Ron Paul – The Revolution: A Manifesto – Page 49 through Page 55

Page 49: Any government would love to have a “living” constitution. It makes it easy for the government to break its contract with the people. All it has to do is have some judges say that circumstances dictate the changes. In reality, any “living” constitution is a dead constitution because it becomes meaningless. Congressmen should vote “no” on any bill that violates the plain meaning of the constitution.

Quote: “That’s why on this issue I agree with historian Kevin Gutzman, who says that those who would give us a “living” constitution are actually giving us a dead constitution, since such a thing is completely unable to protect us against the encroachments of government power.”

Page 50: The constitution spells out clearly what authority the executive branch has in the arena of foreign policy. The American president was not to have the authority of a British King. Even Alexander Hamilton recognized the obvious differences between the king’s powers and the presidential powers as proscribed by the constitution.

Quote (Alexander Hamilton): “The president is to be commander-in-chief of the army and the navy of the United States. In this respect his authority would be nominally the same with that of the king of Great Britain, but in substance much inferior to it. It would amount to nothing more than the supreme command and direction of the military and naval forces, as first general and admiral of the confederacy; while that of the British king extends to the declaring of war and to the raising and regulating of fleets and armies-all of which, by the constitution under consideration, would appertain to the legislature.

Page 51: Throughout much of its history, the US government was true to the constitution in its military conflicts. Congress always declared wars. That all changed in 1950 with the Korean war. President Harry Truman started that war without a congressional declaration of war. He argued that authorization from the United Nations was all that he needed to take the US into the war in Korea. However, that notion is false. Article 43 of the United Nations Charter states that all UN authorizations of force must be upheld by the respective constitutional processes of the member nations. Truman also argued that as the commander-in-chief, he had the authority to declare war. Nothing in American history support Truman’s propositions.

Quote: “Whatever kind of evidence you want to examine, whether constitutional or historical, the verdict is clear: Congress was supposed to declare war, and the president in turn was to direct the war once it was declared. This rule was scrupulously observed throughout American history until 1950 and the Korean war.”

Page 52: Even though there is no historical or constitutional evidence to support it, it has come to be accepted by both major political parties that the president has the authority to take the nation to war without a congressional declaration. Neoconservatives have been especially active in promoting this view. One of Truman’s most influential critics was the senator Robert A. Taft, know in his day as “Mr. Republican”.

Quote (Robert A. Taft): “I desire this afternoon to discuss only the question of the power claimed by the president to send troops anywhere in the world and involve us in any war in the world in which he chooses to involve us. I wish to assert the powers of congress, and to point out that congress has the power to prevent any such action by the president; that he has no such power under the constitution; and that it is incumbent upon the congress to assert clearly is own constitutional powers unless it desires to lose them.”

Page 53: Taft steadfastly denied all evidence put forth by the Truman administration in support of their doctrine. Taft argued that if the Truman administration’s arguments prevailed, the United States would no longer be a government of the people. Foreign policy would eventually come to dominate the concerns of the government because that was precisely the area of government where the executive branch would have total control. Taft also argued that a if the President may arbitrarily start wars, war is more likely to occur. In 2002, Ron Paul urged the congress to officially declare war against Iraq.

Quote (Robert A. Taft): “In the long run, the question we must decide involves vitally, I think, not only the freedom of the people of the United States, but the peace of the people of the United States….If in the great field of foreign policy the president has arbitrary and unlimited power, as he now claims, then there is an end to freedom in the United States in a great realm of domestic activity which affects, in the long run, every person in the United States….If the president has unlimited power to involve us in war, war is more likely. History shows that….arbitrary rulers are more inclined to favor war than are the people, at any time.”

Page 54: In response to Ron Paul’s urge to congress to vote on a declaration of war, the chairman of the International Relations Committee argued that certain things in the constitution just weren’t done anymore and to push for such actions was “inappropriate” and “anachronistic”. In the end, congress did not declare the war in Iraq. Congress voted to delegate the power to declare war to the president. In doing so, congress acted unconstitutionally.

Quote: “Congress has no constitutional authority to delegate to the president the decision regarding whether to use military force. That power was consciously and for good reason put in the hands of the people’s elected representatives in the legislature.”

Quote (Louis Fisher): “The resolution helped bring pressure on the Security Council to send inspectors into Iraq to search for weapons of mass destruction. They found nothing. As to whether the war should or should not occur, the committee washed its hands. By passing legislation that allowed the president to make that decision, congress transferred a primary constitutional duty from the legislative branch to the executive branch. That is precisely what the framers fought against.”

Page 55: As of late, there has been talk of reinstituting the military draft. A military draft is completely inconsistent with a free society. It implies that individuals are not the owners of their own lives. Conservative thinkers such as Robert Taft, Russell Kirk, and Ronald Reagan have opposed a military draft.

Quote (Ronald Reagan): “Military conscription rests on the assumption that your kids belong to the state….That assumption isn’t a new one. The Nazis thought it was a great idea.”

Quote (Ronald Reagan): “I oppose registration for the draft….because I believe the security of freedom can best be achieved by security through freedom. The all-voluntary force is based on the sound and historic American principle of voluntary commitment to defense of freedom….The United States of America believes a free people do not have to be coerced in defending their country or their values and that the principle of freedom is the best and only foundation upon which a defense of freedom can be made. My vision of a secure America is based on my belief that freedom calls forth the best in the human spirit and that the defense of freedom can and will best be made out of love of country, a love that needs no coercion. Out of such love, a real security will develop, because in the final analysis, the free human heart and spirit are the best and most reliable defense.”

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