Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Founders Response to the State of the Union Address

Fyodor Dostoevsky once said that sarcasm is “the last refuge of modest and chaste-souled people when the privacy of their soul is coarsely and intrusively invaded.” 


Obama gave his version of the State of the Union Address Tuesday January 28th.  I gave my pre Address earlier knowing that there is much more at state in our Union than what Obama would talk about.  I have dissected many speeches and addresses over the years, usually responding with sarcasm, but this time I would like to have those who have much more wisdom, those whose voices are still very much needed and relevant to our time than they probably ever imagined to respond- Ladies and Gentlemen, fellow citizens, I yield the floor to our Founding Fathers in their rebuttal of the Obama State of the Union…

The question for everyone in this chamber, running through every decision we make this year, is whether we are going to help or hinder this progress. For several years now, this town has been consumed by a rancorous argument over the proper size of the federal government. It's an important debate - one that dates back to our very founding. But when that debate prevents us from carrying out even the most basic functions of our democracy - when our differences shut down government or threaten the full faith and credit of the United States - then we are not doing right by the American people

Many times argument and conviction to stand ground is necessary to keep government from passing restrictive bills which do little but give more power to the federal government thereby taking more power away from we the people- a little gridlock is necessary to keep government in check as James Madison said,  An elective despotism was not the government we fought for; but one in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among the several bodies of magistracy as that no one could transcend their legal limits without being effectually checked and restrained by the others.

Our Government was created to be a Constitutional Republic, NOT a democracy.  When our elected leaders refuse to listen to the people, when one side refuses to allow debate, the desires of we the people are ignored and are forced into a shutdown, this is their democracy, as Thomas Jefferson described as “nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.”

Those few who stood up to the mob; Senators Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and a handful of others knew that “government in which the majority rules in all cases cannot be based on justice, even as far as men understand it” as Henry David Thoreau once pointed out.

As president, I'm committed to making Washington work better, and rebuilding the trust of the people who sent us here. I believe most of you are, too. Last month, thanks to the work of Democrats and Republicans, this Congress finally produced a budget that undoes some of last year's severe cuts to priorities like education. Nobody got everything they wanted

The President has certain duties as outlined in Article II of the Constitution.  George Washington, our First President, who was also beloved by the Continental Army over which he was General, had reservations about being appointed as president, so only by agreeing to serve two terms he consented. Yet he warned “It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution in those entrusted with its administration, to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism.”

The Legislative Branch, the Senate is given the job of passing a budget, which they, under the leadership of Senator Harry Reid have not done.  Raising the debt ceiling is not a budget.  Government has grown into a massive over bloated industry paid for by the labors of the people.  Our Founders had much to say about finances and budgets, but it was summed best by Thomas Jefferson who said “We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.” And, “A wise and frugal government... shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.”

Again, our government did not pass a budget, they argued over who would get, and who would have taken. Our Nation’s Veterans and returning Troops lost again with the Ryan-Murray bill which was passed by our Houses, and in the words of George Washington, "The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation."

..Inequality has deepened. Upward mobility has stalled. The cold, hard fact is that even in the midst of recovery, too many Americans are working more than ever just to get by - let alone get ahead. And too many still aren't working at all. Our job is to reverse these trends… what I offer tonight is a set of concrete, practical proposals … Some require congressional action... But America does not stand still - and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that's what I'm going to do

It is not the job of the federal government to legislate pay scales, nor is it the duty of the executive branch to over step the Constitution and legislate from the Oval office. Again, Thomas Jefferson makes the point, “To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it” and, “Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread.

it is time to heed the call of business leaders, labor leaders, faith leaders and law enforcement - and fix our broken immigration system. Republicans and Democrats in the Senate have acted. I know that members of both parties in the House want to do the same… when people come here to fulfill their dreams - to study, invent, and contribute to our culture - they make our country a more attractive place for businesses to locate and create jobs for everyone. So let's get immigration reform done this year

First of all, Unions and the Chamber of Commerce are not expert s when it comes to border security and people coming through the wide open border illegally. The Immigration Service and Border Guards would know better than the Chamber who belongs here and should be rewarded with jobs which plenty of Americans would be able and willing to do.  As for allowing those who entered our Sovereign nation illegally, “And what is proposed by the amendment is that they shall take nothing more than an oath of fidelity, and declare their intention to reside in the United States. Under such terms, it was well observed by my colleague, aliens might acquire the right of citizenship, and return to the country from which they came, and evade the laws intended to encourage the commerce and industry of the real citizens and inhabitants of America, enjoying at the same time all the advantages of citizens and aliens.” James Madison.

