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Constitution Revolution: The Founders Would Tell You That You’re Voting All Wrong

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This post is the continuation of a weekly Constitution Revolution series for TheBlaze.com and TheBlaze Radio’s Chris Salcedo Show. To get caught up on last week’s lesson, click here.

There generally isn’t a lot of discussion about Article 1, Section 2 because all it does is lay out some basic details about the House of Representatives. It’s fairly easy to understand and, for the most part, it’s not controversial (I’ll take on the controversial part next week).

But even though Article 1, Section 2 is easy to understand and implement, that doesn’t mean that we should rush past it. There is so much more to this section than just what it says. If we take the time to learn why it says what it says, there is a lot we can learn about what we need to do to get our government to run effectively.

For now, let’s consider the three qualifications that a person must meet before becoming a member of the House of Representatives.

1. You Must be at Least 25 years old

The idea here was that a person needed to go out and get at least little bit of life experience before becoming a member of Congress. It’s foolish to think that the moment someone becomes a legal adult, he is instantly prepared to make decisions for the rest of the country.

Instead, you were supposed go out and spend some time experiencing what it’s like to be a regular citizen. Once you’ve done that, then you can try to become a representative of the regular citizens of this country.

Read more at TheBlaze…

Constitution Revolution: How Does Washington Justify Its Unconstitutional Behavior?

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This post is the continuation of a weekly Constitution Revolution series for TheBlaze.com and TheBlaze Radio’s Chris Salcedo ShowClick here for last week’s lesson.

This story has been updated. 

In my latest post I made it mind-numbingly clear that it is unconstitutional for executive agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency or the Department of Health and Human Services to engage in any kind of policy-making.

Article 1, Section 1 of the Constitution states that “All legislative power herein granted shall be vested in a Congress.” It’s hard to think of how a clause could be a whole lot clearer than that.

But if you even dare to suggest the possibility that executive agency law-making is unconstitutional, most advocates of big government will completely freak out on you. I know this because it has happened to me on several occasions. They freak out because our progressive friends know that without the massive federal bureaucracy we have today, it would be impossible for them to get the government involved in every aspect of your life.

Because of that they are willing to do anything necessary to defend the legitimacy of executive agency law-making. In my experience, I’ve seen two arguments used most often to try to justify this obviously unconstitutional process.

First, I’ve heard people claim that executive agencies don’t make laws. They just issue regulations!!

This one is just silly. Do you have to comply with the regulations that come out of agencies like the EPA? Sure you do. And if you don’t, will someone from the government come out and either fine you or put you in prison? Of course they will.

Read more at TheBlaze…

Constitution Revolution: The First Article of the Constitution Is Mind-Numbingly Simple, Yet Bureaucrats Still Don’t Get It

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This post is the continuation of a weekly Constitution Revolution series that will cover the entire Constitution and many of the principles it was founded on. Click here for last week’s lesson.

Since the beginning of the year on TheBlaze Radio’s Chris Salcedo Show, we have been talking about a lot of the ideas that our Constitution was built on. Now that we have that foundation to refer back to, we’re finally ready to have some fun looking at the individual clauses of the Constitution and what they mean. Let’s get started with Article 1, Section 1:

“All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.”

At first glance, it probably seems like this clause is pretty easy to figure out. And as I explained on Chris’s show this weekend, it is:

 It’s hard to imagine how this clause could be any simpler. Any regular American could read this clause and easily undertand what it means. But for our friends in Washington, D.C., not so much. Somehow, our public officials have managed to make Article 1, Section 1 one of the most manipulated and most ignored clauses in the entire Constitution.

So let’s break it down in a way that even a government bureaucrat could understand.

Read more at TheBlaze…

Constitution Revolution: Interpretation 101

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This post is the continuation of a weekly Constitution Revolution series that will cover the entire Constitution and many of the principles it was founded on. Click here for last week’s lesson.

Imagine that you want to buy a house from me, so you and I enter into a contract to transfer ownership of the property.

