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

  • Remote Link - HTML Enumerated Powers Act HR 450, Rep. Shaddegg, John; S.1319. Would require bills to show the constitutional authority for themselves. Apparently, the theory behind this is that if there were no authority, the fact would appear as either a glaring hole or something obviously irrelevant. Unfortunately, they will probably just cite the Interstate Commerce Clause, defining "commerce" to be the entire Universe and "regulate" as plenary powers. It might do some good, but what is also needed is a declaratory congressional resolution to restrict the definitions of "commerce" and "regulate". (H.R. 2270 - 104th, H.R. 292 - 105th, H.R. 1018 - 106th, H.R. 175 - 107th, H.R. 384 - 108th, H.R. 450 - 111th)

110th U.S. Congress

  • Remote Link - XML American Freedom Agenda Act HR 3835, Rep. Paul, Ron. To restore the Constitution's checks and balances and protections against government abuses as envisioned by the Founding Fathers.

108th U.S. Congress

  • Remote Link - HTML Congressional Responsibility Act HR 110, Rep. Hayworth, J.D. Would eliminate the authority of executive branch departments to issue regulations without such regulations being adopted as an act of Congress. Actually, the exercise of such legislative authority by executive departments is unconstitutional, a violation of the structural principle of the Separation of Powers, so this would bring the government into compliance with the Constitution. (HR 2301, S. 1348, Sen Brownback, Sam, in 106th, HR 1036 in 105th, HR 2727 in 104th).
  • Remote Link - HTML Citizens' Self-Defense Act of 2003 HR 648, Rep. Wilson. To protect the right to obtain firearms for security, and to use firearms in defense of self, family, or home, and to provide for the enforcement of such right.(HR 347, Rep. Bartlett, Roscoe G. in 106th.)

106th U.S. Congress

  • Remote Link - HTML The Separation of Powers Restoration Act H.R. 2655, Rep. Paul, Ron. Provides for (1) terminating all existing states of national emergency and removing from the executive branch any power to declare national emergencies; (2) vesting power in Congress alone to declare states of national emergency; (3) restricting presidential power to issue executive orders by denying to them any force of law except as provided for by Congress; and (4) repealing the War Powers Resolution of 1973.
  • National Retail Sales Tax HR 2001, HR 2525. Two different bills with similar provisions that would replace the income tax, which is unconstitutional, with a national sales tax. One main sponsor is Rep. Colin Peterson, who calls for a rate of 39%, but since the cost of most goods is increased by about 22% by the existing corporate income tax, the net increase would be about 17%, which would be offset by elimination of the personal income tax, for a probable net gain, especially after factoring the reduced costs for accounting and tax reporting.
  • Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000 HR 1658, Rep. Hyde, Henry. Passed HR in June by 375-48. Senate passed with minor modifications, and HR passed Senate version on voice vote April 11, 2000. The president is expected to sign it. It does not satisfy all of the requirements of the Constitution, but is a major improvement. Now we have to remove the remaining unconstitutional provisions, and do the same in the states.

Proposed U.S. Legislation

  • Remote Link - HTML The National Economic Stabilization and Recovery Act (NESARA). This proposal is bogus and to be avoided.
   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

  • Remote Link - HTML House Liberty Caucus Caucus of libertarian-leaning members of Congress.
  • Remote Link - HTML The Liberty Committee Caucus of members of Congress dedicated to seek a strict-constitutional approach to legislation. (Inactive, succeeded by House Liberty Caucus.)
  • Remote Link - HTML MegaVote Get email notices of your senators' and representative's votes.

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

  • HTML Version or Menu Word Version Draft Amendments to U.S. Constitution, by Jon Roland A few amendments that might help return constitutional construction to original understanding.
  • HTML Version or Menu Constitutional Action Plans The path to victory.
  • Remote Link - PDF State Calls for An Article Five Convention: Mobilization and Interpretation, by Gerard Magliocca. Discusses how calls for a constitutional convention to consider specific amendments can influence elected officials and judges even if a convention is never held.
  • Remote Link - HTML Bill of Federalism amendments, by Randy Barnett. Proposes amendments that he hopes will restore federalism.
    • Remote Link - HTML Bill of Federalism Summary and commentary.
  • Blog article Liberty Amendments, comnmentary on proposals by Mark Levin. Amendments that Levin hopes will restore liberty.
  • Remote Link - HTML Efforts to dismantle U.S. Constitution, from SweetLiberty Discusses plots to replace U.S. Constitution with one that does not protect our rights, through a constitutional convention.
  • Remote Link - HTML Friends Of the Article V Convention (FOAVC) Group that is promoting a constitutional convention.
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

  • HTML Version or Menu State Nullification of Federal Action Resistance to usurpation organized at the state level.
  • HTML Version or Menu Word Version Declaration of Nonauthority A finding that officials are not in compliance with the Constitution and acting without authority.

Organizations and Local Programs

  • Remote Link - HTML California Constitutional Convention
  • Remote Link - HTML A Plan To Help Restore Lawful/Constitutional Government at the Federal Level
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

  • Local Powerpoint Selling Constitutional Compliance Presentation on how to persuade people to support constitutional compliance.
  • Local Powerpoint Organizing for Constitutional Compliance Presentation on how to organize to persuade people to support constitutional compliance.
  • Remote Link - HTML Voter Contact Services Voter database information useful in conducting campaigns.
  • Remote Link - HTML FundRace Search and display donor information to the major parties by location.
Home
Original URL: http://www.constitution.org/cs_polit.htm
Maintained:
Jon Roland of the Constitution Society
Original date: 1995/09/25