There is an idea perpetuated that illegals are merely immigrants who desire a better life, and who are we to deny them of that right.  Being that the United States of America is a sovereign nation, a nation of laws which it is our Federal government’s first duty to uphold those laws to defend and protect the citizens of this country, one can hardly claim that all those millions who are here illegally deserve to be given visas or amnesty, when one can’t possibly know whom they swear their allegiance to. Thomas Paine said, “What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; Tis dearness only which gives everything its value. 

Those of us who have come through the system which everyone in Washington and the media claim to be broken, learn about the history and government of the United States before becoming citizens and then swear our oaths publically (in English) to defend and uphold the Constitution.  One who works to become a citizen values citizenship much more than those who sneak into this country, and for our federal government to consider rewarding those who are here illegally is not only an affront to those of us who love and honor our new home, but is dangerous in assuming that those who come here do so with good intentions. It is proven fact and admitted that terrorists sneak into our country as well, and to do nothing to secure our border is a dereliction of duty.

Theodore Roosevelt wasn’t a founding father, but he did have it right when it comes to loyalty to this nation if one desires to immigrate here. “We should insist that if the immigrant who comes here does in good faith become an American and assimilates himself to us he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed or birth-place or origin. But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American and nothing but an American. If he tries to keep segregated with men of his own origin and separated from the rest of America, then he isn't doing his part as an American. There can be no divided allegiance here. . . We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language, for we intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans, of American nationality, and not as dwellers in a polyglot boarding-house; and we have room for but one soul loyalty, and that is loyalty to the American people.”

In the coming weeks, I will issue an executive order requiring federal contractors to pay their federally-funded employees a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour - because if you cook our troops' meals or wash their dishes, you shouldn't have to live in poverty

While many Americans are scraping to make ends meet, government grows, requiring more workers who are paid by we the people.  It seems like the sector which has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation is the Federal government in Washington DC.  Thomas Jefferson has something to say about that as well. “The multiplication of public offices, increase of expense beyond income, growth and entailment of a public debt, are indications soliciting the employment of the pruning knife.”

Citizenship means standing up for the lives that gun violence steals from us each day. I have seen the courage of parents, students, pastors and police officers all over this country who say "we are not afraid," and I intend to keep trying, with or without Congress, to help stop more tragedies from visiting innocent Americans in our movie theaters, shopping malls, or schools like Sandy Hook

Citizenship means obeying the laws, but when they go against Constitution, we have a sworn duty to uphold the Constitution and defend it. Our Founders were clear when they embedded the right to keep and bear arms in our 2nd Amendment of the Bill of Rights.  The government has no right to infringe on the law abiding citizens of this country to keep and bear arms. The fact that these shootings are happening in areas of strict gun control- prove that an unarmed citizen is an unprotected citizen- whether it’s some crazy who decides to go on a shooting spree, or a government who is bent on complete control over the people. "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them." George Mason

for more than two hundred years, we have put those things aside and placed our collective shoulder to the wheel of progress - to create and build and expand the possibilities of individual achievement; to free other nations from tyranny and fear; to promote justice, and fairness, and equality under the law, so that the words set to paper by our founders are made real for every citizen. The America we want for our kids - a rising America where honest work is plentiful and communities are strong; where prosperity is widely shared and opportunity for all lets us go as far as our dreams and toil will take us

Our Founders believed that all are created equal, but that doesn’t mean everyone will have equal outcomes. Fairness and equality are earned, whether it’s playing little league sports or competing for a top corporate spot.  Those who work hard should be rewarded for their work regardless of shade of skin or gender- but to force others to reward based on those qualities is not being fair and equal. To reward someone with the same trophy because we don’t want hurt feelings is not helping that person to become all they can be. We are all endowed by God, with gifts and talents which if given the freedom to develop- can achieve incredible things not just for our own personal gains but for all society. Government intervention by so called fairness and equality stifle those who work hard at developing their skills and gifts.

I leave you with this last word from Benjamin Franklin… The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.”

C.A.E  2014


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