Sadly, there are many posts on this message board that now illustrate too succinctly that the Trump administration has emboldened the voices of locals who are altogether taken with the concepts and methods of actual fascism, though they are also the first to be shocked and offended at that notion, imagining themselves to be patriots, when in fact they are anything but.
The Danger of American Fascism
Henry A. Wallace: An article in the New York Times, April 9, 1944.
From Henry A. Wallace, Democracy Reborn (New York, 1944), edited by Russell Lord, p. 259.
On returning from my trip to the West in February, I received a request from The New York Times to write a piece answering the following questions:
What is a fascist?
How many fascists have we?
How dangerous are they?
A fascist is one whose lust for money or power is combined with such an intensity of intolerance toward those of other races, parties, classes, religions, cultures, regions or nations as to make him ruthless in his use of deceit or violence to attain his ends. The supreme god of a fascist, to which his ends are directed, may be money or power; may be a race or a class; may be a military, clique or an economic group; or may be a culture, religion, or a political party.
The perfect type of fascist throughout recent centuries has been the Prussian Junker, who developed such hatred for other races and such allegiance to a military clique as to make him willing at all times to engage in any degree of deceit and violence necessary to place his culture and race astride the world. In every big nation of the world are at least a few people who have the fascist temperament. Every Jew-baiter, every Catholic hater, is a fascist at heart. The hoodlums who have been desecrating churches, cathedrals and synagogues in some of our larger cities are ripe material for fascist leadership.
The obvious types of American fascists are dealt with on the air and in the press. These demagogues and stooges are fronts for others. Dangerous as these people may be, they are not so significant as thousands of other people who have never been mentioned. The really dangerous American fascists are not those who are hooked up directly or indirectly with the Axis. The FBI has its finger on those. The dangerous American fascist is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power.
If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. Most American fascists are enthusiastically supporting the war effort. They are doing this even in those cases where they hope to have profitable connections with German chemical firms after the war ends. They are patriotic in time of war because it is to their interest to be so, but in time of peace they follow power and the dollar wherever they may lead.
American fascism will not be really dangerous until there is a purposeful coalition among the cartelists, the deliberate poisoners of public information, and those who stand for the K.K.K. type of demagoguery.
The European brand of fascism will probably present its most serious postwar threat to us via Latin America. The effect of the war has been to raise the cost of living in most Latin American countries much faster than the wages of labor. The fascists in most Latin American countries tell the people that the reason their wages will not buy as much in the way of goods is because of Yankee imperialism. The fascists in Latin America learn to speak and act like natives. Our chemical and other manufacturing concerns are all too often ready to let the Germans have Latin American markets, provided the American companies can work out an arrangement which will enable them to charge high prices to the consumer inside the United States. Following this war, technology will have reached such a point that it will be possible for Germans, using South America as a base, to cause us much more difficulty in World War III than they did in World War II. The military and landowning cliques in many South American countries will find it attractive financially to work with German fascist concerns as well as expedient from the standpoint of temporary power politics.
Fascism is a worldwide disease. Its greatest threat to the United States will come after the war, either via Latin America or within the United States itself.
Still another danger is represented by those who, paying lip service to democracy and the common welfare, in their insatiable greed for money and the power which money gives, do not hesitate surreptitiously to evade the laws designed to safeguard the public from monopolistic extortion. American fascists of this stamp were clandestinely aligned with their German counterparts before the war, and are even now preparing to resume where they left off, after "the present unpleasantness" ceases:
The symptoms of fascist thinking are colored by environment and adapted to immediate circumstances. But always and everywhere they can be identified by their appeal to prejudice and by the desire to play upon the fears and vanities of different groups in order to gain power. It is no coincidence that the growth of modern tyrants has in every case been heralded by the growth of prejudice. It may be shocking to some people in this country to realize that, without meaning to do so, they hold views in common with Hitler when they preach discrimination against other religious, racial or economic groups. Likewise, many people whose patriotism is their proudest boast play Hitler's game by retailing distrust of our Allies and by giving currency to snide suspicions without foundation in fact.
The American fascists are most easily recognized by their deliberate perversion of truth and fact. Their newspapers and propaganda carefully cultivate every fissure of disunity, every crack in the common front against fascism. They use every opportunity to impugn democracy. They use isolationism as a slogan to conceal their own selfish imperialism. They cultivate hate and distrust of both Britain and Russia. They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.
