America at the abyss

by Henry Lamb

There is a direct correlation between America’s downward spiral and the nation’s departure from adherence to the U.S. Constitution. During the first hundred years, America experienced growth and prosperity never before imagined by people who never knew what freedom was. It was a rough-and-tumble century; not everyone prospered. Many people were victimized by profit-hungry capitalists. The answer to this inequity, according to some of the 19th century philosophers, was government management of the affairs of people and their business activities. Proponents of these ideas claimed the name “progressives.”

Progressives prevailed at the dawn of the 20th century when Woodrow Wilson won the presidency, guided by master progressive Col. Edward Mandell House. With few notable exceptions, progressives have dominated government since the Wilson era.

The single most apparent characteristic of progressive influence is a complete disregard for the U.S. Constitution. The founders designed the government of the United States to share and balance sovereign power between the states and the new federal government. The new Senate was chosen by state legislatures to ensure that the states would have a decisive voice in the federal government. No legislation could become law, nor could any treaty be ratified, nor could any Supreme Court justice or Cabinet-level official be appointed, without approval of the states. This state-held power in the new federal government held the new government in check for the first century.

So effective was this check and balance, progressives were not able to advance their agenda. So they launched a well-calculated campaign to amend the Constitution to prohibit the states from any participation at all in the federal government. The 17th Amendment achieved this result by denying state legislatures the constitutional right to elect their senators.

Originally, the Constitution required all taxes to by levied “…uniformly throughout the United States.” The 16th Amendment changed that and allowed the progressive income tax. The Constitution gave Congress alone the authority to coin money “… and set the value thereof.” Progressives did not like this limitation, so they contrived the Federal Reserve, and now Congress has virtually no say the coinage of money or the value thereof.

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