Dear Mr. Trump,
Let me start this letter by expressing my admiration for you. You are clearly a smart, strategic and self-made man who has the ability to learn from previous mistakes and by the mistakes of others. I cannot imagine you would be one to cower from your own mistakes either. This is a quality that not many possess, and one you have demonstrated numerous times. No doubt, you are a busy man who has to pick and choose what information you can delve into, but I hope this letter finds its way to you, and I hope you read it with an open mind. It is within this spirit that I wish to convey the following.
Your recent interview with Field & Stream was brought to my attention by a dear friend. I read through the transcripts several times. As I read it though, something very disturbing began to emerge. This disturbing revelation is something that I wanted to share with my readers, but you as well. I would first like to commend you on your shift in support of the Second Amendment and for your gun ownership. But it’s going to take a whole lot more than that to get the support of a REAL Constitutionalist. You often speak of personal responsibility, self-reliance, small government, and the power of the small to medium-sized businesses. I think you are on the right track in many ways. Many have fallen in love with your blunt / no B.S. approach to things. I must admit that I too appreciate your willingness to say what so many refuse to. So let me be blunt and humbly suggest that if you are truly sincere in your love for this country, then perhaps you are missing something extremely important.
I would like to stress the importance of the Constitution as a guiding document; for both the citizenry and government participants alike. Mr. Trump, I probably don’t have to tell you that the Constitution is a very important document. But you must understand that if you want the support of REAL Constitutionalists, you will need to actually read that document. I say this because it is now clear that you have not. But that’s okay, like most average Americans, not many have. The good news is that you claim to be exceptional. The bad news is that usually, only exceptional people take the time to actually read this document.
One of two things then must be true. 1) You have not read the Constitution, or 2) you have and simply do not care. If you have but simply do not care, you will never gain the support of true Constitutionalists and will be regarded accordingly. If you have not read it, know that it is not too late; you can get up to speed rather quickly – as it is a short document; about the size of a short story. And I recommend that you read it as soon as possible because it is my contention that one cannot support or defend a document they have not read or do not understand, and you need the support of those who understand this. Time is short though because many in this country are waking up to that fact.
In my book RELOADED, I was able to demonstrate that there is not a single Right in the Bill of Rights that is not currently under attack or otherwise completely gone. I also demonstrated that we are in a very similar position to that of what the Founders of this great nation were in over two hundred years ago. I can tell you that personally, my support and the support that I will encourage others to provide, will go to a champion of the Constitution. But again, one cannot champion a document they have not read or do not understand.
Let’s get back to you for a second. Let’s talk about your interview and focus on land for a moment. As you know, there are some disputes currently underway in this country in regard to land. You will undoubtedly need to take a position on this in the very near future.
Let me provide you the following map. Below is a map of what this United States is supposed to look like (minus Alaska and Hawaii and certain territories). You will notice that each state has a distinct boundary. This is because each state is an organized political community under one state government. This land is supposed to be owned by the people of their respective states. But that’s not really the case, is it?
The truth is that the Federal Government currently has control over much of this land. And many people who reside in these states are not exactly happy about that. But Mr. Trump, in your interview, when asked about the discussion of federal land being transferred back to the states, you said the following:
I don’t like the idea because I want to keep the lands great, and you don’t know what the state is going to do. I mean, are they going to sell if they get into a little bit of trouble? And I don’t think it’s something that should be sold. We have to be great stewards of this land. This is magnificent land. And we have to be great stewards of this land. And the hunters do such a great job—I mean, the hunters and the fishermen and all of the different people that use that land. So I’ve been hearing more and more about that. And it’s just like the erosion of the Second Amendment. I mean, every day you hear Hillary Clinton wants to essentially wipe out the Second Amendment. We have to protect the Second Amendment, and we have to protect our lands.
I agree with you that this whole thing is just like the erosion of the Second Amendment; where so many weigh in on a conversation that they fundamentally do not understand, and how the Federal Government doesn’t seem to care about what the Constitution says; they just continue to infringe upon our Rights with impunity. And I agree with you that we have to protect the Second Amendment. But would you agree that it is equally important to protect the rest of the Constitution and the rest of the Bill of Rights?
There are a few specific conclusions that I pulled from your response in your interview:
- 1 – In your view: the states cannot do a good job of taking care of their own land.
- 2 – In your view: the states don’t know what they are doing.
- 3 – In your view: you are not a fan of the Federal Government adhering to Constitutionally Authorized Functions.
- 4 – Perhaps you don’t support the Tenth Amendment.
- 5 – Or perhaps you have not read the Constitution.
Mr. Trump, the Federal Government currently controls about a million square miles of land in this country. They claim to own roughly 47 percent of all land in the West. This includes over 40 percent of Arizona, 45 percent of California and Wyoming, over 50 percent of Oregon, over 60 percent both Alaska and Idaho, over 65 percent of Utah, and 85 percent of Nevada. These lands are “managed” by Federal agencies such as the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service.
Let’s look at this very telling map below. This is how the United States REALLY looks. Some states cannot even be recognized. In your interview, you said that you “don’t know what the state is going to do” in regard to the land. Yet, we already know what the Federal Government is doing with it; are you okay with that?
