Bernie Kunkel

 

Rand Paul has “Gone Washington”

On July 25th, 2014, I attended a meeting with U.S. Senator Rand Paul and selected leaders of the Tea Party and liberty leaders in the counties of Boone, Kenton, Campbell, and Grant in Kentucky. There were about 30 people in attendance along with the 7 person entourage of Rand Paul. Senator Paul said he was working on repatriating taxes from American companies overseas by getting them tax breaks to come back home. He said that the terror group ISIS is flourishing in part because America’s policies in Iraq created a space for them. Rand said he opposes sending troops back into Iraq. He also said that we must secure our border with Mexico and that 11 million people are coming to our Country illegally.

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Photo: AP

After Rand gave a brief update of his recent activities in DC he said he would take questions. I was called on first and stood up and started by telling Rand that we always pray for him and that we thank him most sincerely for his many votes and amendments defending the U.S. Constitution. I told him, however, that he is undoing all the good he has done by supporting Mitch McConnell. I reminded Rand that he told me many years ago that he was most saddened by the Patriot Act. I explained that McConnell has always supported the Patriot Act and that, a few years ago, he voted with most of the other Senators to make the Patriot Act provisions permanent and then stated that this legislation was very needed and said that it doesn’t even go far enough. McConnell even said that there is nothing in the Patriot Act that is unconstitutional. I held up my copy of the Constitution and said that the Patriot Act completely violated the 4th Amendment and others. And how can anyone say otherwise when there were 50,000 “no knock raids” in the United States just last year alone. I reminded Rand of all the innocent people affected due to attacks by our militarized police at wrong addresses, flash grenades being tossed into homes and maiming children, etc.

I further told Rand that he is “Tea Party goes to Washington” and why would he be with liberal Republican Senator Lamar Alexander in Tennessee over a year ago for the express purpose of discouraging a Tea Party candidate to run against Senator Alexander. I told Rand that when one supports bad Republicans that it just makes them worse. I asked Rand why he would go to Maine over three months ago to speak at a Republican gathering and tell the people there that he wholeheartedly supports the re-election of their liberal Republican Senator Susan Collins in Maine, and that “she has done a good job for the people of Maine.”  And I reminded Rand that even the reporters were surprised and asked him after the  speech why he was supporting Susan Collins who supports NSA surveillance and has voted for NDAA and Patriot Act that Rand Paul fights against. Rand told the reporters that they would “have to ask Senator Susan Collins about that.”

I also got after Rand for not helping Tea Party candidate Chris McDaniel in his race against 41 year liberal incumbent Senator Thad Cochran down in Mississippi.  I told Rand that it makes me sick that Mitch McConnell raised $825,000 for Senator Cochran to use in the June 24th Republican Run-Off election that Cochran barely won. Establishment Republican money went to bribe liberal Democrats to vote for Cochran and I pointed out to Rand that envelopes with cash were handed out to people who promised to vote for Cochran in this open primary. I also told Rand that his flippant remark in the newspapers about how he is “in favor of more people voting not less” was a slap in our faces considering all the vote buying and other despicable tactics engaged in by the Republican Establishment. I further got after Rand for his recent talk of “minimizing” the pro-life movement in order to build a bigger Republican tent full of voters. I reminded him how he coveted the endorsement of Northern Kentucky Right To Life four years ago when he ran for Senate and how I put my reputation on the line by helping him to procure that endorsement. And now NKRTL has written to him for a clarification of his statements and he doesn’t even answer their letter. (Rand did point out that he met with NKRTL the day before our meeting).  I found out from Fred Summe of NKRTL that his board only met with Doug Stafford and Rachel McCubbin and not Rand. Fred Summe tells me that Stafford and McCubbin tried to assure NKRTL that their issues are still paramount in Rand’s mind. According to Fred, NKRTL believes Rand has gotten bit by the presidential bug and he now wants to be all things to all people.

Bottom line is that I told Rand he is not the same person that we so strongly supported. I reminded Rand of what he said to Jack Conway in the Senate debates four years ago when Conway was lying about Rand and doing all sorts of horrendous things in order to win for U.S. Senate.  Rand looked at Conway and  said: “What would it profit a man to gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his eternal soul?”

I told Rand that I now throw that same line on him. I also told him that we do NOT want him to lose his soul. While Rand insisted otherwise, his actions prove that he is comfortable with the Senate status quo in Washington and that he just wants Republicans re-elected. He said it was better to work with someone who agrees with him 30% of the time rather than a Democrat who might be only with him 5% of the time. Rand said that I was bashing him unfairly, that he took an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution and that I was not naming even one vote he has made that I disagreed with. I shot back that there were several, including his vote to confirm John Kerry as our Secretary of State. He did not want to hear anything further from me.   I do hope I made Rand reflect on the course he is taking.


Mr. Massie goes to Washington

massie122012Recently, our 4th Congressional District, Kentucky Representative Thomas Massie, said Congress should focus on reasserting “its power of the purse,­ an explicit authority the Constitution gives Congress to keep the Executive in check.”  Congressman Massie is on point and our Country will benefit greatly when more members of the House of Representatives follow his instruction.

The U.S Constitution is the original contract with America. It is the job description for all our federal elected officials.  All of our elected officials swear to uphold the U.S Constitution, but precious few follow through on their pledge.

