Monday, February 17, 2014

Forum: Can America's Republic Be Saved?

Every week on Monday morning , the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question: Can America's Republic Be Saved?

 The Razor: I used to believe once that America didn’t need saving. Then I thought “Of course, America will save itself just as it has many times.” But now I don’t know anymore. When the only comfort you can take is the fact that you’ve been wrong many times before and hope you are wrong now, that says a lot about your state of mind and how far gone your country is.

Ask Marion: A good question indeed and one I ponder all too often!

I say yes if all the stars align and if we do the right things, but sadly I feel more and more that that alignment is a big ‘if’ and the hurdles are getting higher and higher.  It will take a grassroots army and a lot of prayer to make it happen.

I am not a Bible scholar by any stretch of the imagination, but I am a Christian who believes that prayer and freewill are always factors.  So as I see a lot of  things lining up that I identify as events leading to end times according to prophecy, I choose to believe in the perspective that a a good friend who was a Bible scholar told me once; that the time of the second coming is not necessarily set in stone and because of free will man's choices could affect both our country's longevity as well as the timing of the end times.  The book of Nahum comes some one hundred years after the prophecy of Jonah in the Bible. This book tells the conclusion of the saga of Nineveh, which God spared from destruction for an entire century.  So there is hope!

And although nations rise and die, I agree with America’s Founding Fathers, who felt the hand of God was always on this nation and that they were inspired by him, so perhaps our life cycle will be different.  I remember Ann Graham Lotz’s comments in an interview after 9/11:

Jane Clayson asked Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of Rev. Billy Graham, "I’ve heard people say, those who are religious, those who are not, if God is good, how could God let this happen??” What do you say to that?

Lotz replied, "I say God is also angry when he sees something like this. I would say also for several years now Americans in a sense have shaken their fist at God and said, God, we want you out of our schools, our government, our business, we want you out of our marketplace. And God, who is a gentleman, has just quietly backed out of our national and political life, our public life; Removing his hand of blessing and protection. We need to turn to God first of all and say, God, we’re sorry we have treated you this way and we invite you now to come into our national life. We put our trust in you. We have our trust in God on our coins, we need to practice it."

Instead of heading this warning… now we are taking “In God We Trust” off our coins. It is like a disrespectful child turning his back on his parents yet continuing to hold out his hand for help. At some point everyone needs to grow up!
In the ‘cycle of nations’ studied by and written about by many historians we have gone from bondage to spiritual faith; from faith to great courage which established our precious liberty, which, in turn, has given us unprecedented abundance that has made us the envy of the world. That abundance, however, has led to complacency and apathy. (If you ask the average person, What is the biggest problem in America? Is it ignorance or is it apathy? They will probably respond, "I don’t know; and I don’t care!")

This apathy will ultimately lead to dependency and then return us to the very bondage that this nation was founded to deliver us from. Robert Bork was right when he said that, "The only hope for America is a grass roots revival." Is America ripe for judgment? Billy Graham quipped many years ago, "If God doesn’t judge America He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah!", and Thomas Jefferson summed it up well: "I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; and that His justice cannot sleep forever."

I believe that God gives us certain people, situations and opportunities when they are needed… but it is up to us to recognize them and accept of act on them.  If we don’t we lose and fall further down the rabbit hole, but, ‘He’ just may not be through with us yet?!?

I feel one of those people that was sent to us was Sarah Palin.  One of the situations that was created was a grassroots awakening in the form of the Tea Party and the opportunity was and is to follow that lead.

We can learn a lot from history and from the Bible, unfortunately Americans are reading both less:

Did you know that during WWII there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every day at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace?

Circumstances in Brazil in the 1960′s paralleled what’s happening in our country today. We can learn a lot from the women of that time and what they did to keep their country from communism. 600,000 women marched together praying to save their country. One leader of the counterrevolution was quoted to say, "Without the women we could never have halted Brazil’s plunge toward communism." If it worked for them, do you think it could work for us today?  It was highlighted in the Nov 1964 Reader’s Digest entitled "The Country that Saved Itself".

“Solutions are always presented to us… our job is to recognize and run with them.” Ceila Jones

God tells us: "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land." ~II Chronicles 7:14
As a friend and founding member of the Watcher’s Council, Rob Miller, recently wrote an op-ed for the Washington Examiner: Going Democrat-Lite will make GOP a permanent minority, which will also permanently set us on the path to decline.  The Progressives in power will obliterate the Constitution and with it the Republic. So the elections of 2014 and 2016 will require each of to get-involved, educate ourselves and share that knowledge with others, to volunteer for campaigns, work at the polls and absolutely to vote… even if in the end the candidate is not perfect in every way or wasn’t our first choice.

