The Constitution Clarified
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense...
The first document binding our established lands, The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, was an agreement struck between the 13 original North American colonies to form the states. After much debate between July 1776 (birth of our Nation) and November 1777, The Second Continental Congress approved the Articles on November 15, 1777. Congress then sent the Articles to the states for approval, where ratification occurred on March 1, 1781. The Articles preserved the independence and sovereignty of the states. Specifically, the Articles related only to those powers the colonies had recognized as formerly belonging to the king and parliament.
Once ratified, with its minimal changes to the political landscape, the codified Articles, for practical purposes, legalized the existing functions of the Continental Congress. The newly created legislative body became the “Congress of the Confederation.” However, most Americans continued to call it the Continental Congress as its organization saw little change. From a historical perspective, during this era, the American War of Independence raged on from 1775 to 1783.
Congress found it impossible to govern a quickly growing nation due to the limitations of the Articles. The Government’s inability became apparent, especially after Shays’ Rebellion (August 29, 1786 – February 1787).
Some prominent political thinkers in the young union began inquiring about modifications to the Articles. While hoping for a stronger government, some states met to work through trade and economic issues. As more states became interested in changing the Articles, a meeting was set in Philadelphia in 1787, thus forming the Constitutional Convention.
From May 25 to September 17, 1787, the delegates met as “The Constitutional Convention.” Contemporarily known as the Federal Convention, the Philadelphia Convention, or the Grand Convention at Philadelphia, the meetings took place in the old Pennsylvania State House, now known as Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Initially, the convention delegates intended to revise the Government under the Articles of Confederation. However, many of the delegates, chief among them James Madison of Virginia and Alexander Hamilton of New York, desired to create a new central government. 1
The delegates elected George Washington of Virginia, the former commanding general of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, to become President of the Convention. The Convention is among the most remarkable events in American history because it created the Constitution of the United States.
The Convention delegates debated several broad outlines. The notable proposals included William Paterson’s New Jersey Plan and James Madison’s Virginia Plan (the favored choice with a federal government consisting of three branches). The delegates easily accepted The Virginia Plan with its legislative, executive, and judicial branches, but several thorny issues threatened the Convention. The most contentious disputes, and most time spent, centered around the following elements:
Composition and election of the Senate
Consideration of slave counting
Dividing the executive power among three people or vest the potential in a single chief executive (President)
Judges selected by the legislature or the executive
Nature of a fugitive slave clause, and whether to allow the abolition of the slave trade
Presidential elections (what term, and whether to limit each president to a single term and what constitutes impeachable offenses
Proportional representation (defined by a state’s geography or by its population)
The delegates faced slow progress until the Connecticut Compromise in July resolved enough of the lingering arguments. The Committee of Detail accepted the draft, while more modifications and compromises 2 were made over the following weeks. Remarkedly, most of the rough draft found its way into the final version of the Constitution. After resolving several more issues, the Committee of Style produced the Constitution in early September. On September 17, 1787, the delegates voted and inscribed on parchment with engraving for printing showing the signatures of thirty-nine of fifty-five delegates.