Several leaders of industry in this country who have gained a new vision of the meaning of opportunity through co-operation with government have warned the public openly that there are some selfish groups in industry who are willing to jeopardize the structure of American liberty to gain some temporary advantage. We all know the part that the cartels played in bringing Hitler to power, and the rule the giant German trusts have played in Nazi conquests. Monopolists who fear competition and who distrust democracy because it stands for equal opportunity would like to secure their position against small and energetic enterprise. In an effort to eliminate the possibility of any rival growing up, some monopolists would sacrifice democracy itself.
It has been claimed at times that our modern age of technology facilitates dictatorship. What we must understand is that the industries, processes, and inventions created by modern science can be used either to subjugate or liberate. The choice is up to us. The myth of fascist efficiency has deluded many people. It was Mussolini's vaunted claim that he "made the trains run on time." In the end, however, he brought to the Italian people impoverishment and defeat. It was Hitler's claim that he eliminated all unemployment in Germany. Neither is there unemployment in a prison camp.
Democracy to crush fascism internally must demonstrate its capacity to "make the trains run on time." It must develop the ability to keep people fully employed and at the same time balance the budget. It must put human beings first and dollars second. It must appeal to reason and decency and not to violence and deceit. We must not tolerate oppressive government or industrial oligarchy in the form of monopolies and cartels. As long as scientific research and inventive ingenuity outran our ability to devise social mechanisms to raise the living standards of the people, we may expect the liberal potential of the United States to increase. If this liberal potential is properly channeled, we may expect the area of freedom of the United States to increase. The problem is to spend up our rate of social invention in the service of the welfare of all the people.
The worldwide, agelong struggle between fascism and democracy will not stop when the fighting ends in Germany and Japan. Democracy can win the peace only if it does two things:
Speeds up the rate of political and economic inventions so that both production and, especially, distribution can match in their power and practical effect on the daily life of the common man the immense and growing volume of scientific research, mechanical invention and management technique.
Vivifies with the greatest intensity the spiritual processes which are both the foundation and the very essence of democracy.
The moral and spiritual aspects of both personal and international relationships have a practical bearing which so-called practical men deny. This dullness of vision regarding the importance of the general welfare to the individual is the measure of the failure of our schools and churches to teach the spiritual significance of genuine democracy. Until democracy in effective enthusiastic action fills the vacuum created by the power of modern inventions, we may expect the fascists to increase in power after the war both in the United States and in the world.
Fascism in the postwar inevitably will push steadily for Anglo-Saxon imperialism and eventually for war with Russia. Already American fascists are talking and writing about this conflict and using it as an excuse for their internal hatreds and intolerances toward certain races, creeds and classes.
It should also be evident that exhibitions of the native brand of fascism are not confined to any single section, class or religion. Happily, it can be said that as yet fascism has not captured a predominant place in the outlook of any American section, class or religion. It may be encountered in Wall Street, Main Street or Tobacco Road. Some even suspect that they can detect incipient traces of it along the Potomac. It is an infectious disease, and we must all be on our guard against intolerance, bigotry and the pretension of invidious distinction. But if we put our trust in the common sense of common men and "with malice toward none and charity for all" go forward on the great adventure of making political, economic and social democracy a practical reality, we shall not fail.
"Sadly, there are many posts on this message board that now illustrate too succinctly that the Trump administration has emboldened the voices of locals ..."
Nah, it's the other way around. The voices of the working people have brought us and emboldened the Trump administration.
Sad to see someone trivialize Facism by comparing it to the Trump administration. Holocaust survivors would not
appreciate it. Henry Wallace was so far to the left the FDR did not select him as his running mate. He picked Harry
Truman instead. Lucky for us.
There are Holocaust survivors themselves making the comparison. Sadly too many of the elements are entirely relevant. Too bad you are so biased that you can't see it. This isn't about left or right or winning/losing an election, as those who are so limited in their vision are trying to frame it.
Current liberals really need to look in the mirror to find the true fascists in this country! They are ones, and their supporters, who participate in riots and destroy property in objecting to the Trump administration policies. They are ones who want to shutdown free speech at colleges and universities. The Democrats are ones that want to obstruct and prevent any meaningful legislation to help move this country forward - they want to live in the past and forget the future!
Shame - shame - on liberals!
Forget Fascism. It’s Anarchy We Have to Worry About
We are not barreling toward fascism. Fascism requires a program and unity of purpose.
