The American generation who suffered through the Great
Depression and defeated the tyrannical designs that Adolf Hitler, Mussolini
and Tojo Hideki had for the world has often been called "the great
generation." Will history see it that way? Let's look at it, but first start
with a couple of statements from two truly great Americans.
In 1794, Congress appropriated $15,000 for relief of French
refugees. James Madison stood on the floor of the House to object, saying,
"I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution
which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence,
the money of their constituents." James Madison, you'll recall, is the
acknowledged father of the Constitution, and he couldn't find constitutional
authority for spending "on the objects of benevolence."
Your congressman might say, "Madison was all wrong; after all,
there's the 'general welfare' clause." Here's what Madison had to say about
that: "With respect to the two words "general welfare," I have always
regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To
take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the
Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not
contemplated by its creators." Thomas Jefferson echoed similar sentiments
saying, "Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general
welfare, but only those specifically enumerated."
When the great generation was born, Congress spent only three
percent of the GDP. Today, as the great generation dies off, Congress spends
over a quarter of the GDP. There is no constitutional authority for at least
three-quarters of that spending.
Let's look at the recent election campaign. Whether it was a
Democratic or Republican candidate, for the most part, they won votes by
promising to spend the money of their constituents "on the objects of
benevolence." They promised to violate the rights of some Americans for the
benefit of other Americans. They promised to take money from younger
Americans to buy prescription drugs for elderly Americans, take money from
non-farmers to give to farmers and take money from wealthier people to give
to poorer people. In a word or two, politicians campaigned on an unstated
promise to ignore any oath of office to protect and defend the United States
Constitution and instead go to work on undermining it.
Don't get me wrong. I don't blame only politicians. For the most
part, they're only the instruments of a people who have growing contempt for
our Constitution. You say, "Hold it, Williams. Now you've gone too far!"
Check it out. How many votes do you think a James Madison-type senatorial
candidate would get if his campaign theme was something like this: "Elect me
to office. I will protect and defend the U.S. Constitution. Because there's
no constitutional authority for Congress spending on the objects of
benevolence, don't expect for me to vote for prescription drugs for the
elderly, handouts to farmers and food stamps for the poor. Instead, I'll
fight these and other unconstitutional congressional expenditures"? I'll
tell you how many votes he'll get: It will be Williams' vote, and that's it.
The "great" generation has transformed the electoral process
from voting for those most likely to protect our God-given rights to liberty
and property, to voting for those most likely to violate those rights for
the benefit of others. There's no question that the "great" generation
spared the world from external tyranny, but it has outdone any other
generation in destroying both the letter and the spirit of our Constitution,
and as such produced a form of tyranny for which there's little defense.