After the Constitutional Convention (May 25 – September 17, 1787), a series of written works appeared between November 1787 and April 1788 that debated the merits of the newly crafted national framework. Known as the Federalist and Antifederalist Papers, the proponents (Federalists) won the debate on June 21, 1788. On this date, New Hampshire, the ninth state to vote in favor of ratification, the Constitution became “The Law of the Land.” 3
The Constitution and Government Limits
The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States, where such words are almost meaningless to most of the people because of our debased education system, still holds intrinsic meaning to a minority:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Later in the Constitution, at Article I, Section 8, the people grant to Congress extremely limited powers to tax and spend. The Founders restricted the purpose of that power in the Preamble to “the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States.” The specific expenses counted in the Constitution that the Government can undertake are in the following 18 Clauses under Section 8:
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts, and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts, and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States
To borrow Money on the credit of the United States
To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes
To establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States
To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures
To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States
To establish Post Offices and post Roads
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries
To constitute Tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court
To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal (document issued by a nation allowing a private citizen to seize citizens or goods of another nation or a document issued by a nation allowing a private citizen to equip a ship with arms in order to attack enemy ships), and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years
To provide and maintain a Navy
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress
To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof
The delegates signed the Constitution on September 17, 1787, without a Bill of Rights. As stated previously, the Constitution became law on June 21, 1788, as this is the date that the required ninth state (New Hampshire) accepted it. Without the initial Bill of Rights in hand, the Framers cooperated in developing such a list, and they made it one of their first tasks in the new Congress. It was not until 1791 that congress adopted the Bill of Rights, and the remaining States each accepted (ratified) the Constitution. One proposal was for the new Congress to enact a statute rather than amendments to the Constitution. However, there was a concern that a future Congress may repeal such a statute. Under the leadership of Alexander Hamilton, there were 200 proposals on fundamental rights gathered from the states. This list narrowed down to 12, then 10. On December 15, 1791, Congress ratified the Bill of Rights as the first ten Amendments to the Constitution. 4
As the flagship to these Clauses, the 10th Amendment states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution,” and other Founders were clear in their original writings that they intended to limit the Federal expenses. They also restricted the taxing power to those specific items listed in the Constitution (as shown above). More succinctly, the Constitution defined and bound together the powers to tax and spend. A quintessential example of the usurpation of the 10th Amendment is the Federal v____e mandate. As a clear demonstration of an act completely outside the intent of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, please see the Epoch Times September 22, 2021, writeup by Rob Natelson: Mr. President, do the Right Thing: End the Unconstitutional V___e Mandate. 5
The Founders clarified the term “general welfare” by showing enumerated powers were to arise only for the benefit of all the States. These expenses and powers were not for the “welfare” of certain States or particular groups of people. These historical facts do not square with our legislators who invoke the Constitution for pork-barrel spending in their states. “Mr. Constitution” from West Virginia, the late Robert Byrd, is one example of a Senator who went into theatrics about how well he knew the Constitution. It is a mystery to understand how all those hyper-expensive Federal projects in his state (West Virginia) square with the actual Constitution.
The Founders declared that the new Nation would be free from the British Crown and decried the loyalist officers who harassed the people and taxed them without consent. It is evident through a serious study of our Colonial and Constitutional writings that the Founders had no intention to impose the same level of discretion as to the Crown. They wanted to support and secure individual rights such as the property for future Americans from encroachment by the Government.
The amendment procedure is a hallmark of the Constitution to check usurpers within the Government. By making the Constitution challenging to change by the amendment procedure, the Founders hoped to keep our Government within specified boundaries. However, through fizzy logic, judicial activism, relative interpretations, and the fiat notion of a “living breathing Constitution,” our Government is way out of bounds as initially intended. Also, see Frederick R. Smith Speaks Festering Federal Courts.
Despite the program to change the Constitution by “feelings,” we should carefully examine our freedom documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Founders’ writings such as the Federalist Papers. When combined and analyzed honestly, these documents leave no doubt about the intent of the Founders to supply Constitutional limits on the Government. Finally, the Founders intended to prevent the Government from taking away the earnings of the citizens. Andrew Jackson provided the quintessential quote to illustrate this concept:
“. . . there have always been those who wish to enlarge the powers of the General Government. There is but one safe rule ... confine (it) within the sphere of its appropriate duties. It has no power to raise a revenue or impose taxes except for the purpose enumerated in the Constitution … Every attempt to exercise power beyond these limits should be promptly and firmly opposed.”
Even those with credentials, the average person is subject to the scorn of the mainstream establishment when they present the historical facts. The tactics include smearing the messenger as a “states-rights” zealot or xenophobic. Unfortunately, there have indeed been some luminaries in the past that hijacked the principle of states’ rights for nefarious reasons. However, very few who champion state rights are doing so for disreputable reasons; after all, there is the Tenth Amendment. It is important to note that the division of power in the Government also applies to the States. Enabling the States to enact their local laws on items not under the domain of the Federal Government will force them to come around to their senses. For example, if a state has unpleasant laws, people and businesses will move out, causing it to reconsider its Legislation. To have an overarching and powerful Federal government and weak State governments is like the notion of an overarching Nasty New World Order. Never worked, and never will.
