ly to abuse the limits of power, which are the essential thing.nJefferson is here exactly in agreement with C.S. Lewis’s Christianndefense of democracy. That democracy makes sensenexactly because of original sin—^precisely because man (all men)ncannot be trusted to govern himself, much less others. But thenFederalist idea has prevailed since the War Between the States,nand in this century, given the consolidating tendencies ofnthe modern form of society, it has become overwhelming.nJefferson’s occasional revolution is not, then, revolutionnbut reaction. Not a new utopia, but something radically conservative—anradical returning to the roots, to old viruses andnold principles lost by the dilutions of time and the distortionsnof usurpation. In the American system this can only happennby the revival of .states’ rights, the only true force for limitingnpower. Which is exactly what Jefferson’s own “Revolutionnof 1800” meant to him and his generation.nWhat we need is a reaction, a renewal, a true return to roots.nWe should approach our constitutional heritage and our governingnestablishment in exactly the spirit of our forefathers—nwith both deep respect and intelligent flexibility. To conservenis to save the essence, not the dead form, as true conservativesnhave always known. Our heritage is something to be understoodnand used by us to meet our present dangers. As Calhounnsaid, constitutions are human contrivances, and what man doesnand his reasons for it surely ought not to be beyond man’sncapacity to fully comprehend.nLet us contrast such an attitude with that of our current oligarchy.nThey want us to treat the Constitution with mysticalnawe and submission, but their Constitution is not the one handedndown by our forefathers for our use. Rather, it is whatevernthe oligarchy mysteriously discovers it to be, by the alchemiesnof natural rights and evolution, which can justify any abuse ofnpower on their part. On the other hand, they twist and distortnthe plain historical sense in the most petty and deceitful ways.nThus we get the worst possible combination of a phony traditionnand destructive innovation. What we need is a real traditionnand constructive innovation.nMany of the constructive innovations are already known atnthe grass-roots level, and others will emerge in the course of popularnrevolt. They seek to recover the spirit of the Constitution,nto return power to the people. These wohld include term limits,nfor the federal judiciary as well as the Congress; a balancednbudget amendment with inviolable restraints upon taxingnand spending power; a line-item veto for the executive toncheck legislative irresponsibility, with balancing devices innthe Congress to check executive warmongering; and the restorationnof the Tenth Amendment to what Madison, the Father ofnthe Constitution,’said it should be, the cornerstone of our government.nWe have nothing to fear from a new constitutionalnconvention, if necessary. Such a convention cannot destroy thenhandiwork of our Fathers. That has already been destroyed andnmust be restored. Whether we are able to accomplish thisnwill be the measure of whether we have enough moral and socialnsubstance left to be a self-governing people.nWe have not one problem to cure but two—thenconsolidation of power and the decay of virtue. Butnfrom the viewpoint of the classical republicanism of ournFathers these are but one and the same, two inseparable evilsnthat feed upon each other. Consolidation of power breeds thendecay of virtue in the people, and decay of virtue in the peoplenbreeds consolidation of power.n16/CHRONICLESnnnOur forefathers were neither economic determinists nor, likenus, materialists. But they realized that, as Burke put it, the revenuenis the state, that the power of taxation and expenditurenis the master of all other powers. There is no clearer principlenestablished in the American Revolution and the whole heritagenof British liberty that preceded it. Put another way, the restorationnof power to the people can only come with limitationsnon the taxing and spending power of the federal government,nwhich has become autonomous and limitless. We despise ournrepresentatives and yet we reelect them at the greatest ratenin history. This paradox is a key to our times. Our forefathersnwould have recognized this condition immediately as ansymptom of decayed republican virtue. Our politicians buynus, with our own money. The habit of spoils is so deeply ingrainednthat only the most radical remedy will cure it.nThe Cold War has ended, making possible a great decreasenin the burden of expenditure carried by the American peoplenfor more than a generation. A responsible republican governmentnwould do two things in this situation—reduce taxes and retirendebt. That is, the people would enjoy a great boon in thenlifting of burdens, a peace dividend. It is a measure of ourndegradation that neither of our ruling parties has consideredneither alternative. Instead both parties and both branchesnof government have conspired to raise taxes. They havenconsidered only the opportunity to broker funds in new waysnand buy new allegiances. The peace dividend is not ours, butntheirs. Like all economic questions, this is at bottom a moralnquestion, which our leaders evade by seeming to see only antechnical question. So accustomed are we to the evil systemnthat we hardly notice the unreality of the debate.nThe people must not only put limits on government. Theynmust break their own dependence upon the cormpt system, givenup the expectation that things will be done for them, and demandnthe return of our resources to ourselves, to dispose of innour own way. For liberty plain and simple is the ability to decidenand dispose. This is even less easy than it sounds, becausendemands upon the Treasury always come disguised as publicnbenefits; because we have as a people almost lost the ability tondistinguish between public necessity and private subsidy; andnbecause we have created an immense clamoring clientele thatnexists only on and for ever increasing patronage.nTo restore the federal republic we will have to begin tonlevel up rather than level down, to substitute liberty for equalitynas our chief goal. Ideological equality is the enemy of republicanncitizenship. It is in its guise as the imposer of equalitynthat the overweening state has taken most power to itself,neven more so than in war, and become the arbiter of society.nCovernment programs for preferential groups must be ended,nand all citizens become equal under the law. In no way else cannwe restore morale and productivity, belief in fairness and opportunity.nWe must take away from the oligarchy the brokeringnof how differing groups of a pluralistic society live together.nAlso, in order to restore the value of republicanncitizenship, it will have to be restricted. That means that immigrationnhas to be reduced to a small number determinednspecifically by the future and current interest of the Americannpeople, not by any philosophical or economic consideration. Wenmust end the system by which any respiring creature whonmanages to sneak under the fence becomes immediately entitlednto all the rights and privileges of citizenship. To say thatneveryone in the world who can manage to get here is an Americanncitizen is to say that there is no such thing as ann