By Neal Gabler | March 29, 2017
So many of us were wrong, myself included, about Donald Trump. We saw in the jut-jawed, brow-furrowed Mussolini-like posturing, in the blatant narcissism, in the reckless disregard for truth, the anger and incitement to hatred, the declamations that he would fix everything single-handedly on Day One of his presidency, his disdain for democracy and hints that he would lock up his opponents — we saw in all of these things incipient fascism.
After the inauguration, I began reading Victor Klemperer’s chilling diaries on the rise of Nazism, I Will Bear Witness, and Sebastian Haffner’s memoir of the early days of Hitler, Defying Hitler. The analogies were all too close. Others on these pages have made similar observations. We were on the verge of something unprecedented, something horrifying. We were on the verge of authoritarian government headed by an ignoramus and possible psychopath. We were on the verge of the end of democracy.
Trump really is a presidential Joker. He knows how to wreak havoc, but he doesn’t seem to know how to do, or seem to want to do, much else.
And then, last Friday, with the demise of the Republican attempt to repeal Obamacare and replace it with… well, with a massive tax giveaway to the rich, we discovered — I discovered — that I was fearing the wrong thing. It’s not Trump’s ability to marshal the forces of repression that should terrify us. It’s his inability to marshal forces to conduct even the most basic governance. Trump really is a presidential Joker. He knows how to wreak havoc, but he doesn’t seem to know how to do, or seem to want to do, much else.
This isn’t to discount the fascistic dangers inherent in Trump. We all know that he has an authoritarian temperament. He likes the binary and berates the latter in the pairs: winners and losers, majorities and minorities (never mind that he won a minority of the popular vote), rich and poor, powerful men and feckless women, bullying America and every other country. He prefers muscle to negotiation, despite his much vaunted, and now much tarnished, skill at dealmaking. He loves strongmen and considers himself one of them.
His desire, doubtless, was to Putinize this country with the help of his Republican lackeys. Or perhaps the better analogy is that he wanted to turn the country into one giant episode of The Apprentice, in which everyone vied for his favor. With seigniorial hauteur, he, King Donald, would point thumbs-up or thumbs-down.
So here is the good news. Whatever his dreams of dominance and his possible aspirations to one-man rule, he simply does not have the aptitude or the discipline to realize them. We saw that last week. He thought he could bully, charm, finesse, arm-twist and threaten his way to victory, but no one was buying it — in part, I think, because he tried to make it all about his power, not the power of Congress, and he was already on such thin ice before the Obamacare debacle that he didn’t have much suasion with them.
To have an authoritarian state, you have to possess not just the impulse to authoritarianism but the talent for it.
Why abet him, those Republican misanthropes may have thought, when at some point, they knew they might have to distance themselves from him? In any case, some of those legislators realized that Trump and his aides were way out of their depth. Hitler was able to parlay his minority into implacable power because he organized a rigid, disciplined crew of sociopaths on a mission. Trump has the gang that couldn’t shoot straight.
So that’s the good news — sort of. To have an authoritarian state, you have to possess not just the impulse to authoritarianism but the talent for it, which is more than saying, “It’s going to be great,” or “Believe me,” or telling opponents how “sick” and “sad” they are.
Now for the bad news. Two diametrically opposed impulses seem to have been warring in Trump for quite a while — that authoritarian tendency to rule, and a tendency to create misrule. If Trump isn’t a fascist, or at least a successful one, he is something nearly as bad: Donald Trump is a solipsistic anarchist.
Of course he wants to accrue power, which may be what misled us into thinking he was a potential fascist. It’s just that he doesn’t seem to know how to do anything with it other than to promote himself and puff his ego, which means that everything crumbles around him. And of course, like most strongmen, he wants to do harm to the less powerful — to wit, immigrants and the poor — but it may be no accident that even his attempts at strong-arming turn out to have the opposite effect: chaos.
The truth may be that chaos is more his métier than tyranny. As much as he says he hates losing, we may have actually caught a glimpse of the real Trump, the one sitting at his desk, smug and seemingly self-satisfied after his terrible defeat on Friday. This Trump may have thought he won by losing. No, he hadn’t won the congressional vote. But he had sown disarray, certainly within his own party and gradually throughout the health care system, especially once he joins judicial challenges to curb Medicaid expansion, as he undoubtedly will. The anarchistic tendency prevailed over the authoritarian one. Things fell apart. He wasn’t necessarily an unhappy Joker.
