October 4, 2014

Clarence Carson: "Government has been out of control"

“IN the broadest sense, government has been out of control in the United States in the last half of the 20th century (and was headed in that direction for most of the first half) because it is not longer effectively under the control of the Constitution. Formally, of course, the government operates under the Constitution. Most of the forms are rigorously observed, such as, age and residency requirements for various offices, length of terms of elected officers, times for holding elections, and so on. But in substance and spirit, the written Constitution no longer controls by limiting and restricting the government to those powers authorized by it. The Constitution may not be a dead letter, but it has been stretched completely out of shape, ignored, and evaded so as to produce a Leviathan whose justification can be found nowhere in the letter or the spirit of the written Constitution.”

~Clarence B. Carson: Basic American Government, Chap. 19, "Government out of Control." (1993)

• Amazon

Description: "Basic American Government by Clarence B. Carson is a constitutionally oriented book which includes a valuable and lengthy description of the nature our government, followed by a history of its founding principles, tracing them from the ancient Hebrews, the Greeks, the Romans, the Medieval and reformation background, and the British sources. From there it goes to description of the making of our national and state constitutions, the 19th century development, and 20th century departures.

"The tone of the book is set in these opening observations: It would be a considerable fraud to do a book on American government which talked as if the Constitution were still being substantially observed, that pretended that when Presidents took the oath of office they intended to observe the bounds set by Constitution, that Congressmen recited their pledges with the same intent, and that federal judges were still construing the Constitution as it was written. In sum, any book on American government ought to make clear how remote from the Constitution the government has become."

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