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Dispelling Constitutional Myths - Part I
Topic: Saving the Republic
As we inch closer to the next presidential election (the very thought of which brings on serious PTSD symptoms that make me want to breath into a paper bag), the majority of Americans who mentally checked out after the tyranny of the COVID pandemic subsided will most likely start paying attention to the political landscape again.
The first Republican primary debate is scheduled for August 23rd. There are 7 candidates currently qualified to participate - Former President Donald Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former Vice President Mike Pence, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
With this debate on the horizon will come new opportunities to awaken and educate the sane majority of the American public in regards to the basic principles of liberty that America was founded on, but in order to do that, we must first educate ourselves.
I recommend committing to memory the following 2 statistics:
70% of Americans can’t name the 3 branches of government.
80% of Americans can’t name more than 1 of the 5 freedoms listed in the first amendment.
I have found that the quickest and most effective way to awaken someone from their civic ignorant slumber is to share those 2 statistics in conversation and then ask them what bucket they’re in. The realization of how clueless they are will bring with it an opportunity for you to influence their thinking and hopefully help them vote on the side of sanity in 2024.
Side note: I recommend making sure you are not in the 70% or 80% bucket yourself. If you are, you need to take my next constitution class that’s coming up in September. :-)
With all that being said, there are 4 constitutional myths that we talk about in our classes that every American needs to understand. I will cover the first one in this article.
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Myth #1: The three branches of government, executive, legislative, and judicial are co-equal.
Truth: The three branches of government are to remain separate, but according to the Federalist papers written by John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison, the 3 branches were not intended to have equal power.
In Federalist Paper 51, James Madison said the legislative branch “necessarily predominates” because it is the branch that is closest to the people. You can read Federalist Paper 51 here.
In Federalist Paper 78, Alexander Hamilton said the judiciary was the weakest branch and would not be a threat to our liberty if it remained in its proper jurisdiction. You can read Federalist Paper 78 here.
Do you think that the judicial branch of government today is operating within its proper jurisdiction?
The judiciary was established by and is accountable to the other 2 branches of government because they owe a responsibility to the people. The Constitution leaves it entirely to the discretion of Congress as to how many members will be on the court and how many lower courts to establish from time to time. Congress may also set the agenda, removing issues from the purview of the court as they deem necessary.
Interesting, isn’t it?
To summarize: The American form of government was intended to be a constitutional Republic, designed with 3 separate branches in order to establish a balance of power, but it was NOT intended for each branch to have an equal amount of power. Our founding fathers’ intention was for the legislative branch to be the most powerful because it is closest to the people.
Clearly, there is plenty of work to be done to reign in the branches of government that have stepped out of their jurisdictional lines.
Education is key and the fix is local.
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