How and Why We, The People, Must Progress Forward
Fortunately, the U.S. Constitution contains provisions that enable Congress and the states to overturn such Supreme Court decisions that unfairly favor the rich with ordinary legislation. One of those provisions is in Article 3, Section 2, Clause 2, which states that there are exceptions to the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction, and Congress may overrule the Court through the legislative process (which is what Senate Joint Resolution 19 is about, as previously mentioned).
The Founding Fathers carefully wrote the Constitution to protect the republic against a rogue Court, including the “Exceptions Clause” because they foresaw the potential problems that could be caused by a partisan Court that serves special interests (as the present Court does).
With that clause, and with The 21st Century Declaration of Independence, we the people can and must overrule the Court, because it was bad enough that corporate funding of political campaigns had already driven the ad wars, and corporate lobbyists wield all the power that money can buy to influence and bribe members of Congress. Now the rich can spend all they want to buy elections, and corporate lobbyists indulge in bribery even more.
For example, watch this video of the Sixty Minutes interview of lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who finally listened to his conscience and exposes the utter corruption of lobbyists and members of Congress. And consider that just in the first three months of 2009 the corporations and industries spent at least $500 Million on lobbying to influence politicians in Washington, D.C. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent $47 Million last year on political issue ads on TV, mostly against health care reform, and they spent another $144 Million on lobbying Congress to fight any regulation of corporations.
In fact, the Chamber of Commerce is the most powerful influence on the public and on Congress, serving the interest of profit-making corporations to the detriment of the environment and the public. And now, the court’s ruling has enabled new right-wing groups like the American Action Network (ANN), which paid for slanderous, misleading and often false attack ads against Democrats in the 2010 mid-term election season and later during the fight over health care reform. It’s funded by the ultra wealthy and their corporations, and its board consists of right-wing Republican politicians and millionaire and billionaire businessmen, industrialists and financiers.
They know who serves their interests most obediently, and their most loyal servants now include Republicans in Congress and five members of the Supreme Court. That is one of the reasons why money now rules more completely than ever before. The powers-that-be are the wealthiest few, and they serve their own interests at our expense.
We must, therefore, face facts, because civilization, and indeed even the human race, will not survive if right-wing “Conservatives” keep either having their way or obstructing and preventing reform and progress.
The truth is that what they strive to conserve are mainly the political, economic and religious traditions and institutions that have allowed them to gain power, wealth and domain in the world. And, in fact, their focus on materialistic concerns has caused them to lose sight of what is most valuable in the world, which we should conserve above all else.
That is clear if you look at what they have NOT conserved.
Just look at the degradation and deterioration of our environment, the oceans, our waterways, our atmosphere, our infrastructure, and the standard of living of the majority of the people and especially the working poor — all of which have suffered because the wealthiest few control most of the wealth, invest much of it in lobbying legislators and buying or influencing elections, and want government to spend taxpayers money mainly on police and military forces and all other means that will protect their wealth and enable them to gain more.
The culture of greed and self-interest they have created has, especially during the last hundred years, been detrimental to many people in the world, and it has brought a terrible tribulation upon the earth. And we, the people, are the only ones who can and will fix it -- by initiating and peacefully bringing about a reformation of both religion and government so that they both serve the interests of humanity as a whole body.
As it is, our government not only favors the wealthiest few at our expense. It also violates our civil liberties. So we could, for instance, repeal or amend the FISA laws that have enabled the government to violate our privacy, to wire tap and spy on citizens in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. (That's because the FISA law gives all the power not to any of the three branches of government, but to one man, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, who alone appoints the FISA court members who give approval to the NSA and other surveillance and intelligence agencies. And since the FISA court is rigged by a right-wing ideologue, it has ignored and violated the Constitution, which is why FISA and the NSA have come under such heavy criticism lately.)
We, the people, can change all that, in America and in all nations. The fulfillment of the actual, real prophecies of Judaism, Christianity, Islam and of all other divinely inspired religions of the world, foretells it. The prophets foresaw a future of harmony and peace following this terrible conflict and tribulation. But, we will not enter that future unless and until we expose and refute the hypocrites and establish freedom and justice for all. That, in fact, is what Jesus of Nazareth intended, foresaw, and prophesied, as did all other genuine prophets.
