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‘Voting The Bums Out’ A Failed Strategy

July 23, 2013 by  

‘Voting The Bums Out’ A Failed Strategy
PHOTOS.COM

I’ve got some news for you.

There is absolutely nothing from the Founding Fathers — and I mean nothing — in which they said your No. 1 course of action in response to massive, repeated Constitutional violations should be to “vote the bums out.”

They never said that. Nowhere. Ever.

For some reason, though, opponents of endless Federal power seem to pull the “vote the bums out” card first. And a vast majority of them seem to have just that one card — and no others.

Wherever I speak around the country, voting the bums out is the first thing people tell me needs to be done to fix problems created by the Federal government. People everywhere back this up with their money. The 2012 elections saw about $6 billion spent.

Six billion dollars. Anyone who complains about how Congress spends money should be appalled at this utter waste of resources.

When Congress spends hundreds of dollars on a toilet seat, at least they get something to sit on.

When you spend your hard-earned money on Federal candidates who are going to reduce the size and scope of the Federal government, you get nothing. Zilch.

“Government today is bigger and more unConstitutional than it was before the last election.”

If you could travel through time, you could make that statement in any of the past 100 years and you’d almost never be wrong.

“Voting the bums out” has proven to be a complete and utter failure as a strategy.

Neighborhood Dining

Some people will tell you that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

While I doubt that people spending their hard-earned money on this proven failure are insane, there’s certainly something to be said here.

Let’s say you have a new restaurant open in your neighborhood. You give it a try; they treat you rudely and don’t even give you what you ordered. They serve you something completely different and refuse to fix it. After talking with your neighbors, you learn that every one of them had the same experience there.

You probably wouldn’t give them your money again, would you?

Well, maybe the owners want to give it another try. They hire a new manager, walk around the neighborhood, door-to-door, apologizing for the horrible treatment and making great promises about service, better prices and higher quality.

OK, you think, time to give these people another chance; they’re human, after all.

The second time you go there, it’s worse.

Again, they bring you food you never ordered and refuse to correct the mistake. They spill food on your clothes and then force you to pay them to clean it. And after you leave, they double-charge your credit card, too.

I can guarantee that even if you got to the second try, there would never be a third.

Congressional Appetite

But for some odd reason, even though each and every one of us deals with this kind of treatment (well, much worse, actually) from the Federal government, there’s more than a second try or even a third. Way more.

After watching government grow every year for our entire life, millions of us pour our hearts, souls and money into the next person who promises to fix things.

These bums, and the new bums who replace them once in a while, have an insatiable appetite for money and power. They often sound like underdogs, make wonderful promises about all the good they’ll do, and they never have enough of your money.

Occasionally, you get someone who’s the real deal. He is an honest person. He will work hard to do the right thing. And he will do everything he can to move the Federal government closer to the Constitution.

Even when a few good people get elected, they fail.

Here’s the hard truth. It doesn’t matter what political party is in power in Washington, D.C., or what person is in charge in the White House; Federal power always grows and your liberty is always less. This is how things have gone for at least 100 years.

The Recipe

Even though government schools will never teach you how to limit government power, the Founders did, in fact, offer solutions.

No, there’s no silver bullet. No one’s riding in on a white horse to save you in the way people view Presidential candidates. And, no, those unaccountable, politically connected lawyers who make up the Supreme Court aren’t going to fix things either. They work for the organization that’s violating your rights more than any in the world: the Federal government. They’re part of the problem, too.

James Madison, generally regarded as the “father of the Constitution,” was pretty direct about what should be done. He wrote the following in Federalist No. 46:

Should an unwarrantable measure of the federal government be unpopular in particular States, which would seldom fail to be the case, or even a warrantable measure be so, which may sometimes be the case, the means of opposition to it are powerful and at hand. The disquietude of the people; their repugnance and, perhaps refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union, the frowns of the executive magistracy of the State; the embarrassment created by legislative devices, which would often be added on such occasions, would oppose, in any State, very serious impediments; and were the sentiments of several adjoining States happen to be in Union, would present obstructions which the federal government would hardly be willing to encounter.

James Madison said that when the Federal government passes an unConstitutional measure — or even if it passes something that’s totally Constitutional, but still unpopular — there are ways to successfully resist it.

Notice that Madison didn’t mention a single thing about elections or voting bums out.

Nothing.

He did, however, point to methods which are “powerful and at hand.” Two prominent examples that you should be doing today:

“Refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union.”

Use “legislative devices” to create “very serious impediments.”

Madison also told us that if several adjoining States would do the same, it would make things extremely difficult for the Feds to deal with.

Judge Andrew Napolitano has said virtually the same recently, that a State refusing to comply would make Federal laws “nearly impossible to enforce.”

I happen to agree.

What Now?

We’ve all got extremely limited time, resources and money. It’s important to try to have the biggest bang for the buck when it comes to the Constitution and your liberty.

Let’s say, for example, you have one hour a week to dedicate to an effort and $100 a year to donate.

If you’re knocking on doors trying to help someone win a congressional primary race, or if you’ve donated your $100 to a 2016 Presidential candidate, you’ve already lost.

Instead, you could dedicate one hour per week to following Madison’s advice. You could work to advance legislation in your State, county, city or town that would, by law, require a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” on a specific issue, as Madison advised.

Stop pouring your time and money into the siren song of Federal election campaigns. Voting the bums out is a failed strategy.

If your goal is the Constitution, it’s high time that you started following Madison’s advice on how to get there.

Your country needs you. Your community needs you. Your family needs you. Liberty needs you. The time to act is now.

–Michael Boldin

Michael Boldin

is the founder and executive director of the Tenth Amendment Center. Michael has a full schedule working as senior editor of the Center's website, writes a regular column, fields media interviews, and travels the country (when invited, of course) to speak to crowds about sticking to the Constitution — every issue, every time, no exceptions, no excuses. [send him email]

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