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October 6, 2011

With all the fanatical and preposterous theories about the rights of man (the theories, not the rights themselves, I speak of), there is nothing but power to restrain power. … I do not stop here, sir, to argue about the constitutionality of this bill; I consider the constitution a dead letter; I consider it to consist, at this time, of the power of the states; that is the constitution. You may entrench yourself in parchment to the teeth, says Lord Chatham, the sword will find its way to the vitals of the constitution. I have no faith in parchment, sir, I have no faith in the abracadabra of the constitution; I have no faith in it. … If, under a power to regulate trade, you draw the last drop of blood from our veins; if secundem artem, you draw the last shilling from our pockets, what are the checks of the constitution to us? A fig for the constitution! When the scorpion’s sting is probing us to the quick, shall we pause to chop logic? Shall we get some learned and cunning clerk to say whether the power to do this is to be found in the constitution, and then, if he, from whatever motive, shall maintain the affirmative, like the animal whose fleece forms so material a part of this bill, quietly lie down and be sheared?

– John Randolph, Speech against the Tariff, April 15th, 1824.

The constitution is mind control. Ignore the constitution.


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