April 8, 2012
Marie Lozito is a Registered Nurse, Licensed Massage Therapist, wife, mother, grandmother and life-long conservative. She wrote a text on medical massage and taught at New York College of Health Professions.
Interested in, and observing politics since 1960, she
ran for elected office in 2010.
Who Makes The Laws? Part 2
In last week’s column, we saw what the Constitution intended the three branches of the federal government to do. We also saw how two of the branches are violating the separation of powers that is essential for our government to do its primary job.
What is our federal government’s most important job? To secure our natural rights and liberties. That is also the moral basis for any government. At the time of our founding, the general beliefs, concepts and attitudes about life (philosophy) were that there is a God and that there are certain rights that every human being possesses from birth. These are our natural rights based on “the laws of nature and nature’s God”. This philosophy had been the dominant philosophy in the
West for centuries. It was expressed beautifully in the first part of the Declaration of Independence. History shows us that these rights can be infringed upon and that individuals can be blocked from using their rights. The Founders believed that
a proper government’s purpose is to secure these rights of the individual.
The Founders very carefully constructed the Constitution so that this philosophy would have the best opportunity to be exercised in the society and that the government of these United States would perform its morally proper function of protecting the individual rights of the people. History and observation of human nature convinced them that this structure of the government, and forced limitations of its power, were the only way to ensure the liberty of “We the People”.
Unfortunately in the mid-1800s there was a philosophical revolution. The philosophers of that age rejected the concept of “natural rights” and many rejected the concept of a god. They developed different theories about what makes a behavior right (moral), people’s rights and where these come from.
Romanticism felt rights were based on sentiment. This theory disturbs me
because people’s emotions are so inconsistent, therefore morally right
or wrong would be constantly changing.
Utilitarianism believed right conduct was determined by the usefulness of its consequences. Basically what that means is that if you are doing something wrong for a good reason, then it’s not wrong. I believe this is the basis of moral relativism that so many people use to justify bad behavior.
Historicists believed history was the basis of our rights. The historicist philosopher, Hegel, believed that things naturally progress toward increased freedom for human beings, towards the conquest of nature by human beings. Hegel called for an administrative state. What was the basis of morality for the administrators? That they be loyal to their function within the state apparatus, the bureaucracy.
Progressives adopted the moral relativism of Utilitarianism and the loyalty to the state apparatus of the Historicists. Progressives desired the administrative state that Hegel called for in governments.
This new philosophy became very popular. Gradually it came to dominate our public school system and in law schools. (Ulysses S. Grant’s education commissioner was a Hegel Historicist.) More and more leaders in the country believed the Progressive ideas and worked to move their goals forward. These political leaders slowly but surely developed the administrative state and attached it, bit by bit, to the existing structure of the federal government. Doing this effectively created a
fourth branch of government that our Founders had never intended.
This fourth branch, the bureaucracy, was given the power to create “rules” that had to be followed. In other words, it had the power to make laws. This has transformed the political basis of the United States by creating a statist government (strong, centralized government) rather than the federalism (a limited central government with a federation of individual states) created by our Founders. It also transformed the moral basis because the government no longer secures and defends our rights. Instead, it secures its powers over the people.
So, who makes the laws in the United States? According to the Constitution, the Legislature makes the laws. It is the only part of the Federal Government empowered by the people to make laws. But now, thanks to the Progressives, we have an Executive Branch that makes laws, a Judicial Branch that makes laws and a bureaucracy, an unofficial branch, that makes laws. These changes violate the separation of powers, diminish the power of the Legislature and enhance the power of the Executive and Judicial Branches. By their very nature, the Judicial Branch and the administrative state are unaccountable and unresponsive to the people. The same is true of this particular Executive/President. …to be continued.