Another bothersome smear tactic is the “anti-government” mantra. Your author loves our country, and in fact, it is necessary to have a government in place to take care of the specific items detailed in the Constitution. We need to peacefully work against the usurpers who use the Government to supposedly “take care” of the people while they use it for personal gain and power.
Those who seize the principles contained in Constitution for any reason outside the pure, authentic original meanings do nothing more than tear down rather than build up. The more the Government runs outside the original purpose, the more wealth will be redistributed, reducing the production incentive. We can easily see the fruits of the ravaging mad machine’s Covid panic and the so-called “labor shortages.” Bubbles-soap to that.
As increased laws and regulations multiply, the acquisition and security of property become increasingly difficult. The bottom line — the Constitutional limitation to tax and spend was meant to safeguard our property rights. Also, see Frederick R. Smith Speaks, Cancel Caustic Charities.
Rewriting of our history aside, it is essential to know that rights do not come from Government and that the people, through their Constitution, grant to Government only a few minimal powers. The brilliance of the Founders helped to create the instruments to translate sound philosophy into constitutional reality. Through their deliberations at the Constitutional Convention, and later during the ratification process of the States, the Nation declared, “We the People of the United States... do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” They set specific written limits on their Government according to the principles that guided them. To assure our rights, the Founders insisted on a rigorous written Constitution.
One of the methods to conquer a nation is to make the citizens ignorant of their history, and without a doubt, history has taken a back seat in our classrooms. Open our children’s history books (if there are any) and you will see debauchery, humanism, environmentalism, and multiculturalism. We must reintroduce the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution as required reading in our schools and institutions of higher learning. That may be an impossibility with the near-total loss of real education. Nevertheless, Frederick R. Smith readers can become citizen educators to shine the light privately. Even those who love the USA despite her blemishes, which we all have due to our fallen nature, it is easy to forget because of the post-modern whirlwind. It is your author’s great hope to rekindle readers’ desire to look past the WOKE bubbles-soap to see what we are in the grips of losing forever.
The bright spot is the fact that there are many beautiful books of original writings available today. If one remains discerning, used bookstores and the Internet are good instruments to solid historical documentation. Get hard copies of books and download PDFs/videos before the mad machine torches such things.
We can and should forever be grateful for our written charter. The simple but comprehensive scope of our Constitution has no equal anywhere in the world. Let us repel the sinister effort to debase the superior foundations by those who hide the good and harp on the few bad points. Yes, there are bad points because of one simple fact — people are bad, and they never will be perfect. The Utopian notion that all people are good or evolving into perfection is a bankrupt idea that never has worked and never will work.
Your Rugged Constitution
Initially published in 1950, Your Rugged Constitution, a particularly remarkable book, was nicely suited for elementary school but too sophisticated for today’s college students. For example, on pages 268 and 269, there is a list of items that “Every True American Has the Responsibility to Maintain and Preserve the Constitution.” Find a similar book in schools or college today and the horrors, absolute terror, that such a modern book should even mention, “True American has a Responsibility.” Remember, in our debased WOKE post-modern society; no one has any responsibilities; such a concept could “hurt somebody’s feelings.” Even worse, such a “draconian” concept might even exclude somebody! The most memorable responsibility is “Don’t seek unfair benefits from your Government. Oppose anyone who does.” Can we imagine such a statement in any schoolbook today?!
In the section of “Your Rugged Constitution” that discusses the Second Amendment, it says (emphasis added): “You deny: to the Federal government the power to interfere with your ownership and use of weapons for lawful purposes.” How about a schoolbook today that would show it is okay to own weapons as a law-abiding citizen? Nevertheless, for a virtuous and good society, the Second Amendment, as intended, is a sound policy. Today, politicians, media, and academia have succeeded so thoroughly in molding so many American citizens (and non-citizens) into ignorant robots dependent on the Government. Dare your author write this, but politicians now really need to say, “We need to take the guns away from you because we made you the people so stupid.” Once all the masses turn in their guns, the criminals will turn their weapons in short order (not).