This is what many of the pundits, myself included, may have missed in the whole Obamacare repeal-and-replace saga. We thought there was some ideological obsession on the right with repealing Obamacare because it was a government program, because it helped people whom Republicans believed undeserving (the poor), and because it was a signal achievement of the Obama administration: not necessarily good reasons but at least reasons. And we thought Trump, who seemed to have no ideological commitment to anything, wanted to repeal it because it would be a demonstration of his muscle as well as a way to unman Obama. And we may have thought that after repeal, Republicans wanted a new plan that would basically defund Medicaid to injure the poor and further enrich the wealthy with the billions of dollars in proceeds. In short, we may have thought there was some vaguely coherent direction to the anti-Obamacare enterprise.
They couldn’t have done more to sabotage their bill if they had tried, and I have a sneaking suspicion that is exactly what they were doing, some subconsciously, others quite consciously.
What we didn’t realize going in is that not only was Trump totally clueless about the substance of the bill, apparently looking only for a victory, any victory, to claim, but also that Republicans, for all their professions of having been hatching a conservative alternative to Obamacare for seven years, had no plan at all — and, I would submit, no real desire for one.
They couldn’t have done more to sabotage their bill if they had tried, and I have a sneaking suspicion that is exactly what they were doing, some subconsciously, others quite consciously. Repeal? Absolutely. Replace? Not so much. The attempted Trump/Republican alliance, then, was a case of one anarchist making common cause with a whole gaggle of anarchists, neither of whom had the slightest interest in reforming health care, only in creating disorder and then hoping to benefit from it, both politically and financially. It shouldn’t have come as any surprise what the outcome would be. Anarchists don’t work well together.
Just think about it for a moment. The Republican replacement was really a non-insurance bill, by which I mean it flew in the face of the most fundamental principle of insurance — the healthy pay for those who aren’t. It is the sort of community of interest that is anathema to conservatives who believe it is every man for himself.
The upshot is that you cannot have “conservative” insurance. It isn’t tenable. When you have freedom of choice with every person getting to choose whether to be insured or not, and with those who are insured getting to choose what they want to have covered, you do not have a viable insurance system. You have anarchy. Anarchy was built right into the Republican plan.
And that is the other thing I think a lot of pundits and political observers missed over the past eight years and even longer. Republicans never had a viable plan, not just about health care, but about anything, be it tax reform or energy or education. That is why their only remedies are less regulation and more tax cuts.
Republicans may talk tough. They may tout the idea of conservative, market-driven solutions to our problems, but somehow, serious solutions never get presented because, frankly, Republicans don’t have any interest in them.
There is a good reason for this, and it isn’t incompetence, though there is plenty of that, too. Republicans may talk tough. They may tout the idea of conservative, market-driven solutions to our problems, but somehow, serious solutions never get presented because, frankly, Republicans don’t have any interest in them.
When you come down to it, Republicans are really anarchists dedicated to undermining government in the furtherance of an economic state of nature where the rich rule. What we saw these past few weeks was not the failure of Republicanism, as so many pronounced on Friday, but its logical and inevitable conclusion. Republicans are great at opposing things, destroying things, obstructing things, undoing things. They are really, really terrible at creating things because they have no desire to do so.
And now they have an anarchist-in-chief, someone who shares their government phobia, if not their conviction, and whose real crime in Republicans’ eyes wasn’t that he couldn’t secure the passage of a bill, but that he managed to reveal their mess in full public view. As New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote in an open letter to Trump this past Sunday, “It took W. years to smash everything. You’re way ahead of schedule.”
There is, however, a method to this madness. Anarchism isn’t nihilism. By undoing government, anarchism undoes the only protection most Americans have against the depredations of the Trumps of this world and against the often cruel vicissitudes of life, like health crises. Take away government, and you strip away those protections. But take away government, and you also enable Trump and his fellow plutocrats to further enrich themselves because there would no mechanism to stop them. This has long been the Republican way: greed disguised as a fear of government overreach. Joker Trump and his Republican cronies are bent on deconstructing government to leave the rest of us defenseless against them.
Where that leaves us is a coming flurry of legislative activity that will almost certainly amount to nothing. And it won’t be because of some civil war within the GOP. It will be because the GOP, our very own anarchist party, really doesn’t want anything to happen.
