The “remedy” in our republican form of government for government lawbreaking and usurpations of constitutional power, according James Madison, was to elect politicians more faithful to the Constitution.
In the Tea Party era, Richard Viguerie and I described this in THE LAW THAT GOVERNS GOVERNMENT: RECLAIMING THE CONSTITUTION FROM USURPERS AND SOCIETY’S BIGGEST LAWBREAKER.
The Law That Governs Government is, of course, the Constitution.
The chapter reprinted below is, I think, prescient. Through voter fraud in 2020, that remedy was stolen. Court-created doctrines such as “standing” have denied our rights and the constitutional guarantee of a republican form of government.
We must continue our electoral training, study, and efforts to elect politicians faithful to the Constitution to reclaim it.
A remedy obtained from the people
Madison saw the tiered, divided system of government that ultimately derives its power from the consent of the people -- in a word, republicanism -- as the most effective way to prevent or at least limit the abuse of power by government. Republicanism, however, has been overrun and diminished by lawbreaking government, and it no longer secures the freedoms that enable America’s exceptionalism.
What freedoms that remain are now at the mercy of the contemptuous political establishment that runs our lawmaking and law enforcement systems. Its members mock the notion that they must cease and desist from their lawbreaking.
Their arrogant attitude about claims of injuries to our rights tends to be on the level of, “So sue us.” Even if suing Leviathan were an option, judge-made doctrines not found in the Constitution such as standing and sovereign immunity curtail citizens’ ability to succeed. “They” have rigged the rules to increase and protect their power at the expense of our freedoms, you see.
The 18th Century English legal giant Sir William Blackstone heavily influenced the Founders’ views of the law. In his Commentaries on the Law of England, he addressed legal wrongs (injuries) and their remedies: “The one natural remedy for every species of wrong is the being put in possession of that right, whereof the party injured is deprived.” In the words of today, we are legally justified in reclaiming and restoring our rights stolen by government lawbreaking. That is the long-accepted remedy.
The issue now becomes how Americans reclaim possession of the rights usurped by government lawbreaking. Government controls the corridors of power over our legal remedies against violations of our rights. Given its proclivities, government has and would continue to block our remedies of restoring those rights.
Madison identified the ultimate solution to the abuse of power by government using the legal term, “remedy.” The great question of our day is whether Madison was too optimistic by claiming in Federalist No. 44, “in the last resort a remedy must be obtained from the people who can, by the election of more faithful representatives, annul the acts of the usurpers”?
In other words, is it too late to save America? We don’t dare suggest we have the answer to this great question. Based on some decades of activism, marketing, strategic planning -- and fighting against government lawbreaking -- we will nonetheless share some thoughts.
It isn’t merely elected officials with contempt for the Constitution who are the problem. We have an entrenched bureaucracy of lawbreaking government officials and agencies in numbers and with powers that may exceed Madison’s most pessimistic vision. We have stare decisis and other doctrines used by statist judges to protect deviations from the Constitution and enshrine them in our legal system for years to come.
There would be a whole lot of annulling to do. Statist fiefdoms will oppose, disregard, obstruct and do their best to sabotage reforms. Witness the recent organized thuggery in the smaller model of Wisconsin following infinitely lesser reforms to public unions.
The Democratic Party is now hostage to the progressive movement. It is of course important to defeat progressive Democrats where we can. However, Democrats are not the central problem. Replacing progressive Democrats with statist Republicans will not bring us our constitutional remedy. And, splitting the Republican Party by forming a constitutional conservative third party will only help Democrats, and will cement progressivism.
Our solution as conservatives is, in part, to defeat in primaries GOP incumbents who have contributed to the violations of our paramount law. In 1992, James Carville regularly repeated a phrase to drive home a point to Democrats: “It’s the economy, stupid.” The phrase we urge constitutional conservatives to repeat is, “It’s the primaries, stupid.”
The Soviet Union’s Brezhnev Doctrine was, in effect, what we have conquered and taken is ours, and we will only discuss the rest. Progressives follow that approach to what they have usurped. They claim and act as though their constitutional violations and theft of liberty are not on the table for discussion.
We are, however, beyond the point of settling for Republicans merely willing to say “no” to more growth of government by Democrats only so the political establishment may keep the status quo, or worse yet, grow government the Republican establishment way. We need leaders with a constitutional conservative vision. We need leaders willing to ‘rock the boat’ who will reclaim lost constitutional ground.
