By Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., Ph.D., J.D.
May 24, 2016
(e) Of all possible wrongdoing by rogue public officials, nothing could be worse than fomenting international warfare. Not only because modern warfare is hideously homicidal and egregiously expensive, but especially because the prosecution of wars abroad inevitably encourages the imposition of despotism at home. “[T]he common defence” is the constitutional standard. Therefore, Mr. Trump must assure Americans that he will end America’s involvement in aggressive military adventures overseas. Moreover, he must guarantee that he will see all of those rogue public officials who and the private special interests which have fomented or otherwise been responsible for or otherwise complicitous in such adventures brought to justice, through execution of those “Laws of the Union” which enforce the principles of the Nuremberg tribunal. See Office of the United States Chief of Counsel for Prosecution of Axis Criminality, Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression (Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1946), Volume I, arts. 6(a), 7, 8, and 9, at 5-6. See also my NewsWithViews commentary “A New Nuremberg Moment” (6 September 2013). After all, these crimes—steeped in conspiracy and aggression—have resulted in hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of needless deaths and injuries; destruction of the political integrity, social stability, and economic viability of whole countries; and huge wastage of resources by “military-industrial complexes” in both the United States and the other nations which have foolishly participated in these operations. And they continue even today, unabated in their savagery. See, e.g., Felicity Arbuthnot, “US Apocalypse in Mosul in the Guise of Bombing ISIS”. For such wrongdoing there can be neither excuse, nor exoneration, nor expunction from the pages of history.
Mr. Trump recently announced his “foreign policy” with a rousing speech. Yet it lacked the clarity and wisdom of George Washington’s Farewell Address with respect to foreign affairs, alliances, and the like. (Indeed, Mr. Trump could not go wrong by adopting as his guiding principles all of the tenets of that document.) Much of his speech was, as the wag once said, “déjà vue all over again”. To be sure, Mr. Trump’s reliance on the principle of, shall we say, “strength at home, businesslike diplomacy abroad” is a workmanlike approach, along the lines of Theodore Roosevelt’s precept, “speak softly and carry a big stick”. Nonetheless, I wonder how anyone can imagine, on the one hand, that this country cannot control its own borders to the extent of repelling an invasion of illegal aliens from a nation as militarily impotent as Mexico, but, on the other hand, that it can deploy to the very frontiers of Russia and China sufficient forces to awe those powerful nations into sheepish compliance with policies dictated from the District of Columbia at odds with their own compelling national interests. Indeed, one need look only to the débâcles in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya to understand the limits the real world imposes on the hubris and fantasies of American military interventionists. (The only saving grace here is that Mr. Trump evidently desires to avoid a major war, whereas Hillary Clinton would likely prove a worse warmonger, and more feckless a war-fighter, than even George W. Bush.)
Finally, Mr. Trump’s promise to crush ISIS militarily rests on the naïve premiss that ISIS is some truly “foreign” force. He would do better first to investigate whether ISIS is in large measure the product of the devious intentions or simple-minded incompetence of the CIA and the Pentagon—and that therefore the initial step in the process of eradicating ISIS must be a thoroughgoing housecleaning of those agencies. (A parallel investigation should be conducted to determine the extent to which certain of America’s ostensible “allies” are at fault in this matter, too.) Mr. Trump might also want to inquire, for example, why the NSA, the DIA, the CIA, the FBI, FINCEN, the IRS-CID, and other intelligence and law-enforcement agencies at home and abroad have not been able (or willing) to employ their extensive networks of surveillance to ferret out the sources of and routes for ISIS’s funding. After all, although logistics is not everything, everything depends on logistics. How does ISIS raise its revenue and pay its bills? Who are ISIS’s bankers, money-launderers, and so on? And why have they not been exposed, and steps taken to eradicate their operations? Inquiring minds surely want to know.
(f) As far as “domestic policy” is concerned , it will be essential for a Trump Administration to restore the two great powers of government—the Power of the Sword and the Power of the Purse—to “the good People’s” own hands. For no one else is sufficiently trustworthy to exercise them.
(i) Restoration of the Power of the Sword will require revitalization of the Militia, about which I have written extensively elsewhere. Only by “call[ing] forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union” will “the good People” finally be able to deal with those combinations too powerful to be suppressed by ordinary means, the continued toleration of which threatens to destroy this country within the lifetimes of most of the readers of this commentary. In particular, see my NewsWithViews commentary “Donald Trump and the Militia” (20 February 2016).
Revitalization of the Militia will also be necessary to enable “the good People” to deal in a constitutional fashion with the social unrest which will arise out of the economic dislocations and hard times this country will have to endure as part of the price of rebuilding the national economy. See, e.g., my book By Tyranny Out of Necessity: The Bastardy of “Martial Law”.
