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Reforming the Constitution

The United States is a republic because the Founding Fathers recognized that it was the undisciplined passions of Athenian democracy that led to its downfall. To prevent this, they divided the powers of the federal government into three branches and honored local government by preserving the States.  They also assumed that future leaders of our government would be as honorable as themselves.  Madison said in Federalist No. 55:


As there is a degree of depravity in mankind which requires a certain degree of circumspection and distrust, so there are other qualities in human nature which justify a certain portion of esteem and confidence.  Republican government presupposes the existence of these qualities in a higher degree than any other form.


They did not anticipate the cataclysmic changes of agriculture, the industrial revolution, the availability of cheap energy, or information and other technological changes that have occurred since 1787.  More importantly, they did not anticipate the decline in the character of our leaders, who have subverted the principles of republican government by responding to the passions of a democratic populace willing to mortgage their children’s future to enjoy benefits they need not pay for today.  Hamilton in Federalist No. 1, said: will be equally forgotten that the vigor of government is essential to the security of liberty; that, in the contemplation of a sound and well-informed judgment, their interests can never be separated;  and that a dangerous ambition more often lurks behind the specious mask of zeal for the rights of the people than under the forbidding appearance of zeal for the firmness and efficiency of government.  History will teach us that the former has been found a much more certain road to the introduction of despotism than the latter, and that of those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people, commencing demagogues and ending tyrants.


These changes created great wealth for America, which in turn influenced the growing power of politicians at the expense of the wisdom of statesmen.  The competition for power between our major political parties has resulted in (1) an entitlement mentality with consequent increasing public expectations that entitlements are rights and not charity, (2) a shift in monetary obligations to the States without their consent, (3) an ill-advised reliance on polls, which poorly reflects the proper balance between short- and long- term national interests, (4) the utilization of tax policy, earmarks, and entitlement programs to enhance political power, (5) a willingness to favor elected representatives in Congress with benefits at public expense not available to others, (6) a delegation of undisciplined powers to regulatory agencies, (7) a disinterest in the impact laws have on freedom, (8) a disregard for the weakness of general planning, (9) a misplaced confidence in the reliability of economic planning, and (10) a disregard of the fundamental principle that wealth is created by freedom and the industry and creativity it inspires without which we are unable to help those who cannot help themselves.


To rectify these changes and curb the unhealthy growth of government power, we have recommended process changes to the Constitution.