I agree that the GOP’s and America’s only hope and chance is to run a true fiscal and constitutional conservative and a women to go head to head with Hillary because the Dems are set on running her and electing the 1st female U.S. President which will be the lefts' carrot... So we need to counter with the toughest and strongest woman we've got who has been tested by fire and is still standing... and that is Sarah Palin! She is probably the most Reagenesque politician out there that has been dubbed the Kingmaker by the likes of Cruz, Hayley, Lee, etc and that both CNN and the Heritage Foundation recently noted that the best endorsement you could get was hers.  And Roger Ailes is no fool, it was no accident that he hired her back.

If you have never heard Palin speak live, you need to, because she is amazing.  I saw her live in Carson, CA on the 2008 campaign trail and have seen live unedited footage of  her Searchlight Nevada speech.  23,000 people came to Carson for a speech not announced until that morning and she mesmerized that crowd.  And Searchlight, NV... Reid's home town, was the same way.  We forget that she had them eating out of her hand at the convention when she was nominated for VP and right after she joined the ticket, she and McCain were winning, until stupid McCain suspended his campaign to run back to DC while restricting Palin’s activities in his absence.

The left is going to try to steal the 2016 Election no matter what, so all of us need to get behind a conservative (and a woman would be the smartest and logical move), volunteer to work the polls, get out the information, put pressure on the RNC (Priebus) and do whatever else we can to save the republic and our way of life.  And in the end we all need to get out the vote and vote for whomever our side puts up... but only as a last resort. (You can’t not vote for Romney because he is a Mormon and then complain about Obama!)  And God help us, I'm hearing Romney again, Huckabee, Jeb Bush, even still Christie.... Really?

More and more people from the left are saying it won't be a cakewalk for Hillary either…  There has been speculation for quite some time about Sarah laying the groundwork for a 2016 Run and trying to re-Introduce herself, while Hillary is already in all out rebranding and ‘campaign-ready’ mode and the Dems are certainly trying to protect her at every turn as the dirt keeps coming, which we (the GOP) have never done for Sarah; just the opposite.  The Millennials will also be a facor and they feel betrayed by Obama and his regime, which Hillary was part of, plus they won't want to elect a 70-year-old bow-wow.  Sarah is a 50-year-old looker who would give them and everyone else a real option.

I truly believe that Sarah could win with a strong VP choice if we don't stop telling ourselves that she can't and that we go armed with the ammunition of her accomplishments.  There are nothing but positives in Sarah's past and record and Hillary's is filled with lies, scandals and negatives not to even mention Benghazi; it would be the battle of the Century… and I don't think running a man with the '1st Woman carrot' will cut it.  The Clintons are part of the system; Sarah took on the system in Alaska: she upended the  Corrupt Bastard’s Club.  Former Clinton WH Counsel Lanny Davis Struggled to List (Any) Hillary’s Achievements At State Dept  Hillary is Obama in a dress..., just smarter!

The left feared Palin enough to actually organize the jour'no'lists, of which CFR operative Katie Couric was one, against her, created Palin Derangement Syndrome, and launched a series of contrived lawsuits against her (from which she emerged victorious and vindicated on all counts)  to demonize and destroy her… but she is still standing.  And on the right people who worked for Reagan like Mark Levin, Christian leaders like Billy Graham and Franklin Graham with whom the Palins have traveled to Haiti, business leaders like Donald Trump, and pundits from Greta to Hannity, to Rush and to O'Reilly, to Beck and to Judges Andrew  Napolitano and Judge Jeanine, and Libertarians like both Pauls, to the entire Tea Party and every day Americans love and trust her.  Palin's book signings were packed everywhere.  And did you know that  Gov. Palin Generates $189 Million Yearly in Alaskan Tourism wholly related to her and Todd... Iditarod, history tours, etc; a huge asset to that state? She is admired for her work and stand on behalf of persons with special needs, especially children, and their support community because she walks the walk with son Trig.  Her pool of supporters is much deeper than the left would like us to think.
I went to a local coalition meeting of Conservatives, Independents, Republicans and Libertarians and they all thought Sarah Palin was great and that she should be a serious consideration for the GOP’s 2016 candidate and exactly what America need to turn this country around... some were just afraid that we couldn't overcome the left's propaganda and the elitist Republican Establishment that control the RNC and betrayed Palin and the Tea Party.  But if the Dem's run a woman, we need to put a strong woman up against her.  There is nobody stronger or more tested than Sarah Palin.

