Its a hot topic these days: In its efforts to protect We, the People, is the government playing fast and loose with the very documentthe U.S. Constitutionthat provides those protections? Concerned citizens worry that in these days of the sound bite, simple solutions that sound obvious, such as protecting our freedom or protecting the little guy, mask an underlying disregard for the principles upon which our country was founded.
Whether its war or economics, there are always political reasons for the government to evade and disrespect our Constitution, says Lloyd F. Scott, professor emeritus, University of California-Berkeley and author of the important new book Remember BENJ: A Report on Lost American Freedom (Cedar Hill Publishing). When a democratic government loses its ties to its own structural document, it sows the seeds for an early collapse of the society it serves. Our system of self-government depends upon an honest, constitutional leadership; without integrity of government, the system is not working. Professor Scott uses a case study analysis to prove that our system isnt working now because there is blatant government disrespect of our constitution.
Those who remember the S&L crisis of the late 1980s probably remember the sound-bite synopsis: the government stepped in to save the little guy, the individual depositor whose hard-earned savings were at risk. That was not actually the case, writes Scott. Those deposits were protected by government insurance because of the government could not afford to pay because of errors in its over-regulation of the industry. The governments resolution to the problem involved dishonorably abrogating U.S. contracts with U.S. financial institutions and then unconstitutionally seizing their assets. The government breached more than 300 contracts simply because it wanted to and because it could, says Scott, This resulted in significant personal losses to citizens involved with those companies.
The 15-year court battle of one such S&L, Benjamin Franklin Savings & Loan, Inc. (BENJ), resulted in a moral but not a financial victory for the now-defunct company. It is just one example of how a lack of government adherence to its own laws often falls beneath the radar. It is a measure of how far the movement of disrespect for our Constitution has gone, and proves that the government can continue to get away with it, says Scott.
When the question is constitutionality, the answer is greater vigilance and active involvement of the American people. Citizens need to demand truth, vote without personal agendas, and vote without regard to political party for candidates who respect the Constitution above all else. We deserve some sincere problem-solving efforts from our representatives and something much better than the abysmal government record of hiding, putting off, or politically bungling national problems.
Remember BENJ: A Report on Lost American Freedom
Cedar Hill Publishing, 2006
406 pp. soft cover, $22.95
For more information about Remember BENJ, visit www.rememberbenj.org
About the author
Lloyd F. Scott is a professor emeritus, University of California, Berkeley. He holds Ph.D. and J.D. degrees and has a published bibliography of 82 titles, mostly research reports and textbooks in mathematics education. Earlier, he fought for our country and its freedom in the Pacific Theater of Operations during World War II. He was a member of a fighting unit that was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for gallantry. He reports about his military experience:
We never lost focus on why we were there; to save our country and our freedom and to completely end wars forever. We knew that all Americans were working together for the same purposes. Our research for this report has convinced us that a similar united national effort is needed now. With deepest disappointment, our winning efforts then neither ended all American wars nor adequately protected our dear country and our priceless freedom from equally perilous attacks from within.
From the Nov. 15-21, 2006, issue