Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Guest Blogger Adolph Caso Shares Article on Voting... We the People... A Reprint with Added Narrative


Adolph Caso

Thomas Jefferson had it right when he rejected the recommendation to give special privileges, in the form of pardons, to the clergy and to the nobility. He believed that no special distinction should be established and no special privileges granted by the legislature to individuals of the clergy and those of the nobility—that no distinction should be allowed between and among the citizens at large.

All citizens were to be considered citizens at large, each to have the same standing in the eyes of the law. Jefferson was loath to distinguish between individuals of one grouping from named individuals from the general population. “…when laws are made as mild as they should be, both those pardons are absurd… Let the legislators be merciful, but the executors of the laws inexorable.” In addition, Jefferson reiterates that the role of the legislators is to make laws; and, the role of the executive is to uphold those laws.

According to Jefferson, the clergy and the nobility have to be responsive to the laws as any other citizen. America’s society, therefore, could not be based on Europe’s society whose people were automatically under the leadership if not the ownership of the King or Queen. Whatever the Europeans’ social classes—nobles and plebeians belonged to a given monarch for the duration of their lives.

Jefferson and Adams, on the other hand, rejected that entrenched practice and turned the political world upside down when they proclaimed that government officials had to fulfill three main responsibilities:

1) They had to exist for the people.

2) They had to serve the people.

3) They had to guide (not restrict) the people to achieve maximum (not minimum) happiness for each individual citizen—male or female, rich or poor, heterosexual or homosexual, no matter one’s racial, or ethnic background, and regardless of groupings, or sexual orientations.

The new American government was going to be achieved by its citizens in the voting booth where each named individual was to have the same level of power as his other fellow citizens. But Jefferson also knew that any system, no matter how well regulated, could be vitiated to the benefit/detriment of one group over another. Maintaining the integrity of a democratic governmental infrastructure, therefore, would remain the biggest challenge for all elected and appointed individuals as well as for each citizen at large. If the citizen is corrupt, so will his representative, and not necessarily the other way around.

The inspirational rationale behind, We the people…, came from Cesare

Beccaria, especially through John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Paraphrase:

If society were based on associations of unions of families, there would be 20,000 men and 80,000 slaves. If the associations were based on unions of men, there would be 100,000 citizens and not one slave.

This became the guiding principle of Jefferson and Adams in establishing their American society in which every individual would be free to enhance his/her right to live in a socio-political environment based on freedom made possible mainly through local self-government. Jefferson projected that Americans would not live by terms dictated by those in government; rather, that government officials were to be entrusted to fulfill the terms dictated by the citizenry at large.

Literally, therefore, We the people represents a consent-agreement in the new American society wherein all named individuals agree to assume for themselves, through their conditional consent, to be governed and to be represented accordingly:

a) With direct responsibility and accountability for their personal actions, and,

b) With indirect responsibility and accountability for the actions of their representatives.

The reality was and continues to be that the specific responsibility and accountability of each member can neither be transferred to other named entities, nor to corporate-type organizations, nor to other representative individuals.

When individuals have a direct and indirect role of representing themselves and their constituent entities at the same time, they run the risk of committing reverse double jeopardy. Worse, when foreign entities maintain addresses within the US, their executors (foreign or American citizens), in acting on behalf of their entities, they enjoy the benefits of reverse double jeopardy, especially in civic situations related to voting.

The vote of the citizen is diluted through powerful campaigns mounted by entities having uncontested abilities to sway the voters one way or another to gain an upper hand.

Individuals cannot, nor should not be able to act--at the same time--on their own behalf and on behalf of entities or corporations.

In civic life, named individuals should not have the power to act in two roles because in acting in two roles they would only act for their own benefits, against the benefits of fellow citizens. Un-named individuals belonging to entities would act on behalf of their entities, and/or on behalf of foreign interests--and not on behalf of the private citizen. Individuals within those entities that are allowed to receive subsidies, have undue degrees of power over the voter at large that does not receive such subsidies. They would enjoy an edge much as the nobility in monarchies..

Regulations have to be clear in maintaining that distinction in roles. Unfortunately, that distinction becomes blurred when laws, the likes of McCain and Feingold, allow corporations to donate huge sums to specific political parties. There’s no way that, in executing their civic duties, private individuals can compete with un-named individuals operating within entities having the financial clout of their treasuries. The best example is seen in the recent decision wherein the Supreme Court further diminished the power of named individuals having civic values by shifting it to named entities having commercial and political values. The question to be asked is whether McCain and Feingold enhances the two-party system that has served America for so many decades or diminishes the balance between them to the point that each party becomes a means for its own sake--with one goal in mind: to destroy the members of the other party.

When commercial-type entities make large-size donations to specific politicians or to parties: Are the recipients beholden to those entities or to the people at large?

It is doubtful that the Founding Fathers would have wanted a government for corporations. If they had wanted a government for corporations (nobility), they would not have established a government for the people!