And if we can't convince ourselves of that and build the army we need we are doomed as a party and as a nation, for I believe 2014 and 2016 are our last chances to turn things around.  I also truly believe that Sarah is our solution and, as husband Todd Palin said recently, “she can win”, if we believe it, organize and pull ourselves together into a focused unit.  And I am convinced that if we run another Democrat-lite moderate that both the GOP and America as we know it is done! Palin did just win the recent poll with highest favorability among GOP voters.

My two cents...  If you haven't seen the movie The Undefeated, you should! I recommend that everyone own one and play it for everyone they come in contact with.  I have one in my purse and one on the TV ready to play at all times at home for company.

In my heart after seeing her live, I believe Palin was sent to us from a higher place and if we don't embrace that, like we have missed so many other opportunities sent to us, it might just be time for the man upstairs to pull the plug… and definitely on his watchful grace over the U.S.

 Liberty's Spirit: The American republic is very healthy and operating as it should be. Actually the American republic has been more threatened in the past then at the present. Throughout our history some of our greatest Presidents have actually tried to co-opt the Constitution and some have even succeeded. John Adams circumvented the Bill of Rights with the Alien and Sedition Act (Jefferson later had the law revoked and freed all those imprisoned under the Act). Woodrow Wilson signed into law The Espionage Act of 1917 coupled with the Sedition Act of 1918 (repealed in 1920), both laws were held Constitutional as nonviolative of the first amendment (many civil rights authorities disagree with the ruling). The Espionage Act is still in full force today and it is still controversial. These two acts have been used to imprison such diverse individuals as suffragettes, Eugene V. Debs, the Rosenbergs and Chelsea Manning.

But perhaps arguable one of the most egregious acts of any President was the suspension of habeas corpus by Lincoln during the Civil War. Habeas Corpus basically ensures that a person cannot be held indefinitely without charge by the government. Since in our system of justice you are innocent until proven guilt, the deprivation of your liberty is an egregious act. In ex Parte Merrymen the Court held Lincoln's action as unconstitutional, however, the ruling was never enforced. In fact habeas corpus remained suspended well past the end of the Civil War, especially in the Southern states during reconstruction. George Bush (43) also suspended habeas corpus in the Patriot Act however, that action was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in Hamden v Rumsfeld. However subsequent laws passed by Congress have suspended habeas corpus under certain circumstances and these laws remain in full force and effect.

Presidents using their executive privilege to try to circumvent Congress is nothing knew. The first such order was written by George Washington. They are allowed to issue orders that allows them to carry out the job of the executive and further regulations that have been ordered by Congress. In fact an executive order was issues by FDR when he imprisoned Japanese-Americans during WW2. As long as the President can sight an appropriate law and how the law gives him authority to change and redirect the law then executive orders have power. Furthermore signing statements are also a tool that has a long history of use by the executive branch. The most controversial was by Bush 41 when he used it to actually stop enforcement of the Jerusalem embassy law passed by Congress. Presidents since then have continued the use of the signing statement in this manner. The American Bar Association has issued a statement outlining the unconstitutionality of signing statements when they actually change the nature and meaning of a law duly passed by Congress.

There is the question of NSA spying on Americans, its data mining and the FISA courts as a direct assault on the 4th amendment. However, there has been no successful challenge to these actions brought to the Supreme Court. In fact as of late the Republicans in Congress claim that such a court case is not in the foreseeable future and that there is even a question as to whether Congress would have standing to bring a case against the executive.

And while many may point to the abundance of scandals emanating from the White House as the denigration of our republic, this is not the first time in our nation's history that a Presidential administration has been riddled with those that disregard the Constitution. Historically you could find scandal in every Presidency if you looked. Quite frankly the Grant administration was one of the worst when discussing pilfering of the government treasury. Truth be told, the fact that we know about these scandals and can continual discuss them shows that the republic is healthy and vibrant. While there are cases of tremendous abuse by the IRS, attacks against whistleblowers etc, it is vitally important to remember these people are not languishing in a secret prison, but giving testimony before Congress. Now it is important to remember too that the only reason that there are these committee hearings is because the party that controls the House is not the President's party. If that were the case there would be no doubt a huge cover up would be ensuing as unlike during Watergate, the democrats in Congress care only about party loyalty and not loyalty to the Constitution .

