Have there ever been instances in your life when you have tried explaining something to someone and the person is just incapable of understanding what you are trying to explain? If there have been, then you know how frustrating that can be. Now imagine for a moment that you are trying to explain something that is of great importance, and not only is the person you are explaining it to incapable of understanding, they simply don’t care about what you are trying to say.
I know I shouldn’t use movie analogies to explain myself, as they take away from my credibility, but sometimes I find something that is so truthful that I simply cannot help myself. The 1999 film The Matrix is one such movie, in that it is filled with so many analogies, metaphors and symbolism that I could just include the entire script and call it a day.
However, if I were forced to choose one scene to share with you it would be the scene when Morpheus and Neo are walking down the city street and Morpheus says, “The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you’re inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system that they will fight to protect it.”
That scene reminds me of the quote by Von Loon that says, “Any formal attack on ignorance is bound to fail because the masses are always ready to defend their most precious possession – their ignorance.” It seems that no matter how simple one makes it, most people seem unable, or possibly unwilling, to accept the truth.
Now I’m not saying I am in possession of the whole truth, or even a majority of it, but there is something that sets me, and people like me, apart from the vast majority of people in this country; we actively seek out the truth. Although it has cost me friends and caused me to be ridiculed and ostracized, I wouldn’t change a thing about the path I have undertaken; because for me the truth is more important than having an abundance of friends or living a life believing a lie.
One of the biggest problems I have with people is that they continue to support a system, (i.e. government), that no longer serves the purposes for which it was originally established. To most people the only thing they care about is who gets to control the system; be it Republicans or Democrats; the fact that the system itself has become destructive of the ends for which it was established is of no concern to them.
If someone were to break into your home and attempt to steal your possessions, would you simply let them if they belong to the same political party you do, or if they were wearing a Make America Great Again T-shirt? Why then do you support government just because of one individual you have chosen to be at its head when the government itself continues to do things it was never intended it be allowed to do; one of which is destroy the liberty of those it was designed to represent?
I can, at least, understand the thought process which leads people to believe that the world is a different place than it was back when our Constitution and Bill of Rights was written, and that therefore government should change accordingly. But as Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter to Judge Spencer Roane, “Time indeed changes manners and notions, and so far we must expect institutions to bend to them. But time produces also corruption of principles, and against this it is the duty of good citizens to be ever on the watch, and if the gangrene is to prevail at last, let the day be kept off as long as possible.”
So yes, I can at least concede the fact that our government today might need more powers than it was originally given; but the underlying principles for which that government was established should remain the same no matter how much time passes from the date of its enactment. One of the most important principles, at least from my perspective, is the preservation of our liberty as people.
Depending upon where you look there are many definitions for the word liberty. The most concise of them is: the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views.
Our Founding Fathers, and by that I mean those who actively participated in obtaining America’s independence from Great Britain were pretty much united on obtaining liberty for all those living in the Colonies. But from the moment they obtained that liberty there were some who sought to impose their own brand of tyranny upon those who had just suffered a war to gain their independence.
Yet there were those who remained champions of liberty; men such as Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry. Today men like them would be laughed off the political stage for their views on the purpose for which governments should exist.
Imagine if you will that Patrick Henry were alive today and was running for President. Would you vote for him if he stood upon a stage and told you, “You are not to inquire how your trade may be increased, nor how you are to become a great and powerful people, but how your liberties can be secured; for liberty ought to be the direct end of your Government.”
How about Thomas Jefferson? If he were alive today and running for President, would you vote for him if he campaigned upon the following promise, “…a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government…”
Your answer to those questions goes a long way towards explaining how much you know about why your government was originally established. When Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence he pointed out two important facts that people today seem to have forgotten. The first of these facts is that our rights come from our Creator, not from government. The second of these facts is that government is instituted to secure these rights, not be the destroyer of them.
People today just accept the fact that we have a government, and only in passing do they think about the fact that this government exists only because the people in 1788 and 1789 consented to it as explained to them by those who supported ratification of the Constitution. Had they known that the government they were about to consent to would eventually destroy the liberty they had so recently obtained, they would NEVER have voted to accept this form of government.
As much as people pay lip service to our wonderful Constitution, it is not a perfect document. On the final day of the Constitutional Convention, September 17, 1787, a speech was read to the delegates, written by Ben Franklin, in which Doctor Franklin stated, “In these Sentiments, Sir, 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.
