“When you are up to your hindquarters in alligators—it is hard to remember that your intentions were to drain the swamp.”  This old country-boy saying seems most appropriate for President Trump as he attempts to “drain the swamp” in Washington, D.C. The continuing efforts of the ruling elite in Washington to destroy a lawfully elected president because “their” anointed candidate lost the election is tantamount to a political coup. Professional politicians and bureaucrats in the Federal Empire’s capital are making it clear to Americans that the “Deep State” or “Swamp” rules the country. Elections are held as a form of bread and circuses to keep the masses pacified. It gives Americans (especially conservatives) the impression that they are living in a free society in which “we the people” select our leaders. Self-government in contemporary America is a façade. The sad truth is that regardless of which political party gains temporary control in Washington—the professional class ultimately rules.[1]  Regardless of what President Trump may accomplish during his tenure in office, it will not matter in the long-run because when he is gone, the Deep State will remain. Conservatives who put their trust in “winning elections” and “sending good conservatives to Washington” should remember the Reagan non-revolution.[2] After eight years in office, President Reagan was unable to reduce the size of government—he only managed to temporarily slow the rate of government growth.  And when Reagan was gone, his successor (George Bush the First) demonstrated his commitment, not to Reagan’s legacy, but to his commitment and subservience to the Swamp.[3]

In his 1961 farewell address, President Eisenhower warned Americans about the dangers of the “military industrial complex.” In his first draft, he used the term “military industrial congressional complex,” but his aides insisted that he remove “congressional” from the term.[4] The Deep State, the Swamp, or more appropriately, the “ruling elite” did not originate during the Eisenhower or Obama Administrations. It has deep historical roots going back to America’s first Caesar—Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln’s Republican Party was a coalition of crony capitalists seeking to continue their exploitation of Southern wealth for the benefit of Northern commerce and industry via protective tariffs and radical abolitionists seeking to destroy the “sinful” South via immediate, violent, and uncompensated emancipation.[5] Lincoln’s Secretary of State Seward set the stage for the Deep State’s abuse of federal powers to control “citizens” who objected to oppressive actions of the federal government. He told Lord Lyons, “I can touch a bell on my right hand and order the arrest of a citizen in Ohio. I can touch the bell again and order the arrest of a citizen of New York. Can Queen Victoria do as much?”[6] In our time, federal bureaucrats such as Lois Learner of the IRS had no reservation about using the Deep States’ power to chill, if not silence, conservative voices opposing the Obama Administration.

It was noted recently that Senate Majority Leader McConnell (Republican from Kentucky) had significant commercial relations with a large Chinese industrialist.[7] The same Chinese industrialist had close relations with the Chinese military. Such corruption and trading of favors is epidemic in Washington, D.C. While taxpaying Americans are demanding secure borders, protection from unfair trade agreements that cause jobs to leave the country, lower taxes, and a sense of ethics in government—the Deep State ignores the demands of people in “flyover” country. Why would anyone think that millionaires in the Federal Empire’s Congress would be concerned with anyone or anything other than their own political and financial aggrandizement? A 2015 report noted that the personal financial holdings of the average member of Congress are equal to the net worth of eighteen average American families![8]  The arrogance of power is at its zenith in Lincoln’s modern-day Federal Empire. In the face of such entrenched, mostly unelected, arbitrary force, President Trump’s effort to “drain the swamp” will have no more long-lasting impact than President Reagan’s efforts to reduce the size of government. What then is the solution? Is there any way in which “we the people” can “drain the swamp?”

If you listen to popular “conservative” talking heads on radio or television, you will come away thinking that the only solution is to “elect more good conservatives” and to rely on the “co-equal branches” of the federal government to control federal overreach. Moreover, of course, you will also be subjected to relentless adulations of Lincoln and his love of a supreme federal government—the post-Lincoln United States. Popular conservative solutions to the Swamp (also known as the Deep State or the ruling elite) is no solution at all—in fact, their solutions are the very source of the Swamp. Unfortunately, popular conservatives are so ideologically driven—primarily by their worship of Lincoln—that they cannot (or as any good ideologue will not) recognize their failure. Lincoln, after all, loved big government. Lincoln created a supreme federal government that quickly morphed into the Federal Empire—a supreme government that, post-Lincoln, is the sole judge of the extent, if any, of its powers under the Constitution, a supreme federal government that controls political provinces that were once sovereign states. Popular conservatives are unwilling to acknowledge the difference between states that are now mere provinces and states that were once sovereign states. They are unwilling to acknowledge that, under the United States’ original Constitution, the Sovereign State(s) were the ultimate check against an abusive federal government.

In 1793, less than five years after the adoption of the Constitution, the federal judiciary attempted to expand federal powers over the sovereign states. In Chisholm v. Georgia the Federal Supreme Court ordered the state of Georgia to submit to the jurisdiction of the Federal Court—an order the Sovereign State of Georgia did not take lightly. They knew that as a sovereign state, Georgia could not be sued by an individual in a federal court. The State Legislature of Georgia was so outraged that it passed a resolution warning that any federal agent who came into the state attempting to enforce the federal court order would be seized and “hung by the neck without benefit of clergy.”

During the ratification debates, anti-Federalists had raised the specter of a sovereign state being compelled to submit to the jurisdiction of federal courts, but the legitimate concerns of anti-Federalists were brushed aside by High Federalist, Alexander Hamilton, who wrote in Federalist Papers number 81 that, “It is inherent in the nature of sovereignty not to be amenable to the suit of an individual without its consent. This is the general sense and the general practice of humanity: and the exemption, as one of the attributes of sovereignty, is now enjoyed by the government of every State in the Union,” [emphasis in the original].