Again, Republicans and their presidential anarchist ally can undo things, as they have done with environmental protection. And that is surely no small matter. But tax reform? Forget it. No reform, just huge tax cuts for the wealthy. Infrastructure spending? Not a chance. Another go at health care reform? Yeah, sure. No action, no sweat. Anarchy is their policy.
So, no, we are not barreling toward fascism. Fascism requires a program and unity of purpose. We are instead careening toward the first industrialized state of anarchy. Trump promised to blow things up; now he has. The question is whether anyone can put America back together after he and the Republicans are finished with it.
That's a great piece from Moyers, a pious man no one in their right minds can call a raging liberal. He has always been fair-minded and also fairly conservative. He is now outraged and deeply concerned about the things he sees, as are many of us of a socially conservative bent.
The Wallace piece is excellent, also, and deserves consideration in these awful times.
Here's something just read from The Guardian:
"I don’t know that America has ever seen a political party so divested of care. Since Trump took office, Republicans have proposed legislation to destroy unions, the healthcare system, the education system and the Environmental Protection Agency; to defund the reproductive health charity Planned Parenthood and restrict abortion; to stifle public protest and decimate arts funding; to increase the risk of violence against trans people and roll back anti-discrimination laws; and to funnel more and more wealth from the poorest to the richest. Every executive order and piece of GOP legislation is destructive, aimed at dismantling something else, never creating anything new, never in the service of improving the care of the nation.
Contemporary American conservatism is not a political philosophy so much as the roiling negative space around Barack Obama’s legacy. Can you imagine being that insecure? Can you imagine not wanting children to have healthcare because you’re embarrassed a black guy was your boss? It would be sad if it wasn’t so dangerous.
Vindictive obstructionism, it seems, is not particularly nourishing for the soul.
In the wake of the Republican party’s luscious, succulent failure to obliterate the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and replace it with catastrophic nationwide poverty and death, an old video of a Paul Ryan gaffe went viral. “We’re not going to give up,” Ryan assures his audience, “on destroying the healthcare system for the American people.”
The clip is from 2013, not 2017, and obviously Ryan did not mean to say into a microphone that he wants to destroy the healthcare system. But here’s the thing. I talk into a microphone in front of people all the time, and not once have I ever accidentally said: “Hitler was pretty cool” when what I meant to say was: “Throw all Nazis into the sea”. Even if we acknowledge that such a slip of the tongue is technically possible (if not likely), we don’t actually need to wonder about what Ryan secretly believes. Gaffe or no, we already know he wants to destroy the healthcare system for the American people, because he tried to pass legislation that would destroy the healthcare system for the American people. And because destruction, not life, is the foundation of Ryan’s party.
Listen to people, and political parties, when they tell you who they are. Don’t trust those who get lost when they’re claiming to show you The Way. Zero stars."
I'm sure glad there are smart people like Neal Gabler who think deeply and can write. Like so many others, I've felt uncomfortable about what's being done to the country. I never would have made the connections he made. I never heard of him before, but I'm glad he's paying attention and communicating.
It's scary. Unchecked, this president will harm our democracy more than at any other time in history. I work 9 or 10 hours a day. I pay attention the best I can. I don't work in government. I work retail. I don't want this great country destroyed. It feels like a few more years of this path and it take centuries to rebuild. My parents immigrated to here sixty years ago to escape untenable conditions in their country. Will someone please tell me what I should do to help? I just don't know what, but I know I need to do something.
Now the liberal media is in a tizzy because VP Mike Pence does not go to dinners alone with females other than his wife or relatives. This will be a disadvantage to women looking for White House positions.
Keep digging for more bullcrap. You libs are totally off your rockers.
To the original poster. Shut up.
Trump is a fascist for wanting to enforce CURRENT IMMIGRATION LAWS?
Or for wanting to put AMERICANS first, REGARDLESS of color, race or creed?
Stop watching Fake News you moron. Ridiculous that you people hate someone so much for wanting to protect us. You're too dumb to realiz the Democratic Party wants complete control over our lives. That is fascism. Ask a Canadian how long it would take them to get an MRI appointment because the government controls their health insurance. The Dems are out of control crooked and no matter what they do, you followers look the other way.
Reagan said if fascism comes to America it will come in the form of liberalism and he was 100% right.
The whole notion that debate about Immigration Policy = Hate is wrong and insulting. The bigger point is that the Democrat left is trying to equate immigration policy with hate. That's because there are more than 11 million illegals in the U.S., most of whom would be Democrat voters if their legal status is legitimized.
