Appocolyptic letter and “Drift”

It was last Wednesday, I had joined a group of retired women at the recreation center/library/office/polling center (by November) for coffee and general chit chat, and noticed a copy of the Coeur d’Alene Press laying out on one of the library tables. So, I flipped it open to check out the letters section and happened upon the typical doofus letter about how the nation was going to go to hell in a handbasket if the American voters put Obama back into office. I think the author should have read Rachel Maddow’s book “Drift,” about military power and the desire of the American presidency to use it, if necessary, abuse it, and quite contrary to the actual intentions of the founding fathers. Had he done so, he could not then look for a scapegoat in Obama for just how much this country had changed since the time of the founding fathers and in ways that were not always to the better.

You take into consideration the “gun rights” arguments of the NRA. Ms. Maddow had referenced James Madison’s views about a “standing army” at the beginning of the book. And it was this reference to the well-regulated militia instead of a standing army that was the actual basis of the second amendment. Because the militias (protecting a free state) would be controlled (regulated) on a state and local basis, they would provide the military manpower who would be called up to protect the nation in a time of emergency. To put it bluntly, individual gun rights had nothing to do with the second amendment until an activist SCOTUS decision wrote it into the second amendment on the behalf of the NRA.

I got very interested in Ms. Maddow’s new book when seeing her discuss it on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” It was apparently a book that quite a number of people must have become interested in because the people at Hastings were reporting that it was literally flying off the shelves and they had to special order it for me. I will guess that I am hardly the only person who watches “The Daily Show?” LOL! Anywhoo, the whole idea of constitutional restraints that included no to standing armies, Congress shall declare war, etc. was to prevent an imperial presidency. Which means that in the hundreds of years since then, [strict constructionist interpretations of the] U.S. Constitution; only gets trotted out for reasons of political convenience. And then those same [constitutional constraints] can be tossed into the dust bin of history. Thus, the history this book represents is a highly informative one. A must read.

So, before the author of this letter looks for a president to scapegoat (wrong party for example?) the kind of ground work for what Obama could do today, use of the military as he has already publicly done, had already been laid in place by previous presidents. And I am quite sure that the founding fathers would be quite shocked indeed about the many changes in course that this nation has taken since its beginning. They wouldn’t recognize it now.

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