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Old 02-26-2009, 11:08 PM   #1
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Did We Deserve This Government?

If Thomas Jefferson saw America today, I'd think he would be

Is there any one left to defend the Constitution? All I read about in the headlines are:
  • Government Giving Loans to Failing Corporations with Taxpayers' money
  • Socializing Health Care
  • Nationalizing Banks
  • Military Expenditures to Operations in Third-World Countries
  • Wars Without Congressional Declaration
  • Spending Deficits
  • National Debt
  • Suspension of Habeas Corpus
  • Fiat Currency
  • Inflation

What happened to those who believed the Constitution was a contract between the federal government and the States and it had to be protected (as sworn in the oath) at all costs?

Why did we stop standing up to the government?

Are there any true Jeffersonians and conservatives out there who have had enough of fiscal irresponsibility, expansion of a central government, imperialism, disregard for rights of all those who are equal, national banks who control the value of your money, the weakening of the separation of church and state, the unfocused effort in education, and the fact that the government is taking money out of our paychecks and giving it right back to failing corporations who can no longer face the facts of competition?

When did we trust the government? When did we forget what it meant to be American?
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Old 02-26-2009, 11:15 PM   #2
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The idea of limited government and individual responsibility is great in theory isn't it?

You have a lot going on, I'm not exactly sure what you want to discuss. Some of your laundry list I agree with, some I don't, and some seems a little misguided...
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Old 02-26-2009, 11:23 PM   #3
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lol you said stop forgetting which means we actually remember America hahaha oops

ITT we learn that if you disagree with Moser's opinions you really don't know what it means to be an American.

I always thought that it involved spirited debate between two opposing views, but Moser's definition is a lot simpler.
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Old 02-26-2009, 11:34 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mobvok View Post
lol you said stop forgetting which means we actually remember America hahaha oops

ITT we learn that if you disagree with Moser's opinions you really don't know what it means to be an American.

See I always thought that it involved spirited debate between two opposing views, but Moser's definition is a lot simpler.
I missed that check on grammar. Good call! I'll be sure to remove 'stop'

My point is that the American people seems to be snoozing on the job. We let the government spiral into a fat entity that is not for the people anymore. Of course, this naive attitude has been around for years....but when have we really stopped and looked back on why and how the USA was created?
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Old 02-26-2009, 11:38 PM   #5
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I missed that check on grammar. Good call! I'll be sure to remove 'stop'

My point is that the American people seems to be snoozing on the job. We let the government spiral into a fat entity that is not for the people anymore. Of course, this naive attitude has been around for years....but when have we really stopped and looked back on why and how the USA was created?
I disagree with 1/3rd to half your list. It's great to say the US is best served being philosophically rooted in 18th century Jeffersonian thought, we can discuss that, but to dismiss the opposition to things such as universal health care as being some lapse on someone's part about remembering what it means to be American is very arrogant.

I see the government as a useful entity. As long as we have open and clear discussion about its policies, I don't see a substantial risk that things like government involvement in health care are creeping at our fundamental freedoms.
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Old 02-26-2009, 11:46 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Moser View Post
My point is that the American people seems to be snoozing on the job. We let the government spiral into a fat entity that is not for the people anymore. Of course, this naive attitude has been around for years....but when have we really stopped and looked back on why and how the USA was created?
I think the problem, when this type of discussion comes up(waiting for Iron Horse to see this thread) is that it just glosses over so many of the nuances and goes straight for the catch phrases.

There's so much that can be said, the government isn't the only entity that has spiraled, we as a society have spiraled in many ways. Been around for years? Try decades.

What does "for the people" mean to you?

It means we're allowed to legislate bigotry for some.

It means the rich get richer and the poor get poorer for others.

It means I can run my business as unethically as I want for some.

It means I can smoke, eat, ride without a helmet; I can do whatever I want I don't care if it puts you in harm for others...

That definition "for the people" isn't easy to define in catch phrases, is it?
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Old 02-26-2009, 11:51 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by mobvok View Post
I disagree with 1/3rd to half your list. It's great to say the US is best served being philosophically rooted in 18th century Jeffersonian thought, we can discuss that, but to dismiss the opposition to things such as universal health care as being some lapse on someone's part about remembering what it means to be American is very arrogant.

