Counteracting Ambition: An ‘Independence’ Resolution for the States

You see it everywhere — band aid solutions for gaping wounds, and temporary patches for shredded cloth. It’s as if decision-makers suddenly became aware of problems, and in their tireless and hurried vie for public approval, money, or power, submit graffiti solutions when the American people deserve a Van Gogh.

I’ve heard and read the words of many on the subject of “how we got here” or “the mistakes that have led us down the path to despotism.” It was the Federal Reserve, the Fourteenth Amendment, the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Amendments; it was socialism, apathy, greed, a lust for power, Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, or Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, etc., etc., etc.

Indeed, America today is unrecognizable to a 306-year-old Benjamin Franklin, still living among us in spirit. Franklin was one of many Founding Fathers who warned of the potential oppression and despotism that resulted from the “loves” of men. During the Constitutional Convention in 1887, he said:

“Sir, there are two passions which have a powerful influence in the affairs of men. These are ambition and avarice — the love of power and the love of money. Separately, each of these has great force in prompting men to action; but, when united in view of the same object, they have, in many minds, the most violent effects. Place before the eyes of such men a post of honor, that shall, at the same time, be a place of profit, and they will move heaven and earth to obtain it.”

And so it would seem that underneath the creation of the Federal Reserve, underneath the Seventeenth Amendment, underneath the redistribution of wealth, greed, and lust for power lies one word: ambition. The ambition of men is the “base of the fire” when policymakers suggest merely aiming at the flames.

The definition of ambition is, “a particular goal or aim : something that a person hopes to do or achieve.” (Marriem-Webster) And so how does one go about keeping in check the ambitions of men who seek power; especially, in light of the vast financial means they have to work with?

James Madison had the solution. In the Federalist Papers: No 51, he said:

“Ambition must be made to counteract ambition.

 

“The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary… [yet] A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government [of realistic America].”

A serious problem with America is that for 170 years we have accepted and voted for oligarchies who each present a candidate… having the spirit of party, NOT DUTY, as their ambition. Ambition [of the people] has lost to the ambition [of today’s candidates], and a descent into tyranny has been the result.

To again emphasize the solution, James Madison said “the interest of the man (i.e. the people) must be connected…” and “a dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government.”

The solution is a RESTORATION of the ambition of the people. Let’s tip the angle of that firehose downward, and point it at the base of the fire, instead of the flames!

The People’s Ambition Resolution, for Fairness in State Elections

Whereas George Washington warned in his 1796 Farewell Address against political parties, saying, “Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you, in the most solemn manner, against the baneful (poisonous) effects of the spirit of party, … it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their (the people’s) worst enemy…”; and

Whereas George Washington went on to predict in the same address that the eventual practice of political parties “leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism…”; and

Whereas George Washington is the Father of our Country, and U.S. history’s most illustrious leader; and

Whereas political parties are the creation of the passion of man, and in the beginning were confined to their proper role as being single and separated from all government statutes, laws, codes and legislation; and

Whereas election laws currently exist in this state that favor ballot access of candidates from recognized political parties over ballot access of independent candidates, or candidates wanting to take George Washington’s advice by NOT wanting to run or be affiliated with political parties; and

Whereas a system that favors political parties is one in which the few select from the many, then the many select from the few; and is NOT one in which the many select from the many, which more closely resembles fairness in the election process; and

Whereas George Washington himself was not elected through the scheming or strategizing of political parties; and

Whereas John Adams, our first vice-president and second president said on October 2, 1789, “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”

Therefore be it resolved that any law, statue, code, resolution or legislation that prescribes a bias toward candidates that are part of a political party shall be stricken, and upon adoption of this resolution, ANY registered voter who obtains the amount of prescribed signatures equal to one half of one percent times the number of total voting persons in the previous election within the geographical boundaries of the political division for which that person is running, or 2,000 prescribed signatures, whichever is less, shall be on this state’s ballot.

This article was originally published on Sep. 17, 2014 on the Independent American Party website.