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Statism and Democracy

Reader Submitted.

The first true Statist in the White House, was Theodore Roosevelt, a Republican. This is a statement that exempts President Lincoln. For one reason: President Roosevelt was the first United States President to interpret the United States Constitution in a new way. Before Teddy Roosevelt, Presidents believed that they could only act in accordance with the specific enumerated powers given to them by the Constitution. Teddy changed all that; and the 20th century began the rise of the imperial federal government as we know it today. Theodore Roosevelt believed that he could do whatever he wanted, so long as the Constitution didn’t specifically prohibit the office of The President from acting.

A minority of politically aware citizens, Democrats and Republicans, opposed Roosevelt’s assumed powers. We had survived an Industrial Revolution, a Civil War, and were faced with rise of national economic powers. Monopoly was the threat of the day. J.P. Morgan, Standard Oil, Jay Gould and C.P. Huntington, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Milbank and Carnegie, and Herman O. Armour threatened the stability of the nation through the consolidation of economic powers. So, as we turned to Lincoln before the Civil War, we turned to Roosevelt in the face of the monopolization of the US economy.

I am not a philosophical fan of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt; but I have no answer to what I would have done facing truly dangerous and practical threats like State-Sanctioned slavery and Monopoly. It’s not that I haven’t tried. I have; but free people can choose to do things that society simply cannot survive. Slavery and Monopoly are two of them. We require governments powerful enough to deal with these sorts of natural corruptions. But did we deal with them correctly?

I’m not going to sit here an preach to you about how Lincoln and Roosevelt were wrong, when I don’t necessarily have a better solution. That said, looking back, Roosevelt’s interpretation of the US Constitution certainly made Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Nixon, Carter, W., and Obama possible. We cannot have a government that exists in the cracks left to the imagination of Presidents when they read the Constitution. Enumerated power are specific and certain; and if they aren’t good enough then we need Constitutional Amendments to add to the powers of Congress and the Presidency.

I mention this with good cause. Statists in both parties will champion Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, FDR and George W. Bush, because they “acted” in the face of serious threats against this nation. The ends, I suppose we’re to concede, justify the means. But what about when we aren’t facing down slavery, or monopoly, or oil shortages, or terrorism? What about when we aren’t faced with some grave virus bred in the petri dish of freedom? What then? These Congresses and Presidents still assume the powers that Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt and FDR and W. Bush assumed.

Fear, real or contrived, is how Republics die.

This is the challenge the Tea Party faces: to convince the American People that in the face of threats, in the face of danger, in the face of destruction, we shall not give up our liberty. Must we amend our Constitution to keep up with changes in the world? Yes. But let us do it through Congress, with the States ratification; or let us do it through the States, through Article V, and send our orders to our Congress and President. What we must not do, is what our “greatest” Presidents have done, which is to assume greater and greater power, by dismissing our Constitution, and “taking care of business” without The People, without The States.

We are not in our current situation because of something that just happened. What is happening has been happening for 140 years. The result has been disheartening, devastating, and depressing. We must remain a Constitutional Republic. If we lose that, we lose everything. We are fighting a century and a half of history that looks upon this position with disdain. Can you fight it? Can you deal with our history and of our failures? Can we become a movement, a call to arms, a bastion of “citizenry”? I hope so. But name-calling and anger and frustration aren’t enough to conquer fear. Thoughtfulness, Philosophy, and Constitutional Integrity is required of us.

About Tom White

Tom is a US Navy Veteran, owns an Insurance Agency and is currently an IT Manager for a Virginia Distributor. He has been published in American Thinker, currently writes for the Richmond Examiner as well as Virginia Right! Blog.Tom lives in Hanover County, Va and is involved in politics at every level and is a Recovering Republican who has finally had enough of the War on Conservatives in progress with the Leadership of the GOP on a National Level.

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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