense of the country. That’s why I believe we need to defend our southern defense perimeter, which is the Panama Canal; why we need to return troops to the canal zone; why we need to get Red China out of Panama, and to get our presence back in.

Do you know that Red China now controls the two largest banks in Panama? Chase Manhattan—which they bought about a month ago—and Marine Midland—which they bought about a year ago. They control the ports on either end of the Panama Canal; container ports at Balboa and Christobal on the Pacific and Atlantic sides. There has been a massive increase in the Chinese population in Panama. They are now bidding to gain control of what used to be Howard Air Force base. It relates to the common defense of the United States that we prevent a hostile power from controlling that zone, just as it was in our defense to prevent the consolidation of hostile force in Cuba. Right now, Beijing is working very closely with Castro. They’ve taken over the Soviet listening post at Lourdes in Cuba. They’ve done other things to be a problem to us: They’ve moved into the Bahamas. They are making Vancouver, British Columbia their major port on the west coast of the United States. They are picking up choke points all over the world.

The independence of Taiwan relates to the defense of the United States of America, because, as Douglas McCarthur once said, Fermosa (or Taiwan) is like a giant aircraft carrier floating in the Pacific. As long as Taiwan is independent of the mainland, it will be difficult for Red China to undertake aggressive hostile action against the United States. But if Taiwan is incorporated, then they have a lot of running room to move against us. So, preemptively, it is important for us to do what we can to keep Taiwan independent of mainland China.

And one of our concerns about Panama is that Panama is one of the few countries in the world that recognizes Taiwan, rather than Beijing. And the growing economic clout of Red China in Panama threatens that diplomatic recognition of Taiwan, which is important economically and otherwise to the independence of Taiwan.

Now, people say, well, you’ve described how things ought to be, but nothing can be done. Nonsense! Everything can be done. Now it would be better if you had a Congress that was comprised of more than two-thirds of the members with the views of Ron Paul of Texas. If Ron Paul occupied two-thirds of the seats in Congress, Congress could straighten everything out, but unfortunately, Ron Paul has just one vote, and there aren’t many with his courage and his comprehensive perception.

There are some outstanding people in the House. Bob Barr of Georgia is one of my favorites. I like Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland. There are some others. Some are good on this, and others are good on other things, but there aren’t enough of them at this point for Congress to turn around. And because of the way the Federal election laws were written… (I’ll save that for the question period if you are interested in how that has transformed American politics—not in the way John McCain said, but in a far more dangerous way). The effect of that has been to make it virtually impossible for us to restore the Constitution by relying on Congress, unless we repeal the Federal election law amendments of 1974. Failing that, our best shot at turning things around is through the election of a President. And one of the reasons we can still elect a President is because of the Electoral College system. I here a lot of conservatives who haven’t really thought it out say, "oh, the Electoral College is a relic. It interferes with democracy." And so forth and so on.

I thank God every day for the Electoral College. When the Electoral College system is abolished, if it ever is, our opportunity to retake this country by Constitutional means will be significantly diminished. The Electoral College is one of the last vestiges of federalism in the Constitution. The 17th Amendment, which provided for the direct election of Senators, undermined federalism. Until the 17th Amendment, Senators represented states, and you didn’t have to be a millionaire to run for the Senate. You didn’t have to have the favor of the media to be elected to the Senate. But the popular election of senators made the Senate accountable not to their legislature, not to their state, but to big media and to big money. That was the effect of the 17th Amendment.

The value of the Electoral College is that we do not have a single election for President. I have great respect for my friend Pat Buchanan, with whom I am competing for the Presidency this year, but one are with which I profoundly disagree with him is in his call for national initiative and referendum. Whenever you have national initiative and referendum, you have the danger of a kind of mobocracy which was feared by the framers. More significantly, national initiative and referendum would let the media set the terms of debate. It would erode, override, undercut the checks and balances, the separation of powers of our Constitutional system. It is very dangerous, and I hope that on reflection Pat will reconsider his stance on that.

