by Robert F. Hawes Jr. by Robert F. Hawes Jr.
The disastrous presidency of George W. Bush is to the cause of government reform what the sinking of the Titanic must have been to lifeboat manufacturers: a colossal case-in-point. But as much as Bush, Cheney, and the whole motley executive branch crew have rankled our sensibilities, I think we give them too much credit.
The truth of the matter is that Congress bears far more responsibility for the overthrow of our constitutional Republic than George W. Bush, or even the worst of our former presidents. It is Congress that has passed the laws and created the meddlesome agencies that the friends of freedom so despise. Congress gave us the Federal Reserve, the 16th Amendment and the IRS, the Department of Education, the PATRIOT ACT, the REAL ID Act, the Military Commissions Act, and so forth. It is Congress that has steadily built our national debt into a financial Tower of Babel. It is Congress that has allowed George W. Bush to get away with waging undeclared wars, ignoring the laws, and trampling the Constitution, just as it has allowed past presidents to get away with various acts of usurpation (bear in mind that George W. Bush is basing his actions on the examples of men like Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt). Congress also approved the Supreme Court and lower federal court judges that are providing the pseudo-constitutional authority for these excesses and abuses of power.
Presidents have considerable power and influence, and sending Ron Paul to the Oval Office could certainly do much to put the brakes on our runaway federal system; but make no mistake: there will be no real or lasting revolution unless we send the authoritarian establishment in Congress on a permanent vacation. For one thing, they’ve richly earned their pink slips (I’m being overly polite here actually they’ve earned a one-way trip into deep space); for another, they could, and I believe would, present an enormous obstruction to Ron Paul’s agenda. President Paul will be able to accomplish much, I’m sure, especially during his first 100 days, and by virtue of the powerful statement that his election will send; but big government Democrats and Republicans, ably assisted by powerful media and special interest friends, are not going to stand idly by while he tears down their treehouse. They understand that the American public is fickle, and they are nothing if not masters of the political dark arts. Like wounded animals, they will bide their time in the aftermath of a Ron Paul victory, but rest assured that they will do their best to hamstring and humiliate him at the first available opportunity. And after that first round, it will be open season on the Paul Administration and the ideals it champions.
This may sound rather doom-and-gloomy in these heady days where America is discovering Ron Paul and re-discovering the traditional ideals for which he stands; but if we are serious in our intention to turn America around, we are going to have to take on the legislative branch in addition to the executive. We are going to have to give Ron Paul a Congress that he can work with. And with both the legislative and executive branches in our corner, we will be able to reform the judiciary as well (via impeachment, if by no other means).
In short, throw the bums out!
Let the word go out through the Ron Paul revolution camp: vote for no congressman or senator who has supported the neoconservative big government, police-state agenda. Support only those candidates who will pledge (in writing, preferably) to support constitutional liberty at home and non-intervention abroad. And if there are no suitable candidates currently running in your area, work with other Ron Paul revolutionaries to recruit them. We can help one another with filing fees and publicity, just as surely as we have helped the Paul campaign to raise millions of dollars and to get the word out, and we don’t have to hurt the Paul campaign in the process. Also, bear in mind that, while it would be ideal to see all of the bums thrown out, we don’t necessarily have to achieve that in order to be effective. Even a few congressmen or one or two senators could block the passage of harmful legislation, or help ensure the passage of helpful legislation.
At the very least we could bring the sort of pressure to bear on Congress that we have been so effectively exerting against those who have been ridiculing Ron Paul and trying to exclude him from the process. A good place to start with this would be pressuring the United States Senate to reject the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act (S. 1959), which, if passed, will pave the way for the federal government to intimidate and ultimately silence pro-freedom organizations. Let’s not let that happen. Let’s band together to defeat this legislation, to repeal the PATRIOT ACT and other harmful laws that have already been passed, and to rein in George W. Bush before he starts posing for the cameras with his hand in his shirt. Let’s bring the full weight of this movement’s energy to bear on the enemies of freedom. If we can do this, we can not only begin to halt the march toward fascism, but we can convince many fence-sitters that Ron Paul and his revolution are for real, that we are not going away, that we are a force to be reckoned with, that we will not surrender our Republic without a struggle, and that we can win this election.
It’s a great day to be a Ron Paul revolutionary, and there’s nothing wrong with celebrating the successes we’ve seen lately. But let’s not overlook the larger picture. Putting a good president in the White House is not enough to restore the Republic. Firing the captain of a mutinous ship is not going to turn it around if the crew is as mutinous as the captain. We need both a new captain and a new crew if we’re going to plot a new course.
Let’s not settle for a partial victory next November. Let’s take this revolution all the way, starting now.
Robert Hawes is the author of One Nation, Indivisible? A Study of Secession and the Constitution. This article, along with his past writings, can be found on his blog. He lives in South Carolina with his family, and is working on a career as a freelance writer.