America: An Experiment in Self-Government and Voting
American Minute with Bill Federer
Theodore Roosevelt stated October 24, 1903:
“In no other place and at no other time has the experiment of government of the people, by the people, for the people, been tried on so vast a scale as here in our own country.”
How did America’s experiment in self-government begin?
At a time when most of the world was ruled by kings, Americans held its first popularly elected legislative assembly.
Jamestown was initially a “company colony,” run by the 1606 Virginia Company Charter, which had by-laws and an appointed governor.
Unforeseen crises, such as famines, diseases, Indian attacks, labor shortages, and struggles to establish a cash crop necessitated the calling of the first meeting of the Virginia House of Burgesses, July 30, 1619.
A burgess was a citizen elected to represent a “borough” (town or neighborhood).
There were eleven Jamestown boroughs which elected twenty-two representatives.
They met in the church choir loft.
Master John Pory was appointed as the assembly’s Speaker.
He wrote “A Report of the Manner of Proceeding in the General Assembly Convented at James City,” July 30, 1619:
“But forasmuch as men’s affairs do little prosper where God’s service is neglected, all the Burgesses took their places in the Quire (choir) till a prayer was said by Mr. Bucke, the Minister, that it would please God to guide and sanctify all our proceedings to his own glory and the good of this Plantation …
The Speaker … delivered in brief to the whole assembly the occasions of their meeting.
Which done he read unto them the commission for establishing the Council of Estate and the general Assembly, wherein their duties were described to the life …
And forasmuch as our intent is to establish one equal and uniform kind of government over all Virginia &c.”
The House of Burgesses set the price of tobacco at three shillings per pound, and passed prohibitions against gambling, drunkenness, idleness, and made it mandatory to observe the Sabbath.
The freezing winters, epidemics, and the Indian attack of March 22, 1622, where some 400 colonists were massacred, led to the Virginia Company’s Charter being revoked.
In 1624, Virginia went from being a “company colony” to a “crown colony” ruled directly by the king through his royal appointed governor.
As the king did not pay his salary, the royal appointed governor instructed the House of Burgesses to provide his funding, and allowed them to otherwise function largely on their own.
England went through a Civil War, 1642-1651, and King Charles I was beheaded.
During this time the House of Burgesses took an increased role in running the Colony.
In 1660, King Charles II was brought back from exile and restored to the throne of his father.
Soon, Virginia’s liberties were restricted, leading to Nathaniel Bacon’s rebellion in 1674.
Virginia’s House of Burgesses served as a legislative model for other colonies.
In Massachusetts, Puritan delegates controlled the legislature, insisting that only Puritans be allowed to vote.
Various pastors thought that voting should be extended to anyone who was a Christian.
These pastors led their congregations to leave and found other communities in New England.
It was in these New England communities that pastors had the freedom to apply biblical principles to voting.
Rev. Roger Williams founded Providence, Rhode Island, in 1636;
Rev. John Wheelwright founded Exeter, New Hampshire, in 1638;
Rev. John Lothropp founded Barnstable, Massachusetts, in 1639;
Rev. Thomas Hooker founded Hartford, Connecticut, in 1636.
Rev. Thomas Hooker gave a sermon at the colony’s capitol city of Hartford on May 31, 1638, where he championed universal Christian suffrage (voting), stating:
“The foundation of authority is laid firstly in the free consent of the people.”
This was a blueprint for other New England colonies and eventually the Declaration of Independence, which states:
“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
The line in Hooker’s sermon, “The privilege of election … belongs to the people according to the blessed will and law of God,” eventually inspired the U.S. Constitution, which states,
“We the People … in order to form a more perfect union … and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”
This was revolutionary, as most of the world at the time was ruled by kings, emperors, sultans, czars and chieftains.
New England was the beginning of a polarity change in the flow of power — instead of government being run top-down, it became bottom-up.
Instead of powerful political leaders forcing their will on the people, it was the people’s will being carried out by their elected representatives.