There are several pretty big problems with all of this though. That first problem is a Constitutional one. Let’s put aside for a moment how the Federal Government is profiting from their exploits on these lands and people, and how the citizens of these states are often left to fit the bill for any number of so-called offenses that occur on this land or for the aftermath of what it is done to the land by these endeavors. Mr. Trump, you (and the Federal Government) need to understand that the Federal Government does not have the authority to own land outside of Article 1 Section 8 Clause 17, which states:
To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of Particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;
To dumb this down a bit; basically this means that the Federal Government receives Washington D.C. and land that the states offer up to the Federal Government for forts, bases, and other essential facilities. But this is not “ownership”. Instead, it is more like rent, because if the Federal Government oversteps their bounds or the states (or the people of those states) get sick of their authoritarian tactics, or simply decide that they would like to exploit the land similar to how the Federal Government often does, then the states can always take the land back.
States have their own government and their own rules. You will also notice that on any map, each state has borders. This is similar to how and why states have their own Congress, Senate, Governor, etc. States are not to be confused with territories, as neither the people nor the land is owned by the Federal Government.
I have said it before and I feel it is important to say it again. We need to embrace and support Constitutionally aligned Federalism – a system of government where sovereignty is constitutionally divided between a central governing authority and constituent political units (such as states), but where states hold the supreme power as defined under the 10th Amendment. Our Federal Government is restricted by our Constitutional system and this merely solidifies the 10th Amendment and the Bill of Rights as a whole.
States are supposed to rule themselves and their land as defined under the Constitution. Territories are what the Federal Government can own and dictate. The Constitution addresses Territories as well. You can find this under Article 4 Section 3 Clause 2 – which states:
The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.
To be abundantly clear; a “Territory” (in Constitutional terms) is an organized division of a country that is not yet admitted to the full rights of a state. States are called states because they have already acquired the full rights of statehood. “Full rights” is the key here. One of the big differences between a State and a Territory is that State has “sovereignty”, or better said; the authority to govern itself. Yes, there are many other important distinctions between a territory and a state and I would encourage you to explore these. But the question remains: do you support a state’s right to govern itself and its own land?
Unfortunately, your words in that interview indicate that while you may be a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, perhaps you are not a strong supporter of the Tenth Amendment. And if you are, then perhaps you were unaware of the Constitutional provisions addressed above. Regardless, something was obviously missed if you really are a defender of the Constitution. Unfortunately, and at this point, it is really becoming hard to tell which is correct.
Mr. Trump, the Tenth Amendment states that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” As you can imagine, with the Constitution being such a short document, the Federal Government has taken a few steps outside of Constitutionally Authorized Function. As I have already clearly demonstrated, the issue of land has been detailed out, which technically makes your position unconstitutional. This is important to note because, in our American political discourse, we must remember that each state has power reserved to it by the Constitution under the Tenth. This includes jurisdiction and ownership of the land within that state. These fall under something called “States’ Rights”; which refers to political powers reserved for the STATE governments rather than the Federal Government according to the United States Constitution, reflecting especially the enumerated powers of Congress and the Tenth Amendment.
The point is that you (and the Federal Government) cannot have it both ways. You either support the Constitution or you do not. If you merely pick and choose a section to support in a particular moment in time because it appeals to those with whom you are currently speaking or those who can help get you elected, then what makes you any different than the person you aim to replace, and what reason do any of us really have to support you?
On a related note, in the first presidential debate, you seemed to suggest that stop and frisk was a good idea because of the dangerous people in our country. Let me just remind you that the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States states clearly:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,[a] against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
There are those who have tried to justify infringements upon this right. Many a court case has done a good job of providing “just in case” scenarios and rulings that erode this amendment every bit as much as the Second Amendment – and do so in the name of “safety” or “security”. However, I would like to provide you a little context via our founders about taking away our rights for our security.
“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Ben Franklin – 1755 letter on behalf of the Pennsylvania Assembly to the colonial governor.
And while his context was geared towards the right of self-governance of a legislature, I believe the spirit of the statement remains true in general for the people who comprise such legislatures. Considering that Article 4 Section 4 states that we are a Republic, that means that the legislature is supposed to be made up of the common man. It seems to me that it works both ways. Why should a legislature be held to a different standard than those they aim to lead? Remember; the general spirit of the founders was one of independence and self-reliance as a whole. Evidence of my point may be found in something Thomas Jefferson said.
Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem. – Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1/30/1787
This means “I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.” In other words, he preferred the disorder of liberty to the calmness of being under the control of an authoritarian. Of course, these words come from the guy who in the same letter states clearly that “I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.“
So Mr. Trump; are you the exceptional person you claim to be? Are you the leader so many hope you could be? Do you really want to make America great again? This nation thrived most when the Constitution was the rule, not the exception. We were the most mighty and most free when the government yielded to the people. Do you aim to restore this? If so, then understand that it starts with knowing the document you have already demonstrated you are not familiar with.
Mr. Trump – which are you the champion of: an Oligarchy, Corporatocracy, Democracy or the Republic? You have inspired some of the ignorant masses. What will you do to inspire the intellectuals? It’s not too late. But you need to be blunt and provide some no B.S. answers and some clarification to these questions. That is of course… if you really care. And I sir… will gladly share your answers accordingly.