Jacob Hornberger, a Libertarian Party candidate for president, has written a blog post at his organization the Future of Freedom Foundation, on the American founders’ distrust of centralized government officials. And that is why they insisted on including a Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution also includes specific enumerated powers of the federal government, so if a function or office was not enumerated, then the feds may not do it, according to Hornberger.
He expands on why the people forming a new government insisted on a Bill of Rights in the Constitution:
Why did Americans see the need to expressly prohibit the federal government from destroying such rights as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and the right to own and bear arms? Because they firmly believed that that is precisely what federal officials would do if they were not expressly prohibited from doing it!
Why did Americans demand the enactment of the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments? Because they firmly believed that without those express restrictions on power, federal officials would use their power to do such things as kill or jail people or seize their money and property without due process of law, use kangaroo Star Chamber-like courts to convict them, barge into people’s homes or businesses without warrants to search for incriminating evidence, jail people indefinitely without trial, and subject people to cruel and unusual punishments like torture.
Hmmm, sound familiar? Yep. That’s today’s America. Bush-Obama-Trump’s America, that is. And there are millions and millions of Americans who agree with policies that do away with those protections in the Bill of Rights.
And what about a crisis or emergency? Hornberger writes:
The fact is that there is no emergency or crisis exception in either the original Constitution or the Bill of Rights. That is, there is no provision that says, “In the event of an emergency or crisis, the federal government will be permitted to exercise powers that are not enumerated and to ignore restrictions on its power.”
There is a good reason why the Framers and our ancestors chose not to include an emergency or crisis exception that would enable federal officials to exercise omnipotent, totalitarian-like powers over the people. The reason is that they understood that throughout history, emergencies and crises have furnished the excuse for federal officials to wield and exercise tyrannical powers.
In fact, that’s one of the reasons that rulers oftentimes do their best to generate emergencies or crises. They know that it is during emergencies and crises that people become so afraid that they are willing, even eager, to surrender their liberties and their rights, “temporarily” of course, in exchange for being kept “safe.” Of course, “temporarily” almost always means “permanently” because rulers are loath to give up powers once wielded and exercised.
And in his very next blog post, Hornberger points out how different America was during the first century or so of its freedom and independence. Back then, there was no “military-industrial complex, empire of domestic and foreign military bases, CIA, NSA, or FBI,” there were no drug laws, no immigration controls, and there were very little to no economic controls. The founders wouldn’t have approved of centralized economic planning from the feds, because the federal government has no moral authority to get involved in the people’s economic and financial lives, and it especially had no constitutional or moral authority to demand any of the fruits of their labor.
As I have mentioned here recently, the Democrats and Republicans are all the same, except for their social programs that each wants to shove down our throats. They all believe in government central planning, central economic planning, and coveting your earnings but letting you have some of your earnings by their acts of legislation. They all believe in tax-funded empire abroad in search of monsters or opportunities to create new monsters to destroy. They do not believe in civil liberties and due process.
More recently the Libertarian Party candidates for president have been largely in agreement with the Demopublicans and Republicrats, such as Gary Johnson and Bob Barr. Those were terrible presidential nominations, and the Libertarian Party really should be ashamed of that political compromise of principle. But in the old days of the Libertarian Party, there were Ron Paul, Harry Browne, and David Bergland. Let’s hope the Libertarian Party nominates Jacob Hornberger for president to present a real choice between the usual statists, authoritarians and communists.