With the mid-term elections coming up quickly, many political pundits are speculating that the Republicans will most likely trounce the Democrats and regain control of Congress. While some may find that cause for celebration, the possibility that the Republicans may once again hold a majority in Congress brings me no satisfaction whatsoever.
One would think that with the recent upswing in public awareness, the growth of the Tea Party movement, and the publics overall dissatisfaction with Congress, that people would finally get the message that voting for candidates from either of the two main political parties isn‘t going make any difference.
I am not so optimistic. In fact, I think that come November 2nd the American people will once again prove that Goethe could have been talking about the average American voter when he said, “There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.”
Some of you may have noticed that I have not written anything for the past week or two. To tell you the truth, I have felt utterly frustrated and dejected about things in general.
Even with the many encouraging e-mails, urging me to not give up the fight, I have just not felt the urge to write anything. However something a co-worker said got me the juices flowing, and here I am at it again. What this person said was that since I have this gift it is my obligation to write, to educate people.
I wouldn’t go so far to call what I have a gift, but I do enjoy writing. Therefore I may very well be obligated to use whatever talent I have to keep sounding the alarm. I have to wonder though, have any of my readers ever stopped to think about their own obligations as Americans? I bet the thought never crossed most people’s minds. In fact, most people are probably asking themselves what the hell is he talking about.
To answer to that question, allow me to quote Samuel Adams, “The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men.”
I may have an obligation to write, to educate people, but each and every citizen in this country has an obligation to defend their freedom and liberty against attack, including attacks by their own government. I may educate, but you, as the recipients of that information, are obligated to put the knowledge you gain from my writings to use.
In a letter to E. Carrington, Thomas Jefferson once said, “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” When a government, any government, uses its power and authority to force people to comply with laws the people do not approve of, it is tyranny. Tyranny is defined as the cruel use of power, or oppressive government by one or more people who exercise absolute power cruelly and unjustly.
In August of 1775, as the British armada was amassing to attack New York, General George Washington scribbled off a note to bolster confidence among his troops. One of the things he said was, “Remember officers and soldiers that you are free men, fighting for the blessings of liberty.”
Sometimes I wonder whether, when reading my articles, if people just skim over them, or if they actually take the time to think about the choice of words I use. There are times when I can knock off an article in less than two hours, with the words seeming to flow right off the tips of my fingers onto the page. Then there are times that I spend a great deal of time trying to choose just the right combination of words to get people to understand what I am trying to say.
I do that because words have meanings. What good is language if the words do not convey an image, or an idea to the recipient? So, as you continue reading, please take your time and think hard about what I am saying. Or what is the use in me writing, you may as well just pick up the paper and read the comics if you are not going to think about what I say.
The reason I bring this up is because I don’t think people really know what the Constitution says about the powers it grants to their government. I think that the average American believes it is perfectly acceptable to vote for candidates who make promises that merely sound good to them, regardless of whether said candidate has any legal authority to act upon those promises under the Constitution.
In a letter to William Johnson, written in 1823, Thomas Jefferson stated, “On every question of construction carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.”
Two years letter, in a letter to William Branch Giles, Jefferson stated, “Aided by a little sophistry on the words “general welfare,” [the federal branch claim] a right to do not only the acts to effect that which are specifically enumerated and permitted, but whatsoever they shall think or pretend will be for the general welfare.”
Now think about what I said, about the meaning of words. Do you really understand what Jefferson meant when he said specifically enumerated? Hopefully you understand what specifically means, it means precise: particular and detailed, avoiding vagueness. Enumerated on the other hand might be one of those words which people are not so familiar with. Enumerated means to list individually: to name a number of things on a list one by one.
Therefore, the powers granted our government are precise and detailed, and they are listed one by one, individually. There are 17 specific powers granted Congress by the Constitution, and they can be found in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. Anything our government does that is not listed among those specific powers in an usurpation of power.
James Madison once said, “We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties.” I have been alarmed for quite some time now, but I just cannot seem to convince anyone else that with each new law our government passes, which oversteps their specifically enumerated powers, our liberty is being taken from us, one small piece at a time.
Daniel Webster once said, “Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions.”