I doubt too whether any other Convention we can obtain, may be able to make a better Constitution: For when you assemble a Number of Men to have the Advantage of their joint Wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those Men all their Prejudices, their Passions, their Errors of Opinion, their local Interests, and their selfish Views. From such an Assembly can a perfect Production be expected? It therefore astonishes me, Sir, to find this System approaching so near to Perfection as it does… ”
What Franklin was saying is that he knew the Constitution was flawed, that it was not perfect; but he also said that it would be well administered as long as the people of this country remained uncorrupted in principle; meaning that they only voted for those candidates who would seek to confine themselves to the specific powers given them, and that they would respect and defend to their dying breaths the rights of those they represented.
The moment voters stopped voting for representatives of that character they put government on the pathway towards the despotic government that Franklin warned us about. How far along that pathway is anyone’s guess, but I’m guessing we are pretty close to an absolute despotism.
I listen to people talk politics today, (that is if they even talk politics and not football or some other triviality) and I hear them say the damndest things; especially as it pertains to their governments ability to violate the rights of the people it represents.
Does it matter whether a majority of the voters approve of a measure that violates the rights of one group or another? Does it matter that tyranny only applies to 10%, 15% or 20% of the people? When anyone’s rights are violated, there is tyranny. As Thomas Jefferson so rightfully said, “Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.”
When the laws being passed violate the rights of anyone, and when those charged with enforcing the laws violate the rights of anyone, then there is tyranny. You can choose to either submit to it, or you can do as I do, cry out against it.
I hear all this rubbish about how we need to support our law enforcement officers because they do such good things for the community. Sure, they do good things; but they also enforce the laws which violate our rights without questioning the laws they are enforcing. Does that mean we should submit unquestioningly to their authority in all cases? Isn’t that one of the very reasons our Founders revolted against their government; because it had declared that it had the authority to bind them in all cases whatsoever?
Is tyranny any different in 2018 than it was in 1776; are our rights? On another occasion Thomas Jefferson said, “Nothing then is unchangeable but the inherent and unalienable rights of man.” (Source: Letter to John Cartwright, 1824)
When the truth is suppressed because it happens to make people uncomfortable, or hurts their precious feelings, isn’t the freedom of speech being violated?
When a person’s right to keep and bear arms, and defend their property against those who would deprive them of it is limited by law, aren’t our rights being infringed upon?
When we cannot enter into our homes and be free of the prying eyes and ears of government agencies such as the NSA, isn’t our right to privacy being invaded?
When we can be taxed to fund programs which redistribute our wealth to those in need, (without our consent I might add) isn’t our right to enjoy the fruits of our labor being violated?
People say they know their rights, and it is all I can do to not fall on the ground in fits of laughter. If people knew their rights they damned sure wouldn’t be supporting the government they have today; no matter who was in control of it!
If I started a charitable organization that provided firearms and training to the people of every city, would I have the right to come to your home and demand that you support it? Of course not! So how is it that people can say that I must be taxed to support programs that I disagree with; programs which are not justified by any of the specific powers granted government?
Government, if anything, implies the power of coercion to enforce the laws it passes; that is a given. As long as government confines itself to those powers it was granted by those who established it, government is good. However, when government begins to overstep those specific powers, when the laws it passes violate the rights of anyone, then government becomes tyrannical. It does not matter that the majority voted for this candidate or that candidate; what matters is whether or not the candidates you elect stick to the specific purposes for which government was originally established.
CAN YOU NOT SEE THAT???
Our Founders, were they alive today, would be considered lawbreakers, rebels, and extremists; all because they chose to resist their existing government when the laws being passed violated their most basic rights as freemen. On the other hand, were a majority of the people alive today suddenly teleported back to 1776 they would find themselves being the outcasts, the traitors to the cause of liberty for their unquestioning support of a government that sought to “…reduce them under absolute Despotism…” (Declaration of Independence)
You can go on choosing to support your Hillary’s, your Trump’s, and whichever other candidates are offered up for your consideration; I will support the same cause our Founders fought for when they stood up to their government; the cause of liberty for all. If that makes me a rebel, then so be it. I’d rather be a rebel than a willing slave…any day of the week.