(ii) Restoration of the Power of the Purse will require bridling the banks—first and foremost, by compelling them to provide Americans with a constitutional and economically sound monetary unit to compete with, and eventually supplant, the Federal Reserve Note as this nation’s primary currency. See, e.g., my NewsWithViews commentaries “A Cross of Gold” (10 May 2011) and “Presidential Questions” (9 May 2015). It will also necessitate coming to grips with the problem of the unpayable national debt—not by imposing “austerity” on “the good People”, but by recognizing that much of this debt has been incurred unconstitutionally (in terms of international law, is so-called “odious debt”), and is therefore unenforceable. See, e.g., my NewsWithViews commentary “A Cross of Debt” (10 February 2012). As a successful entrepreneur, Mr. Trump surely understands that long-term business-relations, whether of a corporation or an entire country, cannot be conducted on the basis of the uncertain value of an unstable “rubber” currency, and that sometimes a declaration of bankruptcy and concomitant cancellation of some and restructuring of other debts is unavoidable.
(g) In even the short run, little will be accomplished unless and until a Trump Administration breaks the electoral stranglehold of the “two” major political parties and the string-pullers behind them. This will require radically diminishing, if not eliminating altogether, the ability of organized wealth to maintain the oligopoly of those parties, to suppress or capture legitimate political movements, and thereby perpetually to misdirect the course of elections. That a handful of multi-billionaires, primarily through the mega-corporations they own and the myriad special-interest groups they spawn and finance, are suffered to dominate political affairs in this country, setting “the good People” at defiance in election after election, directly contradicts any rational conception of “representative government” and “the general Welfare”. Not only is that state of affairs unsound in principle, but also it has turned out disastrously in practice. For all too long, these individuals and institutions have controlled the composition of Congress, the Presidency, and the Judiciary, as well as much of State and Local government—the consequence being the mess in which this country now finds itself at every level of the federal system. The simplistic theory that “corporate money” can be equated with “free speech” in the political realm has been tested by experiment, and found woefully wanting. (To be sure, it might be argued that the corruption and degeneration of American politics have been the products, not of the injection of wealth per se into politics, but only of the faulty ideas that such injection has promoted, and that if the wealthy were to marshal their resources on behalf of good ideas this country would benefit. Yet there is no denying that, only as a consequence of the massive amounts of irresponsible wealth behind them could the bad ideas prevalent today have become dominant in the political arena. And in politics one must be extremely risk-averse, because the risks of error are too great to be accepted.)
The exclusion of “corporate money” from politics may appear to be a problematic goal, because of the false notion promulgated by the Supreme Court that corporations are “persons” with constitutional rights equivalent to those of real flesh-and-blood individuals. The “personhood” of corporations, however, is merely a sorry legal fiction. Actually, it is a piece of pseudo-legalistic balderdash, coming as it does from a Court with the effrontery to claim that actual human beings who happen to be unborn are not constitutional “persons”. In any event, no need exists for a constitutional amendment to recognize the self-evident truth that corporations have no inherent rights, but rather are merely the creatures of statutes, with only such legal relations (rights, powers, privileges, immunities, and so on) as those statutes grant, and which other statutes can deny, to them. Whatever it may have opined on this subject in the past, the Supreme Court has a long history of changing its mind on constitutional questions. See, e.g., Payne v. Tennessee, 501 U.S. 808, 828-830 & note 1 (1991). So it is not too much to expect that the Court can be persuaded to reverse itself on this issue, too. And if the Justices refuse to come to their constitutional senses, they can be shown the door; for their tenure is solely “during good Behaviour”, which subversion of the political process in favor of faux “persons” can never be.
Admittedly, the foregoing may constitute no more than a “wish list” for a true Presidential “outsider” who has yet to appear. For only the future will tell whether Mr. Trump is such a man. Yet one must always live in hope. If an obscure commentator such as this author, living in the remote “Canoe Capital of Virginia”, can figure out some of what needs to be done, then so can an eminent real-estate shark from the Big Apple.
Ultimately, though, the critical question is not “Can Trump do it?” or even “Will Trump do it?”, but instead “If Trump tries to do it, will ‘the good People’ do their part?” Will they demand his nomination, secure his election, and then stand behind his Administration?
As it always does, time will tell. Some Americans may yet imagine that this country can still play for time. But, as the old saying has it, time brings all things, bad as well as good. And anyone who can tell time knows that “the good People” are running out of time. It really may be “now or never”. If “the good People” do not triumph by electing a true “outsider” to “the Office of President” this November, America’s fate may be sealed, once and for all, in the worst tragedy of modern times.
© 2016 Edwin Vieira, Jr. – All Rights Reserved