A Democratic Republic
What we need is a Democratic Republic, with real Democracy. That is what Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and other Founding Fathers tried to establish, but even though they prevailed in their day against the Hamiltonian Federalists who claimed they wanted a Republic, Jefferson's and Madison's view eventually faded because the Hamiltonian idea persisted and prevailed in the long run. Why? Because it was more like Plato’s, whose writings and ideas have influenced and enabled wealthy elites and aristocracies ever since.
The traditional definition of a real Republic is a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizenry entitled to vote, and political power is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by the whole body of citizens.
You see, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison and other Framers of the Constitution were indeed concerned about the what democracy could become, which is why they tried to establish a balance of government powers and limits on power, and an intricate system of checks and balances. But they wanted a Democracy in a Democratic Republic, and they trusted in the ability of the people to use a democratic process to try to establish a government that was of the people, by the people, and for the people, which would promote the general welfare and ensure domestic tranquility and justice for all the people, and deal with ongoing problems.
That was in large part why the Founders, including Madison, wrote the Commerce Clause granting Congress power to regulate interstate commerce, assuming that democratically elected representatives of the people would actually serve in the best interests of all citizens to promote the general welfare of all the American people.
Unfortunately, the Reaganite ideology runs counter to that in many ways, as is discussed in several other articles. And that is especially evident in the decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court, which is apparently preparing to reverse the Founding Fathers with regard to the Commerce Clause. That is because five Reaganite Republican justices -- John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Anthony Kennedy and Samuel Alito, believe in what Ronald Reagan said at the end of his second term as president.
Reagan said: "There's a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts." He also said: "Through more and more rules and regulations and confiscatory taxes, the government was taking more of our money, more of our options, and more of our freedom."
That was extremely misleading, but, because it was delivered by a very charming television performer and corporate pitchman who may have sincerely believed what he said, many people believed it.
Now, however, Americans should understand Ronald Reagan's Real Legacy, and understand that the Reaganite ideology was born of a merger of a pseudo-conservative movement called Neo-Conservatism and corporate propaganda, which Reagan learned well from top executives at the General Electric Corporation as he was very carefully groomed in the 1950s and '60s for a career in politics.
The Reaganite ideology has sought to indoctrinate Americans with the idea that government is the problem, not the solution, that labor unions are bad, that government regulations are oppressive and wrong, and that taxes are “confiscatory” and unfair, and take away our freedom.
The truth, however, is that our freedom is ensured not by banks or corporations. Our freedom is ensured only by a good government the protects us all, that promotes the general welfare and ensure justice for all. And, even though the Reaganites have succeeded during the last 30 years in selling that ideology to many Americans, it is actually an un-American, un-Constitutional ideology concocted by the greediest of the wealthiest few who simply do not want to be regulated or taxed according to their ability to pay.
Government cannot operate without sufficient revenue to provide sufficient regulation of commerce, to provide for public safety and the common defense, to build and maintain the infrastructure, promote the general welfare, and ensure justice for all -- among all the other things that good government should provide. And in order to do that all citizens need to contribute to the common wealth for the common good, and pay taxes according to their ability to pay.
In spite of that, the Reaganites on the U.S. Supreme Court operate under the assumption that Reaganism is a good ideology and that the Federalist Society that was formed during Reagan’s first term as president is correct in its interpretation of the Constitution. But Reagan was wrong, and the Federalist Society is wrong, which is readily apparent by the utter failure of Reaganism as it infected America with a corrupt culture of greed and self-interest that increasingly caused more and more problems during the last 30 years.
We still suffer from it, not only because the Supreme Court made things worse in its recent decisions favoring corporations and the wealthiest few to the detriment of the vast majority of the people, but because Republicans and even some Democrats in Congress and the Executive Branch have done the same.
That is why we need a reformation of government, recognizing that a real Republic is a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizenry entitled to vote, and political power is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by the whole body of citizens, not merely the wealthiest few who think their wealth entitles them to rule.
