Political Reform

If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.
— Samuel Adams, speech at the Philadelphia State House, August 1, 1776.
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
— Benjamin Franklin
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins; all of them imaginary.
— H.L. Mencken
The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime, and the punishment of his guilt.
— John Curran, July 10, 1790, in a speech about electing the mayor of Dublin
Never confuse the stated purpose of legislation with what it would actually accomplish. Most enactments will be ineffective or counterproductive.
— Jon Roland, September 8, 2004
There is no autopilot. We have to fly the plane.
— Jon Roland, April 19, 2011



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Needed Legislation

General Principles

  1. HTML
            Version or Menu Text Version Zipped
            WordPerfect Statement of Grievances and Demands for Redress — A summary of what needs to be done, in the form of a declaration modeled on the Declaration of Independence. Get your organization to adopt it as a position statement, and publicize it widely.
  2. HTML Version or Menu Text Version Constitutionalist Platform — These principles should be considered planks in the platform of any candidate who calls himself or herself a "constitutionalist".

You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered. — Attributed to Lyndon B. Johnson or Hubert Humphrey, but unconfirmed.

I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws and upon courts. These are false hopes.... Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; — Judge Learned Hand, "The Spirit of Liberty" speech at "I Am an American Day" ceremony, Central Park, New York City (21 May 1944).

Government is like a hammer, good for pounding nails but not for surgery. — Jon Roland, June, 1995.

Draft Proposals

  1. Remote HTML Version Proposed Bills — Comprehensive collection from the Jon Roland campaign site. If all these were introduced and supported it could achieve a revolution in our public affairs.
  2. HTML Version Text Version RTF Legal Reform Act — Proposed legislation to make several needed reforms.
  3. HTML Version Text Version RTF Jurisdiction Boundary Marking Act — Proposed legislation to mark boundaries between federal and state jurisdictions.

The price good people pay for their indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men. — Plato (427-347 BC)

What doesn't work is to demand a remedy from others and leave it to them to work out the details. — Jon Roland, speech to the Jekyll Island conference, May 22, 2009.

Introduced U.S. National Legislation

The following is some legislation that deserves more attention. For further information on the sponsorship and status of this legislation, see Thomas.

111th U.S. Congress

110th U.S. Congress

108th U.S. Congress

106th U.S. Congress

Proposed U.S. Legislation

   A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury.
   From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, and is always followed by a dictatorship.
   The average of the world's great civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependency; from dependency back again to bondage.
— Sir Alex Fraser Tytler (1747-1813), Scottish jurist and historian. Professor of Universal History at Edinburgh University in the late 18th Century. From the 1801 Collection of his lectures.

Legislative Caucuses

Trying to solve public problems without first achieving strict compliance with the Constitution is like trying to take a motor trip through the mountains without brakes or a steering wheel. — Jon Roland, 1997

You can't beat a specific agenda without a specific agenda of your own. — Jon Roland, 2002

Legislative Directories

  1. Remote Link -
            HTML Contacting the Congress — Online directory for the current U.S. Congress.
  2. Congressional Directory.
  3. Remote Link -
            HTML Congressional Record: Advanced Search — Online directory for the most recent years of the proceedings of the U.S. Congress.
  4. Remote Link - HTML Congressional Email Directory — Should only be used to send to staffers who are expecting a message from you.
  5. Remote Link - HTML Low-Cost Email List Management Options — Tools for communicating on e.politics blog.
In politics, there are no lasting victories and no permanent defeats. — Old saying
In law nothing is ever finally settled — New saying
"No cause is lost if there is but one fool left to fight for it."
— Will Turner, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

Proposed Constitutional Amendments and Revised Constitutions

Proposed U.S. Constitutional Amendments

If you don't find politics, politics will find you. — Pericles If you don't fix government, government will fix you. — Jon Roland

Proposed U.S. State Constitutional Amendments and Revised Constitutions

States having ballot initiative process

Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on them [public offices], a rottenness begins in his conduct.
— Thomas Jefferson
History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.
— Abba Eban

Nullification

Organizations and Local Programs

Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom; it is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. — British Prime Minister William Pitt (1759-1806)

No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session. — 1 Tucker (N.Y. Surr.) 249 (1866)

Asking politicians to "do something" without drafting the legislation yourself is asking them to do something to you, not for you. — Jon Roland

Resources & methods

Home
Original URL: http://www.constitution.org/cs_polit.htm
Maintained: Jon Roland of the Constitution Society
Original date: 1995/09/25 — 




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