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When Winning Is Really Losing

October 7, 2011 by  

When Winning Is Really Losing

NOTE: The following is Michael Boldin’s “Tenther Rant” from episode 15 of Tenther Radio. Listen to the audio version at this link.

Recently, a long-time commenter on the website had this to say:

“Being a purist is generally another way of saying being a loser in a large Federation.”

This was in regards to the Presidential candidacy and foreign policy views of Ron Paul. The idea being that since Paul’s foreign policy ideas were, according to our commenter, far out of the current mainstream of Republican voters, that Paul needed to shift his positions to ensure the potential for being a winner.

When I respond here, I’m certainly not limiting my viewpoints to the candidacy of Ron Paul, to viewpoints on foreign policy, or anything else for that matter. Instead, I think this applies to everything politically.

Haven’t We Had Enough “Winners” In This Country?

For more than a century, we’ve had winners on the left, and winners on the right. And not a single one of them — not one — has followed the Constitution as they were supposed to, and as we at the Tenth Amendment Center demand — every issue, every time, no exceptions and no excuses.

The 10th Amendment was the exclamation point on the Constitution — reinforcing the fact that “We the People” of the several States created the Federal government. Not the other way around. And, we created that government to be our agent for certain, enumerated purposes… and nothing more.

James Madison — you might have heard his name associated with the moniker “Father of the Constitution” — put it this way:

“The powers delegated by the Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”

Few and defined?

Well, depending on how you count it, there are approximately 30 powers that have been delegated to the Federal government in the Constitution, most of which reside in Article I, Section 8.

Thirty powers. That’s all.

But, if you were somehow able to read through all of the U.S. Code and the Code of Federal Regulations, you would have to go through tens of thousands of pages of Federal laws and regulations. And it’s not like Presidents have been waging epic battles with Congress over the years, vetoing bill after bill and having those vetoes overridden. Instead, almost nothing gets vetoed. Even Ronald Reagan, the President that many Constitutionalists idolize as their champion, only vetoed 39 times in an eight-year period.

Five vetoes per year? Nah, no thanks. To me, that’s as good as zero.

At this point, what should a President do to stand up for the Constitution? If we want to err on the side of the Constitution, let’s keep it simple.

A Constitutional President should pretty much veto everything!

Take A Hike!

That’s what a Constitutional President would say to Congress on almost everything they pass.

And hopefully, this brings me back to my initial point — that it’s not OK to be a kinda-Constitutionalist. Or a mostly-Constitutionalist. Or what we almost always have, a partisan-Constitutionalist.

Whether they’re from the left or the right, conservative or liberal — or anywhere in between — all politicians claim to support and follow the Constitution. And every now and then, most of them say something right. But, it’s very little and there’s almost no consistency.

From both sides we’ve seen opposition to violations of your liberties on some issues, but not on others. We’ve seen opposition to some undeclared, unConstitutional wars, but not on others. We’ve seen support for limiting government actions in some areas, but not in others. And sadly, the support and opposition often changes based on which political party is holding power at a given time.

But that’s best left for another conversation.

The fact of the matter, though, is this — both sides have allowed, turned a blind eye to, and even actively promoted massive Constitutional violations for far too long.

Year in and year out, politicians tell us that there’s some kind of emergency, real or pretended, and they need to have new powers to prevent all kinds of horrors and death.

Corporate bailouts, Social Security, Environmental Regulations, the USA Patriot Act, the Department of Energy, Wars in Vietnam, Iraq and elsewhere, the Department of Education, massive military spending, the Department of Energy, foreign aid, the War on Drugs, FEMA, the FDA and too much more to list — have all been sold to us on fear. And all of them are unConstitutional.

When you allow politicians to bend the rules of the Constitution or break them outright — even if it’s for a good reason, or to hopefully stop some outcome YOU are afraid of — and you let them do it year in and year out for decades — sooner or later you’ll end up with politicians who feel that the rules, the Constitution that is, don’t apply at all.

And if we’re not already there today, we’re pretty damn close.

That’s why I vehemently reject our commenter’s opposition to being a purist. Oppose the ideas, maybe. Disagree with the principles, sure. But oppose a position because it might not be a winner? Never.

