Many a year ago, almost 40 to be exact, I raised my right hand and swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies; both foreign and domestic. Thus began my service as a United States airman in the Air Force; service I would give for over 13 years of my life; both stateside and overseas. I remained in the Air Force until upper management allowed it to get so bloated with E-5’s that they had to do something to thin the ranks. So they offered severance pay for E-5’s as an option to get people to voluntarily separate; an option I took advantage of, and I once again found myself a civilian.
Amongst the mountains of paperwork I had to fill out to leave the Air Force, I can’t recall ever signing one which released me from the obligations of that first oath I took to support and defend the Constitution. Although I am no longer under the jurisdiction of the military, and though the Uniform Code of Military Justice, (UCMJ), no longer applies to me, I do believe that the oath I took was witnessed by God Himself and therefore sacred and obligatory to my dying breath.
I will be the first to admit that during those 13 years of service, and for many years afterwards, I didn’t know very much about what the Constitution said. Oh I knew the basic structure for government that it established, but that was about all I knew. It wasn’t until I had been out for almost a decade that I began researching what the Constitution actually says. When I say researching I do not mean just reading the document itself, but also the writings of those who were alive when it was first produced.
Prior to my studies I was just like everyone else in this country; believing what I had been taught in school, what I heard on the evening news, and what my elected representatives were saying regarding the issues. I was a staunch Republican, believing Democrats to be the incarnation of Communism in the U.S., and I was supportive of my government in all its foreign interventions.
It’s amazing what a little knowledge, and the willingness to accept it, can do to a person’s beliefs. What I came to learn was that the government we have today bears absolutely no resemblance to the one envisioned by our Founders when they wrote the Constitution. Sure, we have a president, but our presidents today exercise authority it was never intended they exercise. Sure, we have a Congress, but does that Congress represent the bodies it was originally designed to represent; the people and the States? Does the Congress abide by the specific powers granted it by the Constitution?
It is amazing to me that people today can say that our Constitution is no longer relevant. Our country grew from 13 original States under it to 50, and became a mighty nation conceived in liberty with an abundance of opportunity for those who decided to make America their home. Was it a perfect document? No, it wasn’t, but the means to alter, or amend it were always there to fix any imperfections. Yet in his Farewell Address President George Washington warned, “But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.”
I honestly wonder if people today even know the meaning of the word usurpation. Usurpation, as it applies to government, is the use of power for which there is no right, or authority to use. If, as James Madison said, “[T]he powers of the federal government are enumerated; it can only operate in certain cases; it has legislative powers on defined and limited objects, beyond which it cannot extend its jurisdiction.”, then how can the exercise of so many powers our government currently exercises be anything but usurpation?
Does it matter that the people willingly support such measures, or that they allow them to be passed without resistance? Let me ask you something before you answer; if you are on a crowded sidewalk and you see someone attacking another individual, are you any less guilty for not attempting to prevent the person being attacked from being harmed? Does it make it any less of a crime if a crowd gathers around the attacker to cheer him on?
If our Constitution is, in fact, the Supreme Law of the land, and that it is “… a law for rulers and people, equally in war and in peace…” as held by the Supreme Court in 1866, then do not the limits it imposes upon government apply not only to our government, but to the people who elect the representatives within that government as well?
Do you know what a legal maxim is? A legal maxim is an established principle or proposition. A principle of law universally admitted, as being just and consonant with reason. One of the Founders of modern political philosophy, Thomas Hobbes, declared legal maxims to be of the same strength and effect in the law as statutes, [laws] themselves.
There is a legal maxim which states, “ignorantia juris non excusat“, or ignorance of the law does not excuse. Just because you do not know what the Constitution says does not justify you from not being found guilty of violating it by voting for candidates whose campaign promises are for things which it does not authorize them to do.
There may not be a court of law on the planet that would find 300 plus million people guilty of violating the Constitution, but there is a higher court to which you will ultimately be held accountable.
