Authors Comment: I do not write for entertainment, or for pay. Yet there is a certain amount of satisfaction to be obtained when I see that my writings have an impact, or that I feel that I have put together something that is well crafted. This is such an occasion. I feel that this is one of my better efforts. I hope that you agree.
Sometimes, in response to my commentaries, I hear people exclaim things like, “Hell yes, let’s go kill those scumbags in D.C.” Although I would not lose a minutes sleep if my Senators and Congressman were to die, not once have I ever proposed that people just go out and kill their elected officials.
As much as I hate these people, to just go out and kill them is murder, plain and simple. On the other hand if they were tried by a court of law, and found to have committed acts of treason against the people, I would be more than willing to place the noose around their necks.
I fear for my country. Such are my fears that there are nights that I lie awake, unable to sleep. It is not so much for my own personal safety and well being that I am worried about, it is for the future of my son. You see, I have lived half a century now, and although I would like to live longer (much longer if possible) if I were to die tomorrow I would die having lived a relatively full life.
My only regret would be for not having found the words, they syntax, which would cause enough people to realize that instead of safeguarding their liberty, their elected officials have been working towards enslaving them.
The Declaration of Independence is considered our nation’s birth certificate. It is the document that told King George that, we the people, had tried politely to gain relief from his oppression. This document was our founding fathers way of telling King George to shove his laws where the sun doesn’t shine, we are free and we are not going to take any more shit from you.
Our Declaration of Independence states, in English plain enough that a child could understand it, “That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
That is the fundamental purpose for which our government was created, to protect our rights. Maybe for the majority of Americans those sentiments have long since died. How many people today could stand up and mean it when they say, “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!”
Just for a moment I would ask that those of you reading this repeat those words aloud. Try to say them as if you mean them. If, in so doing, a chill does not run down your spine, then there is no hope for you and I am wasting my time.
However, if those words stirred something inside you, then there may still be hope left for this country.
Allow me to ask a simple question. Many of you reading this are parents. It is obvious that it was you who entered into this world first, not your child. That being the case, if you are the ones who brought this child into this world, then who is in charge, you or the child?
Our nation existed for years before our federal government was created. If the Declaration of Independence is our nation’s birth certificate, then the Constitution is our governments birth certificate. Yet it is more than that, it is a contract which they are bound to uphold, TO THE LETTER!
Although many participated in it’s construction, James Madison is considered as the driving force behind our Constitution. In a speech before the Virginia Ratifying Convention, Madison said, “[T]he powers of the federal government are enumerated; it can only operate in certain cases; it has legislative powers on defined and limited objects, beyond which it cannot extend its jurisdiction.”
You see, the people back then were extremely wary of any form of government that held too much power and authority. That is why the Constitution was written as it was, with clearly defined powers, beyond which our government could not extend it’s authority.
Today, however, our government assumes far more power over our everyday lives than even those living in 1788 could have imagined. All this is done because of a misinterpretation of the ‘General Welfare Clause’, which states, “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States…”
Under the umbrella of the General Welfare Clause all kinds of laws have been passed with our supposed best interests in mind. However, this was not the intent of the founders. Once again let us refer to the words of James Madison, “With respect to the two words “general welfare,” I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.”
Our government has grown so large, so cumbersome, so intrusive, and also so inefficient, that it would not be recognized by those who created it. It’s acts affect nearly every aspect of our lives. We think we are free, yet we are not. How many things can you do without some sort of government regulation governing your actions? How many things can you do without some sort of government fee you are required to pay? What can you buy without some form of taxation imposed upon it by the government?
George Washington once said, “The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.” Not a day goes by that I don’t echo those sentiments.
If you recall, our Declaration of Independence stated that the purpose of government is to secure our liberty. Our rights were so important that many states refused to ratify the Constitution unless amendments were added to it safeguarding those rights they felt were of the utmost importance. That is why we have the Bill of Rights, the first ten Amendments to the Constitution.
Even though these rights were considered unalienable, i.e. neither our government, nor another entity could take them from us, we, through our apathy and ignorance of their existence, have surrendered them willingly.
Yet, their obedience to these infringements upon their rights does not mean that I have to surrender mine as well. It matters not that out of 300 million Americans, 250 million of them are in favor of infringing upon my rights, they just do not have the right to do so.
In a letter to James Monroe, Thomas Jefferson stated, “There is no maxim in my opinion which is more liable to be misapplied, and which therefore needs elucidation than the current one that the interest of the majority is the political standard of right and wrong… In fact it is only reestablishing under another name and a more specious form, force as the measure of right…”
Can anyone honestly say that they are free when their lives, and their freedoms, are subject to the desires of their government, or even the majority of their fellow countrymen?
We commonly hear, and apply to ourselves, the term ‘law abiding citizen.’ If we have any decency in us we claim it as a symbol of honor and integrity when we say we uphold the law.
Yet, in regards to government, Thomas Jefferson clearly stated, “Whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.”
Do those words mean nothing to you? Basically what Jefferson said is this, if the government is not authorized by the Constitution to enact a law, and they do so anyway, you do not have to obey it.
Although you may not remember, when those founders signed their names to the Declaration of Independence, they were telling the King of England, their legal sovereign, to take his laws and shove them. From that day forward these men were lawbreakers! They did this because they felt the Kings laws had become too oppressive and infringed upon their rights.
Our Constitution was constructed in such a way that, if upheld, we would never have to take up arms against our government again. With all the checks and balances upon the powers of the various branches of government there were two Amendments which provided us the means to retain our freedom.
The Ninth Amendment states, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” In other words, just because the Constitution doesn’t say you do not have a right, that does not mean that right does not exist.
The Tenth Amendment states, “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.” Once again, in simple English, if the Constitution does not give government a power, that power belongs to the state, or to us, the people.
In reference to the Tenth Amendment, Thomas Jefferson stated, “I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground that ‘all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states or to the people.’ To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power not longer susceptible of any definition.”
We the people, and our state governments have forgotten these things. We have allowed the federal government to overstep its authority, and in so doing, legislate and tax almost every aspect of our lives, and at the same time strip us of our God-given liberty.
Writing your elected officials in Washington D.C. with your concerns is a waste of time. They no longer care about what you think. I do so merely to remind them that I have not kicked the bucket yet. The truth is that that entire body of people needs replacing by those who understand the Constitution. More importantly, they need to be replaced by men and women who are of outstanding character and who are willing to stand up against the special interests.
Or, as Samuel Adams once said, “He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of this country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man.”
However, since that has failed, we have allowed our government to become occupied by liars, thieves, and those who would sell their soul for a dollar, our only recourse is to work locally to ensure that our states stand up against federal government intrusion by exercising their Tenth Amendment right.
Even so, this does not absolve each and every one of us from any further responsibility. It is our duty, as freedom loving Americans, to refuse to obey laws that we know are clearly unconstitutional.
Our founders did no less, even though they risked their lives in so doing. You cannot sit back and allow people like me, and a small host of others, do your job for you. If you care one iota about your freedom, and the future of your country, you too must get involved. You must be willing to resist any unauthorative act by your government.
Sure there is the threat of prison, or even death at the hands of your government. They are not going to give up their power without a fight. Yet, forgive me for using this quote again, as Mel Gibson said in the movie Braveheart, “Aye, fight and you may die. Run, and you’ll live…at least awhile. And dying in your beds many years from now would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives but they’ll never take our freedom.”
If you cannot make that commitment, if you are too cozy with your lives, I have but one more thing to say, and I quote Samuel Adams, “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 rest lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”