October 14th, 2013
Paul Freund, who served the FDR administration in a variety of positions, was one of his era’s most famous professors of Constitutional Law at Harvard. He was also my professor when he spent a semester as a visiting professor at Gonzaga Law School.
One day I visited him in his office. I can’t remember the topic that prompted this comment, but I will never forget what he said: “Mike, it is too bad that we make so many decisions by counting heads rather than by weighing heads.”
What he meant was unmistakable. The people were too dumb to rule themselves. Self-government had its drawbacks when there were so many people incapable of making “right” decisions. He was clearly inviting me to become one of the liberal elite who thought that we should rule over the common people. In the end, he reasoned, it would be better for them because we would make wiser decisions.
Fortunately, I had a great deal of Constitutional Law from Dr. Dick S. Payne from my undergraduate days. Dr. Payne was a staunch originalist, and I was not drawn to Professor Freund’s liberal elitism.
As I promote the Convention of States to save our liberty from the spending, debt, and crushing regulations of liberal elitism, I encounter many conservative elitists drinking from the same well as Freund.
They contend the public is stupid. After all, they elected Barack Obama—twice. Thus, the people of 2013 cannot be trusted with the reins of government because we would vote ourselves “the right to a house, health insurance, and any number of ridiculous things,” to quote one recent naysayer’s Facebook post.
Now we have two groups of elitists—liberals and conservatives alike, who contend that the public is too foolish to be trusted to govern themselves.
However, there is a huge difference between these two groups. The liberals actually have a plan to put their “wisdom” into effective control over the nation. Liberals have created three lines of governance they dominate.
The judiciary is perhaps the liberal elites’ most important governance tool. They have used the courts to give us abortion, homosexual marriage, and to support the expansion of the federal government at every turn. Chief Justice Roberts, who went to Harvard Law, supported an unlimited power of the federal government to tax and spend in the decision that ratified Obamacare. That’s no coincidence. His opinion correctly reflects the elitist view.
The second branch of elitist domination is the administrative branch of government. We have turned over a huge percentage of the actual decisions of government to the federal agencies such as the EPA and the Department of Education. Congress didn’t choose the Common Core—the Department of Education did. Obamacare didn’t mandate abortion coverage. That was the work of the bureaucratic regulators.
Finally, the leftist elites have begun to effectively use international law to control American public policy—using both multinational treaties and the theory of Customary International Law to force the United States to comply with their theories of government regardless of our consent.
What is the common thread between the judiciary, the bureaucracy, and international law? No one votes for any of these forms of government. All of these are end-runs around the people. The liberals hate self-government. They have learned how to govern by weighing heads rather than by counting heads.
How about the conservative elitists? How do they rule?
Well, they don’t. The pinnacle of their success is a Facebook post that gets a couple dozen “likes” from their fellow naysayers.
They have no realistic solutions. They advance ideas that require us to believe they can achieve a miraculous political victory through the ordinary channels of politics. How? Simply by electing people just like them.
I have a hint for them. If you think the people are too stupid to govern themselves, they will never vote for people like you.
Liberal elitists don’t need the people’s votes because they are content to govern without the consent of the governed. They rule by coercion. Conservative elitists rule only obscure corners of the blogosphere.
The public is a lot smarter than either group of elitists believe, however. Congress has an approval rating of less than 10%. The public is right. About a month ago, a Gallop poll revealed 60% of Americans believe the federal government has too much power. Another poll from last month showed the public opposed the expansion of the federal debt by a 2 to 1 margin. Obamacare is currently viewed favorably by 45% of the public while 49% oppose it.
But at the heart of the matter is not whether I can prove the public is smart because it currently agrees with my views. The central question is a moral one. Does government have the right to rule without the consent of the governed?
The Founders placed their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honors on a very dangerous line to give us the right to self-governance. I believe in self-government as a matter of deep moral conviction.
By the way, who can blame the public for voting for Barack Obama? We offered no meaningful alternative. There was no storyline which justified a change that emerged from the Mitt Romney campaign—or his track record. And John McCain was no better.
The central truth is quite clear. Washington, D.C., is broken. Neither the Republicans nor Democrats will ever fix it. Washington, D.C., will never voluntarily relinquish power.
The only solution is to use the power of the States, preserved for us in Article V, to call a Convention of States. We don’t need the consent of Congress or the President to do this.
Nor do we need the consent of the liberal or conservative elitists. The liberals who hate the public will continue to operate the levers of power in the judiciary, the bureaucracy, and international law. The conservative elitists will continue to spit in the wind.
We who believe every American generation has a birthright to self-governance should now rise, call a Convention of States, and take back the power from the “wise” leadership of elitists who have enslaved us in debt.
Lord, save us from people who think they are smarter than the rest of us.