Constitution: Fact or Fiction

Constitution: Fact or Fiction

By: Dr. Gene Schroder

The Story of our Nation's Descent from a Constitutional Republic through a Constitutional Dictatorship to an Unconstitutional Dictatorship.


Dr. Eugene Schroder, Colorado farmer, veterinarian, political philosopher and activist, has appeared on talk shows nationwide. As many of us are, he is concerned over his children's and grandchildren's heritage in America.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced 
or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, 
including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and
retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

Sale of this book without a front cover may be unauthorized. 
If this book is coverless, it may have been reported to the publisher 
as "unsold or destroyed" and neither the author nor the publisher 
may have received payment for it.
Published 1995, First Edition

20 19 18 17 1615 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Printed in the United States of America

The first five chapters of "Constitution:  Fact or Fiction" have been
reproduced for this Website by the  American Freedom Coalition 
with explicit permission from the author and publisher.

To place your order for "Constitution: Fact or Fiction" click here

Dedication to Laurie Schroder:
wife, mother, friend and fighter. . . in gratitude and appreciation.

Chapter One

Our Constitution Has Been Suspended

Since March 9, 1933, the United States has been in a state of declared NationalEmergency.
-Senate Report 93-549

When in the course of human events, ordinary citizens have reason to fear their government, it's time to look seriously at cause and cure.

Government officials are supposed to be instruments by which we, the people, govern ourselves. Under a constitutional government, the citizens are the ruling class. All other offices are subservient to the citizens. How did citizens become the subjects of government and government officials become the ruling class?

Government Has Achieved Ability to Rule by Decree

The US Constitution was basically the shackles placed on the federal government by a sovereign people. The people possessed God-given rights. These rights were only secured by the constitution. All rights not specifically granted to the government were reserved for the people.

This country started out as a constitutional republic, that is, a union of sovereign nation states. The federal government was to be an agent of the states.

As a safeguard, the constitution provides that during times of rebellion or invasion, the president may assume all powers. These emergency powers should end after the crisis. President Lincoln assumed all powers during the Civil War. Since he was dealing with a rebellion, we may say that he established a constitutional dictatorship.

Since then, however, the definition of "emergencies" requiring total control has been stretched to include economic problems, social imbalances, and perceived threats to the US by a foreign country's actions on another continent. When authoritarian control is exerted during times other than rebellion or enemy invasion, it is an unconstitutional dictatorship. The federal government has overstepped the bounds placed on it by the constitution.

Through the insidious, yet steady encroachment of "emergency powers," the government has now achieved the ability to rule the people by statute or decree, without the vote or consent of the ruled. Through a maze of political maneuvers, the emergency powers granted to President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933 to deal with an economic depression have become part of the US Code as permanent everyday powers. America has continued under the "unconstitutional dictatorship" of war and emergency powers to this day, more than 60 years later.

Emergency Rule Means Government Owns All Rights

In reality, under this "unconstitutional dictatorship," the roles have been reversed. We have no rights except those the government grants us. Under our constitutional government, we the people had all rights except those specifically granted to the government.

We have lost our constitutional rights. How did it happen? What does it mean? What can we do about it? Increasingly, US citizens are unwilling to be the pawns of arbitrary and capricious decrees. We have both the right and duty to reclaim our country.

The government today, with its inflated bureaucracy, political posturing, and ineffectual programs, would be a laughingstock if it weren't for the sinister side - arbitrary seizure of property without proven cause by many government agencies, federally mandated but unfunded programs that choke the states' right to rule themselves, an unsound money system, and a de facto economic depression for the last 10 years. Add a growing separation between "haves" and "have nots" and we have a powder keg on a short fuse.

Government has grown so big, so unreachable, that the ordinary citizen feels helpless to influence it. Government by the people? Even those with clout and political savvy, such as state governors, seem unable to sway D.C.

Government acts like a tyrant gone rampant, wilfully imposing its policies on citizens, protecting its image, and covering up its mistakes. Fear sets in when we realize that the government can play kickball with our lives - and there is no one to stop it. Today, with our constitutional rights effectively suspended, we are at the mercy of the giant.

Hitler used Germany's emergency powers clause (Article 48) to perpetrate his atrocities. Granted, no US president has even approached Hitler's dictatorship, but he has the power to do so. The difference is the degree of benevolence with which the US government has ruled and with which Hitler ruled.

