Topic category: Constitution/Constitutional Crises
What to do about our Fifth Column Fourth Estate?
Fifth Column: A fifth column is a group of people who clandestinely undermine a larger group, such as a nation, from within, to the aid of an external enemy. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifth_column).
Fourth Estate: The fourth estate is a term that positions the press (newspapers) as a fourth branch of government and one that is important to a functioning democracy. (http://uspolitics.about.com/od/politicaljunkies/a/fourth_estate.htm).
The United States Constitution establishes three branches of government: legislative, judicial, and executive. These are sometimes referred to as the three "estates" of U.S. government whose powers are designed such that they provide checks and balances to each other to prevent any one branch from wielding too much power.
What prevents out-of-control government?
Our Constitution's framers believed responsible individuals would seek elected office to serve their country. It was expected that these individuals would take seriously their oath of office affirming their allegiance to our Constitution and that consequently, their honor would constrain them to act within the limited scope of power provided by our Constitution.
With three branches of government occupied by men of honor dedicated to the principles of individual liberty and constitutionally-limited government, "checks and balances" should provide ample restraint against abuses of power. At least that was the concept.
Our framers realized that to prevent the power of office from corrupting elected and appointed officials, a free press was essential to keep the public well informed. It is only through the public ballot that elected officials are held accountable. However, in order for the public to make well-informed choices, the public must have good information from objective, unbiased sources.
We now realize just how important a fair, objective, and honest "fourth estate" is in assuring government operates within the limited framework of our Constitution. When members of our legislative, judicial, and executive branches of government ask themselves, "who is going to stop me from doing exactly what I want to do, regardless of constitutional restraint?", the only effective answers are (1) the voters and (2) the fourth estate. However, if voters are misinformed by a fourth estate that is more interested in selling sensationalism than in providing objective, truthful reporting, then even the ballot process becomes as corrupted as those politicians who are unconstrained by any serious scrutiny by the fourth estate.
Emergence of concentrated power in the "fourth estate" -- our news media.
The "fourth estate", the press (which has come to include, in addition to newspapers, TV, radio, and magazine news, more commonly referred to as "news media") was thought of as the vehicle by which the public was kept informed of the activities of the first three estates of their government. A well-informed public is critical to good government. For this reason, the U.S. Constitution provides very strong guarantees for free speech that assure a political climate in which a responsible media can exist without fear of government/political intervention, censorship or suppression.
Rather than having greater diversity of ownership and a free "press", the growth of population has witnessed ever-increasing concentration of information media power into smaller groups who wield greater power over the content of and spin put on today's "news".
News stories have become dominated by Associated Press (AP) stories. While certain news groups (New York Times, USA Today, Scripps-Howard, etc.) have their own reporters and news sources, even those publications publish many of the same AP stories. Many of the radio and TV news features we are exposed to are derived from AP stories. This is a very unhealthy concentration of news sources. It is particularly unhealthy when the AP demonstrates little concern for objective truth in preference to peddling agenda-driven politics.
What happens when the "fourth estate" largely becomes a "fifth column"?
The only thing preventing politicians from acting extra-constitutionally, is a powerful fourth estate shining the light of truth on the actions of those who would corrupt our government to their own benefit. Contemplate many of the problems in our government over the past several years and ask yourself how different things might be if we had a truly aggressive press corps seeking truth rather than blindly supporting a single partisan position.
What happens when the fourth estate becomes dominated by a political culture that is (at best) antagonistic and frequently hostile to our Constitution? The answer is simple. Corrupt politicians are enabled to act beyond constitutional restraint. That is exactly what has been happening for decades. The "fourth estate" has been engaged in highly partisan efforts for decades and this irresponsibility is now bearing the deadliest of fruit.
What facilitates the corruption of both journalism and politics?
A public education system that has become dominated by those with a political agenda has done great harm to this nation, perhaps irreparable harm. What is taught in public schools becomes the basis for students' actions and future affiliations. While some students have sufficient innate intelligence to reject the dogma being taught in public schools and universities, most students will simply absorb the propaganda of politicized education and move forward believing what they have been taught from grade school age through university.
This massive propaganda effort that permeates our education system has produced a young electorate whose premises are distorted by a politicized education that has not prepared these young adults to make intelligent, rational choices when they vote. This is a terrible burden for our constitutional system to overcome.
Consider the issue commonly referred to as "global warming." The misnaming of this issue is characteristic of the tactics used by a media following a script rather than reporting objective facts. Global warming is a perfectly natural cycle of climate change. So is global cooling. But in coining a "short-hand" for "human-induced global warming", the fourth estate has misrepresented the nature of the issue to further their political agenda. The objective of penalizing carbon emissions is to drag down Western nations, principally the United States, who have access to ample supplies of fossil fuels for cheap energy and transportation. By crippling the energy industry through global warming scare campaigns, a scenario is created that allows arguments for UN control of emissions to take precedence over individual nations' rights under their own respective constitution.