The Electoral College means that we have not one election, dominated by the national media and big money, we have 51 elections for the Presidency. Fifty-one. The one is D.C., which shouldn’t have three electoral votes, but it does, by Constitutional amendment. There are 538 electors. Each state has two, plus one for each congressional district. In every state except Maine and Nebraska, it is winner take all. In Maine and Nebraska, the statewide gets two electors, plus the votes of each congressional district where he has the plurality.

And by the way, did you know that under the Constitution you don’t even need a popular election? Under the Constitution, the legislature of each state shall determine the means by which each elector shall be chosen. And there were times in our history when there were not popular elections for the President, because they were choosing the electors, and the state legislatures had different means for choosing them.

But in any event, under the electoral college system, I believe—and one of the reasons I started the Constitution Party, one of the reasons I’m running, is because although only one person is going to win this year, each candidate will leave some kind of a legacy. I think Alan Keyes has left a phenomenal legacy from his campaign. But I can’t think of anyone else who has left much of a legacy worth much. My prayer is that my campaign will leave a legacy of Constitutional restoration. The idea of Constitutional restoration. Because principles which are not advocated are lost to history. And that’s why I think it is important for my party to succeed and to get all of the votes that it can, because I think the day is coming when the Stupid Party will come apart at the seams. It is the big tent. I think my friend, Mr. Buchanan, made a mistake leaving the big tent for the big zoo, called the Reform Party. I think he would have been wiser to come to a party of consistent Constitutional principle. I think that will yield a legacy. But right now, when you have that breakup—it may not come this year (probably won’t), but it’s going to come—remember, when you have five candidates running for President in a state, three of them get twenty percent, one gets nineteen percent, one gets twenty-one percent, the one with twenty-one percent gets 100 percent of the electors in that state. It is not far fetched, my friends, for us to believe, that within the foreseeable future, the electoral college system is going to let our side elect a President. That’s why I’m doing this. It may not be me, but our side is going to be able to elect a President, and the question is, will that President represent just another party of political opportunism, a little bit more conservative than the one left behind? Or will that President have an agenda of Constitutional restoration?

Here’s how you can turn the country around. Let me just give you two examples: The Constitution says that not a single penny may be disbursed from the federal treasury without either a Congressional enactment or appropriation signed into law by the President, or, a Congressional enactment vetoed by the President with Congress then overriding the President’s veto. If a President says, "I will sign no bill that has in it one penny for the IRS, the U.N., Planned Parenthood, Gay Men’s Health Crises," or whatever else you want to close down; if that President’s veto is sustained by either 34 of 100 senators or 145 of 435 representatives in Congress, that is the end of those entities.

Reagan used to say, "well, I can’t close down the Department of Education, we don’t have the votes." That’s nonsense. He could have had 34 votes to sustain a veto and that would have been it. All of these things can be possible. We can buy back 200 years of the country heading in the wrong direction, in a single presidential term.

For most politicians, abortion is a talking point, not a conviction. For me it’s a conviction. I believe that the first duty of the law is to prevent the shedding of innocent blood. And I think that it is a stain that will never be forgotten on this country that our government has approved the slaughter of more than 35 million innocent boys and girls. I don’t believe in exceptions. I’ve been in the delivery room on various occasions. I’ve never seen an exception; I’ve only seen boys and girls. And whoever their parents may be, they have a right to life. Whatever their weaknesses may be—whether it is Down Syndrome, or missing an arm, or whatever it may be—at the moment of fertilization, they were given an eternal soul by almighty God, and man does not have the right to destroy innocent life. We have no right to do that.

The Constitution says, "No person may be deprived of life without due process of law. That’s in the 5th Amendment. Harry Blackmun said, in Roe v. Wade, and John Paul Stevens echoed it in Casey v. Planned Parenthood in southeastern Pennsylvania, that if we treated the unborn child as a person, abortion would be unconstitutional. If I were President, I would acknowledge the legal personhood of the unborn child. And I would then appoint the U.S. attorneys, whose number one priority would be to uphold the Constitution—and that means you cannot kill an unborn child unless you first indict him for a capital crime, bring him to trial before a jury of his peers, convict him on the testimony of two or more witnesses, and sentence him to death. Now in all cases where that isn’t being done, the job of the U.S. attorneys would be to prosecute every abortionary and every abortionist in the United States of America. We may not get them all, but there won’t be 1.5 to 2 million abortions every year. People who say you can’t do anything about it are wrong. You don’t need to change the Supreme Court. You don’t need to amend the Constitution. You need a President who really wants to end abortion, and who has the courage to do it in the face of opposition.

