A Compound Republic

December 7, 2011

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A Compound Republic

The compound republic—or federal republic based upon federalism—was a unique feature of the Founders’ constitutional handiwork. Two levels of government (state and federal) are supposed to check each other against potential abuses of power, the way that three, coequal branches of government do at the national level. Indeed, the federal or compound nature of the Republic amounts to vertical check and balance, similar to the horizontal checks and balances produced between legislative, judicial and executive branches, exercising their delegated powers at the top or center of American constitutional government.

The federal structure provides for a separation of powers—dual sovereign orbits of responsibility—between the federal and the state governments. Unfortunately, the Constitution is not explicit, in terms of how to resolve constitutional disputes. Although judicial review has been the primary mechanism for doing so since Marbury v. Madison (1803), the result of this method over time has been to strengthen the federal government at the expense of state governments. Of course, the purpose of a vertical check and balance in the first place, is to provide for safe and stable freedom of individuals and communities (themselves comprised of freely associating individuals). The emasculation of vertical check-and-balance and the cumulative increase in power at the federal level, now threatens the freedom of individuals and societies in the various states. Moreover, constitutional reforms are needed to shore up the power of state governments, as well as to protect the system from similar concentrations of power in the future.

According to William A. Niskanen, chairman of the Cato Institute and a former chairman of President Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisors, “the necessary change to make the federal government an effective guarantor of individual rights is to restore the federal protection of the privileges and immunities of all citizens, a protection formally guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment but eroded by later court decisions.” Ironically, this key protection was eroded, even as the Fourteenth Amendment was used to expand federal power in other ways. At the same time, Niskanen says, “the necessary changes to make the state governments an effective guarantor of individual rights are to provide formal constitutional authority (a) for a specified group of states to nullify an action by the federal government, . . . and maybe (b) for an individual state to secede from the federal union, preferably by two successive votes over some interval and subject to some rule for the allocation of the assets and liabilities of the federal government.”

Niskanen’s recommendations will no doubt provoke controversy, but it is high time for the debate to begin. We must engage this problem directly concerning the lopsided turn the Republic has taken since the New Deal—away from the sovereign power of states in their proper orbits. States must begin to act as a ballast or counterweight to the insatiable demands and incessant meddling of the federal government, which too often represents the narrow special interests of ideology and private bank accounts, as well as the disloyal subterfuge of internationalist do-gooders. American tradition demands these kinds of constructive recommendations, which build on The Federalist Papers, as well as the Kentucky and Virginia Resolves and the Civil War constitutional controversy. Indeed, although post-Civil War constitutional amendments abolished slavery and established national citizenship rights for persons regardless of race, no constitutional amendment ever abolished the right to secession. Moreover, the Declaration of Independence practically enshrines its principle, inherent in natural rights political philosophy.

In Federalist no. 28, Alexander Hamilton stated that it was an “axiom” of the American system of government “that the state governments will in all possible contingencies afford complete security against invasions of the public liberty by the national authority.” Should the national government prove to be a danger, Hamilton expected the states “at once [to] adopt a regular plan of opposition, in which they can combine all the resources of the community. They can readily communicate with each other in the different states; and unite their common forces for the protection of their common liberty.” Likewise, James Madison in Federalist no. 51, described how the federal government and the states “will control each other; at the same time each will be controlled by itself.” They would simply be aghast at the situation today, for we essentially have a dominant national, unitary government—which also defines its own powers. They would say it is a prescription for tyranny, if not tyranny outright. Hence, if constitutional procedures are not explicitly introduced to resolve the imbalance that now exists, i.e., to enable states the symmetrical ability to control the federal government in its proper orbit, then Niskanen predicts that gross “abuse of constitutional authority . . . can be constrained only by actions that [again] risk civil war.”

PEARL HARBOR 70 YEARS LATER AND THE CITIZEN’S FIGHT TODAY

December 7, 2011

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PEARL HARBOR 70 YEARS LATER AND THE CITIZEN’S FIGHT TODAY

PEARL HARBOR 70 YEARS LATER AND THE CITIZEN’S FIGHT TODAY

BELTON, TEXAS – December 7, 1941 is a date which lives in infamy since the second largest military attack on United States soil took the lives of 2,402 servicemen and 57 civilians at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Seventy years later, Americans honor the memory and sacrifice of all who died at the Pearl Harbor attack. As a combat veteran, Wes Riddle understands the importance of such sacrifice and honor. He graduated from West Point and served 20 years in the Army. He also obtained his M. Phil. degree in Modern History from Oxford University, instructed at college, and is widely published.

Running now for U.S. Congress in the new congressional District 25, Wes Riddle commented on the significance of Pearl Harbor and the importance of peace through strength: “Freedom isn’t free. It is one of the most expensive commodities on earth, in terms of blood and treasure. Moreover, it depends on and often barely survives based upon the individual efforts of a relatively few, brave young men and women, who willingly accept physical risk and dedicate a portion of their lives to serving in the United States Armed Forces. To preserve freedom from violent aggressors and subversives, they meet force with force when necessary, and their doing so has made all the difference! The World War II Generation preserved freedom from the awful specter of fascist takeover, and they held the line against communism after the Cold War began. They passed the torch to others, who likewise did their duty, and who handed it off to the latest generation of marvelous young men and women, who continue to preserve freedom from the terrorists and from radical Islamist jihadists.”

Asked what the significance of the next election is and why veterans and their families should care enough to vote on March 6th, 2012 in the Republican Primary, Riddle stated: “Sadly the most ominous specter we face today is not abroad from either fascism or communism. Rather it is from the implementation of Socialism right here at home and a concomitant loss of our cherished freedom. Today therefore it is not a military mission that is of gravest concern. It is instead a nearly overwhelming but critical political mission—one for the voting citizenry of this great country to face to squarely. The People simply must elect more men and women of real character and competence to the U.S. Congress. They also must elect a president in 2012, who actually values our Constitution and all the sacrifices made to defend this land thus far from tyranny.”

Wes Riddle has never held elective office and has pledged himself to a self-imposed term-limit of no more than ten years in office. He is Founder of the Central Texas Tea Party and also state director of the Republican Freedom Coalition (RFC). Riddle says he has always voted as a lifelong conservative Republican and considers Ronald Reagan to be the best political example by reason of his statesmanship and statecraft, as well as his unequalled ability to communicate and explain complicated things to the people. “We need fewer politicians these days and more statesmen like him,” concludes Riddle, who as a teenager before he went to West Point, served as Ronald Reagan’s Youth Advisor for the State of Texas.

Riddle was recently endorsed by Get Out Of Our House (GOOOH), after a rigorous policy vetting and screening process. They named him “best citizen candidate” for District 25 in the hotly contested Republican Primary race.

Faith and Freedom!

Garrett Smith
Office (254) 939-5597
Fax (254) 939-5523
garrett@wesriddle.com
www.WesRiddle.com