Posts Tagged ‘Declaration of Indpendence’

1776 vs. 2012 Part 2

1776 vs. 2012 Part 2

Hopefully you read part one, if not, please go here 1776 vs. 2012 Part 1. To recap, I am simply comparing the government’s role in our everyday life during the time of the revolution against the Crown and the role our government has today. We are going through the listed grievances in the Declaration of Independence.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

The reader must remember, we are comparing the Crown to our current federal government. While technology surely gives an obvious advantage causing some to think this point moot, the fact it, it is not. To compare this provision, we must see what the founders did to solve the problem. They, in part, created the House of Representatives. A legislative body close to the people and able to replaced every two years. The number of Representatives at that time “shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each state shall have at least one.” If we stuck to that formula today, our House of Representatives would be about 10,400 instead of the 435. It would be very easy to have constant and real contact with your representative. It would also make it much easier for a third, fourth, maybe even a fifth party to be established. This writing is mainly focused on principle, not policy, one of the few diversion I will make is here. Having 10,000 representatives may be overkill. I would be happy to scale that down a bit and maybe make the formula to be based only on those over the age of voting (currently 18), maybe even only actual citizens. (Did you know, the original Constitution did not specify “citizens” for the purposes of determining Representatives. The exact words were “Free persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years” and then excluded Indians who were not taxed and then 3/5th of all other people. – the oft mis-quoted saying our founders considered slaves only 3/5ths a person.)

Back to the point. At the time, the problem was the Crown made it very difficult for the bodies to physically meet to discuss the issues. While that is not a problem today, we can meet anytime and with technology, most any place is near “the depository of their public records.” What is similar today, our Representatives simply represent too many people. No matter how hard they tried, they simply cannot do an adequate job of understanding the concerns of the people they represent. They can only comprehend the “high level” of public sentiment. They know if their district is “against” this bill or “for” that bill. But, they do not get the advantage of talking with them and getting new ideas. I will grant, part of this problem lies at the feet of the people, too lazy to even register to vote, too lazy to follow what goes on in DC, but, in the end, we should demand a more accessible House, even if that accessibility is not used to full capacity.

He has dissolved Representative House repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

We certainly do not fear being invaded because of any dissolution of Congress. One small aspect similar to that time is the current practice of “recess appointments.” The original intent of these was to ensure a cabinet member could be appointed when Congress was out of session in case of death or other incapacitation. Now, it is used by our Presidents to appoint people who they know would not be confirmed by our Senate. If stretched enough, the Presidential use of “Czars” could be included in this.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

I almost glossed over this one. We all know DC cannot become a state, but, we have several other territories wanting to become states. Unfortunately, the skeptic in me thinks the main reason is for the welfare they will then be entitled. However, this section is also about immigration. While, at that time, the issue was not enough, we now have a problem of too many. Or at least too many illegal’s or “undocumented” or whatever other PC term one wishes to use. In either case, then or now, the solution is the same, the government should get off the can and pass/enforce real legislation to fix the problem.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

This is one few people realize is such a problem. There are many federal judge positions vacant because the Senate refuses to take up their nomination. In the actual time of now, the problem is not that big since both the Senate and the President are of the same party. However, for years now, it has been common practice for the Senate of the opposing party of the President to filibuster a judicial nomination. While neither party is immune from this, the most recent tryst was the Democratic Senate refusing to consider dozens of judges nominated by the Republican President George W. Bush. This is certainly an area of checks and balances, but we, as citizens should demand the Senate at least vote on the Presidential appointments rather than not even bringing the name to floor for a vote. Furthermore, we should demand no stupid filibuster to deny a vote once on the floor. A long debate may be warranted for the lifelong appointment, but at least have that debate. The second one above is not a “problem” today. A President cannot fire a judge or determine his salary.

Part three will be coming tomorrow, again, thanks for reading, and go out and blow colorful stuff up in the air as John Adams envisioned when he said of the signing of the Declaration of Independence,

“…it ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”