That’s why our motto here at the Tenth Amendment Center is so simple. The Constitution. Every issue, every time. No exceptions, no excuses.

I’m hoping that you, like me, are sick and tired of people who advocate winning above all else. “Winning” is what’s gotten us where we are today, and “winning” has really been losing for all of us.

Like my parents used to tell my brother and me when we fought as children — “you’re both wrong” — it’s time for people who love liberty to do the same to Democrats and Republicans alike.

Both sides have been wrong for far too long. And every day we tolerate it for the sake of winning, we add one more link to the chains of our own shackles.

–Michael Boldin

Dr. Michael Cutler

is a graduate of Brigham Young University, Tulane Medical School and Natividad Medical Center Family Practice Residency in Salinas, Calif. Dr. Cutler is a board-certified family physician with more than 20 years of experience. He serves as a medical liaison to alternative and traditional practicing physicians. His practice focuses on an integrative solution to health problems. Dr. Cutler is a sought-after speaker and lecturer on experiencing optimum health through natural medicines and founder and editor of Easy Health Options™ newsletter — a leading health advisory service on natural healing therapies and nutrients.

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  • Charles

    Thank you for what you do. Thank you!!!

    • Cheeky Monkey

      Amen brother. Time to hold all their feet to the fire and make them live up to their oath to “protect and defend the constitution”. Period!

      • Michael

        “They” haven’t for decades and We the People have allowed them to do was they damn well please. We are the ones at fault, not the lying, cheating, stealing people we allow to occupy the halls of government.

        • Pathfinder0100

          Well said Michael!! Well said.

        • Sandra Lee Smith

          This is true; and we’ve allowed our schools to become indoctrination centers for the socialist/communist left at the same time, instead of insuring children LEARN about our Constitution and Founding Fathers correctly. Also our faults; so we have this current mess.

          • marilyn cunningham

            and our President allowed himself to become indoctrinated while he was in school—he believed the wrong message, he was miseducated.

  • Monte

    Our founding document would never have been ratified if it was known to create what we live under today. And the Supreme Court is a very poor judge of what is or is not legal. To judge the legality of an illegal usurpation based on the precedent of an earlier illegal usurpation has to be one of the greatest examples of incompetence and corruption known to man.

    • Morduin00

      Very well said Monte.

      Great article. The burden of regulations need to be from the states, not the federal government. This would enable inter-state competition, help keep costs low, and provide citizens an opportunity to live where the feel they are served the best.

      Our founders wanted a LIMITED federal government and for very specific reasons. Not no federal government nor all federal government.

      The first ten amendments were agreed upon by our founders and to me, they are therefore part of the original document. Very few amendments afterward have very little use and unconstitutional. Especially that phrase that pops up starting with the 13th amendment: “Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.” Either that statement is redundant or unconstitutional. I vote for unconstitutional.

      I could go through the 13th-27th amendments and enumerate the changes I would make… but that would be more long-winded than I care to be.

  • Mark Are

    What can we expect when we let bunch of PSYCHOPATHS rule over us? To follow the law? To NOT rob us? To not burn down our churches with women and children inside? To not shoot women in the head while holding babies? To not rob, rape and pillage other nations? Hey, that’s what PSYCHOPATHS do. They don’t have a CONSCIENCE and from my observations, about 99% of those in government, down to the local level have no problem murdering you if you don’t pay a fine for wearing a seat belt.
    THAT is PSYCHOPATHIC behavior. Maybe that is what governments are…a way for the PSYCHOPATHS to control their food. US. The normal people.


  • Robin from Arcadia, IN

    How do we get back to ‘limited’ government? Is there a solution?

    • Maria

      To answer Robin in Arcadia: YES! There is a solution. Vote for Constitution Party Candidates and run as a Constitution Party Candidate in your local area such as for the School Board, Park Board, etc. THEN head for the higher State and Federal offices.

    • s c

      Robin, if America wasn’t so far into a toilet, I’d suggest that one of the keys to solving the problem would be to take as many kids out of public schools as is humanly possible (immediately). America has generations of non-thinkers who expect to feel their way through life.
      They’ve been told that their leaders will do their thinking for them. Some good examples of directionless, wasted lives are trying to publicly please their masters at this very moment on Wall Street. Sadly, other cities will have to endure this pre-scripted insanity.


