Saturday, December 10, 2016

Don't Fight the Power, Question It

I had a curious—and very short—conversation on Twitter last week. You know, sometimes it's just the little things that bother me, and sometimes those little things that bother me stick to me for a really long time, particularly when the little thing is connected to a gigantic principle.

The question I asked was; "Under what clause in the #Constitution is the authority for the president to do anything about jobs?"

The reply was; "There is none Brett. However, the Constitution does not restrict the president from doing things to help either. Are you anti-Trump?"

You see what I mean here? Every president and smarmy politician in my fifty-four years of life has been talking about jobs, jobs, jobs. Every. Single. Effing. One. Of. Them. They have failed so dismally that it is a wonder more people don't tell them to mind their own job instead of all of ours...but I digress.

Okay, I get it. Donald Trump won. He's in the limelight, and honestly, I'm very relieved that Clinton lost. I know the guy who responded to my tweet doesn't know me personally, but for all the noise about the federal government trying to create jobs, I still find it alarming to have someone jump immediately to the possibility of my being "anti-Trump," especially when I didn't even mention him.

The simple Twitter answer for me was; "I'm pro Constitution. If Trump follows it, cool. Although the 10th amendment means POTUS doesn't have that authority."

But I think a more in-depth answer to that question of possibly being anti-Trump is called for, so I will just go ahead and write one.

The premise of the question of my being for or against Trump is completely wrong. I just don't think in terms of support for or against any politician. Ever. And I would encourage you to do the same.

There are two problems in my Twitter follower's question to me.

The first is that anything not listed specifically in the Constitution as a federal power, is unconstitutional under the Tenth Amendment. That's what it's there for. The Tenth Amendment is specifically designed to protect the American People from special interest group's influence on them. Big Labor and Big Business, for example, are special interest groups. Having a president, any president, getting involved in creating jobs makes him susceptible to the influences of Big Labor and Big Business. It is thus that the job of a president, under the Constitution, is not to create jobs. The president's duty is to follow the Constitution. Under the Constitution it is his job to keep the federal government out of the way of the People so the People can create their own jobs without the corrupting influence of Big Labor or Big Business. That's the constitutional system.

Another example of this principle in operation would be Big Oil and Big Environment. How does the president become susceptible to the influences of Big Oil and Big Environment? Simple. Ignore the Tenth Amendment, which says it's none of his business anyhow, and start getting involved with the country's energy policy. There is no constitutional power for the federal government to do anything about energy and its uses by the People, or the environment.

There are hundreds of things this could apply to but the principle is exactly the same in every single one of them. Ignoring the Tenth Amendment not only makes Washington DC susceptible to lobbyists and special interest groups, it creates them through giving power to the federal government, over our lives, that they are not supposed to have in a free society.

It is not the point of the American federal government to have a president, acting as king, fixing everything the way he and his supporters want it. The point of the president of the United States is to keep the federal government running under constitutional limits, so that everybody can fix everything for themselves the way they want it.

Okay. Back to Joe Biden's three letter word, "jobs." Neither Donald Trump, nor any other president, past, present, or future, should be creating jobs. To do so is a violation of the Tenth Amendment. To that degree and on that subject I oppose them.

That's the first problem with the premise of this particular Twitter follower; that the federal government can stick its nose in anything they want, for any reason, without restriction, for the supposed good of us all.

The second problem is a bit bigger and ventures into the very nature of tyranny itself. Tyranny depends, surprisingly enough, on the support of the people of the country. It is not intuitively obvious that it is so, so I shall give an historical example.

There once, not too long ago, was a leader of a country who became a tyrant. (This tyrant shall remain nameless for the purpose of this article because I don't want people screaming, "He's comparing Trump to ____________!!!!" The point is to explain the nature of the people who follow a tyrant, not the tyrants themselves.) In order for those people to support him, they had to make one assumption above all other considerations. They assumed that the unnamed tyrant was GREAT!!! Following immediately under that consideration was the firm conviction that anybody who did not see or understand his greatness was somehow inferior, insane, or mistaken. See? He's GREAT!!!. Therefore everything he does is great. It "proves itself."

The unnamed leader that I speak of—and really, you should know who it is—through the unquestioned thought of his GREATNESS in the minds of everybody who should have known better, gained total control of everything in the country. Nothing he did was ever questioned, because it was so obvious he was GREAT the idea of questioning him on things that didn't really seem to make sense never crossed anybody's mind.

This extended to the degree that on making military decisions, when he issued orders to his generals, and they didn't understand the point of them, they just assumed he knew better than all of them combined, and they were just "too stupid" to understand his brilliance in military strategy and tactics. That's how far above them he really was—they thought—so they couldn't question him out of fear of looking stupid. When the orders turned out to be wrong and the battles, and eventually the war, was lost, the generals, true military experts who should have instantly spotted the supreme leader's incompetence, took the blame upon themselves. Why? Because they thought he was so unerringly GREAT that normal rules did not apply to him.

In other words, his cult of personality was so very strong that the people of his country were willing to follow him without question. And follow him they did. Straight to their deaths. Tens of millions of people who never questioned him, who may have lived full and prosperous lives had they bothered to simply understand and ask, wiped out simply for the fact of taking for granted that their leader was GREAT. Towards the end anybody who did question his judgment was summarily executed.

It is for this reason that I never, ever, EVER!!!, think in terms of supporting or opposing any politician on a personal basis. The Constitution is my only standard at the federal level. I only approve or disapprove of any politician relative to their exact job descriptions provided under it.

There is no other standard. I don't even bother to like them or dislike them because to do so is to risk our country and its people. And really, I don't know them personally so how could I rationally like or dislike them personally? The instant you begin to travel down the road of liking them or disliking them on any personal basis, you begin to make yourself vulnerable to the cult of personality at the risk of the constitutional system.

I don't care if the president is King Solomon and his decisions are directly from the wisdom of God Himself. I don't care if he is King Midas and everything he touches turns to gold which he promptly credits to my own bank account. Conversely, and to a certain sarcastic, joking degree, I wouldn't care if the president was filming porn, in the Oval Office, on the Resolute Desk, as long as he was following the Constitution while he was doing it.

None of those kinds of things are my standard. I don't care, on a personal basis, about any of them because we can never afford to just take for granted the decisions of any politician, or president, without looking at them and questioning them relative to the supreme law of the land; the United States Constitution.

This is how my support is determined. The same principle of evaluation would have applied to Clinton had she won. Because of this I am very glad she lost. But just because Clinton would have been a terrible president, especially under my exacting standards, does not—emphatically—mean that everything Donald Trump is proposing to do is automatically and unquestioningly great, beyond any reasonable need of logical and constitutional evaluation. That he is a competent businessman is completely beside the point. Because some people like him and think him to be a wonderful guy doesn't even register in my mind. That his support is growing to gigantic proportions is so far outside my scope of acceptance or caring that it was difficult for me to even type this sentence. The same principle applied to Obama. The same for Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan, etc., all of the way back to Washington. And every single one of them without exception, did something as president, that was not, strictly speaking, any of their freaking business.

There are many things a president can do that would make the country prosperous which he would have no business doing under the Constitution. Every one of them that I can think of would involve some special interest benefiting some people and harming other people.

Don't fight the power. Question it. If you do, honestly, there would never be any reason to fight it.

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