Rev. Thomas Hooker’s sermon notes became known as the “Fundamental Orders of Connecticut,” 1639, which was used as the foundation of Connecticut’s government until 1818.
According to Connecticut historian John Fiske, the Fundamental Orders, inspired by Hooker’s sermon, comprised one of the first written constitutions in history that created a government.
Simeon E. Baldwin, Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court, wrote in Osborn’s History of Connecticut in Monographic Form:
“Never had a company of men deliberately met to frame a social compact for immediate use, constituting a new and independent commonwealth, with definite officers, executive and legislative, and prescribed rules and modes of government, until the first planters of Connecticut came together for their great work on January 14th, 1638-9.”
Hartford’s Traveller’s Square has a bronze statue of Connecticut’s first settlers and a plaque which reads:
“In June of 1635, about one hundred members of Thomas Hooker’s congregation arrived safely in this vicinity with one hundred and sixty cattle. They followed old Indian trails from Massachusetts Bay Colony to the Connecticut River to build a community.
Here they established the form of government upon which the present Constitution of the United States is modeled.”
A plaque in England describes Rev. Thomas Hooker as “Founder of the State of Connecticut, 1636, ‘Father of American Democracy.'”
Another English plaque placed by the Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council reads:
“Thomas Hooker … Reputed Father of ‘American Democracy.'”
Rev. Thomas Hooker’s statue holding a Bible stands at the Old State House in Hartford, Connecticut.
The base of the statue reads:
“Leading his people through the wilderness, he founded Hartford in June of 1636. On this site he preached the sermon which inspired The Fundamental Orders. It was the first written constitution that created a government.”
President Calvin Coolidge stated July 5, 1926:
“The principles of our declaration had been under discussion in the Colonies for nearly two generations ….
In the assertion of the Rev. Thomas Hooker of Connecticut as early as 1638, when he said in a sermon before the General Court that:
‘The foundation of authority is laid in the free consent of the people … The choice of public magistrates belongs unto the people by God’s own allowance.’
This doctrine found wide acceptance among the nonconformist clergy who later made up the Congregational Church …”
“The great apostle of this movement was the Rev. John Wise, of Massachusetts … writing in 1710 … ‘Democracy is Christ’s government in church and state.’
Here was the doctrine of equality, popular sovereignty, and the substance of the theory of inalienable rights clearly asserted by Wise at the opening of the eighteenth century, just as we have the principle of the consent of the governed stated by Hooker as early as 1638 …”
“The principles … which went into the Declaration of Independence … are found in the texts, the sermons, and the writings of the early colonial clergy who were earnestly undertaking to instruct their congregations in the great mystery of how to live.
They preached equality because they believed in the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.
They justified freedom by the text that we are all created in the divine image, all partakers of the divine spirit …
… Placing every man on a plane where he acknowledged no superiors, where no one possessed any right to rule over him, he must inevitably choose his own rulers through a system of self-government …
In those days such doctrines would scarcely have been permitted to flourish and spread in any other country …
In order that they might have freedom to express these thoughts and opportunity to put them into action, whole congregations with their pastors had migrated to the colonies.”
In New England, instead of “separation of church & state,” it was churches and pastors who CREATED the State!
Coolidge concluded his address:
“But even in that we come back to the theory of John Wise that ‘Democracy is Christ’s government …’ The ultimate sanction of law rests on the righteous authority of the Almighty ….
Ours is a government of the people. It represents their will.
Its officers sometimes go astray, but that is not a reason for criticizing the principles of our institutions.
The real heart of the American Government depends upon the heart of the people. It is from that source that we must look for all genuine reform …
It was in the contemplation of these truths that the fathers made their Declaration and adopted their Constitution.”
By the time of Constitution, Americans had over 150 years of gradually learning self-government.
Signer of the Constitution James Wilson wrote in his Lectures on Law, 1790-91):
“EVERY CITIZEN forms a part of the SOVEREIGN POWER: he possesses a vote.”
President Grover Cleveland stated, July 13, 1887:
“The SOVEREIGNTY OF 60 MILLIONS OF FREE PEOPLE, is … the working out … of the divine right of man to govern himself and a manifestation of God’s plan concerning the human race.”