If we are to “annul the acts of the usurpers,” we must first review and audit federal agencies such as the Departments of Commerce (do American businesses really need government help?), Housing and Urban Development (shouldn’t people decide whether and how to buy their own homes?) and Education (wouldn’t we be better off returning education to the local level where it belongs?).
Return rightful authority to the states. Let the states differentiate and compete, and give people the choice of which states best fit their needs instead of the federal one-size-fits-all. For example, citizens who want government-mandated health care, nanny state regulation and high taxes may live in Massachusetts. Those who want jobs and more freedom may live in Texas.
Just as people are aware generally of the societal costs of lawbreaking, we also need leaders who can articulate the costs to society of government lawbreaking. The message must be delivered by those who fully believe it and who can articulate it.
Like the Biblical Jews who wandered 40 years in the desert until that generation of failed, flawed leaders passed from the scene, constitutional conservatives need new leaders if we are to get to the political promised land. We must reward constitutionalists with our support, and defeat those who disregard the Constitution, who hold it in contempt, or who are wishy-washy about it.
At federal and state levels, we must elect only those who surround themselves with constitutionalist staffers, aides and advisors, not establishment statists. We’ve learned the hard way that personnel is policy.
Statists are the minority, but they are professionals. We must therefore train in electoral politics, get-out-the-vote activities and poll watching so elections aren’t stolen.
Support and encourage young people to attend The Leadership Institute and the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. Support and train at American Majority and Smart Girl Politics. We even have our own online seminars at vmionline.com (the Viguerie Marketing Institute) about public relations, grassroots fundraising, and laws affecting fundraising.
Constitutional conservatives need to get involved with political parties, learn the ropes, and then run for party positions so we may influence the nomination processes and party platforms.
We must teach the younger generations the old truths, but using the language of their time. We cannot rely on the progressives and statists who have taken over our lower and higher education systems, and who seek to inculcate and poison our next generations. Like good teachers, we must learn and understand the subject matter better than our students are expected to learn it.
We must continue to read. We must continue to study.
In wars for freedom, our ancestors beat ploughshares into swords. We can do something less drastic. Read more of The American Spectator. Order the Liberty Fund Books catalogue; buy and read great books about liberty. Become learned in the principles of the Founders, and understand the lessons of history they understood. Don’t be intimidated by legal principles; embrace them as a soldier does a weapon.
While reclaiming liberty is a marathon, we must begin by sprinting. The starting point, though, is not whether candidates will pay lip service to our founding ideals or who’s more like Ronald Reagan, but whether candidates articulate the best view of government constrained by our paramount law, and then practice that in office.
Great man Reagan was, he could not sufficiently scale back the size of government to reclaim it from the scofflaws. However, we now have more resources available than Reagan had.
Candidates for federal and state offices who fail to mention the Constitution in their campaign speeches or regularly in other public forums should not even be considered as worthy of our vote.
If we are to reclaim the law that governs government, we must ‘cross-examine’ candidates, and make their replies part of the ‘public record.’ In Appendix I, we provide a list of 30 questions to ask candidates to test their knowledge of, and fidelity to, the Constitution.
Citizens through their local Tea Party or other groups should send these and other written questions to candidates, stating the candidates’ answers will be posted on the Internet. Attend town hall meetings and candidate forums with video cameras, ask some of these questions of the candidates, and post the exchanges on the Internet. We encourage you to post your videos at our website, ReclaimtheConstitution.com.
Professional politicians will tell you anything to get elected. Press them. One foolproof way of weeding out the poseurs is to ask them questions about what conservative organizations they belong to and support financially. They may talk the talk. Find out whether they walk with us.
Candidates will come to understand they can no longer skirt the Constitution without being exposed.
For some time Americans have felt abused, betrayed and fed up with our leaders. There is a growing feeling of distrust of our national leaders at many levels.
Maybe it’s time we looked in the mirror. Perhaps we, as much as our elected officials, have failed. Perhaps we’ve spent too much time on recreation or idle matters rather than on the business of protecting our freedom. Maybe we’ve become so complacent about what we have that we have let it slip away.
Some people in the political establishment have tried to place blame for the recent downgrade of our national credit rating on the Tea Party. Such arrogance and intellectual dishonesty will only bolster the constitutional conservative movement. If we constitutional conservatives are to be blamed, though, it may be for the reason that we didn’t act soon enough.
Above all, though, let us proceed using the approach described by Thomas Jefferson:"In questions of power then, let no more be heard of confidence in man but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."
Chief Justice John Roberts
Republican Party of Pennsylvania v. Boockvar