Bill Lockwood: What’s Missing from the Debates?

What’s Missing from the Debates?—The Civil Bible of America –“I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves…”

by Bill Lockwood

One of the most discouraging features of American politics is the almost complete lack of recognition that we are a nation designed to be guided by our Founding Charter, the Constitution. A perfect illustration of this emptiness is the recent Trump-Clinton debate earlier this week. Plenty of fireworks, but absolutely not a single reference to the guidepost of our liberty—The Constitution. This absence should be alarming to freedom-minded citizens.

The Civil Bible of America

Thomas J. Norton was a Constitutional scholar, having served as member of the bars of the Supreme Court of the United States, the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the 7th, 8th, and 9th Circuits as well as the Supreme Courts of Illinois, Kansas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. In his classic text, The Constitution of the United States, Norton observes:

Our Constitution—Civil Bible of America.” “Menaced by collectivist trends, we must seek revival of our strength in the spiritual foundations which are the bedrock of our republic.  Democracy is the outgrowth of the religious conviction of the sacredness of every human life. On the religious side, its highest embodiment is the Bible; on the political, the Constitution.”

The Constitution is the Civil Bible of Americans. But as the great Thomas Jefferson warned, The People are the only safe depository of power—but only if we educate. “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.”

Again, President Jefferson advised, “Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories. And to render even them safe, their minds must be improved to a certain degree.” By improving our minds, Jefferson meant educating in principles of freedom.


Instead of invoking Constitutional principles—or better yet, Principles of Natural Law—for these were the concepts upon which our Republic was constructed—what we heard in the debate from both sides was the supposed beneficial results of proposed government action.

One particularly disturbing trend over the past forty years is for Democratic power-mongers to cover their lawless and unconstitutional designs by the cover-word: “Investment.” Hillary Clinton invoked this upon a number of occasions during the debate. “We need to ‘invest’ …”

With this one word the socialists of the nation continue to cover their flagrant plundering of tax-paying citizens to spend it upon their politically-correct projects, be they green energy, or “improving” nationalized education, or socialized government-sponsored health-care, new HUD rules, or whatever.

What IS “Investment?” The Business Dictionary defines it as “money committed or property acquired for future income.” That is, individuals make expenditures upon capital or goods that this outlay might generate income for themselves in the future. The essential ingredient here, however, is freedom. I may simply place my earnings in a piggy bank under the floor for future use, or I may make outlays in some form of stock, bond, land, etc. I am free to invest or not.

What investment does not include is the strong arm of government forcibly removing profits from my labor to dole out to another. That is not my “investment”—that is THEFT, pure and simple. It only an “investment” for the political leaders who use it to “buy” votes from the under-privileged who can be counted on to support every welfare scheme of which they are beneficiaries.

Such craft as is foisted upon us by both parties is absolutely, without question, unconstitutional. Perhaps this is why we never hear that Charter introduced into debate formats. Let’s get back to the Civil Bible of America.

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