I see the government as a useful entity. As long as we have open and clear discussion about its policies, I don't see a substantial risk that things like government involvement in health care are creeping at our fundamental freedoms.
I'm not dismissing universal health care. What I'm dismissing is the fact that the federal government wants to assume responsibility for the health of 300+ million. The powers of the government are expressed in the Constitution. All those not expressed are left to the States. It should be the state's responsibility to handle the issues of its people. The federal government wants to assume too much power.

PS: The fact that the idea of a loose federal government with powers delegated to states may seem so 18th century, but it was based on the lessons of mankind in general, which is very applicable today.
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Old 02-27-2009, 12:03 AM   #8
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PS: The fact that the idea of a loose federal government with powers delegated to states may seem so 18th century, but it was based on the lessons of mankind in general, which is very applicable today.
Based on the lessons of mankind in general? Not exactly the wording I would use, especially since these men hadn't quite learned the lessons of slavery.

What they did know is that they weren't perfect and that the document wasn't absolute and could be an ever evolving and changing document, for that they are brilliant.
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Old 02-27-2009, 12:04 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Moser View Post
I'm not dismissing universal health care. What I'm dismissing is the fact that the federal government wants to assume responsibility for the health of 300+ million. The powers of the government are expressed in the Constitution. All those not expressed are left to the States. It should be the state's responsibility to handle the issues of its people. The federal government wants to assume too much power.

PS: The fact that the idea of a loose federal government with powers delegated to states may seem so 18th century, but it was based on the lessons of mankind in general, which is very applicable today.
We have a whole host of very productive non-dictatorship countries out there that embrace a liberal democracy yet still have an active federal government. Lessons can be drawn from there, too. Further, the founding fathers whole conception of the role of the federal government was revealed to be woefully, woefully inadequate with civil rights.

The point I'm trying to make is, things like congressional declaration of war like you mention are very important things to be concerned about, and in some respects we'd be better for adhering to the original idea, or at least explicitly addressing the idea that said original idea should be changed. But I feel confident the last 200 years have justified the idea that we very often need to break with the original conception of government as simply too limited. 13 colonies hugging the Atlantic are in a very different situation then a continental power.
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Old 02-27-2009, 12:16 AM   #10
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Based on the lessons of mankind in general? Not exactly the wording I would use, especially since these men hadn't quite learned the lessons of slavery.

What they did know is that they weren't perfect and that the document wasn't absolute and could be an ever evolving and changing document, for that they are brilliant.
Yes, great point, and I believe the Constitution is a changing and ever-evolving document. Thus, the amendments that address civil rights for example.

Quote:
But I feel confident the last 200 years have justified the idea that we very often need to break with the original conception of government as simply too limited. 13 colonies hugging the Atlantic are in a very different situation then a continental power.
Yes, you also bring up a good valid point, but it's becoming to a point where the States have no more power because the federal government super cedes state law according to McCulloch v. Maryland. I strongly believe in states rights. The people have a greater representation when the laws are tailored toward their priorities and values.

These are all good arguments, but I must depart for now...getting late.
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Old 02-27-2009, 12:17 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Moser View Post
If Thomas Jefferson saw America today, I'd think he would be
I admire Jefferson much like the rest, but he wasn't exactly the paragon of presidential virtue.

For one, during his time, he was well-known for the disastrous "Embargo Act of 1807," which caused major economic harm to the U.S. economy. Secondly, Jefferson himself understood pragmatism over ideology by the sheer act of the Louisiana Purchase, as he had personal misgivings over the constitutionality of Congress' power to buy land--but did it anyway. And, finally, the power of the judiciary to keep in check executive power was challenged by Jefferson, as he initially resisted a Supreme Court subpoena to testify related to Aaron Burr's treason trial and later acquittal.

In other words, Jefferson was just as much man as myth.


Quote:
  • Government Giving Loans to Failing Corporations with Taxpayers' money
  • Socializing Health Care
  • Nationalizing Banks
  • Military Expenditures to Operations in Third-World Countries
  • Wars Without Congressional Declaration
  • Spending Deficits
  • National Debt
  • Suspension of Habeas Corpus
  • Fiat Currency
  • Inflation
The alternative to #1 has already played out before in U.S. history without intervention...twice. And they're were both referred to as "The Great Depression" in their days: one since renamed to "The Long Depression" in the 1870s to the 1890s, and the more famous one from 1929 to 1945 we're all familiar with today.

#2 is a matter of modern economic reality. U.S. corporations are forced to compete with nations that have long had socialized health care, and they are now at a disadvantage, in terms of labour costs.

#3....well, nationalizing banks are preferable to before the 1930s, when they just flat out closed their doors and everyone lost their money, thus inspiring no confidence in the financial system.