To the extent our government is guided by the Constitution we have done extremely well. However, for many decades now, America has moved away from our guiding document and all the Constitutional restraints that America’s brilliant founders devised to keep government in check.

It was adherence to the principles of our Constitutional government that made America strong and prosperous and the envy of the entire world. Think about this folks. Our Country comprises only 5% of the world’s population and we are the most fortunate 5% on the planet. This is why we must continue to fight tenaciously to maintain our freedoms and way of life that is under vicious attack by the “Obama Administration” as well as by many Establishment “Republicans”.

So, what is this “Constitutional Government” that I mention?  We will dwell on Article I, Section 8 of our venerable Constitution.  This is the most important listing of Congressional Powers.

Article I-Section 8, specifies the powers limited to those listed and those that are “necessary and proper” to carry them out.

4-a08b7All other lawmaking powers are left to the individual States. As the “Father of the U.S. Constitution” James Madison explained: “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. … The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives and liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the State.”

The First Congress was still concerned that the limited nature of the federal government was not clear enough in the original Constitution so they adopted the Tenth Amendment, which reserves to the States, or to the people, all the powers not specifically granted to the federal government.

The most important of the specific that the Constitution enumerates is the power to set taxes, tariffs, and other means of raising federal revenue and to authorize the expenditure of all federal funds. In addition to the tax powers in Article I, the 16th amendment authorized Congress to establish a national income tax. The national income tax, implemented in 1913, went against our Founders’ original intent. Federal income taxes were proposed and implemented earlier in U.S history, but were always struck down as unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The power to appropriate federal funds is known as the “power of the purse”. It gives Congress great authority over the executive branch, which must appeal to Congress for all its funding. The federal government borrows money by issuing bonds. This creates a National Debt, which the United States is obligated to repay.

Since at least 1975, famous scholars and political scientists throughout the Western World have been proclaiming that “democracy” is dying. Many cite the decline of the United States as a major cause. And when we hear of the remedies of these experts, they warn that “we can’t go back to a simpler world.” First of all, we are a Republic and not a Democracy, but that is the subject for a different article.

There are grave undertones and connotations in the warning for Americans that “we can’t go back to a simpler world.”  Ever since Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in the mid- 1930’s, equated the governmental principles in the Constitution with a “horse and buggy” society, we began to confuse principles and material goods in our thinking. The buggy is outmoded, but political principles are eternal. Neither time nor new technology alters them.

The complexity of social organization does indeed change. Our technologically sophisticated industrial society is much more complex than the agrarian society of America in the 1700’s. In this regard, that was “a simpler world.”

But the complexities of politics (and politics here meaning the science of governing) do not change much. The basic political problems confronting the Framers of our Constitution were as complex as our political problems today- perhaps more so, because they were striking off into the dangerous unknown, whereas all we need to do is return to the excellent highway that we were once on.

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I am saying that our nation must climb up and stand on the high ground it once proudly held. The high ground is still there. The governmental system ordained in our Constitution is as appropriate for our nation today as it was for the America of 1789. I think you all will agree that it is even more desperately needed now than it was back then.

Right now, our United States Constitution is absolutely no threat to the form of government we are presently enduring . This is a shame and we must revert back to following the Constitution and devote ourselves to cutting down the size, cost, reach, and power of the Federal Government.

We must encourage our countrymen to elect constitutionalists of the same caliber as Congressman Thomas Massie. We need more elected leaders who take their oaths of office seriously and follow the Constitution. Believe me, Kentuckians have shown the rest of the Country that liberty is still very popular and, as President George Washington proclaimed: “Truth will ultimately prevail when pains are taken to bring it to the light.”

Truth will ultimately prevail when pains are taken to bring it to the light.

If we could get more leaders elected to Congress that will uphold the Constitution, we can turn things around. We don’t need a Revolution like our ancestors fought, we just need to get back to the Constitution.

A U.S Congress with enough constitutionalists could restore constitutional government, even if the President, and the Supreme Court fought Congress all the way.

Restoring constitutional government will be slower if the House has to do it all by themselves; but it can be done. Remember, only the House of Representatives can initiate revenue bills. The House, all by itself, cannot stop ObamaCare but the House can, all by itself, starve ObamaCare to death.

The House can abolish all funding for the out of control E.P.A and other federal regulatory agencies. And the House can do away with the Federal Department of Education and any and all Federal Programs simply by voting to defund them. Neither President Obama nor any other President can veto zeroes.

The House can stop all Foreign Aid, and, by withdrawing the money, force the President to bring our troops home from all the illegal, unjust, immoral, and unconstitutional wars across the globe.

It is thrilling to think of what truly free American people would do if we can get the Federal Government off our backs and out of our pockets.

We can shrink the Federal Government to 20% of its present size with a Congress adhering to the U.S Constitution and to 20% of its present cost.

There would then be an explosion of private building, producing, buying, selling, expanding, and creating new job opportunities of all sorts all over the Country.

We could create more private schools, colleges, and research laboratories; build more hospitals, nursing homes, and medical-care facilities. In short, there would be an explosion of prosperity.

So the solution to restoring the Constitution and revitalizing America relies on our countrymen electing more courageous Congressmen like Thomas Massie.  It does require time, effort, and sacrifice to accomplish this goal, but not as much as it cost our Founding Fathers to win the blessings of Liberty for us in the first place.