Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty

“An Old Whig” Saw Where We Were Headed

December 23, 2010 by  

The Founders envisioned a nation with a Federal government that had limited authority, weakened by its division into three branches: legislative, executive and judicial. They believed that the weaker and more inefficient Federal government was the greater would be liberty and freedom.

In Federalist No. 45, James Madison wrote:

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.

Of course, that vision was soon lost in a Supreme Court that was packed with progressives — yes, they existed even in the 18th Century as followers of Jean-Jacques Rousseau — by John Adams and a Congress that followed the natural progression of man. For, as Lord John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton said, “Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

For each law that it passed that exceeded its authority and that either went unchallenged or, if challenged, was upheld by the Supreme Court, Rousseau socialists in Congress sought to pass two more.

The result has been a creep of growing socialism — accelerated by President Woodrow Wilson — which finally climaxed with the passage of Obamacare in 2010. Even though a majority of Americans opposed the bill, Rousseau socialists rammed it through anyway; telling Americans it was for their own good and they would like it once they understood it.

Of course, Americans understood it perfectly, and that is why they objected.

As the 111th Congress winds down, its leaders continue to try and force Rousseau socialism upon us. Unfortunately many Republicans, and many Americans for that matter, have fallen into the trap of Rousseau socialism. They seek to make government more efficient and have it care for the needs of all. The result is the loss of liberty under an increasingly strong Federal government and the loss of state sovereignty.

There were some who saw this coming. In AntiFederalist No. 46, an unknown writer who called himself “An Old Whig” warned about where the nation was headed based upon his understanding of the proposed (at that time) Constitution and his experience with and understanding of government. In writing about the last paragraph in Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, he said:

My object is to consider that undefined, unbounded and immense power which is comprised in the following clause — "And to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this constitution in the government of the United States; or in any department or offices thereof." Under such a clause as this, can anything be said to be reserved and kept back from Congress? Can it be said that the Congress have no power but what is expressed? "To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper" — or, in other words, to make all such laws which the Congress shall think necessary and proper — for who shalt judge for the legislature what is necessary and proper? Who shall set themselves above the sovereign? What inferior legislature shall set itself above the supreme legislature? To me it appears that no other power on earth can dictate to them, or control them, unless by force; and force, either internal or external, is one of those calamities which every good man would wish his country at all times to be delivered from. This generation in America have seen enough of war, and its usual concomitants, to prevent all of us from wishing to see any more of it — all except those who make a trade of war. But to the question — without force what can restrain the Congress from making such laws as they please? What limits are there to their authority? I fear none at all. For surely it cannot be justly said that they have no power but what is expressly given to them, when by the very terms of their creation they are vested with the powers of making laws in all cases — necessary and proper; when from the nature of their power, they must necessarily be the judges what laws are necessary and proper.

The Old Whig was quite prescient.

Bob Livingston

is an ultra-conservative American and author of The Bob Livingston Letter™, founded in 1969. Bob has devoted much of his life to research and the quest for truth on a variety of subjects. Bob specializes in health issues such as nutritional supplements and alternatives to drugs, as well as issues of privacy (both personal and financial), asset protection and the preservation of freedom.

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to ““An Old Whig” Saw Where We Were Headed”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at

  • http://none Mike

    The wisdom of our founding fathers carried forward into today.Almost profetic and to think that was 240+ years ago? People who do not study history are doomed to repet it.Mike L.

  • Irwin

    If the socialists continue to change our history as they have been doing, we will not repeat history we will simply be thrown completely under the bus. People had better wake up and stop looking for handouts from the feds. The hand that feeds you controls you.

    Merry Christmas to all and their families, while there are still families. IRWIN L.

  • newspooner

    Always advocate lower taxes, less government, and more individual freedom. There is no other way for a prosperous society to survive.

  • FlaJim

    Where we started going downhill was when the Supreme Court of the US decided it was superior to both of the other branches of government in the early 19th century. The only person who ever challenged it was Andrew Jackson.

    Today, we have judges all over who either thwart the will of the people, make up the rules as they go along, or simply legislate from the bench.

    I propose that all judges be given a test on constitutional matters each year they’re in office and the passing grade should be no lower than 90%. I’ll settle for 85% for legislators.

  • Ted R. Weiland

    This is what comes from a document that with its restriction of Christian tests oaths, as per Article 6, threw out any chance of installing men who are biblically qualified.

    For a list of those biblical qualifications and more regarding this inherent, mandated travesty, see “Article 2: Executive Usurpation” at

    • Vigilant

      “This is what comes from a document that with its restriction of Christian tests oaths, as per Article 6, threw out any chance of installing men who are biblically qualified.”

      Judging from the URL link you provided, you are an advocate of religious tests for assuming office. It’s obvious you would prefer a Christian theocracy based on literal interpretation of the Bible, i.e., a repressive regime that would take us into a Sharia law-like set of punishments and executions for relatively minor offenses.

      You are obvously ignorant of the fact that the Constitution never banned religious tests for office-holding at state level, and a number of states actually had those tests well into the 19th century. The Founders wisely provided us with religious freedom, but you would return us to a day where half of the populace in the US would be stoned to death for committing adultery or not believing in the Christian God.

      I truly feel sorry for you.