In 1772, someone writing under the pseudonym of Candidus, wrote to the Boston Gazette the following, “[I]f the public are bound to yield obedience to laws to which they cannot give their approbation, they are slaves to those who make such laws and enforce them.”
When our government passes a law, that is not specifically authorized by the Constitution, and I find reprehensible, yet am forced to obey, that is tyranny. It matters not that a majority of the people agree with the governments actions. I wonder, how many people would like it if a majority of the people suddenly decided that they wanted their government to ban football? Oh the outrage if Congress passed a law making football illegal. Yet that is EXACTLY how I feel with each new law passed by my government which infringes upon my liberty.
So, even if a majority of the people are in favor of a law, if it infringes upon the rights of a few, or even one individual, it is a crime, just as Jefferson said over 200 years ago, “The majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest breaks up the foundations of society.”
Still, people keep voting for candidates from both political parties whose very political platforms are in direct contradiction to the specific powers granted government by the Constitution.
Are you aware that many of our founding fathers despised the whole idea of political parties? George Washington, had this to say about them, “However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”
Thomas Jefferson was equally opposed to them, “I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever, in religion, in philosophy, in politics or in anything else, where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent. If I could not go to Heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all.”
For so long we have been fooled into thinking that there is no alternative, that we must either choose a Democrat, or choose a Republican. The famous astronomer Carl Sagan, once said, “One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. The bamboozle has captured us. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”
We Americans have forgotten what George Washington once said, that’ “The power under the constitution will always be in the people. It is entrusted for certain defined purposes, and for a certain limited period, to representatives of their own choosing…” Washington did not specify that that power must go to a Republican, or a Democrat!
To some, the coming election may give them a sense of having some say in how their government is run. To me it is just another dog and pony show designed to give the people the illusion that they have some control, but in reality it only gives them a choice between criminal A and criminal B.
Think about something George Carlin once said, “The next time they give you all that civic bullshit about voting, keep in mind that Hitler was elected in a full, free democratic election.”
If you cared to really look into the period preceding the American Revolution you would find that the injustices inflicted upon the colonies by King George III pale in comparison to the almost unlimited abuses heaped upon us by our government today.
Yet enough of the colonists valued their liberty to decide it was worth fighting, and possibly dying for. Can the same be said about the vast majority of people who occupy this country today?
Even certain members of Parliament realized that the colonists were justified in taking up arms against their government. There was one among them, a certain George Johnstone, who had served as governor of West Florida, who delivered what I believe describes, not only what had happened to the colonists, but what is once again happening to the people of this country today.
He said, “Men are to brought to this black business hood-winked. They are to be drawn in by degrees, until they cannot retreat…we are breaking through all those sacred maxims of our forefathers, and giving the alarm to every wise man on the continent of America, that all his rights depend on the will of men whose corruptions are notorious, who regard him as an enemy, and who have no interest in his prosperity.”
Thomas Jefferson stated something very similar when he said, “Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of the day; but a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period, and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers (administrators) too plainly proves a deliberate, systematic plan of reducing us to slavery.”
As long as the people of this country continue to cast their votes for candidates who care nothing about the constraints upon their power imposed by the Constitution, we will see the chains of slavery with increasing clarity.
As we do, there will be more and more people who feel that the system is completely broken and their only option for retaining some semblance of liberty is to take up arms against their perceived oppressors. Thomas Jefferson told us “For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well-organized and armed militia is their best security.”, as did James Madison, “A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained in arms, is the best most natural defense of a free country.”
Yet according to our government, anyone who is a members of a militia, someone who merely wants the government to leave them alone, these people are worthy of being called terrorists.
You tell me, who is the terrorist, someone who is a member of a militia, who minds their own business, or a government which passes unconstitutional laws, then uses its various alphabet soup agencies to enforce these laws at the point of a gun and the threat of a jail sentence.
There is a lot more at stake in this upcoming election than just getting enough Republicans back into office to wrest control away from Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. So, when you go to cast your vote on November 2nd, think long and hard about who exactly you are voting for, what exactly you expect that candidate to do for you if they are elected; and more importantly, think about the possible consequences of pushing people who are already fed up with infringements upon their liberties into a corner where their only alternative is to fight for their freedom. It happened 235 years ago, are you so sure that it can’t happen again?