Tuesday, January 20, 2009

If I were Inagurated...

It's ironic that the Chief Justice, the man most in charge of protecting and interpreting the Constitution, got the Oath of Office totally wrong today...

What a debacle of silliness this all was--the pomp, circumstance, and in general overhype of the day makes me want to puke.

If that was me up there, and it should be if the people ever possessed enough common sense to elect me after I took leave of mine to run, I would borrow a page from Thomas Jefferson and keep it small. Here's what I'd do:

I'd walk into the National Archives. There would be two pool cameras, a podium to the side, and some chairs to the side for family, the Chief Justice, and the VP entourage of her and her family. No public here, because it doesn't make a lot of sense for them to be out in the cold freezing their collective national ass off just to hear 34 words and a speech. They can stay warm and watch it on TV. The Chief Justice would swear me in, with my hand on the case holding the Constitution, as it should be, sans the "so help me God" line, which isn't part of the oath anyway, and then I'd go to the podium and give the speech.

Here's that speech. Let's assume it's January 20, 2013.

My fellow Americans:

I take the reins of government today with a new beginning, a new purpose, and a new commitment. That commitment is to you. That commitment is to the limited-government principles of the Constitution, to protecting and defending your inalienable rights against all infringement, including that done by government. It is not to the special interest groups, lobbyists, crooks, and thieves that make up the halls of government, whether they be elected, hired, or simply loitering at the government trough like leeches on a wound.

A hundred years ago America veered drastically off course, and only now are we bearing the final brunt of that mistake. Only now will we finally fix the series of catastrophic errors that set the stage for a hundred years of destroying this nation and all we hold dear. Only now will we do what needs to be done, whch is get back to the basics. May we be not too late!

Government, according to President Lincoln, is supposed to be "of the people, by the people, and for the people." A college friend of mine had a T-shirt that quoted that famous line from Gettysburg, but it also asked a question: "What about the people?" It's a question the politicians refuse to answer, either by ignoring or ridiculing those who ask it. Well, I'm asking it now. The difference is that I can answer it, and I will.

Another President, James Madison, explained it another way: "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined." It is time, far past time, that we took his words to heart again. It is time to put the teeth back into the Bill of Rights, especially the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. It is time to roll back government, to shrink the Leviathan. That is exactly what I will do.

The fundamental principles of this nation can be found in her founding documents: that we all are equal, we have rights that no government may infringe, and that the ability to govern comes from the consent of the governed. That consent can also be revoked, and when the abuse of government power becomes such that the revocation becomes not only necessary but overdue, revolutions happen. It happened in 1776 when we took up arms for our independence from the corrupt British Crown under King George III. It is time to have it happen again, this time peaceably, by doing what must be done--scaling back the reach, breadth, and oppression of government. I possess the ability and more importantly, the will to do it. But I cannot do it alone, and fellow Americans, I need your help. I need your help to hold your elected representatives in Congress accountable to make these changes, to move past the petty political bickering over whether the policies of more government on the left is better than the policies of more government on the right, to the more fundamental question of securing our freedom. I also need your help to make sure that as the federal government scales back that the states do not jump in and replace it. Let us never forget that the rights of We The People trump all laws, for the rule of law is derived from government, and government is derived from the People that inherently possess those rights. That includes the states, and no state has the power to trample your rights. Nor does the federal government. It hasn't done a good job lately on that protection, and it will change. We are a Republic, not a democracy. Never forget that!

The federal law has 50 code sections and matching regulations. We're going to go over every last one of them with a fine tooth comb. We're going to figure out what is extra-constitutional and toss it, and keep what is not. The focus is not going to be on retaining or expanding power in Washington or Wall Street. It will be about returning and expanding the power of the citizenry, of We The People.

We're also going to repeal the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Amendments. Those two amendments, ratified under dubious circumstances a century ago, drastically changed this nation for the worse. The Sixteenth gave the government the power to rob the citizenry and call it taxation. The days of the Sheriff of Nottingham are over. The Seventeenth destroyed our system of checks and balances by eliminating the voice of the States in the Congress. It's time to bring that check back. We're going to make terms mean what they say, so no home shall be threatened by eminent domain, so privacy laws are in force, and so that we once again become the Land of Liberty and not a police state. We're going to end the warfare mentality, be it targeted at other nations, terrorism, guns, drugs, sex, poverty, or animals. We're going to respect the citizenry again, as we should have been doing all along and weren't.