      Elect Ron Paul the only one running for Pres. with a track record of supporting the Constitution 100%. Also his foreign policy of doing unto other countries as we would have them do unto us makes a lot more sense than killing whom ever we choose and occupying their country to enforce our will.

    • http://naver samurai

      Yes there is, fellow Hoosier and patriot. Have everyone that is elected go exactly by the Constitution, no straying from the path. Many libs would frown on this as many of their special pet programs like welfare, medicaid, food stamps, and other thing not authorized by the Constitution would be at an end. They should also go back to our founding principles of self reliance, personal responsibility, and the vigilance to ensure that government remains our servants and not our masters. FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

    • eyeswideopen

      Robin, take the money out of politics and you will have representation that hasn’t been bought! All you who believe so firmly in states rights, should be on board with the states paying for elections, then you don’t have influence of the lobbyists, as the politician doesn’t owe them a thing. Really a simple step, which would benefit everyone. Stop the corruption and get true representation!

      • MNIce

        Are you kidding? Do you really want state bureaucrats to decide who gets campaign funds and when, or how such funds may be spent? The possibilities for bureaucratic corruption and manipulation of campaigns under your scheme are enormous. What elected official will stop them, considering that said campaign finance agencies could cut off their re-election funds in retaliation? And what of the right of the people to support their candidates as they choose? Pooling funds to make your preference known is part of both the freedom of speech and the freedom to peaceably assemble. Your suggestion is contrary to the spirit and letter of the Constitution.

        No, if you want to get rid of the corrupting influence of money on politics, you must first get rid of the corrupting influence of politics on money. The electorate needs to impose severe consequences upon politicians who unlawfully meddle with the rights of the people, especially in the marketplace. Nobody will try to bribe a politician to do what he cannot do for fear of committing political suicide.

        It comes down to voters being responsible and choosing representatives who have as their first aim the preservation of the rights of the people, including the right to a government limited by law. As our nation’s founders observed, we cannot be too careful when inquiring into the reputation of those whom we would elect to office.

  • Deb

    Here’s someone with some commonsense. “Grandpa’s Recipe” by Charlie Allen:

  • Iris

    Dear Robin,
    Unfortunately, it is the way we got our Constitution to begin with, rebellion. Th wrong side is starting the rebellion thinking that they will win..and they might. Conservatives are pretty laid-back, BUT we do believe in the fourth amendment, among others, and should be able to win.

  • CP

    To all the above: Gentlemen, are you prepared to have to show a passport and travel papers every time you cross a state line? Are you prepared to be sent back home, even if you are traveling to see family in another part of the country, because all of a sudden, some state decides to close its borders to all citizens of the state YOU live in? IF we go back to the strict interpretation of the constitution as you see it, all of those situations and many more restrictive items would not only be legal, but would likely be mandated under various state laws until we became something more like the European Union.

    • Monte

      Have you ever once read the Constitution? Your comment suggests not. Where did you receive such an absurd idea? It refutes the entire history of our Confederated Republic.

      • eyeswideopen

        Monte, he must be listening to Rick Perry, who wrongly thinks that Texas can succeed. Rick Perry, is what happens when you have a professional, government paid employee for the past 30 yrs.

        • Wapitiman

          Are your ‘eyes wide open’? I think you mean secede. This seems to abrigate your next sentence. What does a man’s term in office have to do with his efficiency?

          • Wapitiman

            Oooops! I meant ‘abrogate’.

    • Bob Livingston

      Dear CP,

      This argument is non-sensical. Nothing of the sort ever occurred in the first 200 years of our nation’s history and there is no reason to believe it would happen now. Besides, the 14th Amendment wouldn’t allow it.

      Best wishes,

      • UnrepentantCurmudgeon

        Exactly, Bob. The writer seems to have confused the state of affairs under the Articles of Confederation with the changes made by the Constitution. The powers reserved to the states under the 10th Amendment are with respect to the federal government, not in antagonism to other states.