The issue above has nothing to do with the First Amendment in that this Amendment does not grant the people the right to exercise their religions; rather, it says that the government cannot take away that right. Likewise, the government cannot take away from the people the right to reveal their opinions--in private or in public, through a free press; nor can the government reduce that right, or transfer it away from the people to incorporated private or public entities. In view of the power wielded by today’s press, one has to admit that the press functions as a vehicle on behalf of corporations and political parties to facilitate the attainment of political and commercial goals, and to limit, at the same time, the individual citizen from expressing his or her opinions and ideas.

Literally, it is the people who have the right to speak, and not the entities!

In exercising their civic responsibilities, the citizens have one voice each; and, the same citizen, belonging to entities, also has one voice, except that the latter has clout. The former is limited in receiving the stimulus while the latter is empowered in imposing that stimulus under the guise of a free press and protected by the judiciary. When the rights of certain individuals are more confirmed than those of others, voters should see that their America may practically be coming full circle--to a situation tantamount to when only white wealthy males--incorporated into groupings, could vote. Thus, those rights inherent in We the people, in our modern environment, if not dashed--those rights are at the very least vitiated.

In recent times, California citizens voted on, and the Legislature passed a law relating to the status of same sex marriages. Whether one is in favor or against it, the sexual preference of any individual should not be the concern of lawmakers; otherwise, there would be laws for all other kinds of private groupings—like the clergy or the nobility in Europe, whose social structures were rejected by Jefferson and others.

With Proposition 8, Californians voted into law a prohibition forbidding individuals of the same sex from marrying one another: Men could not marry other men; likewise, women could not marry other women. Only men and women could marry each other--a tradition based on ancient customs with a relevancy to the well being of societies going back across the ages.

The institution of marriage is long-standing and sacrosanct in many if not all surviving cultures. In the United States, however, if two, three, or more individuals want to live in their private lives fulfilling their personal sexual predispositions, laws cannot and must not interfere with those preferences unless the activity be criminal.

Having the freedom to practice our sexual preferences in an open society, individually, or as individuals of a distinct group, when we join a group, do we do so to gain more government benefits at the expense of those individuals who adhere to traditional marriages? The overriding question is the following: What is the end goal of two men marrying each other as opposed to a man and a woman marrying one another, other than to gain additional but un-earned benefits?

Without procreation, society would already have gone the way of the Shakers. If the former were to gain the same benefits as the latter, would both groupings fulfill the goal of procreation? It is a legitimate question because of the implications in the form of responsibility and accountability prescribed for the individuals in both groupings.

With no dependent children to provide for in one grouping and similar benefits provided for in the other groupings, which grouping would gain more advantages and benefits? Here we need to assess the ratio of responsibility and accountability between the two groupings? One has children; the other does not. In addition, the mother, in becoming pregnant, becomes indisposed for three or more months in bearing the child. These mothers are also unable to work and to earn wages. But, males or females that marry in the same gender are neither indisposed nor lose their wages.

The responsibility and accountability of raising one child is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The only consideration given to parents with children is in the form of exemptions averaging about 2,000 (or whatever) in deductions per child, per year, possibly over 26 years, totaling about 52,000 dollars. The media has been reporting that an average middle class family spends about 300,000 dollars to raise one offspring (food, clothing, health care, lodging, education, recreation, etc). On the other hand, couples (male/female, male/male, female/female) without children do not have such expenses. Who has the advantage, therefore, is obvious. But, how did the individuals of two groupings get such advantages over those in the traditional grouping?

The fact is that the named individuals (from marriages between males/males or females/females) continue to amass all kinds of wealth, which translates into increase in power for that grouping, not to mention their massive lobbying capabilities. Individuals from traditional marriages, on the other hand, who are forced to pay for raising children, continue to lose wealth and power. In the short and the long run, the government grants more benefits to those who are passive--who do not produce, and penalizes those who are active--who do produce. If the role of government is to engineer society according to the wishes and designs of the elected or appointed officials, by all accounts, they have succeeded.

The government, unconstitutionally, is also granting equal benefits to children born within the continental boundaries of the United States of mothers who were neither born nor naturalized in America. As it stands today, any non-US citizen mother, coming to America via water, air, or land, on delivering her baby—the baby automatically becomes a US citizen. Contrarily, if a similar woman, be a refugee in a boat from Africa, or an outlaw in her native land, or simply one visiting Greece, Italy, or Germany, if she delivers a baby, that baby is not bestowed that country’s citizenship. But, the American government (despite its 14th Amendment, which clearly states who is or can become a citizen) grants citizenship to any woman’s baby, whether she comes into America illegally or as a visitor for the purpose of gaining citizenship for her child. In these situations:

What Wall would be high or low enough to keep these people away?

By facilitating the entry in a single incident into America of more than 60,000 illegal non-Americans: How can any other obstacle be erected to keep those people from coming in? Is the government providing Trojan Horses as well?

Why does the Judiciary enhance the role of another set of Human traffickers?

