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Both the President and the Constitution are on the ballot this election

Harold W. Pease, Ph. D

Earlier this month President Barack Obama said that, although he was not on the ballot, “make no mistake, these policies are on the ballot — every single one of them,” referring to Democratic senators refusing to allow the President to campaign with them in their states. A few days later he added, “The bottom line is though, these are all folks who vote with me; they have supported my agenda in Congress.” He referred to them as “strong allies and supporters.” Essentially he made it clear that a vote for a Democrat, any Democrat, is a vote for Obama and his policies. This was so six years ago when the unpopular George W. Bush was president as well and is so in every election when a president is not on the ballot. Mid-term elections are always a reflection of a presidents policies. Few, if any, Democratic incumbent members of the House or the Senate have voted less than 80% for Obama.

My point, mask it however they wish to keep unhappy Obama Democrats with their party. A vote for the Democratic Party is a vote for Barack Obama. It is also true that a vote for every member of Congress is a vote for or against holding to the Constitution as intended. Like the president the Constitution is always on the ballot.

So, what constitutional principles are on the ballot? Let us begin with the reality that all governments like to grow. The more decision making power they assume the less is left at lower levels of government or to the individual. Governments view everything in a way to extend their power. Either the government comes to control the people or the people control it. The Constitution advocates limited government. Personalizing it, “Are you voting for people, parties, propositions, or measures that grow government?” To prevent the growth of government all power not listed in Article I, Section 8, or identified in a subsequent amendment, was left with the states and the people (Amendment 10). “Is your national candidate or party willing to stay within the limits just referenced?” If not you must dump him or her or, at the very least, pick the one least likely to grow government.

Does your local candidate understand that part of his/her duty is to resist federal growth and will do so, and likewise, resist the tendency to grow his own office as well? Will he turn down federal “bribe money” to enhance federal control over local control. Will he/she work to keep decision-making power as close to the people as possible and away from federal bureaucrats?

Remember Thomas Jefferson said, “The best government is the least government.” It’s not that there is no government. You govern yourself constantly rather than allowing others to do so. It used to be called freedom.

Has your candidate offered any evidence that suggests that he/she supports the free market that made us the most prosperous nation on earth and in history and eliminated poverty in American for those able and willing to work? Will he/she work to protect the free market from the mountains of new rules and regulations emanating from federal and state regulators suffocating it, or are they more likely to add to them?

What is his/her stand on fiscal responsibility? Somebody has to repay our approaching 18 trillion dollar debt—eight of which accumulated under President Obama and his party. Someone has to stop the three to four billion dollar additions per day to this national debt before we fiscally collapse. Which of your ballot options is most likely to advocate solutions that reduce these amounts?

The free market, limited government, and fiscal responsibility are basic constitutional principles. The only type of federal government authorized by the Founders was decidedly a limited one. The Founders overriding philosophy of government, if it could be penned into one sentence, was, “never elevate to a higher level that which can be resolved at a lesser level.” This applies to city, county and state governments as well. When these limitations are not understood, the federal government is constantly tempted to steal authority from the states or counties as per its confiscation of environmental, health, and education issues, which are constitutionally 100%, state issues. States should use the Tenth Amendment to protect themselves from federal intrusion. Is this the understanding of the people that you choose to place in authority over you?

City, county, and state leaders, you are our buffer from the federal government taking from you your areas of jurisdiction. They have done so for many years because you were complacent in it, or, ignorant of the Constitution. You have placed us in the position that your understanding of the document must be known before we place you in power. Our only hope now is to find leaders with Constitutional fire in their bellies to undo the precedents that you have created. All issues on the city and county level are directly or indirectly constitutional issues. We expect you to know, and abide by, the document that you swore to uphold.

If the President’s incumbent Senators running for office are running away from him and attempting to deceive the people that what they offer is different from his, perhaps we should be running from them. The fact is that neither they nor their Republican opponents have followed the Constitution very closely. Still, the Constitution is on the ballot every election and we the voter must find those candidates that will keep their election pledge to “preserve, protect and defend” it.