Saturday, February 27, 2010

I Want to Live in a Free America, Not an America Where Everything is Free

“Democracy in its turn is abolished and changes into a rule of force and violence” as people grow more “accustomed to feed at the expense of others and to depend for their livelihood on the property of others.”
             – Polybius, Greek historian

Today our world experienced another cataclysmic event – an earthquake of an 8.8 magnitude struck in Chile, prompting evacuations in nations with coasts on the Pacific Ocean.  Thankfully, the casualties in Chile are no where near what we saw in Haiti, though it is certain that countless numbers were negatively impacted by this quake.

It is right and good that people come to the aid of those who were injured, left homeless, and suffering loss – something that most of us, no matter our political persuasion, can agree on!

Back in the homeland, a consensus on all policies and plans are not so easy to come by as Democrats and Republicans are fighting tooth and nail over how to reform America’s healthcare system. 

How can we in America allow people to suffer with sickness and not help?  How can we let an old, toothless woman in Buffalo, New York be compelled to wear the dentures of her dead sister?  In America??  While the people of France and Canada, Japan and Sweden take care of their people, how can any compassionate American citizen be against the healthcare reforms proposed by President Obama and Democrats in Congress?

Compelling indeed are the many arguments for government to take over the healthcare industry in America

But I am amazed at not how many people oppose the takeover, but how many people support it!

“By supporting an endless number of ‘good’ causes, free society gradually becomes collectivist and tyrannical.” (1)

Yesterday I was engaged in a study that would behoove all of us as American citizens to participate in – I was reading the Constitution

This is the document upon which our entire nation was built.  Though our society is not without its inequities and our history not without some serious bumps in the road, we can credit the U.S. Constitution with giving us 200+ years of freedom and prosperity of unparalleled scope. 

How did it do this?  It was designed that way!  The U.S. Constitution was designed to protect the most basic freedoms of the people, to empower them in the pursuit of life and liberty, and to keep them far from tyranny’s grasp.

Freedom of speech, of press, of religion, of assembly, the right to petition the Government for redress of grievances, the right to a speedy, public trial by jury if accused of a crime, the right to bear arms, the right to one’s own property, the right of protection from unwarranted search and seizure, the right to not be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, the right to vote regardless of gender or race.  These are the rights granted by our Constitution.  If you don’t believe me, please read it for yourself!

Ironically, we hear politicians and citizens crying out to meet the peoples’ rights to all kinds of things not outlined in the Constitution. 

“Today, politicians promise the right to high quality education, the right to free or affordable health care and housing, and many more so-called rights.  These are not genuine rights.  They are benefits at the expense of others.”  (2)

At the very same time, many of these same politicians and citizens trample on some of the rights guaranteed in the Constitution!!  What is going on here? 

When a newly-elected president is sworn in, he is required by Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution to swear to defend the Constitution. 

I don’t have the time or space to research and list every infraction against the Constitution by every past and present American President.  But besides the atrocious proposed Federal government takeover of healthcare, which would go against Amendment 10 of the Constitution (“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.”), a few notable Constitutional violations come to mind --

How about a whole slew of measures passed by President George W. Bush in the Patriot Act?  No trial and potentially indefinite detention for those accused of terrorism.  Really??  Are we going to follow in the Soviet Union’s footsteps and imprison all "enemies of the state"? 

Did you know that search and seizure of Americans and businesses of America is becoming more common?  And spying on the medical records, financial records, web-surfing habits, library records, and blogs and Facebook status updates of ordinary American citizens is now commonplace? 

If you believe you have nothing to hide because you aren’t doing anything wrong and you trust your government won’t abuse these powers, I invite you to take a look at history to see that there is a long and prestigious track record of governments abusing the powers granted them.

How about all the measures proposed over the years for monitoring and curtailing the citizens’ rights to firearms?  This is blatantly un-Constitutional. 

And our tax regulations make it a habit to seize an increasingly sizeable chunk of American citizens’ hard-earned money and redistribute it to the poor through programs. 

Yes, all of these measures can be made to sound like good ideas, but the truth is that each of them is chipping away at the very foundation America was built on and making us more vulnerable to tyranny.

The more the people depend on their government to provide for them, the more vulnerable they are to tyranny.  And as the saying goes, when the people fear the government, tyranny reigns.  When the government fears the people, there is liberty!

I want to live in a free America.  I understand that there are risks and responsibilities associated with freedom, but I embrace these hazards because I believe that freedom is worth it! 

I like the Constitution, and I like that it set up a system that made tyranny difficult or next-to-impossible. 

Please read the Constitution and vote out all politicians whose actions prove they don’t uphold this document.  Only vote for those with a track record of adherence to this history-making document that makes a society of liberty and true power to the people most likely to persist.  Make those in power fear their accountability to the people!

And for goodness' sake, please use your brain when reading or watching the news!  But that is a topic for a whole other day . . . 

(1) The Path to Tyranny:  A History of Free Society’s Descent Into Tyranny, Michael Newton, p. 6
(2) The Path to Tyranny:  A History of Free Society’s Descent Into Tyranny, Michael Newton, p. 8

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