What was the American response to the State of Georgia’s refusal to obey what the people of Georgia considered an unconstitutional order of the Federal Supreme Court? Did the United States send troops “marching through Georgia” to “make Georgia howl?” No!  The response was a dramatic implied endorsement of States’ Rights! Within record time—less than a year—in an era when there were no means of mass communication, the Sovereign States tacitly endorsed Georgia’s stand by ratifying the Eleventh Amendment.

The people of the States tacitly endorsed the Sovereign States’ rights to interpose its sovereign authority between its citizens and an abusive federal government with the election of Thomas Jefferson in 1801. A primary issue in the election was whether the Federalists under President John Adams had exceeded their Constitutional authority with the passage and enforcement of the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison authored the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798.[9] The states of Kentucky and Virginia passed these resolves. Both resolves declared that the Sovereign State, and not the federal government, was the final judge as to whether  the federal government had exceeded its Constitutional authority. These resolves declared that the State had the authority to take any action it deemed necessary to protect the State and its citizens from federal overreach. Thomas Jefferson decisively defeated Federalist President John Adams in the election of 1801.

There is a dramatic difference between States’ Rights as acknowledged by the majority of America’s founders and state privileges as practiced in the post-Lincoln era. The Deep State could not exist without the powers conveyed upon it by a supreme federal government—a government that is the sole judge as to the extent of its powers under the Constitution. By destroying real States’ Rights, Lincoln and company destroyed government by the consent of the governed and substituted government by coercion of the ruling elite—today’s Deep State. The only solution is to return to true States’ Rights. It could be done by breaking the current United States into several smaller republics as advocated by Dr. Donald Livingston[10] or by establishing shadow governments in each Southern state with the ultimate purpose of forcing the submission to the States of a Constitutional amendment acknowledging the Sovereign States’ rights of nullification and secession.[11] The original Constitutionally limited Republic of Sovereign States was overthrown by Lincoln’s revolution and replaced by a supreme federal government—it will not be removed by business-as-usual politics. It will take a counter-revolution to remove the Deep State and restore the real government of “we the people” of the Sovereign States. States’ Rights provide “we the people” with the ultimate checks and balances against the Deep State—the only way to drain the swamp.

[1] The “professional class” who compose America’s ruling elite include elected politicians of both national political parties, ideologically driven bureaucrats who control the vast federal bureaucracy regardless of who the people elect, and most importantly, the donor class represented by vast lobbying groups headquartered on K Street in Washington, D.C. The donor class includes financial interests from Wall Street as well as open borders groups such as the National and Local Chambers of Commerce.

[2] Kennedy, James Ronald, Reclaiming Liberty (Pelican Publishing Co., Gretna, LA: 2005), 38-9.

[3] Kennedy, James Ronald, Reclaiming Liberty, 39.

[4] http://washingtonsblog.com/2015/10/what-eisenhower-really-said-about-the-military-indutrial-complex.html  accessed 5/4/2018.

[5] Kennedy & Kennedy, Punished With Poverty-the Suffering South (Shotwell Publishing, Columbia, SC: 2017), 45-50.

[6] Masters, Edgar Lee, Lincoln the Man (1931, The Foundation for American Education, Columbia, SC: 1997), 411.

[7] https://nypost.com/2018/03/17/how-mcconnell-and-chao-used-political-power-to-make-their-family-rich/  accessed 5/4/2018. The relation with China was a result of his wife’s family’s business dealings with China.

[8] https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2015/01/one-member-of-congress-18-american-households-lawmakers-personal-finances-far-from-average/  accessed 5/5/2018.

[9] See Kentucky and Virginia Resolves of 1798 in Kennedy & Kennedy, Was Jefferson Davis Right? (Pelican Publishing Co., Gretna, LA: 1998), 281-5.

[10] Rethinking the American Union for the Twenty-First Century, Donald Livingston, ed. (Pelican Publishing Co., Gretna, LA: 2013).

[11] Kennedy, James Ronald, Dixie Rising-Rules for Rebels (Shotwell Publishing, Columbia, SC: 2017).

James Ronald Kennedy

Ron and his twin brother Don are the authors of Punished by Poverty, The South Was Right!, Why Not Freedom!, Was Jefferson Davis Right?, and Nullify Tyranny; Ron is the author of Reclaiming Liberty, Nullification: Why and How, and Uncle Seth Fought the Yankees. Ron is past Commander of the Louisiana Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and is a life member of the Louisiana Division and the National Sons of Confederate Veterans. Ron is a frequent speaker at SCV, Southern Heritage and other pro-Liberty groups. Ron received a Masters in Health Administration (MHA) from Tulane University in New Orleans, a Master of Jurisprudence in Healthcare Law (MJ) from Loyola University Chicago, a Bachelor’s degree from Northeast Louisiana University, a certificate in Paralegal Studies from Louisiana State University and holds numerous professional designations in healthcare and insurance Risk Management.

One Comment

  • Martin says:

    We have the ability to return government to the people. Congress & Senate should return to their respective state capitols and govern from each state capitol. Congress & Senate move to restrict the Presidential power. Reduce the Military Industrial Complex by a 45% budget cut and other government agencies by 60% cuts. All Zoom meeting are publicly aired for the public with a 24 delay for actual vote counts. Should the public be against/for a bill they can contact each lawmaker in each state capitol before a vote is cast. It’s not complicated.

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