On pages 264 and 265, there is a list of the “Safeguards in the Constitution.” One of the safeguards in the list is the “Republican form of government in your state.” Most well say we live in a democracy. Our Constitutional Republic set up protection for people from government abuse. Nevertheless, the founders, by in large, had a fear of overarching democracy and monarchies. Thus, the laws allowed by the people, through their duly elected representatives under the Constitution, ensured even protection under the law for each person. Law and regulations should not differ for persons of various talents and abilities. While the struggle for liberty does involve the question of equality, the Founders saw that fairness while keeping freedom shall be the law of the land. 6
The section that explains the Electoral College does not mention the inane post-modern bubbles-soap mantra that “the Founders thought the people were stupid.” If anything, the Founders would think this today if they came back to life to witness the debased education “system” that the children and young adults are forced to endure. And of course, there is also the absolute vomit-projected garbage found on the indoctrination machine called TV. On page 117, the authors explain it well:
On the ballot, you actually vote for the electors belonging to your party; you don’t vote for the candidates themselves. But this makes no real difference since an elector never breaks his promise to vote for his party’s candidates.
It is important to note that the authors, Bruce, and Esther Findlay, were a husband and wife team. Our heterophobic friends will not like this. Bruce was the associate superintendent of the Los Angeles City Schools. Esther was a teacher in the same school system. As a tribute to the Finbday’s, your author presents his review of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution for your reading enjoyment.
The Evolving Living Constitution (full stop!)
Unfortunately, the concept of a rugged Constitution devolved into a Hegelian Dialect construct. A modern version of the “Rugged Constitution” would hold text radically different. Rest assured, it would be all about the living, breathing, or evolving Constitution. The concept of a living Constitution is a nifty way to create many things out of nothing (fiat). Many people from academia to politicians have a love affair with the word “evolution,” which is the quintessential instrument to debase the Constitution. Case in point, Albert Gore used the term “living Constitution” during his 2000 presidential campaign.
Unfortunately, with few exceptions, the bills emanating from Congress are unconstitutional. The bleeding started in 1913 with direct taxation of wages (16th Amendment), direct election of senators (17th Amendment), and the Federal Reserve Act. 7 See above Article 1, Section 8, and behold how we have drifted afar from the 18 clauses (expenses). Some sources state that the Government is in debt by over 20 trillion dollars. The behavior of Congress and the Federal Reserve making the astronomical amount of baseless money is akin to a drug addict who cannot get enough. Also see Frederick R. Smith Speaks, Creature From Jekyll Island.
We are at this point of collapse because we failed to follow constitutional principles. That is, Federalists and Antifederalists alike were opposed to the 1) consolidation of power, 2) ability of a single person to take the country to war, and 3) they also agreed that all power “is derived from the people.” These are three core principles underlying the structure of the Constitution that supporters of the Leviathan state don’t want you to know. 8 Also see Frederick R. Smith: Festering Federal Courts.
What would a modern version of “Your Rugged Constitution” really be all about? Such a book might have a picture of the Constitution on the dust jacket. The contents would be another story — minimal about the Constitution. For sure, it would be about multiculturalism, and it would engage in comprehensive Anglo-Saxon bashing. The authors, if a “couple,” could now be a “modern family.”
Wall of Separation
Some friends of your author express concern about too much “Americanism.” Others express angst that some of the Founders were deists or members of secret (or not so secret) organizations. Indeed, a topic worthy of debate. Regardless, the Founders framework worked to supply us with one of the greatest (but sadly now waning) nations in the history of humankind. The following text can best summarize the issue of religious freedom (or no religion) from the dust cover of Philip Hamburger’s book Separation of Church and State:
In a powerful challenge to conventional wisdom, Philip Hamburger argues that the separation of church and state has no historical foundation in the First Amendment. The detailed evidence assembled here shows that eighteenth-century Americans almost never invoked this principle. Although Thomas Jefferson and others retrospectively claimed that the First Amendment separated church and state, separation became part of American constitutional law only much later.
