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Old March 1, 2009, 12:56 PM   #67
Webleymkv
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Join Date: July 20, 2005
Location: Indiana
Posts: 9,925
Originally posted by Tennessee Gentleman
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Originally Posted by Webleymkv
that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people, while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and use of arms who stand ready to defend their own rights, and those of their fellow citizens.

I posted this in another thread about the decline of the militia:


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Originally Posted by Tennessee Gentleman
Within two decades of the ratification of the Constitution, American political leaders had abandoned the original concept of the militia, and in the words of one historian, "The ideological assumptions of revolutionary republicanism would no longer play an important role in the debate over the republic's military requirements." THE MILITIA AND THE CONSTITUTION: A LEGAL HISTORY by William S. Fields & David T. Hardy Military Law Review 1992

The founding fathers feared a large standing army and the quote you give from Hamilton as he tried to convince the anti-federalists that a strong government would not become tyrannical was speaking to that fear. The militia and the idea of a group of citizens "little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and use of arms" fell by the wayside because a) The American People didn't like compulsory service in the militia and b) the checks and balances in the system provided the necessary protections needed for preventing tyranny thus Jefferson who had once loathed the idea now as President asked for a "select militia" or standing army. The idea you support was dead 20 years after the COTUS was written.
Hamilton's writings do not support that notion as he stated the following in The Federalist Papers:

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To oblige the great body of yeomanry, and of the other classes of the citizens, to be under arms for the purpose of goin through military exercizes and evolutions, as often as might be necessary, to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well regualted militia, would be a real greivance to the people, and a serious public inconveniance and loss. I would form an annual deduction from the productive labour of the country...
He also states with regards to mandatory militia service,

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To attempt such a thing which would abridge the mass of labour and industry to so considerable an extent, would be unwise; and the experiment, if made, could not succeed, because it would not long be endured.
and finally,

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Little more can reasonably be aimed at, with respect to the people, than to have them properly armed and equipped..
Sounds to me like the founders knew right from the beginning that Switzerland-style mandatory militia service would not work. Yet the Second Amendment was still included in the Constitution and Hamilton made the earlier comments that I posted in the very same document as his admission that mandatory militia service was not feasable.

Originally posted by Tennessee Gentleman
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Originally Posted by Webleymkv
the lack of its use does not negate its purpose.

It renders it obsolete.
So does the fact that I've never fired or even drawn my handgun in self-defense render my right to carry it obsolete? The argument that lack of use necessarily equates to obsolescence has far too many problems and exceptions to be valid.

Originally posted by Tennessee Gentleman
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Originally Posted by Webleymkv
You claimed that the oath would prevent the military from supporting a rouge president from seizing sole governmental power. I pointed out, using your own examples, that this is a weak argument as the military can and has carried out illegal orders that would seem to be in conflict with the oath taken by its members. I asked that you support your claim, and, thus far, you have been either unable or unwilling to do so.

I have supported the claim but you are spinning the argument. I said that a rouge president would not be able to overthrow the other branches of government using the military because of the oath the military had taken. I did not say that the military would fail to execute apparently lawful orders (even later found to be wrong) that all three branches of government supported and approved which they did in the examples I provided.
I am not spinning the argument, I simply pointed pointed out the fallacy of it. What is to prevent the military to percieve the orders of a rouge president as being lawful (even if they are later found to be wrong), such as being an emergency measure that is supposed to be rescinded later? Remember, hindsight is always 20/20. You still are unable to support your claim that the oath alone would prevent the military from carrying out illegal orders (it hasn't always done so in the past).

Originally posted by Tennessee Gentleman
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Originally Posted by Webleymkv
How would the other branches of the government stop the potential tyrant if he already had control over a superior military force and posessed the will to use it against them.

Unless that military force was stronger than the US Military he couldn't do it. Since no President could obtain such control over the US Military, it would have to be one big force outside the government. Not likely to happen.
It is only impossible for a President to gain control over the military because of the people. There is not evidence that the other branches of the government, without the support of the people who are equipped to resist the tyrant, would be able to stop such an event. Also, because there is no current military force outside the U.S. that is strong enough to overthrow our government, such was not always the case and there is no guarantee that such will always be the case.

Originally posted by Tennessee Gentleman
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Originally Posted by Webleymkv
The fact that no one branch of the government has ever attempted to seize power from the others can be attributed to one of three possible causes:

I submit a fourth. They could not seize power because constitutional separations of powers as well as the checks and balances of our COTUS prevented them from doing it as well as free elections and an independent judiciary.
COTUS cannot prevent anything if the would-be tyrant has no respect for the law and the means to carry out his wishes in spite of COTUS. History supports this. The BOR's guarantee of certain rights (including RKBA) serves too ensure that no leader will have sufficient force to seize sole governmental power against the will of the people through use of the military. Those were Hamilton's thoughts on the matter and I agree with him.

Originally posted by Tennessee Gentleman
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Webley, I am still waiting for historical evidence that an armed citizenry has prevented or undid a tyrannical act by our government.
I've answered that question numerous times, you simply continue to modify and qualify it because you don't like my answers but are unable to refute them. This is a game that I refuse to play.

Originally posted by Kleinzeit
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Sounds to me like Hamilton thought the military would be unable to dominate an armed and well disciplined citizenry. So it would appear to me that no one has tried to seize sole governmental power by force because an armed citizenry would make it extremely difficult if not impossible to do so.

That's just silly. That's ideology, not rational argument.
Well it appears that at least one of the Delegates at the Constitutional Convention shared my silly, irrational ideology.
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Last edited by Webleymkv; March 1, 2009 at 02:10 PM.
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