King James I was the first king who claimed to be king of the whole of Great Britain. Before that, England was considered a separate country than Scotland, and although Scotland was inferior to England, they were never united in one.
Although King James I supposed he had radical powers not unlike his grandfather King Henry VIII, all he really had was tolerance from a people who really didn’t like what he was doing. His son, King Charles I, gives us a powerful object lesson in government by consent, the fleeting nature of political power, even among kings, and why it’s a good idea to have the head of state and commander in chief be a temporary appointment.
The one event that neatly summarizes both the fleeting powers of the king and the importance of political power is King Charles attempt to arrest his worst enemies while they sat in parliament. He busted into the chamber, took the seat at the head of the chamber, demanding the enemies be identified. The speaker, when interrogated directly, replied, “May it please your Majesty, I have neither eyes to see nor tongue to speak in this place but as the House is pleased to direct me, whose servant I am here.”
As Charles left empty-handed, he whispered, “All my birds have flown.”
There are times a country needs a king, or rather, a head of state and a commander in chief. When the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and perhaps the White House or Congress were attacked (the latter unsuccessfully) on 9/11, the nation knew we needed someone, anyone, who could unite us to pursue our enemies and exact justice. More importantly, we desired that the world be remade in our own image. We didn’t want to live side-by-side with terrorists and we didn’t want to have to think about another terrorist attack. For that purpose, we made President Bush a king of sorts, granting him almost unlimited power to do what he felt best.
That political power, of course, was temporary, and after a while, people began to reclaim their own authority and opinion, and no longer defer important decisions of state to the president. When President Bush tried to capitalize on his political power to save ourselves from the impending doom on Social Security and Medicare collapse, we waved him away, content with the current state of affairs.
President Obama has suffered, since day one, from unpopularity. He has been tone deaf, and incapable of uniting the various factions in our country. In fact, he has been doing what he can to drive a wedge between the two factions, and in so doing, we may blame him for whatever Civil War we may have to relive. He, like the kings of England from Henry VIII to Charles I, want things done their way, because it is their right as rulers of the people. Although the people may tolerate it for a time, eventually, his political power will come crashing down, and even his supporters will be left on the fence.
We say that over the past few days as President Obama’s supporters in the House of Representatives demanded, and got, a straight up or down vote on raising the debt ceiling. A whole lot of democrats joined the Republicans and Tea Party movement in voting “No.” We also saw that as he put forward his budget, which not a single member of the senate voted for from either party.
Does the press talk much about President Obama’s failing political power? Of course not. The one organization he can count on is the mass media, which has been overwhelmingly in favor of leftists since as long as I can remember. Now, as Andrew Breitbart is pointing out daily, the old media really doesn’t matter as more and more people get their news from the channels they prefer, over the internet or on Fox.
If President Obama marks the end of an era like King Charles I, then I call this a happy day. I will appreciate President Obama the same way I appreciate King Charles I, as people who helped the world see the folly of absolute government by their own incompetence.
It is high time we, the people, rightfully stood up and told the federal government, whose power, it believes, extends across all spheres of influence, that it really is limited by the agreement we made anciently. To the English people, that was Magna Carta; the Americans, the Constitution of the United States.
No, you may not impose insurance mandates on the people. No, you may not break out of, even slightly, the limits in Article I, Section 8. That means and end to all the entitlement programs, and end to the vast majority of the regulations you suppose you have the power to impose, and end to the multitude of departments that have nothing to do with the role of the federal government.
We do stand in the way of “progress” in the eyes of the left, because their “progress” is really anti-progress, a reversion to the old way of doing things. Those countries with absolute power in their government, the people so enchanted by the pied piper’s tune that they cannot see themselves as sovereign self-rulers enslaved by their masters, are not “better” than the US. In fact, they are considerably worse, the same way that slavery is worse than freedom. Putting our hands into chains is not progress. Dashing those chains into pieces and overthrowing the slave masters is.
I wonder if it is appropriate if we begin telling people who are financing our illegitimate and illegal government (according to the constitution) that we do not intend to pay the debts they are incurring today. If enough people made such a declaration, and the full faith and credit of the United States was shattered, the same way Greece has been, then perhaps the federal government would realize it is no absolute government, and is constrained to those limited items described in Article I, Section 8.