“A nation is not defined by its borders or the boundaries of its land mass rather, a nation is defined by adverse people who have been unified by a cause and a value system and who are committed to a vision for the type of society they wish to live in and give to the future generations to come.”
The above quote was not made by any of our Founding Fathers; it was not made by an American for that matter. The above quote was made by a Nigerian woman; a lawyer and the founder of House of Tara International; a makeup and bridal directory. Yet, although that quote was not made by an American, this woman gets what I’ve been trying to get across to people for quite some time; that America was founded upon certain principles and beliefs, and that unless we return to those principles and beliefs things are not going to improve for the better.
In 1776 the value system which would define what America stood for was laid out for us by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence; that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that governments are instituted to protect those rights and derive their authority from the consent of the people; and that whenever any government becomes destructive of those ends it is our right and our duty to abolish or reform it to better secure those ends.
Thirteen years after the Declaration of Independence was written, our Founders gathered together again to write a document which would establish a system of government for themselves and for posterity. There is a question which I have asked myself over and over again, yet one which I don’t believe has passed through the minds of many of my readers; did our Constitution supersede the Declaration of Independence, or did it build upon the concepts outlined within it?
I would like to think that the answer to that question is that the Constitution built upon the precepts contained in the Declaration of Independence; that when the Preamble states that the purpose for establishing the Constitution was to form a more perfect Union, it meant that the preexisting conditions of equality and the unalienable rights were the things which this government was established to safeguard.
I would like to think that, but the more I delve into the process of ratifying our Constitution I am forced to face the possibility that those who drafted our Constitution did so knowing full well that there were not sufficient restraints upon the power and authority that document gave the government it created.
There were those who tried to warn the people involved in the process of deciding whether to accept or reject the Constitution that it was flawed and would lead to a government which sought not to protect our rights, but to restrict them. Chief among them was one Patrick Henry, who in the Virginia Ratification Assembly warned, “Sir, would not all the world, from the Eastern to the Western hemisphere, blame our distracted folly in resting our rights upon the contingency of our rulers being good or bad. Shew me that age and country where the rights and liberties of the people were placed on the sole chance of their rulers being good men, without a consequent loss of liberty? I say that the loss of that dearest privilege has ever followed with absolute certainty, every such mad attempt.”
Henry then, shortly thereafter, stated, “Where is the responsibility — that leading principle in the British government? In that government a punishment, certain and inevitable, is provided: But in this, there is no real actual punishment for the grossest maladministration. They may go without punishment, though they commit the most outrageous violation on our immunities. That paper may tell me they will be punished. I ask, by what law? They must make the law — for there is no existing law to do it. What — will they make a law to punish themselves? This, Sir, is my great objection to the Constitution, that there is no true responsibility — and that the preservation of our liberty depends on the single chance of men being virtuous enough to make laws to punish themselves.”
Even Ben Franklin, who although he supported the Constitution, he warned of its dangers, “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.”
It’s a rather telling statement on the state of America today that back in 1788 the only topic people were discussing was the proposed Constitution, and almost 230 years later hardly anybody is discussing the fact that the government they support no longer adheres to it. Not only do people not discuss the fact that their government routinely violates the Constitution; most people cannot tell you what the Constitution actually says.
Yet these people have the audacity to tell you that they are making informed decisions at the voting booth. Please, do tell how you are making the best choices in choosing a candidate who will adhere to the Constitutional limitations imposed upon the office they seek when you don’t even know what those limitations are. I’d love to hear how you explain that!
Not only are the majority of the people in this country extremely ignorant when it comes to knowing what the Constitution says, they also have very narrow fields of vision when it comes to the issues which influence their choice in selecting who will sit in the seats of power within our government. For some it is simply the two party paradigm; whether a candidate has an R or a D next to their name. For others it is a bit more involved, but still limited to one or two issues which are of great importance to the voter. For instance, a person may choose who to vote for based upon their stance regarding the 2nd Amendment; whether they are pro gun or anti gun. Or they may do the same thing based upon their position on the subject of abortion. Or it could be a candidate’s position on national security and how the candidates stand on keeping the people safe from all these terrorists running around. Then again it could be how well a candidate sounds in the promise of creating jobs; across the country or in the specific Congressional District a candidate will represent if elected.
The point I’m trying to get at is, people today pick one or two issues which they use to base their decisions upon, while ignoring the entirety of the remainder of the Constitution and Bill of Rights which our government routinely violates.
The change from a government formed upon the foundation of protecting the liberty of the people it represents to one which tyrannizes them is not something which occurs overnight, or over a generation for that matter; not in most cases anyway. No, these changes are gradual; so gradual in fact that people, unless they are paying close attention, hardly even notice they have occurred. In that it is almost like the process of aging; you don’t suddenly wake up to find that you’ve tacked on six or seven decades to your life; it happens gradually; day by day. So is the process by which a nation goes from one based upon freedom to one ruled by tyranny.