    • Stickwoman Red

      CP, your statement is false. It is remember, The “United States” of America, meaning united as one, thus our national motto, out of many come one. Our Founding Fathers meant for there to be State’s rights and very limited federal government, but nowadays it’s the opposite. Everything because twisted and repeated wrongly so much so, that it is now viewed as reality such as “separation of Church and State”. By now everyone knows this language appears no where in the Constitution or Declaration of Independence, yet everyone thinks that it does! So many things have been warped through the years and that’s exactly what the federal government wants so that its citizens stay ignorant of the real law and all this false government rules! People wake up and read the Constitution!!!

    • http://naver samurai

      Neeeeed to reread the Constitution and how this country was founded. Such an arguement is absurd and cannot be taken seriously. FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

  • Robert Walker

    Robin from Arcadia, IN.,
    There is a way to get back to limited government. It is very mild. A new rebellion is in full swing. It is an intellectual rebellion. The first thing is to examine each of the Candidates for any election in which you may legally vote. It doesn’t take much time. Find out what their voting record is/was if in office prior or currently. If not, take a look at all of the information available on the candidate. As far as possible, use independent sources. Any magazine articles etc. are a good place to start. You can join groups that are active and take part in their work, no matter what party. Getting involved is important. Set aside the amount of time it takes to watch a football game, and devote that much time each week to studying the issues. You will be as well informed, by the end of the season, as any of the talking heads in idiot land. The problem is that if you have any intellectual capacity, you will see how the lies are used to manipulate, and want to get more involved. It can be addictive. Thank you, Robert Walker

  • dan

    CP, would you prefer for the Feds to have that power at our national borders and airports for American Citizens but not Mexicans ,terrorists and Kenyans ? Your example is the ONLY right use of the interstate commerce clause…not whatever bureaucrats twist it into.Compromise
    the truth and all you get are lies.

  • Larry Pierson

    Go ahead and criticize Reagan for only five vetoes a year. The problem is that no President has line item veto, and unless he wants to shut down the government (and get raped, slammed dunked, and slandered by the press in the process) the President is going to have sign unwanted legislation into law.

    Bottom line is, the liberal press controls the budget, not the President, and not Congress.

    • eddie47d

      I do think the press can influence budgets but that does include the Conservative press whether on TV or print media. Conservatives have plenty of talking heads on radio telling folks how to think so they are also influencing what get’s voted on or what doesn’t get passed. Both Liberals and Conservative press outlets lean towards sensationalism although Liberals lean more to the emotional side.

  • slayerwulfe

    I read all the comments (always)The first thing I noticed this is not the country of your youth and I will add to that to include your understanding. The constitution wasn’t even followed by the people that wrote or who signed to it. Washington is preparing to leave Philadelphia because the British are coming to occupy. At this moment in history 23 persons that are of the population of my ancestry are made to march on foot to a prison in Virginia without trial, hearing, or even being charged with any crime. several of them died because of the hardship of the journey.
    If you want to know more, The Diary of Thomas Gilpin.
    You need more than an opinion to comment on complicated, and personally what people wanted 200 yrs. ago is not what I want.

    • crisscross

      We all err and if our offenses are serious there should be accountability. But those offenses should not distract us from aspiring under the guidance of our Constitutional principles.

      • http://naver samurai

        Well said! FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

    • http://naver samurai

      So? I have documentation that shows I had family members on both sides of the Civil War, so should I say that my southern part of the family was wrong in what they did? FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

  • James

    The John Birch Society has been proclaiming the method that we can use to legally, lawfully and consistently return to the limited government which was the legal basis of this country. When I heard the extreme slander of the JBS a number of years ago, I checked them out to be sure I didn’t get caught in their web somewhere. The more I learned, the more I realized that it was the enemies of our nation in the media who was launching the attack, and I ended up joining an helping all that I could. They are headquartered in Appleton, Wis. and they have a fantastic magazine in the style of “Time” or “Newsweek” entitle, “The New American,” P. O. Box 8040, Appleton 54912. Online order:

    • Christine

      I have also been impressed by the John Birch people & publications and can’t understand the slander (except for the fact that the media slanders anyone speaking the truth). I strongly recommend their publication “The New American”. I have learned a lot from reading it.

