April 15th, 2014 // 12:53 pm @ Oliver DeMille
by Oliver DeMille
Here a -Gate, There a -Gate
The IRS targeting scandal and BLM-gate in Nevada hit the news again this week. If you missed these two huge stories, do a quick web search and catch up on the news. Both may be precursors of a Constitutional crisis. Add the shocking turn of events (and aftermath) surrounding Benghazi as well.
The truth is, there is a fundamental problem with the way our government works right now. It is structurally broken, and without a real fix things are going to continue to decline. Washington and its out-of-control agencies and branches will continue to expand—breaking the bank and reducing the freedoms of our nation with every advance.
The problem is that the President and Executive Branch are engaged in domestic policy. Period. The framers only wanted the President to deal with national security.
This is a massive change, and it creates an almost insurmountable national crisis.
As long as this is our system, national crises are going to continue. Like dominoes falling, we’ll witness once crisis after another.
People will wonder why Washington can’t get it right, but few will realize the truth: The federal government simply isn’t well designed to do what it is doing. It is designed to be tough on foreign enemies, to leave interactions with its own citizens to the state and local governments.
What’s Washington “For”?
This bears repeating until every American figures it out:
- The federal government is designed to stop foreign attackers.
- It is designed to keep the President from becoming a tyrant while he still has enough massive power to effectively repel any security threats to the nation.
- It is designed with a congress that has the power to ensure that the states help fund and support whatever it takes to stop any attacks on the nation.
- It is designed to allow the Court to settle disputes between the states in a peaceful manner.
These are, fundamentally, all the federal government is supposed to do. This is how the Constitution was written.
Today the federal government acts like these Constitutional responsibilities are just minor duties, afterthoughts really–as if funding and managing myriad federal programs in every walk of life and in every small town or valley, home and business across the nation is their real job.
As long as this is the case, America will decline.
On the one hand, we’ll decline because Washington too often uses its power stupidly—sending the BLM to shoot a rancher’s cattle or using the IRS to investigate political rivals. But this is natural to a government that was set up to fight its enemies.
The Executive Branch thinks like what it is: a national security apparatus.
And in the context of security issues, the Congress thinks like what it is: an arm to raise funds for the Executive and simultaneously keep the Executive from becoming tyrannical.
All of this is excellent when it is pointed at real threats to America. How about: use the resources of the BLM, IRS, ATF, FDA, etc. on Iran, Iraq, North Korea, China, Russia? See how Putin deals with that!
The truth is, the tactics used by many of our federal agencies would be much better suited against Putin’s Russia than our current international policies.
Sadly, they are used more often against our own people than against our adversaries. Sic the NSA on the phone records of China and Iran, not Burbank or Atlanta.
When the national security apparatus (which should be synonymous with “Washington D.C.”) targets Americans, it does so in the wrong way. It was never designed as a government to oversee its own people. The framers structured it specifically for national defense.
The states and local governments were supposed to do the governing of the people. Read the Constitution. Read the Federalist Papers. This focus was clear.
The second problem, the second reason our system is broken, is that in focusing on domestic governance (unconstitutionally), the federal government is less likely to do its real job—national security.
Why do we send federal agents against a rancher in Nevada or conservative groups applying to the IRS, but send nobody to protect our diplomats in Benghazi?
The federal government has forgotten why it exists.
It spies on its own people, but does nothing except bluster as Iran fails one nuclear inspection deadline after another.
Domestic policy and politics get in the way every time the Congress or the Executive Branch want to do what really should be done for national defense.
We let Putin or China get away with, literally, murder and torture because our federal leaders are afraid to take a stand that might jeopardize them politically.
Here’s a thought…
If the federal government only dealt with national defense, including mitigation of disputes between states, it wouldn’t have this concern. It would take Putin on with strength—the way the ATF and BLM deal with American citizens.
The irony here is shocking.
We putter around with true dictatorship such as North Korea and Iran, and try to make friends with raw aggression from Russia.
The federal government talks big against Putin and China, but it only actually bares its teeth when faced by a one of its own senior citizens and a few cattle.
Again, the Constitutional structure is going unheeded. Until we simply follow the Constitution, our decline is assured.
But what can we do? What are the realistic policies or changes that can fix our plight?
It’s great to talk about the ideals of the Constitution, but what about real solutions?
I agree–we need real changes. So here’s my proposal:
Let’s convince the Obama Administration and Congress to round up all agents who carry guns for the BLM, ATF, IRS, NSA, FDA and any other federal agency and ship them to the Ukraine.
This won’t consist of sending “military” forces because they’re not soldiers, they’re bureaucrats.
It won’t hurt the United States, since the absence of thousands of meddling federal officials will likely cause an economic boom in America.
It will be a real blow to Putin’s aggression, however. They U.S. bureaucrats speak his language.
They’ll cite policies, procedures, precedents, and email/phone data they’ve been secretly collecting on Ukrainians for many years. Putin’s people won’t know what hit them.
When the Russians threaten violence, our “Bureau Team Six” will just make up their own laws, agency rules, and executive orders and enforce them.
No matter how the Russian generals respond, they’ll have an answer: “Who cares what the people on the ground think?” “Who cares what the Constitution says?” “Logic and common sense? What’s that got to do with anything?” “Come on, Putin, just do what we say.”
If all else fails, Bureau Team Six will just write up some new policies and print them out on their laser printer. Then they’ll point to these “laws” and tell the Russians that this is agency policy with the full backing of the U.S. federal government.
Indeed, this Corps of Really Armed Bureaucrats (CRABs) is already highly trained in the exact tactics that will put Putin’s power grab in its place.
When they’re done in the Ukraine, let’s send them to North Korea. They should be able to shape things up quickly.
Then on to Iran.
Back at the Ranch
Meanwhile, the economy at home will be booming.
Less regulation will foster more opportunity.
Fewer dogmatic enforcers will encourage innovation and increased prosperity.
International investors will move their money to American businesses, and employment and salaries will increase.
It’s amazing how quickly things can be fixed when we simply follow good principles. The Constitution is actually a really good idea. We should consider following it.
Satire aside, our system really is broken, and nothing will fix it until the federal government gets out of the governing business and gets back to focusing exclusively on national security. If this is too big a change, then the U.S. cannot stand as a free nation.
- We Hold These Truths to be Self-Evident
- The Coming Aristocracy
- The Four Lost American Ideals
Oliver DeMille is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling co-author of LeaderShift: A Call for Americans to Finally Stand Up and Lead, the co-founder of the Center for Social Leadership, and a co-creator of TJEd.
Among many other works, he is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century, The Coming Aristocracy, and FreedomShift: 3 Choices to Reclaim America’s Destiny.
Oliver is dedicated to promoting freedom through leadership education. He and his wife Rachel are raising their eight children in Cedar City, Utah.