  • jimmy joe

    It is the pledge Of Our Founding Fathers found In The Declaration Of Independence that Offend the democrat party,And those,False prophet,False doctrine,”We need A bigger party,not A purer Party elitist establishment Independents,libertarians,And republicans”Which Is political spin for character,honor,truth,ethics,values/morals,the constitution,The bill of rights,The declaration of Independence,Rule of law,your word,oath,Or bond doesn’t matter;And(JESUS CHRIST)Is not allowed.What offends them more than anything is;”WE ARE ENDOWED BY OUR CREATOR”,And judeo-Christian principals.They follow”LUCIFERS LAWS”Which exalts their will above God,Above humanity,Above human life,Above human liberty,Above civil,and human rights,And above truth,justice equality,And the american way.These Same ANTI-CHRIST leaders.Would gladly boil children In wesson oil,Just to get the cannible vote;Jimmy Joe/”The Liarfryer”

  • George Halepis

    Folks, you’ve all missed the whole point. Sadly, the problem started when the Federalists won out over the Anti-Federalists, such as Patrick Henry and Thomas Paine. They foresaw the problems that would be created by the Constitution establishing a central, FEDERAL government. After all, the states had been functioning under the Articles of Confederation. Sure they had problems. Do you know any society that doesn’t? But they were miniscule compared to the mess we have today which can be traced back to the very existence of the Federal government. The only hope that we have is for the states to implement the principle of nullification to roll back the Federal monstrosity.

    • Ted R. Weiland

      George, add to this that virtually none of the predictions of the Federalists have come true and nearly all of the predictions of the Anti-Federalist have come true.

      Nevertheless, from a biblical standpoint, even the Articles of Confederation were a departure from biblical law, and, therefore, the problem began even before the Anti-Federalists joining the Federalists.


      • Vigilant

        That URL link is disgusting. I looked at just the comments on the 13th Amendment, and it is clear that the author advocates a return to segregation and racial purity.

    • Vigilant

      Learn a little about history before you diss the Constitution and federalism. The Articles of Confederation were woefully inadequate in getting anything done that needed to be accomplished by the central government. Can there be any doubt that we would now have two or more nations on our soil as a result of nullification, secession, etc., had the Articles remained in force (Re: slavery)?

      How would you like not knowing what sort of highways, bridges or other infrastructure would await you as you entered a new state? How would you fund a national armed force when some states’ contributions would be close to nothing (e.g., leftist CA and NY)? How about the damaging effects of trade wars between the states?

      Anti-Federalist “Old Whig” was writing before the Bill of Rights was added, and his take on Congress showed an obvious ignorance of the checks and balances put in place by the Constitution. The Founders gave us a flawed document, but it was a damn sight more equitable than the Articles, and provided for our national security much better than the Articles would have.

      I hear the logic behind a return to states’ rights under Amendments 9 and 10, and I certainly recognize that the reach of the central government has exceeded all Constitutional limits, but it has been the PEOPLE who passed the 17th Amendment reducing the power of the states in the Senate.

      Likewise, it has been the Siren call of progressivism that has influenced the selfish and greedy votes of the opportunistic, indolent, lazy and immoral in this country. In short, we have done it to ourselves. A return to the Articles of Confederation would stoke the old “South will rise again” nonsense and create enclaves of liberal and conservative state alliances destructive to our very security.

      No sir, we need to reverse the unconstitutional excesses of Federal government (all branches), and return to the Constitutional restrictions, checks and balances that made this the greatest nation in history. Restoration of the Articles would invite disaster.

  • patriot 2010

    YOur article is excellent. The problem that I have is how do I get the masses-r-asses to get their heads out of the dark place(s) that they continue to lodge them (in)? I lecture about words and how the reader should question what the word truly means and how the writer or speaker is using the word. I get some glassy-eyed stares as though I am saying something that is beyond their capability.

    I spent over thirty (30) years doing both intensive and extensive research into the taxing capability of the (alleged) government and I KNOW exactly what the Constitution is restricted and limited to, and what the intent of the lawmaker is because I have read the entire Congressional Record, a myriad of law articles, a preponderance of law books with regard to taxation – the U of Mich Law Library has an entire series of shelfs donated for a series of red-covered books that ramble on and on about what the income tax is and how it is intended. I quit filing in 1979 once I realized that I was NOT ‘one required’. After a couple of hassles both the irs and the state do not bother me since they cannot defend their erroneous position that ALL persons are liable for the income tax, when, in fact, ONLY those that are “doing business” for a ‘gain or profit’ are those entities that ARE required to file returns and pay an income tax on the profit that is derived from “doing business”. Many, so-called, tax gurus went to prison because they got excited over what they “thought” was the law, when, in fact, they only touched the surface of what the Statute(s) state, and what the intent of the lawmaker, the Congressional REcord, actually states.

    All of the above having been stated, we have been victims of the ‘tower of babel’ syndrome for hundreds of years, and with the modern concept of media control, the brain-wash, and the dumbing-down, has been accomplished much easier with thousands of think tanks providing a preponderance of information about mind control to both government and religion in order to ‘better control the minds of men’.

    On that note, I will close with the statement that you should continue to write and publish your articles because I appreciate them!

  • patriot 2010

    I agree with FlaJim 100%!

  • Effin Reed Tard


    Good thought provoking article !! I’m going to check out the anti-federalist papers.

  • Joanne Mortensen

    That theory is no longer true …WE have an ineficient Government and inefficient is only one discription of the mess they are making of this Country… where are our Freedoms going. we are over regulated, over taxed, and on the verge bankruptcy…This Government in it’s “inefficency” seems to think the Answer is Spend more Tax more, and regulate more…We have got to vote this group of criminals OUT of office…
    GOD Bless America… Let Freedom Ring


Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.