The US constitution provides for the president to be granted emergency powers in times of war or enemy attack. The fatal flaw in the constitution, however, is that once the president has these powers, he himself must give them up. Eleven presidents, both Democrat and Republican, have failed to reinstate the constitution and give up these emergency powers. Today we see the president and entrenched bureaucracy passing rules through the executive branch's many agencies without challenge from the other two branches of government - the congress and the judiciary.

We Have Been Under Emergency Rule for 61 Years

Senate Report 93-549, written in 1973, said "Since March 9, 1933, the United States has been in a state of declared national emergency." It goes on to say:

"A majority of the people of the United States have lived all their lives under emergency rule. For 40 years, freedoms and governmental procedures guaranteed by the constitution have, in varying degrees, been abridged by laws brought into force by states of National emergency. In the United States, actions taken by government in times of great crisis have... in important ways shaped the present phenomenon of a permanent state of National emergency."...

"These proclamations give force to 470 provisions of federal law. These hundreds of statutesdelegate to the President extraordinary powers, ordinarily exercised by Congress, which affect the lives of American citizens in a host of all-encompassing manners. This vast range of powers, taken together, confer enough authority to rule this country without reference to normal constitutional process.

"Under the powers delegated by these statutes, the President may: seize property, organize and control the means of production; seize commodities; assign military forces abroad; institute martial law; seize and control all transportation and communication; regulate the operation of private enterprise; restrict travel; and, in a plethora of particular ways, control the lives of all American citizens."

Today most of the people living in the US have not been taught the constitution, have never enjoyed the constitutional rights for which our forefathers fought a revolutionary war, and know that something is terribly wrong with our government yet have no idea what to do about it.

Knowledge is power. Once the American people understand what has happened, they will demand just and reasonable action. It was said of the Revolutionary War against Great Britain in 1776 that the real revolution occurred in the hearts and minds of the American people before a shot was fired. God grant that we may have a revolution in the hearts and minds of the American people without a shot being fired.

Chapter Two

What the Government Can Do When the Constitution is Suspended

It is not the function of the government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error.
-US Supreme Court

Good People Get into Trouble

You probably think that if you lead a straight life and obey the rules, you aren't going to get into trouble, right? Wrong. Consider these examples:

Diane, a soft-spoken school teacher, was called to serve on the grand jury. She was asked to fill out a lengthy form disclosing everything about herself, including how much money she made, how much her house was worth, what kind of car she drove, etc. She would not answer the questions because she thought this was an invasion of privacy and she didn't see how it affected her right to serve on a jury. The judge had her arrested for contempt of court and jailed.

Linda, a young mother, was getting ready to go to work one morning when a Child Protective Service worker showed up on her doorstep. She insisted on coming in, inspecting the house and four-year-old Johnny, and looking for signs of child abuse. Linda showed up at work in tears two hours later, but it wasn't over. She received a call at work asking both her and her husband to come in for an interview. More grilling. Files were made on the parents. The young couple had to supply references, and the child protective service worker called these people asking if they had seen any signs of child abuse. The visits and interviews continued for six months. The reason for all this? Someone called in a "tip." The agency refused to tell the young couple who called, but it didn't take them long to figure out it was a former friend who held a grudge.

Janette and Bob were selling a house and buying another one. In the packet of forms for the closing was a report that a woman with the same first and last names, but a different middle name and a different social security number, had declared bankruptcy six years previously. Janette had to prove that she wasn't that person, including getting forms notarized, which required going to three different bureaucracies. Janette's realtor told her that since November, 1993, buyers' names are run through a computer, which sometimes comes up with 25 or so similar names. The buyer has to prove he is none of those people.

Don got a notice in the mail from his bank that his account had been attached by the IRS. No notice, no warning, no reason, no appeal. Bob owned a piece of land some distance from his home. When he visited it, he found that it had been confiscated by the government because they had found illegal drug activity on it. He had to prove he was not involved and had no knowledge of it before he could have his land back.

