How many of you reading this have children? How tired do you get when you have to keep repeating yourselves over and over before your children begin to listen to you? As parents, as good parents anyway, your job is to teach your children the things they need to know to be successful in life. You do your best to pass on the knowledge you have acquired and spare them the mistakes you have made in your life. It is difficult as parents to watch as your children grow up disregarding your advice and going through life making the same mistakes as you did. I know for a fact that had I listened to my father more I would have saved myself a world of difficulties and maybe turned out a lot better than I did. But I squandered those days and had to learn my lessons the hard way. Thankfully I didn’t turn out half bad.
The reason I bring all this up is because I can relate to how parents across the country feel when their kids do not listen to the advice given them by their parents. You see, our country had fathers as well, men who dedicated their lives and fortunes towards creating a system of government designed to protect our rights, and provide each of us the opportunity to succeed. That’s all, the opportunity. Among the many quotes I have found there is one that is falsely attributed to Ben Franklin, and I have been guilty of using it myself. Nonetheless the quote holds a certain amount of validity. The quote states, “The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.”
As one who has studied the Constitution and the Bill of Rights for almost two decades, I think I have a basic understanding of what our Founding Fathers were trying to accomplish when they created our Republic, and make no mistake about it, we are a republic, not a democracy. I defy anyone to find the word democracy anywhere in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. I’ll wait while you check, but believe me, you won’t find it. You see, there IS a Franklin quote that is true; upon leaving the convention which produced our Constitution Franklin was asked “Well Doctor, what you have given us?” to which he replied, “A Republic Madam, if you can keep it.”
What really gets my gall is people thinking that they understand our system of government, but the moment you begin asking them questions about how it is set up, or the powers that we gave to it, they are unable to provide a clear answer. People think that just because I am a pissant common laborer in a fruit packing plant that I cannot possibly understand something as complicated as how a government is supposed to function, therefore anything I have to say on the matter is irrelevant.
However, everything I try to tell you is based upon fact and hours upon hours of study. Can you say the same thing for your opinion or are you just repeating something you heard some newscaster or politician say? Tell me, whose word are you going to take on how government is supposed to function; the word of some elected official two hundred years after government is created, or the words of the men who actually created it? It is a valid question, yet it is one that people do not seem willing to ask of themselves.
Even though many refuse to heed the advice I provide them, I nonetheless constantly hear some say that I am very smart in regards to politics and our system of government. In truth I am a dunce in comparison to the men who actually framed the system enshrined in our Constitution. The combined knowledge and understanding of political systems contained within the minds of the men who attended the Philadelphia Convention in 1787 has never before been seen in America. Yet for so many people the words of these men are meaningless; they would rather listen to the lies that spew forth from the mouths of men who have corrupted the system and have sold their souls and their integrity to the moneyed powers that fund their campaigns. Then, when a few honest men stand up and speak out against the corruption of principles by our government they are ridiculed and disregarded because their views are not the same as those held by the majority.
But my God, can’t you see that what I just said is the very difference between a Republic and a Democracy? In a Democracy the majority ALWAYS gets what it wants, and in a Republic the rule of law overrides the will of the majority. Imagine a redheaded woman in a room full of blondes. If the blondes decide that they don’t like redheads they can shave their heads, or lynch them, in a Democracy there is nothing to prevent them from doing so. Democracy is pure mob rule. Under a Republic though the right of the individual is protected by law and no majority can deprive them of that right.
In 1787, as Thomas Jefferson wrote, an assembly of demigods gathered together in Philadelphia and produced the document which created our government. It was then sent to the states to be ratified, (voted upon), by the people. The arguments both for and against this Constitution were heated and those on both sides felt that they were right. However the voice of the people declared that they would accept this new form of government for America. That is why Washington, in his first Inaugural Address, stated, “… the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the Republican model of Government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally staked, on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.”
Over the course of the arguments both for and against the Constitution many articles were written by both the Federalists, (those who supported the Constitution) and the anti-Federalists, (those who opposed it). In one of the articles supporting it, commonly known as Federalist 51, James Madison writes, “But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”
If we were indeed a democracy where the majority gets what it wants, why would Madison say that government must be controlled? After all, if the will of the people was all it took for government to enact a law then as long as the majority asked for something it would be within the power of government to enact a law giving it to them…wouldn’t it? But we ARE NOT a democracy, we are a REPUBLIC where the rule of law reigns over us all.
In 1866 the United States Supreme Court ruled, “The Constitution of the United States is a law for rulers and people, equally in war and in peace, and covers with the shield of its protection all classes of men, at all times, and under all circumstances. No doctrine, involving more pernicious consequences, was ever invented by the wit of men than that any of its provisions can be suspended during any of the great exigencies of government. Such a doctrine leads directly to anarchy or despotism.”
You may ask your elected representatives to do whatever you want them to, but they are bound by law to only do what the Constitution authorizes them to do. The moment they overstep the limits which that document imposes upon them it becomes usurpation and a criminal act. This is even more so when any act of government violates the rights of the people, particularly those enshrined in the Bill of Rights.
You people in America are so hypocritical. You claim to love freedom and liberty, yet by the very laws you support you deprive others of the same things you claim to stand for. You support laws which take away the right of the everyday citizen to defend themselves because you fear what may happen when someone abuses their right to keep and bear arms. My God, using your logic we ought to ban cars, depriving people of their right to get to and from places simply because someone gets behind the wheel and causes an accident which kills someone else.
You people deprive the everyday American of the full enjoyment of the fruits of their labor by taxing them to fund programs which redistribute the money to those in need. That is not liberty, it is theft by governmental decree.
You see, there is a fine distinction people fail to understand. Our government was not established to provide for the general welfare of the people. Yep, you heard me. Read the preamble to our Constitution if you don’t believe me, “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
All our government was created to do was to create an environment where people had the opportunity to succeed. In a letter written by Thomas Jefferson I quote, “The policy of the American government is to leave their citizens free, neither restraining nor aiding them in their pursuits.” That is what is meant by promoting the general welfare. It leaves the success or failure up to the people based upon their drive, their motivation, and their skills.
How many programs do we have which take this out of the hands of the people and place it in the hands of government? Let’s see, there is welfare, food stamps, Social Security, Obamacare, and a whole host of subsidies and grants that the government issues to those who meet the qualifications. Where do you think all the money for these programs comes from, a money tree? No, it is taken from someone else to give to another. That is not how our system was established and our Founders would be ashamed of us for allowing it to happen.
Liberty, freedom, these words mean NOTHING to you people; all you are concerned with are comfort and security. Didn’t Ben Franklin say, “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Liberty is your birthright, but it is something that must be continually fought for or it will be lost. As Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”
In writing 1777 Thomas Paine told the American people that “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.” That remains as true today as it did back then. Yet how can you know what freedom means; how can you understand what liberty means; how can you know your rights; and how can you know the limits we have imposed upon government, if you NEVER read the documents related to our governments creation? Are you more willing to take the words of men whose goal is to corrupt the system created in 1787 and in doing so deprive you of your liberty, or are you willing to take the time to educate yourself, and then have the courage to stand up in the crowd and declare that you would rather live free or die?
That is why something Samuel Adams once said is one of my favorite quotes. Adams once wrote, “If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”
Your ignorance, your unwillingness to stand up for your rights, does not excuse you from your guilt in this. Whatever happens in America, should it fail, or should it rise again, will be directly attributed to the people and how they either restrained government, or allowed it to bring this country to ruin. History will record your guilt, or your triumph over tyranny. It’s your choice, but I know which side of the fight I will be on, win or lose I’m not surrendering my liberty without a fight.