“Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”~Declaration of Independence~
Lately I’ve been asking myself whether I am too cynical, pessimistic, or if I’m simply being realistic when it comes to the outcome for the future of my country. Truth be told, I don’t hold out much hope that we can turn things around in time to save America from whatever evils await us when our country finally evolves into whatever it is evolving into; be it a dictatorship or a satellite nation under a One World Government.
I have been asked what can we do about all these evils I write about; increased size of government and the corresponding loss of liberty. Although my answer may seem contradictory, if you think about it you may find that it makes more sense than you realize.
Let’s just say there was a revolution tomorrow and it was successful in removing all the traitors in our nation’s capital and installing constitutionally minded individuals into office. How long do you think it would be before America reverted back to the exact point we are at now? How long would it be before the people whose sustenance depends upon government subsidies and handouts were calling for their representatives to reinstate these social programs to help them? How long before the people’s fear; be it of crime, bogeyman terrorists, or anything else caused them to demand government enact Draconian measures to ensure their safety?
I’d be willing to bet that it would be less than a decade before we were well on our way to undoing whatever good a revolution might accomplish; and I’ll tell you why.
After both had served as president of the United States and moved on to retired life, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams made amends and began a series of letters between the two. In one of Adams letters to Jefferson we read the following, “As to the history of the revolution, my ideas may be peculiar, perhaps singular. What do we mean by the Revolution? The war? That was no part of the revolution; it was only an effect and consequence of it. The revolution was in the minds of the people, and this was effected … before a drop of blood was shed.”
Revolutions can go one of two ways; either one can be fought to regain or restore freedom lost, or one can be fought to install a dictatorial system of government which limits freedom. But one thing is common in both instances; for the outcome of any revolution to have a chance at survival the outcome must be accepted, or at least consented to, by the people. If the people do not accept, or consent to the system of government a revolution produces they will simply revolt over and over again until they find something that meets their expectations for government. But this is totally dependent upon both the people’s will, and their ability to fight against any system of government which they feel, as the Declaration of Independence says, “… evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism …”
No matter what you believe is the purpose for which our government was created, it is only by your consent that it has any validity. By your accepting whatever laws it passes, by your participating in the charade that are the election of representatives to it, YOU are consenting to the system as it currently exists. This is true even though deep in your heart you hope that whomever you vote for brings about the kind of change you want to see occur.
In what is one of the most cruel and perverted twists of irony in our nation’s history, Abraham Lincoln once said, “We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.” Coming from a man who perverted the office of President and started a Civil War, that is the very definition of hypocrisy. Yet on a factual basis Lincolns words are true; we are the rightful masters of our government, and it is well past time we began acting accordingly.
Before our Constitution had been ratified, before it had even been voted upon in the convention which produced it, Ben Franklin delivered a speech wherein we read, “I agree to this Constitution, with all its faults—if they are such; because I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of government but what may be a blessing to the people, if well administered; and I believe, farther, that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other.”
Are the people of this country incapable of any system of government which depends upon the virtue and integrity of the citizens to maintain their liberty? Is tyranny and oppression all we are capable of?
A decade after the Civil War another president, James Garfield offered a mirror up to the people of America when he said, “Now more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, restless and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, restlessness and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature … If the next centennial does not find us a great nation … it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.”
Read that last sentence again if you must; “… it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.” Our responsibility, our duty as Americans is not to simply vote every two years and then sit back and ignore what our government does. The actions of our government should be the focus of our constant attention, and the moment they exceed the powers given them there should be such an outcry of opposition from the people that it could be heard in the Heavens.
Instead, aside from a few scattered cries from patriot friends all I hear is silence, or the innate babble regarding trivialities like professional sports or what people see on Facebook. Most people cannot tell you who represents them in Congress or in their State Legislatures; let alone what laws are being enacted which violate their most basic of rights.
Is that how free men and women are supposed to act? I find it ludicrous that people will buy alarms for their cars, or purchase security cameras and alarm systems for their homes; protecting their possessions, but they let the people sworn to protect their rights steal them from right under their noses because the people are too damned apathetic to even pay attention.
It may sound like I’m giving up, tossing in the towel, and surrendering to what I see as all but inevitable. I’m not. I am just venting my frustration at how easily people accept the charade that is currently going on in the race for our next president; as if it makes a damned bit of difference in the overall scheme of things if Trump wins or if Hillary wins. In either case government will continue to grow, to be oppressive, and the people will once again lose a bit more of their freedom and their future.
When our nation’s Founders fought for their independence their foe was the mightiest empire on Earth at the time; the British Empire. Yet that did not stop them from fighting for what they believed in. As Jefferson wrote in, what is commonly known as, The Cause and Necessity of Taking up Arms, “Our cause is just.”
Our Founders expressed with those four simple words what volumes could be written about. No matter whether they won or lost the ensuing conflict they believed in their hearts that what they were doing was right; they refused to sit idly by and allow themselves to be governed by a tyrant.
As the final sentence of the Declaration of Independence stated, “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 Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”
You can vote for whomever you please, if that’s what makes you feel you are doing your part to save America or preserve your liberty; but that won’t make you any less the fool for placing your trust in a broken and corrupted system.
As Learned Hand so long ago said, “I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws, and upon courts. These are false hopes; believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it. While it lies there, it needs no constitution, no law, no court to save it.”
Liberty has died in the hearts of most people. Sure they may profess to love it, but by their actions they contradict their words. As Einstein is supposed to have said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
Our Founders did not obtain their independence and liberty at the voting booth; they found it by standing by their convictions and placing their lives on the line for it. Until America regains that spirit in the occupants of this once great land, I don’t see much hope for anything else except for ‘more of the same’, or as I like to say, “Same old shit.”
But like I said, I haven’t quite figured out if I’ve become cynical and pessimistic, or if I’m just being a realist.