Hamburger shows that separation became a constitutional freedom largely through fear and prejudice. Jefferson supported separation out of hostility to the Federalist clergy of New England. Nativist Protestants (ranging from nineteenth-century Know Nothings to twentieth-century members of the K.K.K.) adopted the principle of separation to restrict the role of Catholics in public life. Gradually, these Protestants were joined by theologically liberal, anti-Christian secularists, who hoped that separation would limit Christianity and all other distinct religions. Eventually, a wide range of men and women called for separation. Almost all of these Americans feared ecclesiastical authority, particularly that of the Catholic Church, and, in response to their fears, they increasingly perceived religious liberty to require a separation of church from state. American religious liberty was thus redefined and even transformed. In the process, the First Amendment was often used as an instrument of intolerance and discrimination.
The following works, all in your author’s library, form a wonderful background to study our founding.
The American Ideal of 1776: The Twelve Basic American Principles by Hamilton Abert Long, 398 pages, Your Heritage Books, 1963
1787: The Grand Convention by Clinton Rossiter, 443 pages, W.W. Norton & Company, 1966
Your Rugged Constitution: What it says What it means to Americans Today by Bruce and Esther Findlay, 282 pages, Stanford University Press, 1950
A Leap in the Dark: The Struggle to Create the American Republic by John Ferling, 576 pages, Oxford University Press, 2003
Debate on the Constitution Federalist and Antifederalist Speeches, Articles, and Letters During the Struggle over Ratification (Part 1) 1,214 pages, (Part 2) 1,175 pages, Library of America, 1993
James Madison: Writings by James Madison, 966 pages, Libray of America, 1999
Almost A Miracle: The American Victory in the War of Independence by John Ferling, 696 pages, Oxford University Press, 2009
Washington’s Crossing by David Hackett Fischer, 564 pages, 2004
John Adams by David McCullough, 751 pages, Simon & Schuster, 2001
The U.S. Constitution for Everyone: Features All 27 Amendments by Jerome Agel and Mort Gerberg, 64 pages, Berkley Publishing Group, 1987
Encyclopedia of the American Revolution by Mark M. Boatner III, 1,312 pages, Stackpole Books, 1994
Separation of Church and State by Philip Hamburger, 514 pages, Harvard University Press, 2002
Cogent author and publisher, Frederick R. Smith
Federalist Alexander Hamilton encouraged credit-style banking and promoted expansive Government. As such, in the past 50 plus years, the Antifederalists’ warnings about an out-of-control government have come true. See Frederick R. Smith Speakes: The Debate on the Constitution.
Arguments abound about v____e mandates. Even though such mandates might be acceptable from a state or local perspective (e.g., existing local rules for schools, etc.), such things are clearly out of bounds federally, from an original/constructive perspective. More importantly, with the questionable origins of SARS-Cov2, coupled with shady pharmaceutical machinations (money madness), it is imperative to look at this overwhelming issue under the auspices of the pure intent of the Constitution. In a related discussion, the pro-lock-down crowd claims that the anti-maskers are “breaking the law.” They are not breaking the law but simply not complying with a state or local regulatory mandate or a governor’s extra-state-constitutional order. Nevertheless, it is curious how the same pro-mask crowd will never say that the fiery, peaceful protesters in 2020 broke the law when they burned private property. Bottom line, based on the mad media’s “reporting” (downplaying) of collectivist civil disobedience, it is obvious that they approved riots and looting by the WOKE folk. Meanwhile, the mad machine pushes the inane assertion that the cogent folk should be tagged domestic terrorists for exercising their First Amendment right to free speech.
Thee Core Constitutional Principles They Want You to Ignore: Tenth Amendment Center, September 17, 2021