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Design for Despotism

Thought for Today

“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism… “From the American Declaration of Independence

“Probe with bayonets. If you encounter mush, proceed…” Lenin

These days arrogant pundits have a tendency to sneer at the very thought of “conspiracy theory”. This reminds me of Verbal’s pithy pronouncement from the movie “The Usual Suspects” (not for family viewing, by the way) that “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist.” When I’m tempted to let snide punditry influence my SmallLogoLTLthinking I more often call to mind the above quoted words from America’s Declaration of Independence.

They reminds us that people who want to preserve their liberty must be willing to keep in mind the possibility that the actions of their government leaders may be part of a “design” (that is, a consciously contrived plan of concerted actions) aimed at establishing despotic rule over them. If the American Founders left room for a little conspiracy theory, why shouldn’t we? Indeed, in the cyber age we should be more open to it than ever. After all, when it comes to human activities, “conspiracy” is just another word for systematic programming. The key question in that context: What is the goal?

I’ve been asking myself that question as I consider the Alleged Usurper’s recent power grab involving the Census Bureau. And I’m not just referring to the obviously partisan purposes it may serve. What struck me more was the unnecessarily arrogant fashion in which the Obama faction declared control over an activity that the Constitution clearly states shall be determined by law. Existing law places the Census bureau under the supervision of the Secretary of Commerce.

A change must be made in the law before the White House can constitutionally alter that arrangement. Admittedly, with a Democrat majority in both Houses, Obama will have things his way. But at the very least, appearing to issue orders not authorized by law (as the Constitution requires) smacks of a hasty if not dictatorial temperament. However, my concern isn’t about temperament, either.

Years ago, I wrote my doctoral dissertation at Harvard. I focused on Alexander Hamilton’s contribution to the U.S. Constitution. As I researched and pondered this subject, I was struck by the dangerous abuses of executive power that might arise, under certain circumstances, because of the assumptions the Framers made with respect to the characteristics of the American people. The Constitution’s famous system of checks and balance works on the assumption that the different branches of government will jealously guard their own Constitutional prerogatives and the prerogatives of the people they are supposed to represent; and that they will therefore adamantly resist encroachments upon them.

If one branch or another takes unconstitutional initiatives, the judiciary has means to forestall the effects in some cases. In others, the legislature has the power to remove the offending officials. The executive can simply refuse to carry out unconstitutional actions. But, by the same token, only the executive has frequent opportunity to carry on an unconstitutional initiative until it produces a concrete result that can be challenged only after the fact. An individual might, for example, be unconstitutionally arrested, tortured and killed under the auspices of executive authority long before either of the other branches even hear about the action, much less have any chance to intervene.

The first safeguard against such abuse is the character of the one vested with executive power. But if that person has the disposition to move beyond the law until met with hard resistance (to probe with bayonets, as Lenin put it), great and perhaps fatal harm could be done before such resistance sufficed to stop him. There will be a special danger in this regard if the executive in question has enough support in the Congress to make him confident that his abuses will not be challenged, or that such challenges will never have sufficient support to remove him from office. Can we say with any confidence that we are not in this situation of special peril to liberty?

The present occupant of the White House assumed residence while refusing to provide credible evidence that he is in fact constitutionally qualified to serve as President. Neither the judiciary nor the Congress, nor any other government officials, showed any disposition to defend the terms and authority of the Constitution. Unlike Arnold Schwarzenegger and others, Obama took the initiative to run for President despite whatever knowledge still impels him to withhold from public view the document that would rebut the substantial allegation that he is not a natural born U.S. citizen, and therefore unqualified to serve. Following Lenin’s dictum, he probed. He met no resistance. He has so far gotten away with it.

Does his dictatorial presumption with respect to the administration of the census reflect the same tactical disposition? If he so casually crosses the line of respect for Constitutional formalities with no shred of cover from the circumstances of his action, what will he do when some emergency actually seems to authorize extraordinary measures? He has already called for a domestic security force as large and well funded as the military. He has already begun to tout the economic crisis as something that can only be solved by centralizing more and more power under his control. His supporters have already begun an effort to replace allegiance to the Constitution with personal allegiance to him. Taken alone, such things might be meaningless. But altogether, like the threads of a tapestry, they begin to suggest a design.

Someone who plays the party dictator when nothing is at stake may just be practicing for the moment when everything hangs in the balance. And if Congress is willing to tolerate such infringements of the Constitution when there’s nothing to fear, what must we expect if and when some catastrophe calls for armed forces in the streets, and the prerogatives of disaster arm executive whims with raw power to do things far more threatening than the partisan rearrangement of the bureaucracy?

