The governed snookered by the government

How two American presidents
destroyed Constitutional freedom

by Judge Andrew Napolitano

The United States government has gone astray, treating the Constitution as some mythical document to be revered and ignored. Wonder why?

If so, I suggest you read Theodore and Woodrow by Judge Andrew Napolitano, one of our greatest libertarians and constitutional experts, opposed to politicians who pretend to understand the Constitution.

For instance, the US have been at war for decades. Clearly, the founders wanted us to eschew involvement in other countries’ affairs, unless they threatened us. They were not being selfish, just prudent.

The Progressive movement carpet-bombed our previously peaceful existence, particularly Theodore Roosevelt, who believed a great nation should fight for, and acquire, territory like colonial Europe.

Far from spreading democracy, the government persuaded the Supreme Court to rule that the Constitution did not apply ‘in full force’ to territories. Writes Napolitano, “The idea that these territories can be governed without the government recognising even the most basic protections of our Constitution is an untenable result largely grounded in the racial theories of the times; racial theories ardently promulgated by Wilson and Roosevelt.”

Napolitano quotation

When you control History, you control perception. Judge Napolitano describes how the Progressives, by federalising schools, could indoctrinate Americans to reject their basic freedoms in favour of paternalistic federalism. Led by Teddy Roosevelt and Woody Wilson, they flipped the American experiment from freedom to fascism.

Consider what passes for diplomacy in the Progressive era. United States agents:

  • replaced elected government with a dictator in Iran (1953)
  • overthrew a democratically-elected government in Guatemala (1954)
  • Ditto, the Congo (1960)
  • Ditto, Brazil (1964)
  • Installed Saddam Hussein, helping him overthrow Iraqi government (1963)
  • Helped overthrow the government in Ghana (1966)

Those are choice examples of US interference in other countries’ affairs that have engendered enmity by those affected. As Judge Napolitano observes, “The sun never sets on the U.S. military nor on its nine hundred permanent installations throughout the world.”

Let’s not have a party
[Our Founding Fathers knew] “political parties would get in the way of pragmatism and rational thinking.” The Constitution makes no mention of political parties, purposely. At one time, the two official parties differed, since “Republicans remained purely about small government until they started their unlawful and unnecessary wars.” Now they’ve branched out into wars on drugs, terror and free speech.

To reiterate, the Two-Party System is not Constitutionally supported. The supposedly two parties are nearly identical, as exemplified by the two presidents described of this book, one a Republican, the other a Democrat.

Roosevelt and Wilson “worked together to push our nation into a more Big Government direction. They moved the nation away from its minimalist beginnings into the modern era of overarching government control — a system that both parties, despite their petty squabbles, have consistently worked together to grow.”

TR-1 and WW-1 “set the standard for finding ways around the Constitution in order to claim more power for the federal government and themselves.” That’s the key. Claiming to be doing it for our own good, they were helping themselves to more power.

book facsimile

Some of the many issues covered in Theodore and Woodrow…

Wilson did not believe in equal opportunity. “He genuinely believed that children could be divided into elite and non-elite classes, and that their roles in society could be predetermined based on their class.” What better way to legislate these views than by getting Washington involved in schools, which had been doing fine without federal involvement.

“The Progressives used ‘rich’ business owners as scapegoats to incite the middle and lower classes to support these economic regulations. However, the historical evidence shows that these claims were exaggerated by politicians and muckraking journalists, and only hurt small-business owners.”

“However, just as in the Progressive Era, the American consumer does not need to be protected from a business; the consumer needs to be protected from the government.”

Under TR and Wilson, “anti-trust was never a way to protect consumers but a way to bring big and powerful companies under the control of the federal government and leave the government’s friends alone.”

“…there is no check on the activities of the federal government that are anticompetitive or restrain trade, because it is not subject to its own anti-trust laws. That is what Roosevelt and Wilson wanted, and this is what they brought us.”

“In his unintentionally chilling 1890 essay, Leaders of Men, Wilson explained that the ‘true leader’ uses the masses like ‘tools.’ He must not traffic in subtleties and nuance, as literary men do. Rather, he must speak to stir their passions, not their intellects. In short, he must be a skillful demagogue.”

— Jonah Goldberg, as cited in Theodore and Woodrow

Undeserved Reserve
“The Federal Reserve Bank is the tool by which banks make great profits and America can exert its dominance as a global power. But the bank’s money is legally counterfeited and stolen.” The Fed exists to enhance profits for big banks and for the government’s convenience, to facilitate overspending.

When Wall Street needed government help, it hurt smaller banks, which were competing effectively, by devising the Federal Reserve. “It is a rights-violating, property-stealing, unconstitutional cartel that is sponsored by the government, which is the only thing which makes it legal.”

“Since the establishment of the Federal Reserve, the purchasing power of the dollar has fallen by 90 percent.” Inflation has increased 1,000 percent.

“Thus, when all is tallied, the amount of purchasing power you and I lose to inflation is literally the amount spent by the government.”

Constitutional weakening
I refer you to my commemoration of the hundredth anniversary of the Seventeenth Amendment, which “prevented the states as states from blocking federal encroachments on their sovereignty.” Napolitano says “the entire structure of the Constitution would in fact be upended… through the Seventeenth Amendment.”

Wilson called himself “a benevolent servant rather than the power-hungry authoritarian academic who wanted to bend the country and the Constitution to his will.”

The progressives wanted the nation’s foundation to be a “living” document, subject to unfounded interpretation. “When the Constitution is thought of in this manner, the meaning of the Constitution becomes whatever those who run the government say it is.”

“I acted on the theory that the President could at any time in his discretion withdraw from entry any of the public lands of the United States and reserve the same for forestry, for water-power sites, for irrigation, and for other public purposes. Without such action, it would have been impossible to stop the activity of the land thieves.”

— Theodore Roosevelt, as cited in Theodore and Woodrow

Isn’t larceny grand?
“The passage of the Sixteenth Amendment, which enabled a federal income tax, signified Americans handing over the freedoms earned by the blood of their forefathers and entrenching themselves into a slavery contrary to the very essence of our nation’s beginning.” Now we all work for the government, with the IRS running a budget as high as $12.2 billion a year.

“We may try to convince ourselves that when the government takes these fruits [of our labour] it is merely the price we pay for law and order, but when we get right down to it, robbery is robbery no matter who perpetrates it. Period.”

Property was more valuable than currency, so property rights, a cornerstone of the republic, were chiseled away.

Infinite Regulations
On this subject, here is another quote from the book.

“If we are not even free anymore to decide something as
basic as what we wish to eat or drink, how much freedom
do we really have left?”
    — Ron Paul

While Judge Napolitano’s history is informative and wise, it is also infuriating seeing how easily a once-great nation was crippled, with free people trading away their liberty for naught.

The Judge pulls no punches, as the brief excerpts above demonstrate. He has written a literate page turner on the first Roosevelt, and the one and only Wilson of the not-so-distant past, with a legacy of disastrous policies that hurt us today.


©2013 Gary Tutin aka GT Slade

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