Monday, July 19, 2010

The Right, the Left and the 10th Amendment

File this one under "Establishment gets Nervous when Left & Right Unite on 10th Amendment."

The July/August 2010 edition of Mother Jones magazine has a short piece entitled "If at First you Don't Secede," but what catches your eye is the cartoon graphic of three guys standing arm in arm. The guy on the far left, the placement is no mistake I'm sure, is a hippy with a head-band, long hair, goatee, rainbow tie-dyed shirt who is giving the peace sign. The guy on the right, is a jug-headed, broad-shouldered, buzz-cut with a ball cap on wearing camo pants, a T-shirt with the rattle-snake & "Don't tread on me" holding what looks like an M-16 machine gun with a scope. .... and who is that between them? A native of Wisconsin named Michael Boldin, founder of the California "Tenth Amendment Center."

OK.... A lefty peace-nic, a hard-core right-winger and this guy in the middle. LOOKs like grist for the thesis that GDAE Podcast has been exploring the past couple of months.

Mother Jones describes Boldin as being inspired by the likes of Michael Moore and a reader of .... Mother Jones magazine. He got politically active as an opponent of Bush's invasion of Iraq. Now Michael Boldin is finding common cause with people on the right.

The brief July/Aug Mother Jones piece describes Boldin giving a talk at a conservative convention in Georgia last February celebrating the 10th Amendment of the US Constitution. That's the one that simply says that if the Constitution didn't give a particular power to the federal government, then it either resides with states or the people: That is, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States, respectively, or to the people."

It's worth saying that drilling down to the US Constitution is a recurring theme of the Left/Right thesis being explored by this podcast. That's because discussions about the fundamentals often lead back to the foundational law, that is, the US Constitution or state constitutions.

So, Michael Boldin gives this speech in Georgia that exposes run-away power at the federal level, some of it wielded by corporate agents that have wrested control of the levers of government I might add.

In his talk, Boldin shares the famous story of a depression era farmer who was ordered by the US Government to destroy 12 acres of grain in violation of a federal government cap on grain production. The grain production cap was intended to help stop the plummeting grain prices by restricting supply .... that basic supply & demand economics thing. The concept was logical, but the federal government's implementation was a bit over-zealous in the case of Roscoe Filburn after whom a famous Supreme Court decision is named.

The Supreme Court sided with the federal government... Michael Boldin argues that this Supreme Court decision conflicts with the 10th Amendment. My view of this is that the Supreme Court is a creature of the elite establishment, an establishment that inclines toward both royalist and corporate elements... the contemporary term for "royalist" would be "Executivist," i.e., those who promote giving power to the executive... the president. It's the same bloodline as the people who sided with the British crown, or if not the "British" crown, an American crown rather than a president who's powers were "checked" and "balanced" by other power centers.... like the people acting through the House of Representatives.

So, as an agent of the establishment, it isn't a surprise that the the Supreme Court sided with the establishment in the Filburn Depression era case. This general insight about the Supreme Court is a shared view among the left & right wing people in the thesis I'm exploring. I wouldn't say, however, that there is agreement on this particular issue of Filburn, but it is a topic where principled people on the left and right can discuss and learn from each other in a civil way that has important connections with other issues that need to be debated.

During his talk, Michale Boldin said,

Whether it's marijuana, gay marriage, health care, the size of your toilet.... We demand adherence to the Constitution, every time, every issue, no excuses, no exceptions!

Apparently the crowed gave a nice 'round of applause for that line.

Interviewed right after his talk, Boldin was pumped-up saying,

I was actually able to say the words "gay marriage" in Georgia and no one booed.

Mother Jones reports that "A woman in a militia T-shirt came over to compliment him. After she walked away, Boldin shook his head, saying

I don't even know how to touch that one.

I know how to touch it. It's just another validation of the the left/right thesis ... there is a hunger for honesty among active Americans on the left and right... an honesty that exposes the wealth and power hoarding of a small minority of Americans... an honesty that exposes the way this minority successfully rigs the system that they like to call a democracy. That hunger for honesty is going to expose the likes of Glenn Beck and many others when the sleeping giant of the principled right and left leaning Americans re-discover that they actually have a lot of things in common.


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