Here’s the 14th Amendment: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside…” The Amendment grew out of the need to clarify the status of emancipated slaves, previously classified as property, and now needing to gain citizenship on equal par with his/her fellow citizens. The Amendment has nothing to do with either immigrants or migrants. Case in point:

An immigrant from Europe, around 1900, having gained admission to the US, remained a citizen of his native country. Having traveled back and forth from the US to his native country, and having had children with his wife, those children remained citizens of their country. Back in America, that citizen decided to apply for citizenship, and succeeded in becoming naturalized. On returning to his native country once again, he and his wife had another child, who automatically derived his US citizenship directly from his naturalized father. Thus, when the whole family of five children came to America, only the youngest came through with an American passport; the others had to go through Ellis Island. Then, if either of the four had had children while in America, those children could not become American citizens. For obvious reasons, therefore, they all and quickly became naturalized citizens so that their children would be guaranteed citizenship similar to regular citizens or emancipated slaves. There was no such thing as bringing into America a pregnant woman for the sole purpose of delivery a child to gain citizenship. The Judicial system would not have stood for it.

When the American government, notwithstanding the 14th Amendment, therefore, automatically grants to children of non-US citizen parents under the jurisdiction of their native countries--at the very least our very government vitiates the law, and creates another entity whose members (depending on the largesse of the same Government) become the political tools of whatever party—all at the expense of the citizen at large. In the end, unfortunately, the chickens come home to roost for the benefits of a few empowered individuals at the expense of the citizen at large. When our Government allows criminals into the US, who kill or maim Americans, the harm reverberates across America and endured by every citizen.

Although the government has created federal subsidies on behalf of the poor, shamefully, there are more people who are poorer. Due to reduced funds, NASA has been cut down to limited significance, and the Defense Department has been downsized to a 1941 era. Yet, the national debt is the highest ever, and China’s economy is number one. Is this good for America? But what has happened to the people themselves in that process? The dissolution of the family has become baneful to everyone, regardless of grouping.

With power transferred to individuals from one grouping to another, by doing it legislatively, our American society has devolved to the time when the citizens existed for the government, and not vice versa. When individuals of one group hold sway over the people at large, devolution replaces evolution. The best example is provided by David Boyes, in the case of California's Proposition 8 which banned gay marriage, (Perry v. Schwarzenegger).

The people of California voted to ban marriages between men/men, and women/women. Mr. Boyes, by his own admission and with limited bravado, told his television audience how he, as the leading counsel, was able to convince the Supreme Court Justices to strike down the law that banned the traditional marriage, even though the right of civil union remained unchallenged.

Having become a powerful lawyer of the rich and famous, though dyslectic, he served on many prestigious law firms until he created his own firm with influence extending overseas.

He admitted that he deployed this powerful firm to work in behalf of his specific grouping of individuals at the expense of the citizenry whose votes, as a result, were abrogated by the justices themselves. The implication is this: individuals in groupings—clergy, nobles, gays accrue more privileges and gain more power over individuals not belonging to special groupings. This is being done by individuals such as Mr. Boyes with the effective participation of the judiciary whose members have arrogated a legislative power belonging to Congress. By so doing, legislators and judges are replacing the Preamble of We the people… to We the corporations…

In our democracy, everything emanates from the people.

In despotic governments, everything emanates from its tyrants.

In the former, every individual has standing.

In the latter, no one has standing, not even the tyrant himself.

When lawyers probe our system in order to garner more power for individuals of one group against those of another, they do so at the expense of every single individual. In a government which allows for real standing, the people enjoy democracy; in a government which allows for contrived or controlled standing emphasizing groupings, the people are made to endure repression.

The road from enlightenment to absolute oppression can be a very short one; indeed, when standing is based on attributes of social groups rather than on the attributes of the individual voter, standing becomes ineffective. Legislature is needed to abolish political contributions and to allow a range of limited contributions only by the citizens themselves. By so doing, Americans will achieve true standing. First step? Repeal McCain and Feingold.

With individuals like Mr. Boyes, whose goal is to guarantee that everyone has standing, through his type of practice, he guarantees standing for the wealthy at the expense of the citizen at large.

Americans are represented directly through the Legislative, and indirectly through the Executive and the Judiciary. The role of the latter two is to ensure, among others, that the Legislature passes laws that are constitutional and in the best interest of the American people. When the Executive, therefore, chooses to uphold only one part of any law, the Judiciary should act against that practice and not in concert with it. Likewise, when the Judiciary makes decisions that effectively become laws, such as establishing same sex marriages, the Legislature should act to prohibit that power with replacements of proper laws addressing the issue. In every state where same sex marriages are allowed, the majority has emanated from the Judiciary and not from the Legislature. Should the three branches of government all have legislature power? Where every branch of government intrudes into another, how can one check on the other?

Question 1: Are the bantering victories (by the Judiciary and by the Executive) done to enhance the principles inherent in our Constitutional Democracy or, are those victories to reduce those very principles that created and sustained America?

Question 2: Can House of Representative members, who represent you and me,--can they pass bills without bipartisan deliberation or without seeing or reading the bill, and/or to the exclusion of members of the opposite party? Should they pass bills on behalf of the citizens and the citizens kept from seeing those bills?

In, We the people,

Each person is a human being,

As defined by Dr. King.

Are our elected and appointed representatives on the way to replace, We the people…, with, We the entities…?

That seems to be the trend!

Adolph Caso, Publisher, Editor, Author, Poet, Photographer Routinely Contributes to Book Readers Heaven.

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