In the beginning our government was almost like a child; testing the limits of its authority. Of course the concept of liberty and both State’s and individual rights were still fresh in the minds of the people and our government was restrained, to a certain extent, as to how far it could overstep its authority.
However, it wasn’t that long after our government was established that members of Congress found they could more easily get elected if they made promises to wealthy industrialists, who would then pump money and support into their campaigns for office; the birth of crony capitalism and corporate special interests.
At the time there was no direct tax upon the income of the people; all the money derived to pay the expenses incurred by government came primarily via tariffs; which unfortunately, were levied primarily upon the Southern States to protect Northern business interests. It was only 4 decades after our Constitution was ratified that this came to a head in what is known as the Nullification Crisis. During this period of American history the South, led primarily by South Carolina, refused to pay the tariffs; saying they were excessive and tyrannical. Even though South Carolina opposed these tariffs, they were somewhat protected against the unfair policies of the Republican Party which represented Northern business interests.
All that changed in 1860 when Abraham Lincoln was elected. The fact that the government would be controlled primarily by Republicans led the South no other choice but to sever their ties with the North and form their own system of government which would better support their needs and interests.
Just as King George III had refused to let the Colonies leave the British Empire, Abraham Lincoln refused to allow the Southern States to leave the Union; thus defying the very principles enshrined in our Declaration of Independence. Was slavery an issue? Of course it was; but it was not the cause of the Civil War. Had Lincoln allowed the South to secede in peace and bid them best of luck, there would have been no WAR, and perhaps at a later date the South may have petitioned the North to rejoin the Union. But we’ll never know, as Lincoln chose to use force to compel the South to adhere to, not the Constitutions, but his will.
The war, and then the ensuing atrocities that were committed under the guise of Reconstruction completely obliterated the concept of State’s Rights; placing the States in a subservient position to the federal government and forever altering the relationship between those who govern and those who are governed. No longer was the federal government subject to the will of those it represented; forevermore the people were subject to the will of the government which had been created to serve them. With the surrender of Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Courthouse, not only did the Confederacy lose, but the principles enshrined in the Declaration of Independence lost as well.
Then, in just four short decades, the final nails in the coffin of freedom and liberty were driven into our Constitution with the ratification of the 16th and 17th Amendments and the passage of the Federal Reserve Act.
I find it ironic as hell that there are people today protesting against the statues and monuments of Confederate leaders and heroes because they claim these images represent slavery. Yet these same people are unable to see that we are all slaves now; slaves to a system of debt and labor to pay off that debt.
It has been said that we work the first five months of the year just to pay all the taxes we will pay for the entire year. It has also been said that if the American people went tax free for the entire year, and then at the end of the year were sent a bill for all taxes owed, that they would revolt.
Although it may not seem like it at times, they nickel and dime you to death with the taxes we are required to pay. Sure, income and property taxes may not sound like nickel and dime stuff, but think of all the OTHER taxes you pay; tax on the gas you put into your car; tax on the usage of the air waves for your cell phone; tax on the cable for your TV or the clothes on your back. And of course there is the unseen tax of inflation due to the FED’s continued pumping of money into our economy. What people fail to realize is that inflation is not the price of goods going up; it is the value of the money used to purchase those goods going down. All that came about in 1913 when an income tax was established and the Federal Reserve Act was passed; giving control of our monetary system over to a privately owned banking cartel.
All that was left to turn us from freemen into slaves was the eradication of our rights. Even back then when all this was happening, the people still had, and understood, for the most part, what their rights were. Yet over the course of the past 8 decades what the people have been taught about their rights has diminished; ever so gradually, from the curriculum taught in our public schools, to the point where people today don’t have the faintest inkling of what their rights are.
The freedom of speech and religion is under attack, most often by the people themselves in the form of political correctness. Our right to keep and bear arms is constantly under assault because of the fear of gun violence we are conditioned to live under. And our right to be safe and secure in ourselves, our homes, and our possessions has been violated all in the name of fighting terror.
It’s funny how little people know about history and how short their memories are. In the period which saw me enter into life our country was undergoing what became known as the Big Red Scare; the fear of the spread of communism in the United States. Hearings were held in which many a good American was charged with being communists based solely upon hearsay.
It was also during this period of American history that the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling on the case of U.S. v Robel. In that case, Chief Justice Earl Warren stated, “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.”
That was just 50 short years ago, and now look at us; willingly accepting laws and agencies violating the very rights our government was instituted to protect. But can I get people to think about such things, can I get them to care?
So, on this day when people remember the events of 9/11 and the corresponding loss of life, I wish to mourn for what we really lost; our freedom. All of the principles, all of the values which made America such a great country are gone, tossed in the rubbish heap as irrelevant and no longer important.
I weep for what my country has become, and I shiver in fear of what lies in its future. Yet I will not back down, I will not give up the fight for my rights and a return of limited government. Our nation’s Founders risked all that they had and all that they were to secure liberty for themselves and their posterity. It is the least I can do to honor them to keep up the fight in the face of overwhelming odds and overwhelming ignorance.
~ 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.