Government Agents May Knock Down Our Doors

A crippled old black man was in bed asleep one night when a drug squad burst in and sprayed him with bullets. They claimed he was resisting arrest. The squad had a tip that a young man who sometimes visited the elderly gentleman was into drugs, but the young man didn't live there and in fact, wasn't there that night. The slain man's son, a well-known sports figure, demonstrated on TV how crippled his father was and how he would have had to go through a series of slow and painful maneuvers to even sit up on the side of the bed.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms fiasco in Waco, Texas was played out on national TV. What isn't widely known is that the original warrants were for a total of $400 for two guns suspected of not having had the excise tax paid on them. This justified attacking a private residence with a riot squad, laying siege to the compound for two months at a cost of over a million dollars a day to taxpayers, imprisoning and torturing men, women and children for over two months without benefit of charges being filed or a trial being held, and in the end the deaths of 86 people plus four ATF troopers. Incidentally, the survivors were acquitted by a jury of charges of conspiracy to commit murder.

Senseless Rules Waste Our Time

A young couple wanted to pull their trailer from Virginia to Texas, but the trailer was unlicensed. He called his mom in Texas to buy him a trailer license. Mom called the licensing office in the county in which the son lived and told them what she needed, inquired about their hours and explained that she was 60 miles away. When she arrived, they refused to issue a license on the trailer because she did not have proof that the car which would pull the trailer had insurance. Her explanations that the car was in Virginia fell on deaf ears. So too did her question as to why they didn't tell her that before she drove 120 miles round trip. She went back home and called the local county agency and they told her just to bring in any proof of insurance on any car. Makes a lot of sense, doesn't it?

Guilty Until We Prove Ourselves Innocent

If you are found with more than $10,000 cash on your person, it can be confiscated. You must prove how you earned it and that it is legally yours.

If you deposit or withdraw $10,000 or more from your bank account, the bank is required by law to report it to the IRS.

If you get in trouble with one agency, another agency often investigates you (usually the IRS).

These are just a few everyday examples of real people and their small and large troubles with government agencies.

Examples Are Common in Everyday Life

These situations are so common that you can easily find other examples in the problems of your family and friends.
Some Acts Are Inherently Wrong;
Others Are Just Against the Rules

We are not saying there should be no punishment for crimes. Some acts are inherently wrong - murder, rape, kidnapping, arson, etc. But some acts are "crimes" only because some legislative body or bureaucrat has made a law that says it is. Another agency may even have a conflicting rule. These "crimes" change regularly depending on who is in power. Legal terminology makes the distinction between malum se - evil in itself, versus malum prohibitum - a crime because someone has made a law against it.

The story of Daniel in the Bible illustrates this point. Daniel was accustomed to praying every day from his window. The ruler made it against the law for anyone to pray. Daniel continued to do so. He was seized and thrown into the lion's den because he broke the law.

In our case, our liberties have been taken from us and are being sold back to us in the form of licenses.

A person doesn't stop knowing how to drive if he misplaces his drivers license. A merchant doesn't lose his ability to run a business if he has no commercial license. A farmer doesn't stop being a steward of the land if he doesn't get a pesticide applicator's license.

Restricted Liberties Have Not Bought Safety

Even though many of our liberties have been taken, the system still isn't working. The streets are not safe, drugs and violence are rampant in schools, young couples can't make a living for their families, many elderly are starving and neglected, and millions of Americans can't afford health care. Restricted liberty did not buy us safety and well-being.

What Can't the Government Do to Us?

What can government agencies do to us if they suspect us of not following their arbitrary edicts that may change tomorrow? Anything they wish. They can and do:

  1. Rob our time and productivity with senseless rules paperwork.
  2. Invade our privacy.
  3. Take our money and property.
  4. Throw us in jail.
  5. Take our children from us.
  6. Ruin our reputation.
  7. Kill us.

We Have No Recourse

Do we have any recourse? Not really. Most people don't have the time and money to fight. Our only hope is big media attention and public outcry. Few have the ear of the media. We are alone when we are pitted against the various government agencies with their awesome and arbitrary power.

Chapter Three

Why the Revolutionary War Was Fought

Since the close of the last war, the British Parliament, claiming the power of right to bind the people of America by statute in all cases whatsoever ... - Declaration of Rights, 1774

England Looked on Colonies as Property

The colonists were in a new land fending for themselves. They either learned self-reliance and responsibility or they didn't survive.

England gave them no help to speak of. To England, America was a group of trading companies whose purpose was to further Great Britain's dominion over the world. King George regarded England as the owner of the colonies and the colonists, and exploited as he pleased.