#4....Jefferson was actually the first president to have a significant overseas war, the First Barbary War, between the U.S. and the North African Barbary States.

#5....yeah, it's a problem, but it's a 50+ year one now.

#6 & 7....and deficits and debt aren't anything new either. Ask Reagan.

#8....elaborate? The Supreme Court established wider habeas corpus for Guantanamo detainees, and was recently reaffirmed by Obama, so I'm not seeing a suspension of it anywhere.

#9....fiat currency has existed since the 1970s; not new.

#10....inflation? We've been talking about deflation these days.

Quote:
What happened to those who believed the Constitution was a contract between the federal government and the States and it had to be protected (as sworn in the oath) at all costs?

Why did we stop standing up to the government?

Are there any true Jeffersonians and conservatives out there who have had enough of fiscal irresponsibility, expansion of a central government, imperialism, disregard for rights of all those who are equal, national banks who control the value of your money, the weakening of the separation of church and state, the unfocused effort in education, and the fact that the government is taking money out of our paychecks and giving it right back to failing corporations who can no longer face the facts of competition?

When did we trust the government? When did we forget what it meant to be American?[/COLOR]
Again, take a look at Jefferson's actual presidential record, coupled with the the presidential actions of today, and you'll discover that there's equal doses of pragmatism all around. I'm not sure what he'd say about today, but he'd have just as much to owe up to regarding his own record.
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Old 02-27-2009, 12:34 AM   #12
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For the love of God, please learn your history...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moser View Post
If Thomas Jefferson saw America today, I'd think he would be


Well, possibly. But Jefferson was definitely NOT the universal voice of the "Founding Fathers" (whatever the hell that means) like he's made out to be. There were a lot of people in the First and Second Continental Congresses, you know, and not all of them shared the same goals and ideals. In fact, Jefferson barely spoke up at all in the Congresses, and the majority of voices in the early Congresses disagreed with Jefferson on just about everything.

Also, Jefferson was in France when the Constution was written, so he has nothing whatsoever to do with that document, and I'm really not sure why you associated him here in this post in the first place.

Quote:
Is there any one left to defend the Constitution? All I read about in the headlines are:
  • Government Giving Loans to Failing Corporations with Taxpayers' money
  • Socializing Health Care
  • Jefferson definitely would have preferred universal health care to the poor not being able to get treatment for their kids. The idea of universal social medicine wasn't even thought of in the late 1700s, so this point is irrelevant anyways.

    Quote:
  • Nationalizing Banks
  • Thomas Jefferson opposed a national bank because it benefited the industrial northern states to the detriment of the agricultural southern states. This state of affairs doesn't exist anymore, so this is irrelevant.

    Quote:
  • Military Expenditures to Operations in Third-World Countries
  • Thomas Jefferson was one of the leading advocates of intervention on behalf of France during the Napoleonic Wars with Great Britain. NEXT!

    Quote:
  • Wars Without Congressional Declaration
  • During the same war, Jefferson tried to persuade John Adams in 1794 to issue an order (without consulting Congress) allowing the seizure of French ships in the Atlantic by privateers. NEXT!

    Quote:
  • Spending Deficits
  • Government was about the size of your local school board back in the late 1700's, and all funding had to come from the States - therefore, there was no way for the gov't to rack up a deficit because they could not levy taxes to allow deficit spending.

    Quote:
  • National Debt
  • Not an issue whatsoever in Jefferson's day (see above), irrelevant.

    Quote:
  • Suspension of Habeas Corpus
  • You are right about this one. Jefferson repealed the Alien and Sedition Acts as unconstitutional, voided them, and pardoned everyone arrested under the acts. We can never be sure of his thoughts on this during wartime though (the Alien & Sedition Acts were passed in 1798 when the nation was on the brink of war with France), since he never presided over a military conflict.

    Quote:
  • Fiat Currency
  • Inflation
Re: Currency, see "National Banks" above.

Re: Inflation - I don't know of anyone who's really in favour of rampant inflation, so you don't have much of a point here either.

Quote:
What happened to those who believed the Constitution was a contract between the federal government and the States and it had to be protected (as sworn in the oath) at all costs?
The States stopped being true states (in a sovereign sense) the second the Constitution was ratified. It's not a contract - it's a document whereby the states ceded most of their sovereignty over their own affairs in exchange for protection and common defence with the other states against outside interference in the form of a central Federal government. States no longer have the sovereignty to pass laws about whatever they want to, nor do they have the right to nullify Federal law (see South Carolina, 1833), nor do they have the right to secede from said Union when the federal government does something they don't like. As I said, the Constitution is not a contract - it is a document whereby several sovereign States ceded that sovereignty to a federal government in exchange for the protection of numbers.

