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L. Neil Smith's
Number 483, August 31, 2008

"Freedom is the basic necessity of life"

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The Illegitimacy of the US Federal Government
by Russell D. Longcore
russlongcore -+at+-

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

I recently wrote an article entitled "Stop Voting," which was about the illegitimacy of the elections systems here in the good ol' USA. Let's open this umbrella a little wider.

I've been having something of a philosophical evolution of late, and I'm beginning to have seditious thoughts. I don't know who to speak to about these thoughts, so I am sending them to you in the hope that I'll get some wisdom in return. Possibly, this article will spark a lively dialogue.

"LEGITIMATE." Merriam Webster defines the word "legitimate" in five ways.

The first is about birth, so doesn't apply here. The final definition relates to actors, and doesn't apply here either. (maybe it does... politicians act like the Constitution matters while they ignore it.) It is the three definitions in the middle with which we'll concern ourselves today.

The second definition is "being exactly as purposed, neither spurious (counterfeit) nor false." The original thirteen States of America were founded long before they were united. In fact, the Declaration of Independence uses the uncapitalized word "united", which was to describe their relation to each other, not to provide a portion of the name of a new nation. The Constitution, ratified in 1789, is the form of government "being exactly as purposed, neither spurious nor false." Any deviation from that original document must come through the amendment process, given in the very Constitution. All other deviations are illegitimate. Therefore, our present government, which in most instances does not acknowledge the strictures of the Constitution upon it, is both counterfeit and false... so it is illegitimate.

Naturally, all laws enacted by that government which do not acknowledge the strictures of the Constitution, are false and illegitimate.

Wouldn't it be terrific if every bill introduced into either the House or Senate was REQUIRED to ATTACH the Article and Section of the Constitution under which authority for the bill could be found?

The third definition is "accordant with law or with established legal forms and requirements." Our Federal Government's legitimacy rests in the Constitution, and it alone. To the extent that the FedGov deviates or simply ignores the Constitution in its machinations, it is both tyrannical and illegitimate. Today, it makes war, spends money, and passes laws illegitimately and unconstitutionally.

The fourth definition is "conforming to recognized principles or accepted rules and standards." This definition is much fuzzier than the last two. Today, legal precedent is being given greater weight than the underlying law of our nation, which is the Constitution. To embrace this definition is an acceptance of the Secular Humanist philosophy of "situational ethics."

It also goes along with the philosophy of a "Living Constitution", in which the founding document is subject to change if only by the edict of a Supreme Court ruling. So, if a rule or standard is "accepted" then it's legitimate. This is the zeitgeist of today's Federal Government, and of the majority of the citizens of the USA.

So, let me see if I get this... the Legislative Branch enacts laws, and the Executive Branch approves them, and then the Judicial Branch tells you whether the stuff the first two Branches produce is Constitutional? The Federal Judges are telling the citizens whether it's OK for the other Branches of the Federal Government to do what they want? Anyone besides me see nine black-robed foxes in the henhouse?

The nation started out with state's rights, in which each sovereign state decided which Federal laws it would accept and obey. Then, the states kept the Federal government in check. Not so today.

I believe that by simply applying the definitions found above to the myriad ways our Federal Government employees operate in their office, we can easily see that the Federal Government of the United States of America is an illegitimate government. Those elected or appointed to positions in the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches are required to swear an oath of office (Article II, Article VI) to support, protect and defend the Constitution. Any of those persons who fail to do so are traitors, and should be arrested and tried in a court of law for their crimes. At the very least, those politicians should be fired or impeached and removed from office.

What are just some of the ways each of the branches violate the Constitution?


1. Executive orders and "signing statements"
2. Making war without a Congressional Declaration of War
3. Signing bills into law that are unconstitutional
4. Helping to create entire departments, like Homeland Security, that are unconstitutional
5. Sign annual budgets that spend money unconstitutionally


1. Failure to declare war.
2. Creating legislation with no constitutional basis, violating the Constitution.
3. Authorizing spending on unconstitutional expenditures. Fully 75% of the Federal budget is unconstitutional.
4. Allowing the Federal Reserve to print money and regulate its value.


1. Making rulings that reinterpret the Constitution and do violence to both its overt meaning and its intent.
2. Create new law through its rulings and opinions.

The illegitimate Federal Government funds itself in a number of ways:

1. taxation
2. tariffs
3. borrowing, including bonds
4. printing fiat paper currency
5. inflation of the currency

Based upon this evidence of the illegitimacy of the Federal Government, I ask these questions:

Are we bound by morals to obey illegitimate laws passed by an illegitimate government? If Canada passed a law that, for example, assessed a $10 per person tax on each US citizen, would US citizens send in their money? Or, would they consider that law, and that government illegitimate... and ignore it? If they would ignore that law, passed by an illegitimate government, why do the US citizens willingly succumb to thousands of illegitimate laws that affect them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Is it because we elected these scoundrels, and feel obligated? Is it simply geographical, in that these tyrants are on our soil?

Are we bound by morals or law to send our taxes to an illegitimate government? Are we so afraid of the IRS and its power that we pay our taxes as a kind of a protection racket payoff... hoping that they'll just leave us alone? Please don't misunderstand me. I don't wish to become a tax protestor. The FedGov loves to crush unruly individuals as a good example to the rest of the sheep what will happen to them if they step out of line.

So, maybe I'm just a coward. It just seems to me that my protest would serve no purpose. But, what would the FedGov do if 25 million people simply refused to send their money to the IRS?

In closing, I offer the only two logical choices for free people:

1. Expatriate... leave the USA and find another country that you like.
2. Secession of the state you live in, or move to a state that secedes from the Union.

Let's begin to seriously consider secession and what it could mean for Liberty... in another article.

Copyright © 2008, by Russell D. Longcore.
Russell D. Longcore is one of those rare individuals who found the perfect career and loves every minute of his work. Russell has an insurance claims practice in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He is married to "his redhead" Julie, and has three wonderful children, and three even more wonderful grandchildren. Russell was nominated for the "Georgia Author of the Year 2008" Award by the Georgia Writers Association. His website is:


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