Written on, what feels like my death bed, this Nov 5, 2012
It simply amazes me that so many people, who are in most cases pretty smart people, refuse to face the fact that they have become slaves to their government. People go to the polls and vote for candidates because they believe their party has the right vision for America; their candidate is the lesser of the two evils presented them; or because their candidate is the most eloquent sounding bullshitter. Does the fact that not one of them seems to care about upholding the Constitution or preserving your liberty mean anything at all to you?
In creating our nation, the founders gave us the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution as guides for us to understand the purpose and limits placed upon our system of government. But they also did more; they also left us volumes of their writings for all posterity to use as references to use in understanding the purpose of government and the nature of our rights. These men lived in a time of monumental change in regarding the purpose for government and the rights of man. Unlike today where people spend far too much time glued to their televisions or their computers, our founders spent every waking moment dedicated to creating a system of government designed to preserve our rights. It sickens me to say that we have squandered that birthright because we would rather be entertained than informed.
As Samuel Adams said, “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.”
The Declaration of Independence is the cornerstone upon which our nation was founded and the opening comments clearly define the nature of our rights, and the purpose for which governments are instituted, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. 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.”
The Preamble to the Constitution states the purpose for which that document was created, and states, “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.”
The Preamble to the Bill of Rights serves the same function, and it states, “THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.”
What is liberty? The dictionary defines it as; the quality or state of being free; the power to do as one pleases; freedom from physical restraint; and freedom from arbitrary or despotic control. Thomas Jefferson defined it as, “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.”
IN 1850 a Frenchman by the name of Frederic Bastiat wrote an epoch manifesto on the purpose of the law. If you’ll allow me, I’d like to present a few quotes taken from the very opening pages of that work.
First of all Bastiat states, “Each of us has a natural right — from God — to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but an extension of our faculties? If every person has the right to defend even by force — his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right — its reason for existing, its lawfulness — is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute.”
Bastiat continues by discussing a system of government whose purpose is to preserve liberty, “Under such an administration, everyone would understand that he possessed all the privileges as well as all the responsibilities of his existence. No one would have any argument with government, provided that his person was respected, his labor was free, and the fruits of his labor were protected against all unjust attack. When successful, we would not have to thank the state for our success. And, conversely, when unsuccessful, we would no more think of blaming the state for our misfortune than would the farmers blame the state because of hail or frost. The state would be felt only by the invaluable blessings of safety provided by this concept of government.”
Finally, Bastiat talks about what happens when government no longer servers the purpose for which it was created, “But, unfortunately, law by no means confines itself to its proper functions. And when it has exceeded its proper functions, it has not done so merely in some inconsequential and debatable matters. The law has gone further than this; it has acted in direct opposition to its own purpose. The law has been used to destroy its own objective: It has been applied to annihilating the justice that it was supposed to maintain; to limiting and destroying rights which its real purpose was to respect.”
Now that you have read those quotes, can you honestly say that the government that exists in this country today even remotely sounds like the one these men spoke of, one in which the preservation of our rights and our liberty were the primary purpose for its existence?
Let me see, the First Amendment is well on its way to being gutted due to politically correct nonsense and the fear of offending someone with the things you say. The Second Amendment is on its way to being gutted by state and federal laws restricting the possession of certain type firearms or the requirement that we obtain a PERMIT to carry. The Third Amendment is intact, for now. The Fourth, Fifth and Sixth and Eighth Amendments have been gutted due to all these laws passed to protect us from terror. The Ninth Amendment covers all the rights which are too numerous to have been individually listed in the Bill of Rights, so you tell me, what things can you do that require a permit or license that you should be able to do as a free man and then decide if this amendment has been gutted as well.
And finally the Tenth Amendment, which 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.” Well you tell me, where in the Constitution does it grant the federal government the authority to criminalize marijuana, to regulate how much water your toilet can use for each flush, to decide what foods you can eat, and a whole host of other things it currently regulates and controls?
I know all these things are being done in our best interests, as though we are all a bunch of immature children incapable of making our own decisions as to what is in our best interests. Does any of this sound like the definition of liberty I previously provided for you?
We need only go back to Thomas Jefferson’s first inaugural address to see the difference between the America today and the America of our founders. First of all Jefferson said this about our rights, “All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.”
Then he went on to say the following about government, “Still one thing more, fellow-citizens—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, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.”
So, you tell me, is our government today defending our rights, or depriving us of them? What will happen to you if you disobey any of these government mandates or regulations, you will be fined or arrested. Well think of this, Thomas Jefferson once said, “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”
Of course they are going to tell you that it is people like me who pose a threat to you, but do you honestly think that they are going to come out and tell you the truth that they want to enslave you? As Henry Clay once said, “The arts of power and its minions are the same in all countries and in all ages. It marks its victim; denounces it; and excites the public odium and the public hatred, to conceal its own abuses and encroachments.”
All I ask is that you look at what our government is supposed to do and compare that to what it is actually doing. You look at what rights we are supposed to be free to exercise, and which ones we actually can. Then when you have finished making your comparison, you tell me what kind of country we live in. Tell me whether you still believe the lie that this is the land of the free and the home of the brave. If we were so damn brave, why haven’t we stood up en masse and thrown every one of these treasonous bastards in jail for violating their oaths of office by infringing upon our rights and our liberty.
So go ahead, go to the polls tomorrow thinking you are going to make a damn bit of difference. Sure Romney may be marginally better than Obama, but I heard the same crap about Bush when he replaced Clinton, and look what he gave us. I’m tired of this nonsense of the lesser of two evils and voting for one candidate because he is slightly better than the other. Give me someone I can stand behind, who supports the principles I believe in, or don’t waste my time!
I’m sorry, I think the cancer that is destroying this country is far too advanced for us to save it. So, as sick as I am I will get my weary ass out of bed tomorrow and go vote, even if it is only to write HELL NO across both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama’s names.
And with that I am going to go get some more chicken soup and go back to bed.