10. The Executive
10.3 Restoring Freedom
In light of all these Executive excesses, what can be done to restore the freedom Americans once had? Even better, how can we return to a society even more free than before—something more akin to biblical controls on Executive tyranny? The answer is two-faceted: first, things average people can do now, and second, larger goals toward which we must aim.
As far as things average people can do now, we must first remember our priorities. Go back to the first topic of this project and work your way through. Pull your kids from public schools; plan and fight for your family autonomy in old age, insurance, etc.; focus on localism, local politics, local control, and start exposing and fighting the massive wastes, corruption, and debts that exist in the thousands of halls of local governments; start focusing on State-level solutions to problems like abortion, exercise Tenth Amendment rights, nullification, etc. Just these first four topics, if put to practice by groups in every county across this nation would go a long way toward softening the scaly underbelly of Leviathan, leaving the monster vulnerable to the forces of freedom. But these topics must come first, because hearts and minds must change through education and individual, local example, and the sacrifices must be made by the serious, the faithful, the courageous first.[get_product id=”258″ align=”right” size=”small”]
As volume nine of the Biblical Blue Prints series encourages,
I am not calling for wholesale revisions of the Constitution today. These changes must be implemented only after a full-scale revival and the clear-cut political triumph of Christians as self-conscious Christian voters. Attempting to amend the Constitution before you have the votes is suicidal; this would play into the hands of the humanist left wing. Just as internationalism prior to international revival is extremely dangerous, so is attempting any Constitutional amendment nationally before national revival. This would be a top-down political transformation, something quite foreign to Christian social theory. It puts the cart before the horse. The religious transformation must precede the political transformation; the political transformation must precede the Constitutional transformation.
We must therefore content ourselves for the present with small steps.1
There are many Christians who cannot see this today, or who deny it. If society is left to their influence, Statists will dominate, there will be no revival of faith and freedom, and society will decline under God’s judgment, or even possibly catastrophic collapse. It will not matter who the president, congressmen, or judges are if they do not first have a biblical worldview and biblical doctrine of exercising power. Changing our priorities and acting accordingly is the first step in creating a generation of properly-focused leaders and citizens.
Secondly, Christians must change their view of the scope of missions. It was a false de-Christianized view of missions that led us into the tyranny we have today—both in regard to messianic warfare and messianic central planning. You can’t have messianic social progress unless the Messiah is in absolute control—legally, judicially, and executively. This means that instead of seeking change through coercion—whether the central planning state or the war-fare/nation-building state—we must have a more concerted effort of evangelism and proper, full biblical-worldview, biblical-society discipleship. My colleague Bojidar Marinov pioneered this field in international missions, particularly in Bulgaria, with a simple translation ministry, translating the pro-Christian society writings of R. J. Rushdoony, Gary North, Greg Bahnsen, and others. People are beginning to replicate this effort in places like Brazil, Puerto Rico, Chile, Italy, and more. Bojidar is also currently writing a book on missions done the biblical way, to be published hopefully this year. But we must not make the mistake of thinking “missions” means international missions alone. As one missionary once told me, “Don’t fly over a mission field to get to one.” As far as learning how biblical freedom applies to every area of government and life, American is nearly as needy a mission field as anywhere else. Indeed, many places are less problematic because they haven’t already grown up with the façade of a Christian nation deceiving them into false assurance and pride.[get_product id=”1408″ align=”right” size=”small”]
Educational matters aside, what can individuals do to combat Executive tyranny like treaty powers, executive orders, and abuses of emergency powers? You can do is get involved in local politics and become an influence against things like Agenda 21. You can form an unofficial local group dedicated to exposing and raising awareness of such intrusions into local government and life. Alert your local sheriff, council members, and the local public to these programs along with the examples of those who area already fighting encroaching tyranny in their own counties. For example, there is http://www.countysheriffproject.org/, http://supportruralamerica.ning.com, http://www.siskiyoucountywaterusers.com/, http://www.defendruralamerica.com/DRA/Home.html, http://pienpolitics.com/, http://24hourpatriots.com/, http://www.constitutionalsheriffs.com/, as well as the pioneering efforts of Sheriff Richard Mack at http://sheriffmack.com/. Through efforts like these we can withstand intrusions at local and even state levels in a highly visible way. This sends a message of popular support for organized resistance to tyranny. The more small groups doing this across the country, the more visible and pervasive that message will be.
The larger social and political needs are more easily stated but harder to achieve. These include revamping the constitutional treaty-making process, curtailing the power of the Executive departments, as well as the presidential use of emergency powers and executive orders. The policy suggestions which follower largely track the recommendations given in the Biblical Blue Prints series volume, Healer of the Nations:
First, we absolutely need a constitutional amendment that places greater checks on the President’s treaty-making powers. No treaty should be ratified without full two-thirds majorities (not just of a quorum) in both houses of Congress. We should at least consider making distinctions between treaties of commerce and treaties of peace or alliance as the Federal Farmer suggested. And since treaties of commerce have much more effect on internal laws, they should be held to the same standard of passage as all domestic legislation. Any treaty that has such effects should be treated so.
