Henry Lamb
A litmus test for leadership
By Henry Lamb
May 31, 2009

The media appear to delight in exploiting the plight of the Republican Party, particularly the flap between Dick Cheney and Colin Powell. Cheney's comment that he thought Powell had left the Republican Party because he endorsed Obama provided a perfect opportunity for Powell to take the TV podium to tell Republicans they must become more moderate to reverse the flight from their ranks.

What America needs cannot be found in either major party at the moment, nor in any of the dozens of other parties hoping to become a "third party." The litmus test for leadership is quite simple. Voters should find candidates regardless of party who pass this leadership test.

Defend the Constitution

Every candidate for national elective office swears an oath to "...preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States." For many of these elected officials, this is the last time they utter the word, or even think about the U.S. Constitution.

In order to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution," every law produced by Congress must be grounded in, and authorized by the Constitution. Few are. Where in the Constitution, for example, is there authority for the federal government to declare that all the water in the United States is the "Waters of the United States"? Where, exactly, does the Constitution authorize the federal government to strip private property owners of the right to use their property because a particular kind of bug or plant happens to be on the property? Constitution-loving congressmen have been trying to get a law enacted that requires every proposed law to cite Constitutional authority for the law. Every congress since 1994 has rejected this legislation.

Before voting for another congressional candidate, every voter should require his candidate to pledge to co-sponsor and vote for The Enumerated Powers Act (HR450).

Reject Global Governance

It is impossible to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States," and vote to surrender sovereignty over territorial seas to the United Nations. Both Senators John Kerry and Richard Lugar, chairman and ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, advocate doing just that. Both are on record supporting the Convention on the Law of the Sea, which clearly requires that: "...sovereignty over the territorial seas is exercised subject to this Convention and to other rules of international law (Article 2(3)).

This treaty also requires submission to the International Seabed Authority, which has global authority for exploiting the seabed and regulating waters that flow into the sea as well as the adjacent lands that may affect the waters that eventually get into the seas. This treaty is global governance.

Several other treaties pending ratification also surrender sovereignty to the United Nations. The Obama administration, aided by a Democratic majority and far too many willing Republicans, intends to ratify all of them.

The Obama administration is also a willing participant in the development of a global mechanism to regulate the flow of currency, which undoubtedly would have to skim a small administrative fee, and thereby gain an independent revenue stream and regulate global trade. This has been a major goal of the United Nations since the publication of the final report of the Commission on Global Governance.

In Washington, and across the country, there is a growing willingness to accept further international entanglement and a willingness to reject constitutional principles. This is because the advocates of collectivism have been far more aggressive than the advocates of freedom have been. In the past, freedom has reigned, and its advocates have been complacent.

In the past, the threat of tyranny has been sufficient to mobilize the complacent advocates of freedom to respond with whatever it took to defeat the would-be conquerors. The time has come once again to respond to freedom's call.

It is still early enough in the unfolding threat to reverse the gains of the collectivist usurpers. Every voter should hold every candidate accountable to at least these two tests of American values: Co-sponsor and vote for the Enumerated Powers Act, and to reject global governance by rejecting entangling international treaties.

Regardless of party affiliation, a candidate who will not pledge to stand for these two values does not deserve to be in Congress, or in government at any other level. Conversely, office holders who fail this litmus test should be turned out of office at the very next election.

Rather than expend energy building a particular political party, voters would do well by expending energy to find candidates who pass the litmus test and advance the values it represents.

If we cannot stop the current threat by imposing this kind of litmus test on the people we elect to office, the next battle will be much more difficult, and will require much more effort, treasure, and, perhaps, blood.

© Henry Lamb


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)