A year ago, I wrote an open letter to the President Elect. Today, on the one year anniversary of that letter, I’ll follow up.
Dear Mr. President,
It’s been a year, a time to reflect on some of the things you have done since your election in 2016. When you won the election, I wrote an open letter about some of the things I hoped you would do. Let’s review some of that.
In my previous letter, I noted that you were not elected to “work with” the Democrats, nor to engage in “compromises” that gave them much, if not most of what they would want if they actually had won. And while you have talked a lot about what you would do, there is still no wall, nor really any movement on it (this is not really important to me personally, any such wall is purely symbolic in the modern world and the actual problems with illegal immigration need to be solved elsewhere, mostly by taking away the incentive to cross our borders illegally, but it is something which you promised your supporters). And Obamacare is still the law of the land.
I know it is difficult. Many in Congress, including many Republicans, seem more interested in making an accommodation with the socialist policies of the Left rather than furthering the principles of Liberty. Yet you are supposed to be such a great deal maker, and these two cornerstones of your campaign appear to lie in the dust.
Getting Goresuch to the Supreme Court was a very good thing. He was not a perfect choice, but then I realize that I was never going to get a perfect choice. For that matter, I’m not entirely sure what a perfect choice would look like, someone who would follow the Constitution as written, and properly amended, according to the understanding of those who wrote it and amended it.
At the time of my previous letter, I recommended to you the late Barry Goldwater’s book, “The Conscience of a Conservative” and that you could do far worse than to appoint people to your administration than to select people who adhere to the philosophies of that book. The greatness of America came from liberty, allowing the people of the United States, more than any other land, to pursue their individual interests as they see it.
You’ve made some starts. That Executive Order calling for repealing two regulations in order to pass one was an excellent beginning to reducing the regulatory burden that hampers so much of American freedom.
I suggested last time that, since you were then President Elect, that you pick up a copy of the Constitution and read it. I repeat that plea. Read it, study it. Study the commentary by the men who wrote it. You swore an oath to uphold it, to defend it against all enemies foreign and domestic. You need to understand what it is that you swore to. Some of the choices you’ve made…Well, I prefer to think that you simply do not understand rather than that you are in violation of that oath.
Take, for instance, the Fifth Amendment. People watching courtroom dramas and police shows know about the prohibition of forcing people to self-incriminate but there’s more in the Fifth than that. It also says “nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.”
You have appointed an Attorney General who endorses and promotes the violation of that. It’s called “Civil Asset Forfeiture”, the taking of property from someone on vague suspicion without convictions, sometimes without charges being filed, forcing them to be deprived of other money and property in an effort, often futile to get their confiscated property back. The legal doubletalk that the property is charged with a crime, not the person, and the property doesn’t have rights to due process does not change the fact that a person is being deprived of their property without due process of law.
This is an abomination.
The excuse for this is the “war on drugs”. That “war” is itself problematic. It is not the government’s job to protect people from themselves. When I served in the military we were told that self-harm that rendered us unfit for duty could be charged under the UCMJ article for “destruction of government property.” We were government property. But we signed up for that. It’s an all volunteer force. The American people are not, however, the property of the US Government. Exactly the reverse if anything. If people want to engage in self destructive behaviors, however stupid you or I (or Mr. Sessions) might consider it. It. Is. Still. Their. Right. via self-ownership. Offering help, counsel, advice? Yes. Force (and law, government, is force pure and simple)? No.
End the insane “war on drugs.” Present
You can’t do everything, certainly not all at once, so I present this challenge. Each day of your Presidency, whatever else you may do on that day, select some item that the government is doing that is not explicitly called for in the Constitution and stop doing that, or at least set in motion the process of stopping doing that. Write it out of your next budget proposal, write an executive memo or order instructing the executive branch to stop, something. It may be a little thing, but it will be something. Get in the habit of making government smaller.
The media will scream. The Democrats in Congress will scream. Let them. They’re going to do that anyway. Nothing you ever do will be enough to mollify them. So ignore them. Remember your base. Remember the people who put you in office. Not the loudmouthed racist types who were never more than a tiny fraction, but the quiet conservative types growing ever more frustrated by ever growing government that ever more encroached on the freedoms and liberties they, and their fathers and mothers, had previously enjoyed.
That is how you Make America Great Again, by a return to the core values of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and the philosophies underpinning them in the Declaration of Independence.
You still stand at the crossroads. You have the potential to be one of the greatest presidents in history. You also have the potential to be yet another in a line of Presidents who led the US into serfdom.
The choice remains yours.
I still pray you make the right one.