We need transparency and accountability in the State department. That huge book listing all of the treaties we mentioned? Those treaties should be compiled in one place online, indexed in every way possible, searchable, and in full text. There should be a complete study done as to which ones are still in force and how they currently affect U.S. Code. This change would require only a willing Executive.
Second, we need to get out of the United Nations. The United States should never send a dime to the UN. It is a messianic organization designed to redistribute wealth throughout the world via socialistic schemes, centralize global public policy, advance a pagan nature-religion, and work toward implementing global government at local levels through comprehensive programs like Agenda 21 and others. UN staff members are required to take an oath of allegiance to the UN. The office of the Secretariat’s own website says,
As international civil servants, staff members and the Secretary-General answer to the United Nations alone for their activities, and take an oath not to seek or receive instructions from any Government or outside authority. Under the Charter, each Member State undertakes to respect the exclusively international character of the responsibilities of the Secretary-General and the staff and to refrain from seeking to influence them improperly in the discharge of their duties.2
Any American taking such a job—and thus such an oath—should automatically be required to revoke their U.S. citizenship or face charges of treason. This harsh-sounding reaction gets to the heart of what the UN is about: it is a would-be global government designed to transcend national sovereignty. Only Jesus Christ has any claim to legitimate global sovereignty.
Third, we need drastically to cut the size and even existence of some Executive departments. The State Department currently has a budget of $27.4 billion annually and a staff of 49,900 employees. George Washington ran it with six. This is just one department of several. The IRS alone employs over 100,000. In an age in which government spending has become virtually the biggest threat to future liberty, the size of these bureaucracies is simply Executive insanity.[get_product id=”568″ align=”right” size=”small”]
Fourth, the president should veto any appropriations bill that does not balance the budget, and frankly, in light of the ballooning national debt, he should veto any spending bill that does not follow a plan to create a surplus and begin eliminating huge chunks of the national debt. Such reductions would likely take care of the war and nation-building problem as well. And while at it, he should veto any bill period that construes the constitution to increase the powers of the federal government. The veto is an awesome power rarely used for the public good.
Fifth, the president should rescind all 13,600+ Executive Orders. Granted, he would have to use an executive order to do so, but this one would at least have the virtue of being negative: cancelling government powers rather than creating more of them. Congress should then enact a bill treating all future executive orders like any other law: not actionable unless passed by both chambers of Congress and then signed by the President.
Sixth, we need an Act which genuinely and forcefully binds the Executive in regard to national emergencies and emergency powers. The Acts passed in 1976 and 1977 under the guise of reining-in the abuse of emergency powers have done nothing but codify the abuse by statute while placing only mild checks upon them. The result has been a drastic increase in the number of declared emergencies handing Presidents powers normally reserved only for war. These feeble Acts must either be drastically revised or repealed and replaced with legislation that requires full congressional approval of declared emergencies, again, via recorded roll call votes.
The main goals of these actions are twofold: first to check the power of the Presidency and bring that power back as close to the people as possible. In each of these proposals, Congress becomes responsible for the legislation, or other governmental actions which have the force of legislation. Congress stands responsible for spending, war, tyranny, emergency, invasive measures, etc., and they are on record as to who voted for what. In the case of bills which the President vetoes, it’s even better. This means a supermajority of Congress would be required to pass it. If there is passed a war, more debt, infractions of civil liberties, etc., then the President’s veto makes Congress own it. Any unpopular bill passed by a supermajority at that point will land a lot of Congressmen out of work.[get_product id=”1425″ align=”right” size=”small”]
The second major goal is to remove the massive infrastructure of tyranny that has grown up since the New Deal in 1933. If we could get past Wilsonian and Civil War precedents, that would be even better. But a pre-1933 level of federal intrusion in our lives would at least free us from most of the emergency powers abuses, bloated federal bureaucracies, peace-time central planning, and abuses of executive orders. Even here, however, we need structural changes in order to hinder any attempts to resume such powers again in the future.
Again, these larger structural changes can only come about and have lasting effects if a massive change of hearts and minds occurs first. There are waves of this change happening right now, so there is hope. But we have a long way to go. The most important steps to take now are local: begin individual and organized opposition to local spending, local debts, and intrusions into local sovereignty. A hundred counties eventually telling the EPA and the FDA, “No” will lay impressive foundation for genuine social change toward liberty, and will send a strong message to the bureaucrats and central planners who wish to make marionettes of us all. A thousand counties would be better. A thousand counties shielded by State governments would be even better yet.