If, as Patrick Henry said, “…liberty ought to be the direct end of your government” and by your ignorance, or your active support for measures lead to the restriction of the liberty of others, you will eventually find yourself accounting for your actions. As Thomas Jefferson once said, “God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure if we have removed their only firm basis: a conviction in the minds of men that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.” (Source: A Summary View of the Rights of British America-1774)
How can one say that they are a proud American when, by their actions, they undermine all the principles upon which this once great nation was established? How can one call themselves a patriot, yet they support measures which restrict the liberty the very first patriots fought to secure for them? As the Supreme Court held in U.S. v Robel, “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.”
How can anyone say that they are making an informed choice at the polls when they vote along party lines without care as to what the Constitution itself says are the powers the candidates people vote for should exercise? How can anyone call themselves a good citizen when they vote for party over principle or the lesser of two evils? How can anyone tolerate evil in any degree for that matter?
If the Bible tells us that “Thou shalt not steal” does it make it acceptable that those we elect steal from others in the form of taxes, and give the money they have stolen to others in need? If one wishes to be charitable, fine, then dig into your purse or wallet and donate to your heart’s content. But mandated charity is theft, pure and simple, and it deprives people of the fruits of their labors. This goes just as much for foreign aid as it does for any internal social programs designed to aid those in need.
Our Founders believed that the right of self defense was the first law of nature; which included not only the right to defend one’s life, but the right to defend their property AND their liberty as well. Yet how many laws are there which dictate when and where a person may defend these things, and by what means they may defend them?
It seems to me that society has become something that punishes everyone for the actions of a few. If someone goes on a shooting spree and kills dozens, then we pass laws which only affect those who are inclined to obey the law in the first place. If some terrorist blows up a building we pass laws which violate the privacy of every American.
Whatever happened to the concept of holding the guilty accountable for their actions and not punishing society for them? For that matter, whatever happened to the whole concept of self reliance; that people alone are responsible for the choices they make and the consequences of those choices?
You people play your silly game of choosing between the red candidate and the blue candidate, never noticing that with each choice your freedom is being restricted just a bit more. When Jefferson wrote his Summary View, he also stated, “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.”
Locke said this about tyranny, “AS usurpation is the exercise of power, which another hath a right to; so tyranny is the exercise of power beyond right, which no body can have a right to.” If our rights are, as the Declaration of Independence, the gift of our Creator, then how can an entity created by man take those rights from the people when the very purpose of that entity was to, “…secure the Blessings of Liberty…” to those who established it, and their posterity?
I really don’t know what else I can do to convince people. I’ve tried laying the facts out in as clear and concise a manner I can; I’ve tried making people feel guilty; I’ve tried challenging and insulting them; nothing seems to work. People go on about their lives ignoring the truth and believing lies. I am, figuratively speaking, at wits end as to what I can do to get people to open their eyes.
Maybe Tytler was right, that great nations rise and fall; that they go through cycles from servitude to freedom, and back into servitude again. If that’s the case then there is nothing I can do to prevent the eventual fall of the American Republic. That doesn’t mean I have to like it, or go silently into servitude.
It is not in my nature to simply give up, but it pains me to see what is happening in America and not being able to do anything to prevent it from getting worse; and worse it will get if people don’t open their eyes.
But I know that the things I believe in, the principles I hold dear to are right, that they are those same principles which our Founders fought for when they took up arms on Lexington Green back in 1775. There were Loyalists back then too, those who chose loyalty to a tyrant.
I don’t know what the history books will say about me, or people like me when they are written some far off day in the future; and quite honestly I don’t care. I know to whom I am accountable for upholding that oath I took so many years ago, and to Him I pledge my loyalty and undying service; not to those who would choose ignorance and servitude over the freedom which knowledge and truth brings.
And if ever this Samuel Adams quote fit in to something I wrote, it would be now, “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.”
April 9, 2017
~ The Author ~
Neal Ross, Student of history, politics, patriot and staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment. Send all comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you liked Neal’s latest column, maybe you’ll like his latest booklet: The Civil War: (The Truth You Have Not Been Told) AND don’t forget to pick up your copy of ROSS: Unmasked – An Angry American Speaks Out – and stay tuned – Neal has a new, greatly expanded book coming soon dealing with the harsh truths about the so-called American Civil War of 1861-1865. Life continues to expand for this prolific writer and guardian of TRUE American history.