Now what does this mean for the republic? Truth be told the Republic is very healthy. In fact it is healthier today than ever in our history. Why? The internet that is why. The internet allows individuals to voice opinions, question the government and even the law. Citizens can take to task anyone and any issue that they see fit. It is because of the internet blogger and alternative media that those in power are held to a real standard and not the phoney standard of yesteryear. Remember when there was only print media and it was simply run by one monopoly? The yellow press (Hearst Empire as example) was an example of propaganda journalism as is the modern version of the mainstream media. When communication was completely controlled and regulated by the government (especially during times of war) that did cut back on true freedom. Yes, there are those today who would like to bring us back to the bad old days, but the internet genie is out of the bottle and it is hard to contain.

While the net neutrality act is in trouble and may lead to issues regarding access to certain websites. That is a financial issue as opposed to government control. Now as in any free market, those that control the ISP will be able to charge websites for their services. It is this cost to blog that may hinder the republic and free access to information more than any government regulation and law. But there is still time for the individual to act and see what the market will bear of course. If an ISP charges too much people will leave and move to a more accessible source. Competition may eventually make the issue of access null and void at some point, but the question of freedom of speech and access to modern technology is very joined. Freedom presupposes that all things being equal, it is the access to technology that keeps our republic growing, investigating, and invigorated, hence the freedom of the internet blogger and alternative media. That, even more than the actions of the executive, or Congress, is the key to a continued healthy republic.

JoshuaPundit: My answer? It depends.

 Coming out of the chambers in Philadelphia where our republic was born, Benjamin Franklin was asked by his fellow Americans what kind of government the Founders had given them. "A republic", he replied. "If you can keep it."

I have often written that the issue of our times is whether we will return to our Founder's principles and reaffirm our republic or simply decide that it's a bad idea and become Rome. Right now, it looks fairly grim. We have the most lawless president in our history at the helm, and all of the traditional signals that normally signal a more authoritarian  government are in place - a heavily militarized domestic security force beholden to the president ( you might recall what President Obama had to say about that early in his first term), federal agencies like the IRS geared up to target 'enemies' , an extremely partisan media, a president with total disregard for the law and the Constitution and the power to control the flow of information. communications and the Internet.

All that's missing is a 'reichstag' moment calling for a total abrogation of our liberties.

Yet with all this, for some reason I feel strangely confident that America will redeem itself and it's republic. I can't even say where that feeling comes from, and I could very well be wrong, but I simply feel that there's already been a certain amount of overreach and that the American people will awaken and  react accordingly. In any event, we shall see.

 The Right Planet: This is a fairly broad question. I suppose it depends on what is meant by "America's Republic." To me, it centers around Article 4, Sec. 4 of the U.S. Constitution: "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government...." Well, what is a republic? I often harp on the subject of America being a constitutional republic and not a democracy. One cannot find one mention of the term democracy in our Constitution. And yet many believe the Unite States is a democracy, even our president--a purported "constitutional scholar," who is wont to refer to our form of government as a "constitutional democracy."

One might argue, that after the ratification of the 17th Amendment (the popular election of senators), the United States became, technically speaking, a "semi-democracy," or "democratic republic." But this was not the original intent of the Founders. The very notion of senators being true statesman who represent their respective States has been lost following the passage of the 17th Amendment, in my opinion. I am for repealing the 17th Amendment. This would return the Senate back to the States. As far as I'm concerned, the Senate has become a detached and alienated body as a direct result of the 17th Amendment. Senators no longer feel compelled to represent the interests of their elected State representatives and constituents, but rather serve the interests of Washington, D.C. and the federal government.

This subject is incredibly frustrating to me personally. I find so many Americans are utterly clueless about our form of government, i.e. a constitutional republic. And many Americans, on both the right and the left, parrot the belief that the U.S. is,in fact, a pure democracy. But the differences between a constitutional republic and a direct democracy are profound. A republic has the underpinning of law, i.e. the rule of law, whereas a democracy is simply majority rule. Our Founders referred to simple democracy as "mobocracy"; there is no underpinning of law. The law is only what the capricious and changeable will of the "masses" says it is at any given time under direct democracy. What is disturbing--and I might add, very disturbing--is how simple democracy is so easily co-opted by the socialists and communists of the world.

