Authored by William Robert Barber
America’s structure of government was established, initially, as a check and balance utility, specifically designed to counter the inherent corruptive nature of man. As we all learned in civics class, it was the Constitution of 1787 that documented the operating basis of the existing federal government. In the beginning the signers for ratification believed, despite the endorsement of a federal system that the Constitution was a document specifically written with the explicit purpose of limiting the power of the federal government. Witnessed, rather adamantly at the time by Rode Island, wherein these islanders, as a requirement of ratification, insisted that The Bill of Rights be the Constitution’s first amendment. In other words, there was enough evidence to suggest that the Constitution was designed as an implicit imposition upon government. It is my supposition that (at the time) this covenant of implicit imposition was considered definitive, material, and interminable. As proof of my confidence in this supposition, I submit that without passage of The Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the Constitution) there would be no Constitution.
The original signers of the Constitution imagined the possibility of a draconian federal government; they therefore set in place certain check and balances to curtail such encroachments. But they could not have imagined the 16th amendment (individual income tax) to the Constitution. Nor could they have subsequently imagined a federal government empowered not only to tax but to distribute the bounty of such taxation to states with terms and conditions set not by congress but by regulators. These are the very same regulators who work directly for the executive branch of the federal government.
The power to tax is in unison the power to distribute; such a symbiosis is the fundamental of absolute power. All of the issues regarding the curtailing of individual rights and freedoms stem from the derivatives and collaterals associated to and from the power to tax and distribute. Taxation, distribution of what is harvested from taxation, and political power all run concurrent to a gargantuan governmental enterprise – these concurrent expressive(s) also make up the DNA of a socialistic style of governing.
If there is a constant that is formidable and steadfast in this modern world, it is the constant of change. Conversely, if there is one tangible of enduring perpetuity, the one dependable status quo, it is the lust for political power. This lust for political power is intrinsic to human nature and inherent to operating systems. Remembering that power, even the one that serves the so called common good, is to be feared, its propagation is, by nature, insidious; power is also amoral, apathetic, and – most important to understand – insatiable. Political power is a force that, while seemingly or indeed is creating good results on the one hand, often enough, is resulting in unintended consequences on the other. Political power exercised by either party is not to be trusted; such power must constantly be monitored by an independent press and looked upon with askance.
It is understood that power is a prima facie of all governments; but power is also the blunting instrument used by all politicians when items of beneficial significance or the soft sell efforts fail to achieve their goal. The struggle for the attainment and retaining of power is the contextual of history. Political power is so omnipotent that it has prompted one to lie, cheat, steal, and murder. Millions upon millions of dollars are spent on political campaigns because political power is the sublime of positioning; in contrast, the loss of political power positions the counter party as the character of ignominious dismissal.
Those in government, elected or appointed, Democrat or Republican, are interested in broadening their platform of political influence. As a consequence, most politicians, because we do not have a federal term limit, are in favor of a bigger, larger, wider, deeper government. It is therefore predetermined that government will grow; not just in size but in ambiguity, political contrivance, and duplicity.
Subsequently, by means statutory and lawful, extralegal, and piratical, those with political power will strive to subdue, restrict, or limit any and all that is perceived as an obstacle or hindrance to their exercise of power. Those outside of such power will strive to attain political power; the cycle is self-perpetuating and as ancient as the City of Ur.
The current affairs of congress are a perfect example of politicians jockeying for the power position; each surveying the possibilities, each trying to pick the winner in the upcoming horse race. Mr. Powerful has survived his most recent outcry of “stupidly” by the chicanery of hosting a beer drinking babbling moment, wherein all main characters in the Cambridge melodrama showed up for reasons unclear. The House of Representatives actually believes that the federal ‘cash for clunkers’ program is a stimulus worthy for more cash investment – two billion dollars more is the present goal. Paying citizens to drag in their cars to have the federal government (another word for taxpayer) pay them $4,500 for a car that is worth substantially less is the perfect instance of outright clinical insanity. If such a program is considered a success, why not pay people to trade their computers, bicycles, cell phones, old clothes for new; let’s have every American home owner, at the government’s expense, turn their home ‘green’.
It is all about political power; policy has been downgraded from substance to Public Relations Theater; such is motorized not by sensibility but by polls and focus groups. Therefore, the old adage of “he who has the gold rules” once again is validated; it has just been juxtaposed for comparative sameness with gold. Either a political party has it or not; either one has the gold or not; with such an absolute either or, one can truly understand why political power is to be feared.
In addition, political power will not compromise, it will not subordinate even to good sense. Political power will only abate its thrust and slash if confronted with overwhelming counter power; and such abatement will always be bloody.