If you and I agree that the purpose of the contract is for you to purchase the house from me, what is one thing we can assume to be true about each individual part of the contract? We can assume that each of those parts was intended to help achieve the overall goal of you buying the house from me. To assume anything else would be foolish.

It makes to sense to believe that one individual part of our contract would have a meaning that would completely defeat the entire purpose the document was created for. What logical reason would you and I have for including a clause that did that? None.

It’s no less ridiculous to argue that a given clause of the Constitution has a meaning that completely defeats the purpose that the document was created to serve. That is why, as I mentioned this weekend on TheBlaze Radio’s Chris Salcedo Show, we need to keep the purpose of the Constitution as a whole in mind whenever we are interpreting it:


Read more at TheBlaze…

Constitution Revolution: Why the Constitution is Dead

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This post is the continuation of a weekly Constitution Revolution series that will cover the entire Constitution and many of the principles it was founded on. Click here for last week’s lesson.

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been covering a variety of the principles that our Constitution was built on. The last stop on this journey before we can get into the actual text is to discuss how we should interpret the Constitution. No matter how brilliant our Constitution is, we have to interpret it properly or it will never be able to protect our freedom.

As I discussed on TheBlaze Radio’s Chris Salcedo Show, in legal and academic circles the most popular approach for interpreting the Constitution is the idea that it is a “living document”:

You’re also smart enough to realize there there’s at least a chance that the bankers would use this power to do some very bad things to you.

Now think about this: If we can’t trust bankers with a living mortgage, what reason do we have to trust our politicians with a living Constitution? After all, we would only be giving the bankers power over our house and our money. We’re giving the politicians power over something even more precious: our rights and our freedom.

Read more at TheBlaze…

10 – Constitution Revolution: My Confession

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This post is the continuation of a weekly Constitution Revolution series that will cover the entire Constitution and many of the principles it was founded on. Click here for last week’s lesson.

I have a confession to make: I have absolutely no musical talent whatsoever. It’s embarrassing. I can’t even clap with a beat.

At different times in my life, I have tried to learn some of the basic aspects of music but I just can’t do it. If you gave me a song to play, it doesn’t matter how much time you gave me or what I tried, I wouldn’t be able to play it well. And I definitely wouldn’t be able to play it as well as someone who actually has musical talent.

For whatever reason I wasn’t wired to be musical. If I want to be successful, I need to stick to the few things that I have talent for and leave the music to people who are better suited for it.

The same is true with government. If we want our federal government to be successful it needs to focus on doing those things that it does well.

This weekend on TheBlaze Radio’s Chris Salcedo Show, I talked about what it is that our federal government does well:

So there you have it. Large, centralized governments like our federal government are very good with external issues like national defense and foreign diplomacy. But because of the huge number of people and the massive area of land they are governing, those types of governments are terrible at dealing with domestic issues.

By contrast, small republics are often very good at addressing their domestic issues. But because of their smaller size they have a difficult very time defending themselves.

Our Constitution was designed to get the best of both those worlds.

Read more at TheBlaze…

9 – Constitution Revolution: The Forgotten Check and Balance

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This post is the continuation of a weekly Constitution Revolution series that will cover the entire Constitution and many of the principles it was founded on. Click here for last week’s lesson.

I have devoted my last few Constitution Revolutions to discussing why the separation of powers and the system of checks and balances in our Constitution are extremely effective methods of limiting the power of government. But in the real world, our federal government is getting bigger and more powerful every day with no end in sight.

That begs the question: If these two ideas are as brilliant as I say they are, then why aren’t they working?

As I discussed last weekend on TheBlaze Radio’s Chris Salcedo Show, the problem is that we have completely abandoned perhaps the single most important aspect of our system of checks and balances – Federalism:

In order for our system to work, we have to divide up power not only among the three branches of our federal government, but also between the federal government and the state governments. The only way we can effectively limit the federal government is to ensure that the state governments have the tools they need to act as a check on its power.

Read more at TheBlaze…

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