  • s c

    Picking and choosing ‘good’ and ‘bad’ presidents is akin to a national sport. Making sure that justices who rightfully belong on the Supreme goes to the heart of the matter, Michael and PLD readers.
    Wannabe S C justices who are already brainwashed or who have been artificially ‘molded’ are those who are not fit to be on the S C. If they
    don’t understand the Constitution, or if they hate the Constitution or if they think they will own a part of the S C, then those are the ones who need to be singled out, eliminated from consideration or removed.
    And, those who would put such subhumans on the S C need their own ‘motivation’ NOT to commit such a crime. FDR comes to mind. Far too many people consider that sleaze a ‘good’ prez. He was far worse than a sleaze. Only historical revisionists and their lemmings could think otherwise.

    • Monte

      Unfortunately, most of what we consider history today is slanted, usually to the Marxist left. A retired history professor I know says if he were entering the field today he would not make tenure without toeing the Marxist line. Facts can be ‘cherry-picked’ to prove almost anything. I try to choose history books written before the Marxist revolution of the 60′s. Many are out of print (why?) and not likely to be found in what we call ‘education’. There are a few recent books that deserve merit, but you have to be very careful as most deserve no merit other than as propaganda tools.

  • don

    what do we do if the social security program is declared unconstitutional. where i live there used to be a very big brick house. it was called the poor farm. old people went there when they got old. they had a garden and i imagine cattle pigs and chickens and they worked it. this was before the age of social security. if our government lived with in its means and left social security alone it would have been healthy. and well funded. they stole most of the money people were counting on to get them through the rest of their lives. something they paid into forever. now its gone and its been declared unconstitutional. i’d almost bet that the great robbery of the people of these funds are’nt constitutional though. all of congress should have been prosucuted for felony theft. right now our deductions from our checks are included in the money coming into the goverment. does that mean that none is making it into the social security fund. our children and grandchildren are going to have fun paying more to support all the baby boomers. ooff the subject, i feel the mational debt is not constitutional neither.probly thake 10 generations to pay off our goverments wasteful spending if we don’t go totally bankruptwithmoney that is nothigng but scrap paper thats not even worth a penny. . thats about 700 years. forever.

    • James

      Don, The Social Security Act was challenged as being unconstitutional, in Helvering v. Davis, 301 U.S. 619 (1937). Davis believed S.S. Taxes were set aside for benefits (like FDR said they would be. However, the Court said: “Title VIII…lays two different types of taxes, an ‘income tax on employees,’ and ‘an excise tax on employers.’…The proceeds of both taxes are to be paid into the Treasury like internal-revenue taxes generally, and are not earmarked in any way. Title II…creates an account in the U.S. Treasury to be known as the ‘Old-Age Reserve Account.’ No present appropriation, however, is made to that account. All that the statute does is to authorize appropriations annually thereafter.”
      If S.S. taxes had been ‘earmarked’ for benefits, the High Court would have held the Act unconstitutional. I know that sounds strange, but just prior to that, in U.S. v. Butler (1936), the Court had held that FDR’s Agricultural Adjustment Act was unconstitutional because it taxed one group for the benefit of another, with non of the revenue being used to support the government. Had the S.S. Act been written likewise, it would also have been shot down.

  • DaveH

    Correct me if I’m wrong but 39 vetoes were only the regular vetoes for Reagan. He also had 39 pocket vetoes for a total of 78 Vetoes:

    • Wapitiman

      George Bush exercised only 12 vetoes in his last three years. The first five years…zip!
      Perhaps he never saw a bill he disagreed with. Is this, or is this not, a statistical anomaly?

  • Jerome Bigge

    All of the Republicans now running for President with the exception of Ron Paul will “grow government”. All the Republicans running for President with the exception of Ron Paul favor American “imperialism”. All the Republicans running for President with the exception of Ron Paul support our “War on Drugs” which has created corruption among law enforcement, filled our prisons with people whose only crime was violation of our drug laws. not offenses against persons or property which should be the only legal basis for any law. Ron Paul also opposes prescription laws which are a major source of the monopoly that doctors hold over the supply of medicine. Ron Paul believes in “freedom”. Those other Republicans on the stage in the debates do not believe in Freedom! Only Ron Paul does!