Let’s not pretend that we live in times when such events are at all unlikely to occur. On the contrary, the last terror attack hit upon our soil in a time of relative prosperity. If the next one wrenches us in the midst of an economic depression, will the twin demons of fear and economic misery leave people with much heart for liberty? Or will it seem a pointless distraction from the imperatives of survival.

Such times call for a leader whose heart will be the repository of America’s love of freedom, keeping the flame alive in spite of all. But human history suggests that they are more likely to spawn leaders that seize the opportunity to do what their ambition, their ideology, or their resentful disposition has inclined them to do all along: seize the day; seize the power; and use that power to snuff out the flame of liberty, and scatter its dying embers.

I know that there are some Americans so far gone that they look without concern upon the prospect of such despotism. For them, the so-called economic stimulus boondoggle is like the distribution of money a new Roman Caesar would make to woo the support and loyalty of the Praetorians and the Roman rabble. Like such Romans, they are doubtless the ones who will gladly serve as servile henchman of despotic ambition, as it works to cow, seduce and subdue the rest of us. But are they so many that the little harbingers of tyranny, carried upon the winds of so-called change, have no audience capable of understanding and responding to their significance? Are there no Americans left willing to see with an eye jealous of our freedom, and stand, with hardy, God struck spirits upon the rights He has designed for us?

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Akira February 24, 2009, 4:36 am
  • Akira February 24, 2009, 4:32 am

    I believe that Obama hides his birth certificate because Frank Marshall Davis is his real father.

    Of course he’d then be a natural born citizen, and of course he is not responsible for his father’s identity.

    However, it would deflate the hot air balloon of the biography that Obama ran on.

  • Marie Devine February 17, 2009, 10:24 am

    Forgery Evidences-Obama Impeachment

    See charges and convincing evidences of forgery against President Barack Obama for forgery of Selective Service System Registration Form, RIMS History printout verifiying registration and a COLB Certificate of Live Birth to deceive voters. He has no security clearance. Can we afford to trust the decisions of a president who has forged documents to appear eligible to be president and has spent over $800,000, of I do not know whose money, to keep from showing his identity and eligibility?

    A printed letter was regular mailed to the US Attorney 2-11-09 PM

    Whether or not Barack Obama sues for money damages, those who had to make lawsuits against him for failure to present evidence of elegibility should counter-sue or sue for return of costs for what should have been unnecessary lawsuits. Do not ask above and beyond, go below. B.O. will have to prove your lawsuits were unfounded by showing proof he showed required documentation. Glory to God. He is the rewarder of those who fight for truth in His name.

    Also See: http://obama-birth-certificate-sss-evidences.blogspot.com and http://www.divine-way.com

  • Jim In Times Square February 16, 2009, 3:45 pm

    Our ‘carnival culture’ has created apathy among millions of Americans who love liberty, but shun the daily effort required for its defense.

    I doubt Patrick Henry, George Washington, Jefferson, or Lincoln could bring about the re-awakening required to reverse our present course. I hope I am wrong, but fear most Americans have gotten too comfortable to stir themselves, as they relax in the giant kettle of slowly warming water.

  • mikedean February 14, 2009, 6:53 am

    Gear up is all I have to say. We are obligated to stay prepared to defend our liberty. There will be a time when action is required.

  • mommyto5 February 13, 2009, 11:54 pm

    Mr. Keyes speaks the truth! I’m going to send this website to everyone I know. I know many people who believe this and want to do something. The only thing I feel like I can do while I homeschool my 5 children is pray, pray, pray and try to teach them the truth. Sooner than we think, they are going to be the ones dealing with this mess and leading the faithful.

  • Gilbert February 13, 2009, 5:17 pm

    Seems as though there is NO ONE left. Just us three… So many people wanted Mr. Keyes to run for president and is no one reading? No comments? Are we just going to sit on our hands, hide our heads in the sand?

    I don’t know about the rest of the USA, but here in my little part of VA, I speak out every chance I get and challenge people to go and READ HISTORY FOR THEMSELVES. Read the Constitution. The original one. The Declaration of Independence. We are getting ready to have everything stripped from us by a vain attempt at stimulating the economy. All we are going to have left, those of us who believe, is our faith in GOD.

    Where are all of the conservatives? Do any of you have a voice left in your soul? SPEAK UP! George Washington and the rest of our country’s founders would be SO ashamed and heart broken…

  • amdburner February 13, 2009, 8:42 am

    “Are there no Americans left willing to see with an eye jealous of our freedom, and stand, with hardy, God struck spirits upon the rights He has designed for us?”

    I believe that I am one. I only pray that I have the stones to carry forth when the going gets really tough. I have never feared our government like I fear it now.

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