Colonial America’s period of Bible-based training in self-government is one of the reasons why the American Revolution did not result in simply “a regime change,” which unfortunately was the case with most other revolutions.
President Millard Fillmore commented on December 6, 1852, comparing the American Revolution with France’s numerous revolutions:
“Our own free institutions were not the offspring of our Revolution. They existed before.
They were planted in the free charters of self-government under which the English colonies grew up, and our Revolution only freed us from the dominion of a foreign power whose government was at variance with those institutions.
But European nations have had no such training for self-government, and every effort to establish it by bloody revolutions has been, and must without that preparation continue to be, a failure.”
WHO GETS TO VOTE?
In colonial Virginia, landowners were the first to vote, as they had to determine who would give money to support the royal governor.
Voting gradually extended to include those owning a certain amount of personal property.
After the Revolution, States began to allow those without land or personal property to vote, provided they paid taxes, though many States continued religious and literacy tests.
In 1870, Republicans pushed through the 15th Amendment to let former slaves vote.
In 1920, the 19th Amendment let women vote.
President Nixon stated March 24, 1970:
“In other areas, too, there were long struggles to eliminate discrimination … Property and even religious qualifications for voting persisted well into the 19th century — and not until 1920 were women finally guaranteed the right to vote.”
In 1924, American Indians could vote in Federal Elections.
In 1961, the 23rd Amendment let District of Columbia residents vote in Federal Elections.
In 1964, the 24th Amendment let vote those who could not pay a poll tax.
In 1965, the Voting Rights Act removed literacy tests.
On JUNE 22, 1970, President Nixon extended the Voting Rights Act to let 18-year-olds vote.
The Supreme Court, in Oregon v Mitchell, limited this right so the 26th Amendment was passed in 1971 to confirm it.
President Nixon stated August 24, 1972:
“For the first time in the 195 year history of this country, men and women 18 to 21 years of age will have the chance to vote.”
WHO ATTEMPTS TO MANIPULATE VOTES?
As the number of people to participate in voting increased, so did subversive efforts increase to manipulate their votes.
This practice dates back to Philip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, who took gold from the mines around the Greek city of Philippi to bribe citizens of Athens to betray their city, a tactic which became known as “the fifth column.”
These paid betrayers and bribed politicians would gather around themselves what were called “useful idiots” who actually believed their propaganda.
In 1936, during the Spanish Civil War, the Nationalist General Emilio Mola marched toward Madrid with four columns of soldiers, having supporters inside the city as a “fifth column” to undermine the Republican government from within.
While in Madrid, Ernest Hemingway wrote a play which he included in his 1938 book titled The Fifth Column.
Winston Churchill stated in Fulton, Missouri, March 5, 1946:
“Communist parties or fifth columns constitute a growing challenge and peril to Christian civilization.”
Franklin Roosevelt stated May 16, 1940:
“We have seen the treacherous use of the ‘fifth column’ by which persons supposed to be peaceful visitors were actually a part of an enemy unit of occupation.”
In 1963, a list of “fifth column” communist goals was read into the Congressional Record by Rep. Albert S. Herlong, Jr., of Florida (Vol 109, 88th Congress, 1st Session, Appendix, pp. A34-A35), which included:
“Discredit the Constitution by calling it inadequate, old-fashioned … Discredit Founding Fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the ‘common man’ …
Control schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current communist propaganda … Get control of teachers’ associations. Put party line in textbooks … Control student newspapers …
Infiltrate the press … editorial writing, policy-making positions … Control key positions in radio, TV and motion pictures … Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio and TV …
Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history … Support socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture …
Infiltrate and control of more unions. Infiltrate and gain control of big business … Promote the UN … Free trade, loans and aid to all nations regardless of communist affiliation … Do away with loyalty oaths …
Capture one or both of the political parties … Resist any attempt to outlaw the Communist Party.”