  • Average Joe

    I have posted this on more than one occassion, but it is still worth saying:

    If it weren’t such a serious matter, it would be almost funny…listening to everyone complaining that this candidate did this…or that candidate did that ( as if the things that they complain about is something new….they aren’t).
    Then, when anyone points out that there is one candidate out of the whole batch ( both sides)….who has never done any of these things, who has always been honest, forthright and a defender of the Constitution….someone who has stood up for smaller, less intrusive government, sound currency and personal freedoms…….everyone goes wild … calling the man everything except…a viable candidate.
    Why is that? It is obvious to me ( as it should be to everyone
    else) that what we have been doing….ISN”T WORKING…..and maybe…just maybe, it’s time to take a new approach to the way this nation is beng run. Maybe, just maybe it’s time to stop electing “business as usual” “mainstream” candidates….who continue to run our nation into the ground while ignoring the will of the people and ignore the Constitution.
    If we were to elect Dr. Ron Paul, could he really be any worse than what we’ve had over the last 40+ years (both sides)?
    If we were to elect him and he doesn’t make changes that positively affect our nation….can we not vote him out in another 4 years?

    Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over…and expecting to get a different result.
    Isn’t it time that we stopped the insanity?
    While I am not asking anyone to vote for any particular candidate, I will ask that you spend more time actually looking into all of the candidates’ backgrounds ( voting records, campaign finances…who they’ve made deals with etc.). learn everything you can about the candidates (not the MSM talking heads versions…do the research yourselves), so that on election day….you can make an informed decision about who you want to represent you in government….Remember, what they do is a direct reflection on us…..if they do foolish things….it makes us look like we elected foolish people….which means we look like fools for electing them in the first place.
    I don’t know about anyone else, but I am tired of the insanity and will be casting my vote for Ron Paul.
    You can say that I am wasting my vote….well , I guess that’s OK….it is after all…MY….vote……It doesn’t belong
    to any party or candidate….it belongs to me …to cast as my conscience dictates.
    I hope eveyone makes informed decisions concerning our future as a

    The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.
    John F. Kennedy

  • Lavant

    All I can say is our nation is so divided ,because people will not unite to make it what it was under GOD my fellow christians are numb they fear man more then GOD.It use to be one nation under GOD now they have allowed The Presidents statement come true.And none christians alike bring back our constitution.Its not about winners its about our constitution which made our nation so strong but which has been made weak in the world.We have lost being a great nation something to deal with when a nation tries to destroy her.Now we must fear the unknown which is comeing our way

  • Marion

    As long as candidates can be elected by TV ads, we will never know
    what they are “for”, or even if they are qualified to execute the
    duties of the Presidential office. Just because they “say” something
    doesn’t mean they “know” what they’re talking about, or if they have
    been successful in any phase of life. It should be imperitive for a
    candidate to visit States and cities, townhall meetings and elaborate
    their platform, promise to follow through and resign if they do not
    comply. The Texas Republican Govenor is actually a Democrat running as a Republican. He was Al Gore’s Texas campaign manager when Al Gore ran for president. He has ties to BiG Pharma and mandated vaccines for little girls with the Gardisil vaccine, as his former
    Attorney General was appointed to the Merck Labs. Find it all out at
    Alex Jones website ” ”

  • Glen Xx

    Election 2012

    Patriots RINOs

    Ron Paul Scary Perry Willard Romney

    Michele B. Hermi The FRB shill Cain

    And Newt G. the book seller

    Hello, America first

    Ron Paul 2012 No country can prosper in a time of war. Stop
    the wars and restore prosperity, end debt slavery.

  • Banburizmuz

    A great and informative article.

    But I disagree with one of the author’s points: massive military spending.

    This is one of the 30 powers delegated to the federal government under our Constitution.

    And if all the other non-Constitutional crap was cut, then a massive outlay for military needs would not be a burden on America’s finances and we would be prepared to fight our enemies.

    • James

      Banburi…If you are talking about the power to declare war, that was delegated to Congress, not the federal government. When President Obama attacked Lybia, he had no authority whatever from Congress. He did it on his own, and only a few congressmen fussed about it. The Constitution has been scrapped.

  • James

    Has any president vetoed a Bill because he thought it was unconstitutional?


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