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It's not too late to save America!

Posted By Henry Lamb On 04/30/2011 @ 1:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled

Editor’s note: Listen to this column online.

On April 18, Standard & Poor’s issued the following notice:

Because the U.S. has, relative to its “AAA” peers, what we consider to be very large budget deficits and rising government indebtedness and the path to addressing these is not clear to us, we have revised our outlook on the long-term rating to negative from stable.

On April 26, Market Watch reported:

According to the latest IMF official forecasts, China’s economy will surpass that of America in real terms in 2016 – just five years from now.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says that unless Congress raises the debt limit:

” … the United States would be forced into a position of defaulting on its debt. And the implications of that on our financial system, our fiscal policy and our economy would be catastrophic.”

It certainly sounds as if the United States of America needs to be saved from certain bankruptcy resulting from crushing debt, from an economically aggressive China that has taken all our jobs and from a world that no longer believes the United States is the leader of nations.

It’s not too late to save America, but it will take a massive revival and rededication to the principles that made America great in the first place. America is on the brink of oblivion because those principles have been replaced by a modified form of Marxism, popularly known as “progressivism.” Progressivism is the philosophy advanced by the Democratic Party – which routinely ignores first principles in its quest to seize control of political power.

The first principle of America’s greatness is this: Government is empowered by the consent of the governed. But there is more: How do you decide what the consent of the governed is when there are such glaring differences of opinion among those who are governed?

This question occupied more than half the time our founders spent in Philadelphia, writing what became our Constitution. After debating for nearly three months, they arrived at a compromise based on another exceedingly important principle: Political power can be checked only by competing political power.

This is the principle upon which the compromise was constructed between the delegates who wanted a strong national government, and those who wanted strong state governments. In the new Constitution, political power would be held in check by pitting the sovereign power of the states against the sovereign power of the new national government. This blend of political power, the sharing of sovereignty, became known as a Federal Republic. The new Constitution required that these two political powers agree before any proposed legislation, or treaty, or major executive appointment could become reality.

This competitive balance was achieved by providing that state legislatures appoint senators, thus making the Senate the representative of the states in the new government. The House of Representatives was elected by the people, based on population. The executive was elected by electors from each state equal to the number of the state’s senators and representatives. The government in America was new, unique and allowed the explosion of prosperity and freedom unknown in the history of the world.

This new, unique government structure recognized the first principle, that government is empowered by the consent of the people. And it recognized the next most important principle: that the expression of the consent of the governed must be balanced to assure that multiple sources of political power compete, to prevent any one source of power from becoming domineering and eventually dictatorial.

The rise of Marxism in the mid 19th century that evolved into progressivism in America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, found that competing political powers were an obstacle to progressive objectives. The Senate, chosen by state legislatures, could block any measure proposed by the House or by the president. Of course, this is precisely what the founders had in mind.

Randolph Hearst unleashed his media empire to publish stories bashing the Senate as a den of thieves chosen by corrupt politicians in cahoots with big industry. Today, George Soros funds Media Matters to publish stories in hopes of destroying all things inconsistent with progressive objectives.

The progressives in Hearst’s day won the battle. Woodrow Wilson won the presidency in 1912; and his band of progressive politicians gave us the Federal Reserve, the income tax and the 17th Amendment, which removed the states from any representation in the federal government. The 17th Amendment required senators to be elected by the public, rather than by state legislatures.

The competition between political powers was gone. There was no competing political power to check or balance the power of the Washington government. From the day the 17th Amendment was declared to be ratified, the government in Washington has continued to expand its power, its size and its budget with no voice or power of opposition from the states.

A truly massive revival will be required to reverse the path to oblivion that Washington has charted. That revival must begin with the repeal of the 17th Amendment and a rededication to the principle of balancing political power by forcing conflicting powers to agree, before any law, treaty or appointment can become reality.

Repealing the 17th Amendment may be the only way to save America.


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