Franklin Roosevelt described the “fifth column” tactics, December 29, 1940:
“Their secret emissaries … seek to stir up … dissension to cause internal strife. They try to turn capital against labor, and vice versa. They try to reawaken long slumbering racial and religious enmities which should have no place in this country …
… These trouble-breeders have but one purpose. It is to divide our people into hostile groups and to destroy our unity and shatter our will to defend ourselves.
There are also American citizens, many of them in high places, who, unwittingly in most cases, are aiding and abetting the work of these agents.
I do not charge these American citizens with being foreign agents. But I do charge them with doing exactly the kind of work that the dictators want done in the United States.”
Tactics to influence the vote include:
suppress voter turnout;
biased media coverage;
confusing ballot language;
registering illegal immigrants to vote;
instigating government “investigations.”
unions and globalist corporate influences;
politically motivated IRS audits of opponents;
increase uneducated “low information” voters;
“psychological projection,” candidates blaming opponents for what they are guilty of.
President William Henry Harrison stated March 4, 1841:
“As long as the understanding of men can be warped and their affections changed by operations upon their passions and prejudices, so long will the liberties of a people depend on their constant attention to its preservation.”
Media and education are the major influences upon the “affections,” “passions and prejudices” of the people.
The COUNTRY is controlled by LAWS;
LAWS are controlled by POLITICIANS;
POLITICIANS are controlled by VOTERS;
VOTERS are controlled by PUBLIC OPINION;
PUBLIC OPINION is controlled by EDUCATION, MEDIA & the INTERNET;
So whoever controls EDUCATION, MEDIA & the INTERNET controls the COUNTRY!
WHAT ABOUT VOTER FRAUD?
As American society experiences a lessening of moral restraints, there has been a corresponding increase in methods of voter fraud:
mail in ballots;
same day voting;
stuffing ballot boxes;
insecure absentee voting;
tampering with voting machines;
foreign ownership of voting machine companies.
Joseph Stalin remarked in 1923 (The Memoirs of
Stalin’s Former Secretary by Boris Bazhanov, 2002):
“I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this — who will count the votes, and how.”
Although illegal immigrants cannot legally vote, they are still counted in the census which determined the congressional districts, the number of congressmen each state gets, and the number of electoral votes each state gets.
So, for example, if a liberal state such as California, lets in more illegal immigrants, the state’s population increases and the state will get more Congressmen, thus increasing a liberal influence in the U.S. Congress.
If there was not an electoral college, the cities with the largest populations would determine elections.
These cities, coincidentally, have notorious reputations for voter fraud and corrupt political machines.
DUTY OF PEOPLE TO VOTE RESPONSIBLY
Republican President Abraham Lincoln commented in his Second Inaugural Address regarding the southern Democrat policy of owning slaves:
“It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces.”
Likewise, the question could be asked today, if a political party can justify killing innocent babies and selling their body parts, is there any immoral activity that party could not justify?
Noah Webster wrote in “Letters to a Young Gentleman Commencing His Education,” New Haven, 1823:
“When a citizen gives his suffrage (vote) to a man of known immorality, he abuses his trust; he sacrifices not only his own interest, but that of his neighbor, and he betrays the interest of his country.”
America’s founders set up a democratically-elected Constitutional Republic.
The Pledge of Allegiance is “to the Flag and to the Republic for which it stands.”
A “Republic” is where the people are king, ruling through their servants, called representatives.
The word “citizen” is Greek and means “co-ruler” or “co-king.”
When someone dishonors the flag, they are saying is “I don’t want to be king anymore.”
When someone does not vote, they are saying they want others to determine their fate.
Ironically, organizations such as the ACLU are undemocratic in that they sue to overturn laws passed by the majority will of the people, and instead want the will of a minority enforced, which is the definition of a tyranny.
In 1832, Noah Webster wrote in his History of the United States:
“When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers ‘just men who will rule in the fear of God.’ The preservation of a republican government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty.”
“If the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made not for the public good so much as for the selfish or local purposes;
corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizens will be violated or disregarded.
If a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws.”
Self-Educated American Contributing Editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet.