What’s Really Wrong With America

“Can it be believed that a grateful people will suffer [individuals] to be consigned
to execution, whose sole crime has been the developing and asserting their rights?”
~Thomas Jefferson~
(Excerpt from a letter to William Small, 1775)

If I were asked to boil down America’s problems to one simple statement, I would have to say that it all boils down to us no longer teaching, or practicing the golden rule; Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. In today’s modern and sophisticated, (and I use that term sarcastically), world it seems the golden rule has been turned on its head; Do unto others before they do unto you.

Some say the golden rule has, as its origin, the teachings of Jesus as found in the Bible in Matthew, Chapter 7, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” Yet 500 years before Christ ever walked the Earth Confucius stated a very similar concept, “What you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others.”

If I were to ask YOU what crime is I wonder how many would respond by, “Breaking the law?” Well, no, No, and NO again! A crime is when one individual seeks to take from another their life, their property or their liberty. A crime is a fundamental breach of the golden rule.

We are told that America has a system of justice; yet how can there be any justice when the law prohibits the exercise of our unalienable rights? Our entire system of government was founded upon the belief that all men have certain unalienable rights, granted them by their Creator, and that government is instituted to secure those rights. That is found in the Declaration of Independence and is laid out as the purpose for our government in the Preamble to the Constitution, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, 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.” (My emphasis)

While I fully realize that these little ramblings of mine might make their way to atheists, or possibly agnostics, it is, or at least it used to be, a fundamental belief that our rights came from God; that they were His gift to us as mankind.

If you’ve ever been to our nation’s capital and visited the Jefferson Memorial you may have seen the inscription on panel 3 which states, “God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?” And what, might I ask, is liberty if it is not the full enjoyment of our rights?

Again to quote from Jefferson, “… rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will, within the limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others…” Therefore, a crime is only committed when one violates the rights of another.

Thomas Paine once called government a necessary evil. What he meant by that is that in small doses government can be good, but if its coercive power is used to destroy the liberty of others, then it becomes something evil; something to be resisted and opposed. And isn’t that exactly what our government has become today? Dare I say, isn’t that the overall mindset of most Americans today; to use the coercive power of government to impose their views and beliefs upon others?

There are those, especially in States such as California, who believe that the role of government is to care for the needy and those who have special circumstances; i.e. the gay community or the illegal immigrants who are impoverished and living among us. But where, if I may be so bold to ask again, does government get the funds to provide these services if not from the taxes they take from those who work?

If I were to venture a guess I would say that upwards of 95% of the American people have no idea how much liberty their government has taken from them; and that number is probably very generous. Yet they still support this government, (depending upon who is in office), even though no matter who that person is government itself still continues to chip away at the liberty it was established to secure and protect. Why is that?

Much of what our Founders believed in came from Locke’s Second Treatise, wherein it states, “The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one: and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions…” Therefore, if man ought not to harm another in their life, health, liberty or possessions, how can anyone say that government is just when it is used for those exact purposes?

Samuel Adams, in a report to the Committee of Correspondence in 1772 stated, “Among the Natural Rights of the Colonists are these First. a Right to Life; Secondly to Liberty; thirdly to Property; together with the Right to support and defend them in the best manner they can–Those are evident Branches of, rather than deductions from the Duty of Self Preservation, commonly called the first Law of Nature.” Those are our Natural Rights, the gifts given us by our Creator, and anyone who threatens them does not live according to the rules of Nature or Nature’s God.

Yet look at how those who stand up for liberty are treated; they are laughed at, scorned, and ridiculed; called enemies of the State. Damn right we’re enemies of the State because the STATE is the enemy of liberty! It does not matter that government, (possibly), is acting on the will of the majority, the majority does not have the right to deprive the minority of any of their rights.

It’s funny how people are always claiming that the reason they support measures which deprive a segment of society of their rights is that they are supporting the minorities. Yet didn’t Ayn Rand once mockingly say, “The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.”

I have my rights and you have yours, and neither of us can do anything which violates the rights of either one of us. So how is it that a government created to protect our rights is being used to destroy them with nary a whimper of protest from the majority of the people in this country?

For instance, the Supreme Court, (which is part of the government in case you have forgotten), has ruled that prayer is not allowed in school because it violates the separation of church and state. In the Kentucky Resolutions, Thomas Jefferson states, “One of the amendments to the Constitution… expressly declares that ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press,’ thereby guarding in the same sentence and under the same words, the freedom of religion, of speech, and of the press; insomuch that whatever violates either throws down the sanctuary which covers the others.”

What is prayer if it is not a conversation between a believer and his God? Therefore, is not the banning of prayer in any public setting not a violation of the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of speech? No one says that prayer must be forced upon anyone, but to prohibit it simply because others do not believe as they do, or because others find it offensive is a violation of one’s right to freedom of speech.

Besides, had people read the 1st Amendment they would have seen that not only does it say, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…”, it also says, “… or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

The reason they worded it that way was to leave government out of the religious beliefs of the people; meaning that the government could not give preferential treatment to one sect; or establish one particular sect as a ‘national religion.’ It was never intended to prohibit religious teaching in schools; something that was affirmed by a early Supreme Court ruling, “Why may not the Bible and especially the New Testament be read and taught as a divine revelation in school? Where else can the purest principles of morality be learned so clearly or so perfectly as from the New Testament?” (Source: Vidal v. Girard’s Executors, 1844)

The same misunderstanding of the 1st Amendment’s protection of religious freedom is what is also allowing for those who are offended by things they disagree with to have monuments dedicated to Confederate heroes torn down at an alarming rate. All these monuments are being torn down because the people behind it believe they represent racism and prejudice. Yet these same people reject any evidence which contradicts their beliefs; because to accept it would require that they admit they were wrong and apologize; something they are not inclined to do.

That’s just one example; the loss of our freedom of speech and expression. What about our right to defend ourselves, our property and our liberty? Didn’t Adams say that it was our right to defend our Lives, our Liberty and our Property in the best manner we can? Yet there are laws saying when, where, and under what circumstances we can use deadly force to do so; and to violate those laws makes US the criminals.

How crazy is that?

Locke expressed this basic right as follows, “This makes it lawful for a man to kill a thief, who has not in the least hurt him, nor declared any design upon his life, any farther than, by the use of force, so to get him in his power, as to take away his money, or what he pleases, from him; because using force, where he has no right, to get me into his power, let his pretence be what it will, I have no reason to suppose, that he, who would take away my liberty, would not, when he had me in his power, take away every thing else.”

Yet if someone breaks into my home, and I use deadly force to defend my property, I must be able to prove that I feared for my life; otherwise I will be charged with murder or manslaughter. Again, what about my right to defend what is mine from those who would take it from me without my consent?

Then of course there is the taxation of people to fund programs which aid the poor and destitute. Again, returning to the thoughts of Thomas Jefferson, we read, “To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.” Sure, charity is fine if it is voluntary, but mandated charity by government decree is theft of my wages without my consent for purposes I choose not to support.

What about our right to privacy; the belief that every man’s home is his castle and free from governmental intrusion; something protected by the 4th Amendment? Well, apparently the government doesn’t care about that either, as it monitors us routinely in our private conversations and electronic communications; all to keep us safe from terrorism. Yet the Supreme Court once held, “It would indeed be ironic if, in the name of national defense, we would sanction the subversion of one of the liberties … which makes the defense of the Nation worthwhile.” (Source: US v Robel, 1967)

Once again, no complaints from the people; except for us tin foil hat conspiracy theorists and right wing extremists.

Believe me, these few examples I’ve given are just the tip of the iceberg. What about how government, via the FDA, seeks to ban the use of natural, or holistic medicine, for the treatment of disease; as that does not benefit government’s corporate benefactors in the pharmaceutical industry? After all, if we could cure disease by eating right and by taking natural remedies, then the drug companies would go bankrupt…and we simply can’t allow that, can we? (And that was sarcasm if you didn’t recognize it)

I could go on and on and on even more about how our government is using its coercive power to destroy the liberty it was established to secure, but I won’t simply because I don’t want to overwhelm you with data. Besides, I don’t think what I’ve already said is going to change anyone’s opinion anyway.

The point I’m trying to make is that it all boils down to a breach of the golden rule; Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If you don’t want me telling you how to live your life, don’t tell me how I must live mine. My rights, my liberty are mine, just as yours are yours. You leave mine alone and we’ll get along just fine. You start messing with my rights and then that’s when we’re gonna have issues.

And that’s why I DO NOT support this government, because it is being used to destroy my liberty at the behest of others; be it corporate or special interests; or even the will of a very vocal minority who take offense at me and my lifestyle.

I don’t care who is elected president; it could be Trump, it could be the Dali Lama, it could be Mother Theresa for all I care, if government seeks to restrict my liberty in any way shape or fashion, government is my enemy and I refuse to support it.

Any true lover of liberty would feel the same as I do. So, what does that say about you? Because, in concluding Jefferson’s quote about rightful liberty, he also said, “…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 right of an individual.”

You see, government may be the tool that is destroying liberty, but you people who support it are equally complicit because you choose to place party over principle, the tyranny of an oppressive government over the sweet blessing of liberty.

And if Samuel Adams were alive today I’m certain he would tell you the same thing he told his countrymen back in the struggle for America’s independence, “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.”

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