By constantly misrepresenting the position of scientists and simplifying the so-called "greenhouse effect" to a point where it bears little resemblance to real atmospheric warming, the media create a false view of climate change that is constantly placed before the public. These same stories are spread throughout the education system to poison the minds of the young. By continuing to ignore the scientific research that has completely removed any doubt that human activity has no meaningful impact whatsoever on climate change, the fourth estate has shown it is committed to acting against the best interests of the United States.
Climate change is just one of the issues where the fourth estate has turned its back on objective truth and has firmly taken a position that is contrary to the interests of a well-informed public and at odds with sound constitutional government. The mortgage fiasco that triggered the banking debacle is a prime example of how a politicized fourth estate can cause widespread damage and human misery -- all in the service of questionable partisan objectives.
A few other issues where the partisan fourth estate has grossly misinformed the public include immigration reform, the healthcare debate, the recent presidential election coverage, the unheard-of spending of the new administration, and the disintegration of the value of the U.S. dollar.
There is no question that the fourth estate, dominated by the AP and a handful of media groups, has been for many decades grossly misinforming the U.S. public. This facilitates poor ballot decisions and enables politicians whose interests are at serious odds with their oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America.
So it all boils down to a simple formula. A fourth estate that has become a fifth column works diligently to misinform the U.S. public, including school children and college students. The misinformed public elects politicians whose interests do not include adhering to the restraints of constitutional governance. Ultimately, this produces bad government. This spreading cancer of corrupt politicians enabled by the fifth column fourth estate has significantly weakened both the U.S. economy and its underlying culture of work-reward. If the cancer is not stopped, there is little that will be possible to stop the complete demise of our constitutional form of government.
It is very important that as 2010 draws near, each of us commit ourselves to shining the light of truth on our fifth column fourth estate. This entails speaking to friends and family about the lack of balance and objectivity in our media and how the public is being lied to continuously in order to generate support for damaging federal laws that are ultimately designed to undermine the U.S. economy.
Beginning in 2010, it will not be good enough to merely "throw the bums out", rather, we must assure that those who replace the "bums" are committed to passage of a constitutional amendment to limit each elected federal official to a single term of office. This would necessitate changing the term for House members to 4 years, staggering the election year for one-half of each states' congressional delegation.
A single term amendment would eliminate the Congress' corrupt seniority system. It would reduce power of lobbyists and would lower costs of election campaigns assuring better-qualified candidates.
Following this, an amendment that would require all bills from Congress to identify their constitutional foundation to the Supreme Court for certification of constitutionality before being presented to the President for signature. This would put a serious roadblock in the path of those who would ignore constitutional restraints. Further, all executive orders would similarly have to identify the specific enumerated power under which they are created and be certified as constitutional by the Supreme Court. Recognizing that past bills and executive orders have exceeded legitimate constitutional authority, every bill and executive order would need to be re-authorized by the Congress and the President within a specified time period or the law or order would be declared null and void.
Another amendment worthy of passage would be a severe limit to the time Congress was in session in any year. Three months is more than enough time to deal with routine legitimately authorized activities of the Congress. Requiring elected officials to spend considerable time in their home districts/states would significantly increase their awareness of the issues important to their constituents.
There remains the problem of what to do about the highly corrupted partisan fourth estate. Because of the protections our constitution provides the fourth estate, the only remedy is the one that people have been practicing quite effectively for the past decade or so -- switching off. Both print news and TV news are losing audiences in unprecedented amounts. Many newspapers are being forced to close forever. Others have severely curtailed publication size, and in some cases the number of editions. The same is true for TV news. The major networks are virtually irrelevant in terms of competition with cable news. As cable news becomes more Left-wing, viewers decline rapidly. As cable news becomes more conservative, dealing with objective truth, viewers increase phenomenally. This shifting dynamic bodes will for the future.
We the People have the power to take back our government from the irresponsible loonies who have usurped power with the aid of a compliant fourth estate. Nobody will do this for us. We must do it ourselves by being conscientious and dedicated to spreading truth and not supporting the fifth column fourth estate.
Just do it!
WEBCommentary (Editor, Publisher)
Biography - Bob Webster
Bob Webster, a 12th-generation descendent of both the Darte family (Connecticut, 1630s) and the Webster family (Massachusetts, 1630s) is a descendant of Daniel Webster's father, Revolutionary War patriot Ebenezer Webster, who served with General Washington. Bob has always had a strong interest in early American history, our Constitution, U.S. politics, and law. Politically he is a constitutional republican with objectivist and libertarian roots. He has faith in the ultimate triumph of truth and reason over deception and emotion. He is a strong believer in our Constitution as written and views the abandonment of constitutional restraint by the regressive Progressive movement as a great danger to our Republic. His favorite novel is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and believes it should be required reading for all high school students so they can appreciate the cost of tolerating the growth of unconstitutional crushingly powerful central government. He strongly believes, as our Constitution enshrines, that the interests of the individual should be held superior to the interests of the state.
A lifelong interest in meteorology and climatology spurred his strong interest in science. Bob earned his degree in Mathematics at Virginia Tech, graduating in 1964.