This post is directed primarily toward Tom. Its purpose is to clarify the differences that we have in regard to our political philosophies. He and I live in different countries with different forms of government and that may influence the variation in our politics somewhat but there are aspects to the American system that influences my political beliefs significantly.
This posting will deal exclusively with Republican beliefs about the size and scope of the federal government of the United States.
Everything that I believe, in regard to the role and function of government, is based upon the United States Constitution.
Back in the day, when Britain was convinced to relinquish its colonies, what existed here were 13 quasi-nation states that decided to form into a federation utilizing a central government. The powers of that government were explicitly delineated within the constitution that created it. After the representatives that put that document together returned to their respective governments to have it ratified there were many who demonstrated great concern.
Many were opposed to the idea of establishing a federal style government. Those Anti-Federalists were composed of diverse elements, including those opposed to the Constitution because they thought that a stronger government threatened the sovereignty and prestige of the States and that of their localities.. Some claimed that a new centralized government would just be a disguised "monarchic" power that would only replace the cast-off despotism of Great Britain and feared that the new government would be able to use its power to threaten personal liberties.
The opposition proved strong enough to cause most to realize that the original document would have to be adjusted. Once again men interrupted their lives to travel what, at the time, was a long and arduous journey from their various locations
to once again meet and debate. It was decided that instead of altering the original document they would, instead, add amendments. Many amendments were proposed, discussed, and debated. All of them addressed issues of liberty that had been absent or limited under British rule. After quite some time only nine amendments had been accepted. Finally, tired and worn out, they added a last one, a catch-all. They had addressed in the first nine the concerns regarding the liberties of the people and with the last one put to rest (at least in their minds) any attempt by the new central government in exceeding the authority and power limited to it by the main body of the Constitution. That final amendment stated simply that any powers not specifically given to the central government within the main body of the Constitution did not belong to it.
They believed (as do I) that the functions and responsibilities of the central government should be limited and that, other than responsibilities related to foreign affairs, most power should reside in the States or with the people.
They had no idea at the time that the Democrats were coming. During the last 75 years, Democratic Party administrations and congresses have, consistent with their Socialist ideology, shifted an enormous amount of power from the States and from the people to the government in Washington. Today there are almost 2000 federal agencies employing more than 2.7 million civilian employees and performing many activities and functions that exceed the power granted to the federal government by the United States Constitution.
The goal of the Republican Party in this regard is quite simple. We intend to gut that government and bring it down to a manageable size, eliminate tens of thousands of unnecessary regulations, and bring to an end a long list of unnecessary and, from the Republican perspective, extra-constitutional federal activities.
Now I understand that the British government is different in this regard. In Britain there are no checks and balances; there is only the parliament. Any law can be passed by Parliament. They can do anything they damn well please without restrictions of any kind. In theory there is no body that can declare a law passed by Parliament as unconstitutional since Britain has no written Constitution.
Well, it’s different here. I look upon the United States Constitution as a contract that the Democrats have consistently violated. There are hundreds of examples of this that that I could give you. Let me offer just one.
In the 1970s Jimmy Carter, a Democrat, was president. Both houses of the United States Congress were controlled by Democrats. They created the United States Department of Education, a cabinet level agency.
There is nothing in the United States Constitution that gives the federal government the power to be involved in the field of education. The word, “education”, or any reference to it does not appear there which means the 10th amendment should hold sway. Here’s the wording of that amendment:
The powers not delegated to the United States (the federal government) by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
Only the States should be involved in providing public education. There should be no federal involvement of any kind. Getting rid of the federal Department of Education is just one of the dismantling efforts that Republicans seek. There are many more.
Then there’s the massive level of government regulations that Democrats have mandated that stifles business growth. The Federal Register is just the index of names of those regulations created by U.S. government agencies. In 1936, the number of pages in the Federal Register was about 2,600. Today, the Federal Register is over 80,000 pages long. (It was “only” 74,000 pages when Obama took office.)
Some regulations are necessary. Getting rid of those regulations that are useless and restrictive and represent unnecessary interference in the free enterprise system is another Republican objective.
Thanks for this OM.
Does all of this make you a Democrat-Republican or a Whig?
There have been a preponderance of Republicans Presidents, after the first such: The 16th, Ol' Abe.
From then on all seem to have pragmatists, with varying successes, but all your 'separate' country-like states stuff seems to have fallen by the way-side by Abe's time.
The 20th - anti spoils (R)
The 21st - created the Civil Service (R)
The 23rd - undone by pro-spoilers. (R)
The 26th - Anti Monopolies. (R)
The 29th - 'teapot dome', reckoned to be the worst P. (R)
The 30th - asleep on the job? (R)
I suppose the bad-old Democrats come into their own with FDR (The 32nd), elected four times.
I remember the people of 'Springfield' denouncing a Shelbyville sport's team, proudly proclaiming that of all the times the towns had competed, Springfield had won almost half.
You are just about as bad:Given that there have been way more Republican administrations, it's always the Dems that have caused all the trouble.
But, getting back up to date. Who was it that showed the US up as some Banana Republic over the raising of the Debt Ceiling? AND The Patriot Act?
You can hope that the world will turn back to the days before Andrew Jackson (The 7th), but that would mean wishing-away the Republican Party altogether.
On reflection...not such a bad thing.
I saw another example the other day of why you are surely not a Republican.
Somebody introduced as a Presidential hopeful was talking about Ebola and saying that IF it spread to South America there would be a tsunami of migration north, and Obama's doing nothing about walling-up the southern border of the US.
He is either as dumb as a box of frogs, or he is right in thinking that the voting public are all cringing cretins.
I hope he's the former.
Lets face it..the purpose of having separate parties has shifted. I idea used to be that two heads(two minds) are better than one. Now it's dont blame us it was the other sides fault.
All the long winded hub-bub wont change the fact that what your alignment is founded on, has nothing to do with the way things work anymore.
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