Quote:
Why did we stop standing up to the government?
When do you think people were "standing up to the government", exactly?

Quote:
Are there any true Jeffersonians and conservatives out there who have had enough of fiscal irresponsibility, expansion of a central government, imperialism, disregard for rights of all those who are equal, national banks who control the value of your money, the weakening of the separation of church and state, the unfocused effort in education, and the fact that the government is taking money out of our paychecks and giving it right back to failing corporations who can no longer face the facts of competition?

When did we trust the government? When did we forget what it meant to be American?
And at this point it all just turned into a farcical rant, so there's no point trying to refute this.

We're on the same side - Constitution and Jeffersonian yeomanism yay, big corrupt government boo - but the way you went about making your argument shows a deep ignorance of the history you're putting forth as the main backbone of your whole point.

Anyways, posts like this are what happens when I drink an extra large coffee at 10:30 pm. I get the emotion of what you're saying (and I agree with a lot of it), but your facts are off.

ETA: Melon
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Old 02-27-2009, 04:23 PM   #13
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Jefferson was actually the first president to have a significant overseas war, the First Barbary War, between the U.S. and the North African Barbary States.
Yes, because America was paying tribute to the North African states so that North Africa wouldn't attack American merchant ships in the Mediterranean (Jefferson was against this). When Jefferson took office, they demanded more ransom money and Jefferson refused. Thus, Jefferson then sent over a naval force. He also informed Congress and Congress gave him authorization....(Bush got authorization too, but under false pretenses.)

Quote:
#2 is a matter of modern economic reality. U.S. corporations are forced to compete with nations that have long had socialized health care, and they are now at a disadvantage, in terms of labour costs.
This is a good point. Corporations are at a disadvantage, and it is a valid reason to provide a government-owned health care program....but still I think for the federal government to assume this power is a little too much.

Quote:
#3....well, nationalizing banks are preferable to before the 1930s, when they just flat out closed their doors and everyone lost their money, thus inspiring no confidence in the financial system.
Yes, nationalizing banks would keep banks from going under and people would not lose their money (even though the establishment of FDIC would help prevent this). But now its a matter of lending out money, and these emergency loans to the banks aren't exactly help the American people because the banks aren't lending.

Quote:
#5....yeah, it's a problem, but it's a 50+ year one now.
So we should just ignore this problem because it's been going on for 50+ years? Just ignore it so our children, or grandchildren, will have to face it?

[QUOTE]#6 & 7....and deficits and debt aren't anything new either. Ask Reagan./QUOTE]

I can't because he's dead. And he wasn't exactly a "conservative" either. Also, see above.

Quote:
#8....elaborate? The Supreme Court established wider habeas corpus for Guantanamo detainees, and was recently reaffirmed by Obama, so I'm not seeing a suspension of it anywhere.
OK, legitimate point. I think I'm still angry against this crime against humanity, but since Obama has started following the Supreme Law of the land I guess I can start feeling relieved. (Really though, it's hard to forgive a government who was paying bribes to Afghani's, who in return would turn in innocent men to the U.S., thus taxpayer's money being wasted...again.)

Quote:
#9....fiat currency has existed since the 1970s; not new.
And since then the value of the money supply is based on nothing except on how much currency is in circulation. In other words, a person with a CD and savings who worked hard their entire life is somewhat screwed because the value of their money is decreasing every year since they began saving....

Quote:
#10....inflation? We've been talking about deflation these days.
See above.

Quote:
Jefferson definitely would have preferred universal health care to the poor not being able to get treatment for their kids. The idea of universal social medicine wasn't even thought of in the late 1700s, so this point is irrelevant anyways.
Very true and strong argument. I was against the idea that something as important as health care be given to the watchful and caring eyes of the federal government. Not saying socialized health care is a bad thing....but could be if a federal government that cannot budget itself starts to budget our healthcare.

Quote:
Thomas Jefferson was one of the leading advocates of intervention on behalf of France during the Napoleonic Wars with Great Britain. NEXT!
If that's the case then I'm disappointed....but I thought the US fought France in the Quasi War because France was capturing US merchant ships....was this before the Quasi War? I honestly don't have a clue.

But I gotta go!
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