There are so many things that can be done. They will probably only be done in the context of crises. Our job is to be ready when that crises comes. And I continually draw inspiration in preparation for that crises from the words of our first and our greatest President, George Washington, who at a crucial point in the deliberations over the Constitution rose to quell the spirit of unwise compromise on the part of his colleagues, asserting that, "if to please the people we offer what we ourselves disbelieve, how may we then afterward defend our work. Our job," he said, "is to raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair, recognizing that the event is in the hand of God."

One quick thing before I go to questions: Jefferson said in the Virginia Declaration of Religious Liberty, inspired in large part by George Mason, that to compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical. And, of course, much of what the government does today is sinful and tyrannical. The 1st Amendment, building on the principle, says, "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of a religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." The states can—all the states had establishments of religion when the 1st Amendment was adopted (Catholic establishment in Maryland. Anglican in Virginia. Congregational in Massachusetts, etc.) —but the Federal government cannot do it.

My friends, every schoolhouse is an establishment of religion. It inescapably reflects core views about the nature of God and man. That’s why not a penny of Federal money can be spent on education. All ideas are inherently religious. The Federal government has no right to interfere with prayer, public, or private. Whether its in the public square or the football game or the school house. The problem with the schoolhouse is not just the one-minute they don’t let you pray, it’s the five hours and 59 minutes in which they are indoctrinating you with an anti-Christian, anti-Biblical dogma. Those things are dead wrong.

Finally, on taxes, the Framers were right: the Federal government should not directly tax the American people. Our agenda is to get rid of the income tax, no sales tax, get rid of FICA, privatize social security, get rid of capital gains, estate taxes, taxes on business activity, etc. Replace it all with a revenue tariff on foreign products. Lincoln was right when he said (even a broken clock is right twice a day), "it is better to put tariffs on foreign businesses and foreign products than taxes on American companies and American workers." He was right. The tariff you can avoid paying by purchasing domestic goods. We would raise the $500 billion a year that we need by a revenue tariff of 25% on foreign goods, and a targeted excise tax—not a sales tax! —but a targeted excise tax on products which you can avoid. We would tax Ted Turner. We would tax the Disney Corporation. We would tax things like that. And that would raise enough money to keep the government in business. We’ve run the numbers; it can be done. Milton Friedman once said in the Sixties, he’d rather live in a country with a $200 billion budget out of balance than a $2 trillion budget in balance (What we are getting [now] is a $2 trillion budget out of balance), because every extra dollar the Federal government spends is one less dollar of liberty.

A free society is one in which you decide how the money is spent, instead of surrendering that authority to judges, bureaucrats, and politicians. My friends, my message is, forget the Big Lie. The Big Lie is that nothing can be done. Believe me, everything can be done. Everything can be done! But if you don’t know where you are going, any train will get you there. And if you don’t vote for what you believe, you will not get what you want.

(Howard Phillips is the founder of the Constitution Party and of The Conservative Caucus)

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism
KEYWORDS: constitution; howardphillips; sovereignty

1 posted on 05/20/2002 9:12:47 PM PDT by aconservaguy
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To: aconservaguy
2 posted on 05/20/2002 9:37:43 PM PDT by elbucko
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To: aconservaguy
My experience is that Republicans are far worse than Democrats, because they institutionalize, legitimize, and expand what the Democrats put in.


People such as George Bush are not able, or are disinclined to actively and aggressively confront and refute people such as the Clintons. Consequently, the Clintons and the left take on the appearance of invulnerability and periods such as the present become consolidation and adaptation periods for the left and the counterculture in this nation.

3 posted on 05/20/2002 9:42:59 PM PDT by RLK
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To: aconservaguy
Bookmarked & a Bump for a voice of reason.
4 posted on 05/20/2002 9:57:36 PM PDT by cva66snipe
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To: aconservaguy
bookmarked thanks!
5 posted on 05/20/2002 10:27:30 PM PDT by Terriergal
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