No nation on earth has borders where aliens can jump a fence or overstay a visa and gain permanent residency status. That's an insane notion. We are a nation of immigrants and always will be. People on the right don't hate immigrants. What they hate is lawlessness, lack of civil order and a lack of priorities in the immigration process.
We have 4 million legal immigrants in the queue, dutifully following the rules, showing patience and respect for the law. And we deeply disrespect them by letting others break the law, cheat the system, cut the line and come here illegally without waiting, and then use resources on them that should be going to deserving people who follow the law. Alll the talk about hate by the left is very hollow, politically self serving and hypocritical.
Wow, the racist, misogynist Melrose echo chamber is having a moment here. This is a pretty ugly reflection on what's always been here but now feels entitled and empowered. Meanwhile in the bigger world even the far right is having to start checking its own words and actions because decent people are standing up for decent values. Too bad Melrose is proving to be the backwards backwater once again. DT 35% national approval rate, lowest in recorded history for a new president. But here in Melrose, Go Hate! Go Ignorance! Yeay! Being on the wrong side of history doesn't phase you guys apparently, maybe because you don't read books or anything beyond your echo chamber.
Oh, this is rich. You mean the so-called "truth" as put forward by an administration that literally has less than zero credibility world-wide? You guys are getting exactly the governance you deserve. Unfortunately for the rest of us, we are not.
Are you going to tell me you believe the approval rates of the liberal media who are probably polling highly democratic areas. Who said that Hillary was ahead in every poll before the election? Who said Hillary has a 98% chance of winning?
Another example of how the liberal media cherry picks:
Sean Hannity was interviewed by Ted Koppel for CBS. The interview lasted about 45 minutes but they aired only about a minute of it, handpicking exactly what it wanted.
I'm illiterate because in my haste of writing I wrote your instead of you're?
Stop projecting because you feel stupid for falling for propaganda.
The best (and only) defense is a good offense, and on and on it goes.
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Article I (Article 1 - Legislative)
All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.
1: The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.
2: No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.
3: Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.2 The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.
4: When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.
5: The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.
1: The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof,3 for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.
2: Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.4
3: No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.
4: The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.
5: The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.
6: The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.
7: Judgment in Cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.
1: The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.
2: The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December,5 unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.
1: Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.
2: Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.
3: Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.
4: Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.
1: The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States.6 They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.
2: No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.
1: All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.
2: Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.
3: Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.
1: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
2: To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;
3: To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
4: To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
5: To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
6: To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
7: To establish Post Offices and post Roads;
8: To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
9: To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
10: To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;
11: To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
12: To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
13: To provide and maintain a Navy;
14: To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
15: To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
16: To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
17: 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;—And
18: To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
1: The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.
2: The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.
3: No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.
4: No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.7
5: No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.
6: No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.
7: No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.
8: No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.
1: No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.
2: No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.
3: No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.
Article II (Article 2 - Executive)
1: The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows
2: Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.
3: The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President.8
4: The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.
5: No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.
6: In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office,9 the Same shall devolve on the VicePresident, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.
7: The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.
8: Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:—“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
1: The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.
2: He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
3: The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.
He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.
The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
Article III (Article 3 - Judicial)
The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.
1: The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;—to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;—to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;—to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;—to Controversies between two or more States;—between a State and Citizens of another State;10 —between Citizens of different States, —between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.
2: In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellateJurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.
3: The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.
1: Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
2: The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.
Article IV (Article 4 - States' Relations)
Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.
1: The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.
2: A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.
3: No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.11
1: New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.
2: 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.
The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.
Article V (Article 5 - Mode of Amendment)
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Cons
ent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.
Article VI (Article 6 - Prior Debts, National Supremacy, Oaths of Office)
1: All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.
2: This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
3: The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
Article VII (Article 7 - Ratification)
The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.
The Word "the", being interlined between the seventh and eight Lines of the first Page, The Word "Thirty" being partly written on an Erazure in the fifteenth Line of the first Page. The Words "is tried" being interlined between the thirty second and thirty third Lines of the first Page and the Word "the" being interlined between the forty third and forty fourth Lines of the second Page.
done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth In witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names,
Attest William Jackson Secretary
Go: Washington -Presidt. and deputy from Virginia Showing George Washington's signature.
Gunning Bedford jun
Dan of St Thos. Jenifer
James Madison Jr.
Richd. Dobbs Spaight.
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
Wm. Saml. Johnson