These changes may seem radical, and to a nation that has alarmingly grown accustomed to government being Big Nanny or Big Brother, they may seem impossible, but they will be done. It is time that We the People stand up and take responsibility for our own well-being and posterity, and once free of the shackles of government, we will be able to do so. It is my hope that people can grow and learn the skills necessary to prosper. Those are the things that made this nation great once, and we can do it again. We have always had the innovation, and the resources to do it. It is time to restore the motivation. And it begins with each and every one of you, your families, friends, and colleagues.

So I call upon you today, each and every one of you, to get off the sidelines and get involved. We used to be the biggest exporter of goods in the world. Now we're the biggest importer. That needs to change, back to what we once were. We need to get the factories making widgets and the people back in the factories making them. We need to make the merchants of Main Street prosperous again instead of closing down because of Wal-Mart just outside town. We need to rebuild our infrastructure, regrow our small businesses, and clean up our messes. We need to become resource independent, and we can do it. We need to end our credit codependency and get back to sound demand-based economics based in solid money and the bedrock principles of earning and saving. we have the technology and the innovation. What we've been lacking is the political will.

And government is not the solution nor the means to doing these things. We will do our best to make sure you all have the equal opportunity to do your best, protect your rights, and otherwise stay out of the way. What you make of it is up to you.

To Congress, I say this:

This is going to happen, whether you like it or not. It's not about you, your committee assignments, your earmarks, your pork, your cushy luncheons with lobbyists and special interest groups, and your political pandering. I will veto every single piece of legislation you send to my desk that does not pass constitutional muster. If you override the veto I will not enforce it. The oath I just took I take seriously, and that means my first duty as both President and a citizen is to protect the rights of my fellow citizens from your excesses. That is what I will do. The partisan kindergarten squabbling that you engage in will stop, because it benefits not a single citizen. We cannot afford to do otherwise either. I want a constitutional amendment requiring a Balanced Budget passed and sent to the States for ratification. You will see that proposal today. The same is true to enable a Line-Item Veto. And that's just the start of the reforms.

To the rest of the world:

America is embarking on a new direction, the one President Washington urged in his Farewell Address. That direction is simple: Peace and commerce with all, entangling alliances with none. America can no longer afford, nor has the desire, to be the world's policeman. The nations of the world will need to learn to function without us, and without our financial and military aid. America will be taking a step back from the world stage and turning its attention inwards. We have plenty of internal problems to solve, and we will solve them peaceably. We will not neglect our legitimate national security interests, but we will be carefully re-evaluating them. Our new policy will be that of self-defense-based neutrality, meaning America will no longer take sides in conflicts between others, will stand by to gladly help broker peace, but will also maintain a strong defense based at home to counter any threat. To quote President Roosevelt, we will speak softly, and we will carry a big stick, but the stick will only be used to defend our citizens, no matter where they are or how many. That is this government's obligation to our people, and we take it very seriously. The United Nations will need to leave New York within the year, and the military alliances America is involved in will see our withdrawal. Critics will ignorantly call this isolationism. It is not, for we will still maintain diplomatic and commerce contacts with all nations. We will listen to the grievances of other nations towards America and work to foster peace and clear dialogue of where we all stand. We will withdraw our military to our own shores. We will happily advise the nations of the world as to our national experience as they grapple with becoming more free. But above all we will allow every other nation on Earth the opportunity to do what we have done--to become a great free nation, to become like us, not by war or coercion, but by peace and cooperation.

My fellow Americans, the road ahead is twisty, winding, rough, and long. We will make mistakes. We always do. Yet it is a road we must take, because the alternative of the flat smooth route is short, and it goes directly over a cliff. As a nation, America can make it, but only if the internal bickering and strife ends and we get back to the basics that made this nation the great nation it once was. We can make this nation that great again. I want to make this nation that great again. We've become too stagnant in our thinking, our actions, and our attitudes, and it needs to change. I call on every citizen to join me and help me make the American Dream a reality once again. President Kennedy once told America, "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." Liberty's Torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans, again, and we should make her proud. So I ask you this instead: "Ask not what you can do for your government; ask what you can do for each other." As the wise Dr. Franklin pointed out at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately." We must do this, and we shall. The call for a more perfect Union by We The People demands no less.

Today is a new beginning, a return to our roots, and back to the basics. Let us embark on this effort together, equal to all, superior to none, and live up to the national motto of E Pluribus Unum, "from many, one."

Thank you all, and all blessings to all people. Let's get busy.

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