The following is adapted from a speech delivered on December 2, 2016, at Hillsdale College’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C.
The astonishing political campaign of 2016 involved much debate about whether Donald Trump is a conservative. He was not always facile with the lingo of conservatism, and he pointed out once that he was seeking the nomination of the Republican, not the conservative party. Yet there is a lot we can learn from him about conservatism.
What is conservatism? It is a derivative term: it refers to something outside itself. We cannot conserve the present or the future, and the past being full of contradiction, we cannot conserve it entire. In the past one finds heroism and villainy; justice and injustice; freedom and slavery. Things in the past are like things in the present: they must be judged. Conservative people know this if they have any sense.
What then makes them conservative?
Charles Koch. AP Photo
By Paul Bedard (@SecretsBedard) • 1/31/16 5:16 PM
Conservative philanthropist Charles Koch, broadly defining why his family business is so heavily involved in movement politics, said Saturday night that an America where people help each other out is being replaced by one of “control, dependency, cronyism and poverty.”
Obamacare’s conservative critics are right about the program’s intrusive, inefficient, and costly aspects, but they need to keep in mind that the “crown jewel” of President Obama’s eight years in the Oval Office was the culmination, not the beginning, of unconstitutional nationalized medicine.
The feds first got involved in the healthcare industry over 80 years ago with the Social Security Act, signed into law in the 1930s during FDR’s administration. This created both the Social Security system, as well as the Social Security Administration.
Although this didn’t directly affect healthcare, SSA was followed by the 1965 Social Security Act Amendments, which created two federal medical programs, Medicaid (for low income families) and Medicare (for people age 65 and older).
‘Nothing can be a crime until it has been recognized as such by the law of the land’
A Michigan man charged with felony obstruction of justice and jury tampering for handing out a leaflet on jury nullification in front of a courthouse contends the local prosecutor’s objection to the contents of his material doesn’t make his actions a crime.
Keith Wood, a former pastor, was arrested Nov. 24 on the orders of Mecosta County District Court Judge Peter Jaklevic while he was handing out leaflets published by the Fully Informed Jury Association to members of the public on public property.
Wood was charged with felony “obstruction of justice” for giving members of a jury pool what prosecutors described as “a pamphlet that encouraged the jurors to violate their oaths and directly contradicted the instructions the jurors would be given thereby tainting the entire jury pane.” He’s also charged with attempting to “influence the decision of a juror in a case by argument or persuasion that was not a part of the proceedings in open court in the trial of the case.”
Jury nullification occurs when a jury believes a defendant is guilty but renders a “not guilty” verdict because it regards the relevant law as unjust.
From Imprimis – the free monthly speech digest of Hillsdale College
by Phillip Hamburger, September, 2014 –
The following is adapted from a speech delivered on May 6, 2014, at Hillsdale College’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C., as part of the AWC Family Foundation Lecture Series.
There are many complaints about administrative law—including that it is arbitrary, that it is a burden on the economy, and that it is an intrusion on freedom. The question I will address here is whether administrative law is unlawful, and I will focus on constitutional history. Those who forget history, it is often said, are doomed to repeat it. And this is what has happened in the United States with the rise of administrative law—or, more accurately, administrative power.
Administrative law is commonly defended as a new sort of power, a product of the 19th and the 20th centuries that developed to deal with the problems of modern society in all its complexity. From this perspective, the Framers of the Constitution could not have anticipated it and the Constitution could not have barred it. What I will suggest, in contrast, is that administrative power is actually very old. It revives what used to be called prerogative or absolute power, and it is thus something that the Constitution centrally prohibited.
by Frank Williford –
The Declaration of Independence (revisited 2014)
WHEN in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for We the People to restore the political bands which from inception have served these United States of America well, and to return to the Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to this action.
These truths have long been self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these rights are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness —- That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Government, becomes destructive to these Ends, it is the right of We the People to alter and restore it to legitimacy by utilizing the form and function of principles first authorized and proved to most likely effect their safety and happiness.
The next time someone says one citizen can’t make a difference or the system cannot be changed, tell them about Watson and the 27th Amendment. The power of the individual citizen in America is not dead.
In 1982, a UT political science professor assigned an essay about the governmental process. Watson, then a student, wrote on a long-forgotten constitutional amendment proposed in 1789.
From The DailyCaller.com, by Alex Pappas, 04/22/13 –
Dianne Feinstein was agitated.
The Democratic senator from California did not like the line of questioning she was getting from Sen. Ted Cruz, the freshman Republican from Texas, as she defended her so-called assault weapons bill before the Senate Judiciary Committee in March.
Cruz was reciting from the Constitution. He then asked that given Feinstein’s position on the government banning certain types of guns: Would she also approve of the government banning books it found harmful?
From Imprimis, by Edward J. Erler, November 2012 – AN IMPORTANT CASE was heard by the Supreme Court last month involving a race-conscious affirmative action program at the University of Texas. This case, Fisher v. Texas, will decide whether racial classifications intended to promote student diversity are consistent with the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. This question, of course, had already been answered in Grutter v. Bollinger in 2003, when the Court approved a race-conscious admissions plan at the University of Michigan Law School.
People like to say, “Ron Paul’s got a great domestic program, it’s just his foreign policy I don’t like.” Really, people only say that because they don’t take the time to understand what Ron Paul’s domestic program is all about, or at least the more insane details thereof. One particular example of this is Ron Paul’s view on monetary policy.
Paul, who likes to present himself as some sort of Constitutional scholar, has said in his last several concession speeches that “the Constitution still says that only gold and silver can be legal tender!” This absolutely absurd reading of the Constitution is universally rejected by anyone who can read English.