Wednesday, August 22, 2012
It is often interesting to see people who learn something about the Constitution or the Bill of Rights for the first time. I see them nod their heads in understanding and confirm their intense belief that these documents mean what they once did.
However, they do not.
First off we have a sad majority of our population that does not understand or really give a damn about the documents from which we are governed. If they would give pause, and look at what has happened in the last 215 years it would be a vast education.
It did not take long after the formation of the United States government for it to have its first major Constitutional crisis. The Alien and Sedition acts enforced by the Federalists at the end of the 18th century was the first time our rights were not as they had been.
Starting in 1798 we were involved in a undeclared war with France. It was not something we wished to escalate. However many in the Republican side and the Federalist side wished too. John Adams was president and he stood firm. He kept us from going to war and saved this nation. But by doing so destroyed his political future. He and the Federalists enacted the Alien and Sedition act. Which made it a crime to do anything that could be construed as an act against the government at large. It removed the right of Habeas Corpus for many of the new nation. In fact many were jailed and some died in Jail over this removal of protection. It became a matter of protection of the government over the seditious actions of the press and enemies of the government. This was the view of course of the government.
In 1800 Adams was defeated for re-election and Thomas Jefferson came in and restored the liberties removed previously. It was not popular, but was it necessary?
Benjamin Franklin's grandson Benjamin Franklin Bache was arrested for writing some outrageous news stories against the Federalists. He was arrested and died in prison. We rarely hear of that do we? But if you attack the commander and chief in a time of crisis when you have no protection, tread lightly.
Our liberties remained the same through the 19th century till 1860.
It all changed and this entire country would change with the actions that would take place in 1861. The new President A. Lincoln goaded the south to fight. He wanted a war, he wanted to change the country, he wanted to get rid of the Africans, he wanted to create a new environment. But he had no idea the Pandora's box he was opening would so change the nation.
As the war started he suspended the writ of Habeas Corpus and for intents suspended the Constitution as a whole. This meant in fact he would be an unchecked dictator. He arrested and jailed without trial over 13,000 people from the north!
People who were seditious to the welfare of the government would be jailed and the key would be thrown away. Many died in jails, just for expressing an opinion.
By 1864 Lincoln was running for President again, but not under the Republican party, but his own party called the Union Party. There was no Constitution to really support or protect anyone from this dictator. If you spoke against him often you would find yourself in jail. The soldiers were encouraged to vote only for Lincoln in 1864 and there is evidence of vote tampering.
Lincoln took over for a 2nd un-regulated administration and was assassinated. Soon he was judged wonderful and all of this was forgotten. Pity is was as we think this man was without sin. Lincoln died as he lived, as a dictator.
The Constitution did not get its power back till 1866.
By this time the Congress was reinventing America. The country founded in 1787, died in 1866. A new nation was established in the 1866-68 period. In this new order we have the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments which changed the entire tone of the Constitution and gave citizenship to every person born in the United States. That was not the rule till the late 1860's . The 14th amendment was the ground breaker and is to this day used in more cases than nearly any other. However through all of this we could inflict the Asian exclusion Act?
The country returned to a less free society and then till the early 20th century remained constant. Then in 1913 came the first major blow. The 16th Amendment covering Income Tax.
Then by 1916 we were on the side lines of an international war. The United States had no reason at all to get involved in WWI. None what so ever! If we had been honest the Germans would not have sunk our ships. But we lied about everything we did. We lied as badly as the British.
They had troublesome people who did not mind hiding the true like Winston Churchill who wanted war and wanted the USA to enter it. So Germany could be put down. This was just silly European tribal warfare. I am really of a belief that Europe would have been better off if Germany had won.
But we lied to Germany all the time and blamed Germany for attacking us for lying. The poor leader we had at this time was Woodrow Wilson who was not equipped to understand the crisis. He was a fool hardy ass Theodore Roosevelt.
This vicious, hateful man did many things. He declared war, he hated the blacks and segregated the military, he lied about the USA's involvement with England. He basically entered a war for which the United States had no reason to be involved. There was not one issue of national interest in this stupid war.
And we went and Wilson suspended Habeas Corpus and everyone that he did not like was on his hit list. For Wilson that was a lot as he hated so many people. So many were arrested and thrown in jail and the key was tossed away. If you were against the war, or a pacifist, or a communist, or a socialist, or a free thinker, you were the enemy. The war was to make sure the allies defeated the Germans. For what reason we really cannot say. This war is the war that destroyed what was left of the decency of the human race.
Being that Wilson was from the south he hated the blacks and brought back as much of his warped southern views into their existence. All blacks were kicked out of government jobs. Removed from as many positions as Wilson could and they were replaced by white men. No rights what so ever.
Wilson was a very sick man and his policies through that sickness affected and would in time ruin much of what had been built up to that time. Wilson was finally and fortunately gone. The world was a mess and Germany was defeated, raped, ruined, and demoralized by people no worse then they were. There was few good things to say about the French, the English, or for that matter the Americans. The Germans were no worse than any of them. It was a useless war over no enemy...Just the enemy within. The government now would take control.
All came back in the 1920's under an amazingly strong and robust economy by 1923 in the administration of Warren G Harding.
But by the 1930's it was made worse and weaker by Hoover and Roosevelt. By 1939 the actions of Churchill, Orlando, Lloyd George, Clemenceau, Wilson, and a host of other weak although somewhat good meaning leaders had ruined the world and created Adolf Hitler.
By 1938, we were ready and Roosevelt was ready to start a new war. Churchill was back and war came, Hitler was a mess and was pushed on by Churchill to start a greater war. Soon the war came.
Roosevelt once again removed Habeas Corpus and imprisoned Japanese Americans. Where were the interment camps for Germans, Italians, and all the others against the Allies? Just the Japanese. We took away many peoples rights and removed much of what the Constitution had as rights. WW2 was a ugly war from every side and 1945 brought about its end. Finally we let the Japanese go.
Harry S. Truman started the Cold War and poorly orchestrated much of what followed. We made the USSR our enemy. We created our Military Industrial Complex from which we have not yet had the chance to escape from. We worked on dividing Germany and blamed our enemies and created NATO to control Europe.
Now in a post 9-11 world we have lost our writ of Habeas Corpus again. Many are in jails without court trials. The keys have been thrown away. Now we have the Patriot Act which has for many replaced the rights placed in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I can see as this goes on Adams, Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt, Truman and all of our current Presidents smile. As the government is in control. The 4th Amendment is now greatly weakened as is the 8th. We have weakened Magna Carta. All are just in name now. They hardly have the power to fight against this new world order.
We are on George Orwell time now.... But for all of you who know the Latin of the term mentioned here many times. Where indeed is the body now?