A quote often attributed to Vladimir I. Lenin states that "Democracy and Socialism are inseparable." Why is this? A soviet, i.e. council, is ostensibly a form of direct democracy--simple majority rule. One can look to the history of Kerensky's provisional government during the Russian revolution of 1917 for a clear example of how socialists co-opt democracy. The Kerensky government was a democratic socialist form of government (Mensheviks, i.e minority) that was simply swept aside by the Bolsheviks, (i.e. majority). And the Communist Manifesto states that socialist revolution is the road to communism proper. So, in effect, direct democracy is the first step toward pure communism. The beauty of a constitutional republic is that it protects both the rights of the minority and the majority via the rule of law.

Can the American Republic be saved? Of course! But the real question, to me, is, how many Americans believe it is worth saving? Or, for that matter, how many Americans even realize the republic is at stake?

Rhymes With Right:Do I think the republic can be saved? Yeah, I do. Maybe because I just had a little taste of what a handful of average folks can accomplish if they don't give up and take a stand for removing the corruption from the system. For some time, we have been complaining about a problem down here in Harris County, Texas. The grassroots activists of the Harris County Republican party -- a motley crew of Tea Partiers, libertarian conservatives, social conservatives, and Reagan conservatives -- stood up entrenched powers who were more about enriching and empowering themselves and some of the folks they put in place. Not only that, but our little effort has garnered interest from around the state and may result in a change in direction for the Texas GOP as well, since our corner of the state is the biggest source of votes in Texas.

So if you are interested in knowing how this plays out on a national level, it is this -- We the People can bring about the change if we work to make it happen. Folks like Senator Mike Lee implicitly acknowledge this. Congress and Congressmen don't have the standing to sue Obama in court for his violations of the Constitution, and the Democrats in the Senate have made it clear that they will never vote to remove Obama if the House impeaches him for his high crimes and misdemeanors. That means it is up to us to fix the problem.

What do we need to do? We need to organize and vote -- following the old Buckley Rule of voting for the most conservative electable candidate. Maybe that candidate isn't "my type of conservative" -- but we know that failing to vote for that conservative means empowering Obama and his henchman to continue to abuse their power and destroy the republic. It means that we are going to face more years -- and decades -- of the Constitution being trampled by those like Obama and his progressive hordes until our rights are no more respected than were the rights of Soviet citizens under the Soviet Constitution. Indeed, it seems that the goal of Obama and his ilk are to guarantee many of the same rights that were promised to the proletariat by the slavemasters in the Kremlin, but we have already seen that the fulfillment of these promises will be at the same substandard level as in that failed state in which liberty was denied in the name of "the common good of the working people".

And let me add to this one other thing we need to do -- we need to support the proposed Convention of States. The time has come to refresh and reinvigorate our Constitution by passing amendments that address current problems and correct current abuses. Given that the decision of 13 states to not adopt a bad amendment will have the effect of killing it, the danger of harm is minimal while the opportunity to fix our nation's problems is great.

The Glittering Eye: I think it will be difficult. Rather than launch into a diatribe about the steps leading to a decline in republican values, I'll give two examples of why it might be happening.

First, a significant number of the people in the United States with wealth, power, and influence have a de facto preference for a society consisting of a relatively small number of aristocrats with wealth and power (them), a large, dependent, relatively impoverished lower class (most other people), and a small, struggling middle class. It's not a stated preference but it's the logical outcome of the policies of the Washington consensus and crosses party and ideological lines.

Second, there are cognitive changes taking place among the people of the United States associated with a post-literate society that make democratic republican government increasingly difficult. Rather than try to explain how this is happening I'd refer you to the many posts at my site under the subject classification "Visualcy". Just as the transition from a primarily oral society to a literate one produced cognitive changes in the societies members that allowed republican government to make sense, the transition going on now, from literate to visual, is rendering republican government increasingly difficult to maintain.

The Independent Sentinel: We are losing constitutional freedoms on an almost daily basis and it will be a struggle to get them back.

If enough people wake up and realize what is being done to them and if the GOP becomes more of an opposition party then, yes, we can be saved.

I don't think the end is near but what I see is a gradual erosion of our Republic and our Bill of Rights.

We can be saved but I don't know that we will be. The media is on the far left with the president and Americans seem apathetic. If Democrats lose the Senate in November, then we should be optimistic. If not, it's pretty much over because that will be a fairly clear indication of where the majority of Americans now stand.

Well, there you have it.

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