Colonies Had No Sound Money System

The colonies had no official money. They were greatly hampered in trade by the many different types of trade "coin." They used furs, tobacco, wampum (mussel shells made into beads), French louis, English guineas, German thalers, Dutch ducats, Spanish doubloons, and the Spanish milled dollar, or piece of eight.

England ignored the needs of the colonies and made no effort to provide gold or silver coin or small change currency.

The Massachusetts Bay Company started minting coins in Boston in 1652. Other colonies and individuals tried minting projects but generally failed. The new land still did not have a standard money.

England Levies Taxes on Colonists to Finance War

The British got into a war with Spain. They needed more and more wealth to pay for it. They took more and more from the colonies.

The British levied taxes on tea and tobacco and stamps to raise money for the war. They made arbitrary rules and expected the colonists to obey. The rules could change at any time.

The colonists began to complain of "taxation without representation."

England Uses Force

The British tightened the rules. They put on shows of force. They attacked villagers, burned towns, and plundered the coasts and seas. The final blow was when the colonists learned large numbers of foreign mercenaries were sailing toward the new world in order to subdue the colonists.

Colonists Declare Independence

Representatives of the people met in Philadelphia in 1776 to decide what to do. After long and bitter debate and soul searching, these men asked Thomas Jefferson to draft the Declaration of Independence to tell the world why the colonists were cutting their ties with Great Britain.

Let's look at some excerpts. The second paragraph says:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness..."

It goes on to say this step is not taken lightly, that the colonists have been very patient.

Complaints Against King George

It begins to set forth the complaints against King George. Several complaints deal with his refusal to make fair laws, to make needed laws, to allow representation by the colonists, and his dissolving bodies of representatives repeatedly when they disagreed with him.

Then we come to these complaints: "He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

"He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and to eat out their substance.

"He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies, without the consent of our legislatures. "He has affected to render the military independent of, and superior to, the civil power.

"He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws, giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation.

"For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:..."

We have some of these situations today.

The ending words:

"And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortune, and our sacred honor." With the signing came seven long years of bloodshed and destruction.

Chapter Four

Rights the Constitution Guaranteed Us

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. - United States Constitution

When the colonists declared themselves independent, they had already begun to think of themselves as a new people, as Americans.

After they defeated the British, they were determined never again to be the subjects of tyrants and despotism, either from without or within.

They began to hammer out the philosophy of the United States.

First they formed into a loose confederation of states. One problem was that the individual states could easily ignore the confederation, and there was nothing to prevent one state declaring war on another, as was common in Europe.

States Rights Versus Federal Supremacy

Out of this grew a great debate between the Federalists and the Anti Federalists.

The Federalists felt that a stronger union was needed to ensure domestic peace, represent the new country abroad, protect the country, and strengthen the growing nation.

The Anti Federalists feared a strong central government would put them back into a situation like the one they had fought to overthrow for seven years.

Eventually a consensus was reached. The Constitution of the United States was drafted. Its great purpose was to preserve peace on this continent and ensure liberty. Americans became citizens of both their states and the new nation. Because of this dual citizenship, the American Constitution formed a federal republic.
(It was a republic because not everyone could vote. Only free white males could vote. The country did not become a democracy until the constitution was amended to allow everyone the right to vote, including African-Americans, Indians, and women.) Coming out of oppression and despotism, the founding fathers tried to craft a constitution that would ensure equality, opportunity and justice for all, for all time.

They spelled out the rights of the people and said that all rights not specifically given to the federal government or the states were reserved for the people.

Human Beings Have Inalienable Rights

The Constitution clearly stated that all human beings have certain inalienable rights just because they belong to the human species. Among these inalienable human rights are the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Constitution sought to form a government with the consent of the governed, one that would ensure domestic tranquillity, a common national defense, and promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty for everyone.

Individual rights were reinforced with the "bill of rights" (the first ten amendments), and other amendments later on. (The complete Constitution may be found in the Appendix.)

Let`s look at the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. At the same time, let's think about whether these <$irights;constitutional vs. reality>rights are real for us today, or whether they exist on paper only.

Article One - Freedom of Speech, Religion, Press

Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or of the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Article Two - Right to Bear Arms

A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Article Three - No Soldiers Quartered in Peacetime

No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Article Four- No Unlawful Search and Seizure

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, 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.