However, as was stated above, we should be able to directly choose who represents us, because as it is the U.S.A. is neither a Republic nor a Democracy, and we the people do not have free choice to determine who represents us. We are presented with choices, which gives the appearance that we have a choice.
That is ultimately our fault, because we allowed it, albeit unwittingly and naively. But it is largely the fault of both Republicans and Democrats, and even though the Republicans are worse, the Democrats have proven themselves to actually be the “lesser of two evils” that divide us and keep us divided and weak.
Right-wing Republicans are the worst, however, because they blatantly serve the forces of greed and self-interest while pretending to serve all the people. But we should understand whySocrates believed that the philosophic soul has reason, will, and desires united in virtuous harmony. A good philosopher has the moderate love for wisdom and the courage to act according to wisdom, and wisdom is knowledge about the good or the right relations between all people.
The Wisdom of Socrates is rather like the Wisdom of King Solomon, who wrote that: “Wisdom produces friends of God and prophets. She is firm, but Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all Her paths are peace. She is a Tree of Life to them that lay hold upon Her. And Wisdom is far better than weapons of war.”
To be even more specific, Solomon also wrote, in the same vein, "Be wise and consider the ways of the ants, which having no guide, overseer or ruler, provide food in the summer and gather in the harvest."
That is consistent with the wisdom of Samuel, who wrote: "If you want a king, you reject God."
It is also consistent with Jeremiah's prophecy, which states: "In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The Lord of our righteousness. For thus says the Lord: David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel." -- Jeremiah 33:15-17
The Lord of Righteousness is not actually "she," as Jeremiah wrote, nor is the Lord our God a man, nor a son of man, as Moses wrote. For God, by any other name, is God the Eternal Infinite One, the Great Spirit-Parent of all. And God's will is for government to not be on the shoulders of one man, but for one man who was chosen by God to liberate and empower the people so that they may govern themselves.
When government is not of the people, by the people, or for the people, whoever rules does not serve all the people. If we are ruled by an aristocracy, a wealthy elite, a nobility, an oligarchy, kings, or a presidential form of monarchy, we cannot have government of, by, or for the people. For power in the hands of one, or a privileged few, does not produce a true Democracy or Republic with government of, by, or for the people..
Therefore, Plato’s logic, like Hamilton's, is flawed in the opinion about who should be entitled to rule, because it is aristocratic. It led to the idea that certain people are entitled to rule over the masses. That idea ruled Europe, and it even tainted the views of some of the Founders of the United States of America.
For example, that idea motivated the Hamiltonian Federalists to strive, as a last gasp effort, to establish a “Christian Meritocracy.” That is because Alexander Hamilton, following the defeat of his party, put forth the idea that wealthy Christians were entitled to rule meritoriously, because they had “made good” with financial success, and were morally good.
That, of course, is not necessarily true. Greedy, selfish people have become very rich, and hypocrites can and do pretend to be Christians and thump their bible to gain respect and power. That has been proven true many times throughout Christian history and even in the short history of the United States of America, and it has proven true especially during the last 30 years. And Thomas Jefferson was vehemently opposed to any sort of rule by an aristocracy based on wealth, especially one claiming to be Christian. In fact, Jefferson believed that true virtue and wisdom comes from education, and that every citizen should have the right to higher education.
Unfortunately, the Hamiltonian Federalist idea was picked up again in the early 1920s, and we all know how that turned out (and thank God Franklin D. Roosevelt saved the country from that). But, in spite of that, the Republicans under Ronald Reagan picked it up again in 1981 – that idea of a Republican Christian Meritocracy – and it has flourished and persists even today, preached by many right-wing televangelists who ignore or deny the facts in the U.S. Constitution.
Now, we, the people, must act to stop the madness, the corruption, the abuse of power, the unfairness, and the injustice. Only we, the people, can establish justice, equity, and fairness, by establishing a real democracy in which the Supreme Court justices are appointed by an executive council, not a partisan president. That would ensure justice for all.
If we don't stand up for ourselves, who will? And if not now, when?