The Founding Fathers had a good idea — a tripartite government.
It would be composed of three nonequal branches of government — with a weak presidency, a powerful legislative branch and a weak court.
The power would be with the people and the branch of government that was closest to them and representative of the states, where the real power resided.
But alas, an idea for a government is only as good as the people it represents in real life over time. The best political systems, the best constitutions, will not long endure among a corrupt or ignorant populace.
The U.S. system of government has run its course — not because of any shortcomings in the vision of the founders but because of shortcomings of the citizenry.
Nothing short of a miracle of God can save it.
For example, let's take the Supreme Court, the highest court in the judicial branch, which was envisioned by the founders as the weakest of the checks and balances among the three branches of government.
Today it wields immense power, doing things even Congress was prohibited from doing. It can force sovereign states to do things against their will. It can remove from sovereign citizens "unalienable" rights. It can make sweeping rulings affecting every man, woman and child in the land at the will of nine lifetime-appointed jurists unaccountable to anyone or anything other than their own worldview and conscience.
At least, there is a perception among the people that it can do all of that.
What the Supreme Court was intended to do was to ensure that justice prevailed and to serve as a check and balance on other branches of government if and when they might be out of sync with the Constitution — a brilliant document that is routinely ignored by all three branches.
For all intents and purposes, five members of the court can rewrite the Constitution in their lifetime. Notice how many of the court's rulings are by 5-4 decisions. If they are all impartial justices using the law and the Constitution as their guide, why would so many rulings be split decisions?
The answer? The court is just a sharply divided political institution in which the politicians wear solemn black robes.
Don't get me wrong. I very much like several of the justices. I admire them greatly. But they are part of the four-member minority. Thus, their voices and judgments are without consequence. No matter what they say or do, they are powerless to change the character and decisions of the court — as powerless as any ordinary citizen.
If the court actually comprised impartial jurists and experts on the Constitution, almost every decision would be 9-0. But I can't even remember the last 9-0 decision on a matter of any significance.
So what we have are five members of the court dictating their personal opinions from on high as the law of the land. There is no appeal procedure, because after all, this is the Supreme Court.
That's not what the founders intended. It's not what the Constitution requires. But the people accept this tyranny. And that's the problem.
Presidents like it because they get to appoint members — allowing them to leave a legacy of power after they leave office.
Members of Congress like it because it takes them off the hook. After all, they have to face re-election. Those elections are often costly, embarrassing and a nuisance.
That's how Washington works in 2015.
If the founders knew it would be like this, they probably wouldn't have risked their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor fighting for independence and sovereignty from the British monarchy.
It's too bad today's citizenry doesn't have such a rebellious and liberty-loving spirit.
To find out more about Joseph Farah and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.