Article Five - Grand Jury Indictment Required

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall <$iprivate property;not to be taken for public use>private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Article Six - Right to Speedy Trial

In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Article Seven - Right to Trial by Jury

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of common law.

Article Eight - No Excessive Bail or Punishment

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments be inflicted.

Article Nine - People Retain Rights Not Assigned

The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Article Ten - All Other Rights Go to State or People

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.

Other Rights Assured the People

In addition, slavery was abolished by Article 13. Article 14 made citizens of all persons born or naturalized in the United States and forbade any state to abridge the privileges and immunities of citizenship.

The15th Amendment said the right to vote shall not be denied by the United States or any state on account of <$irace;and right to vote>race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

The 24th outlawed poll taxes. The 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote. The 26th Amendment lowered the voting age to 18.

With this collection of amendments, the right to vote was finally given to all adults.

Thus the founding fathers laid out our rights clearly and plainly in common language after much debate and soul-searching.

Chapter Five

What We Have Lost

A majority of the people of the United States have lived all their lives under emergency rule. - Senate Report 93-549

We Have Lost Our Constitutional Rights

Today we are presumed guilty until we prove ourselves innocent. Today we have Big Brother watching us, invading our privacy, gathering information and controlling our lives. We have all but lost our right to keep and bear arms.

We are not secure in our persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures. We are subjected to electronic snooping, wiretapping, and <$idrug raids>drug raiders kicking down our door at any time. Wrong door? Sorry.

We are subject to confiscation of property and bank accounts at any time by various government agencies.

We are subject to Child Protective Services invading our homes to make us prove we don't abuse our children.

We are held to answer for "crimes" without benefit of charges being filed or a trial being held.

The news is full of people being tried twice for the same crime, in criminal court and in civil court, or on criminal charges, then on federal charges.

We do not enjoy speedy trials. Several years may lapse before a case is tried. We are not allowed trial by jury in civil cases unless we file a petition and pay for it in advance. Most civil cases are not heard by juries.

Bail and fines are excessive if the accused has no hopes of meeting them, and that is often the case. The amount of time and money it takes to appeal a government agency confiscation or ruling is prohibitive to the common working man or woman. Cruel and unusual punishment? The world saw what happened at Waco. Texas. This was cruel and unusual punishment without benefit of charges, trial or conviction.

The Constitution says all legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in the congress. Where does it mention the Federal Register, a device by which a proposed law can be published by a government agency or bureau-cracy, a certain time allowed for public comment, and then the law cemented without regard for what the comment was? Hundreds of proposed rules and regulations are published here each week. Most people have never heard of the Federal Register.

The president can also make law by executive orders and proclamations.

Congress was given the power to coin money and to regulate the value thereof. So why does the Federal Reserve do this today?

Congress was given the power to declare war. So why does the president order invasions without counsel of the congress?

Congress was given the right to call forth the militia to suppress insurrections and repel invasions. So why does the president declare martial law and use federal troops inside the US? Why does the president maintain a standing army among us?

The Constitution says "No capitation or other direct tax shall be laid, unless in proportion to the census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken." The amendment establishing the income tax was passed when few congressmen were present, and many say illegally.

The Constitution says "The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless in cases of invasion or rebellion the public safety may require it." This means that a person should be brought before the court and charged with the alleged crime. This clause means it is illegal to hold someone without charging them with a crime.

"No bill of attainder or ex post facto law shall be passed." What do you call a retroactive income tax regulation?

"No state shall make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts ..." So why was gold coin illegal for many years? Why aren`t Federal Reserve bank notes backed by gold or silver?

Under the duties of the judicial branch, Article Three, it says "The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury;..." So why are we not automatically given a trial by jury?

The constitution says the people shall have the right to keep and bear arms. Now laws are being passed to abridge that right.

Article Six says "The Constitution and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof ... shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby ...". So why can we not use the constitution in court as defense against violation of our rights?

The answer to all these questions is that the federal government has used and abused the constitution's war and emergency powers clause so that for over 60 years our constitution has been suspended.

This is the end of our web book. To purchase the complete Constitution: Fact or Fiction book please click here for our online order form. The State Director of the American Freedom Coalition is John Tello. Send email to:
John Tello

Return To American Freedom Coalition Home Page

Created 3/14/95 by American Freedom Communications
Last updated 8/25/95