Reviewing the Declaration of Independence in Light of Today’s Government
I have really tried not to be political on this blog. Why? Because debating current events tends to lead to time wasting controversies I do not wish to engage in. But, in going through the Declaration in order to write my piece on tyranny in relationships I noticed something- in many ways our government is doing exactly the same types of things that King George was called out for. Am I blaming any one politician? No. These things have been going on for some time now, and the only fault the person currently in office has is that they too did not recognize this and make it go away. (We can debate how much they have made it better or worse on another day.) So let’s look at what our government is currently up to that made our forefathers mad.
1. He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good… He has endevoured to prevent the population of these United States; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners…
Our federal government can’t seem to make up its mind regarding immigration, so it does nothing. And when the states attempt to do something, it stops their actions. Immigration has been an issue since the founding of our country. Our forefathers wanted to increase the population. Today we wish to regulate it and ensure those coming in are ‘safe.’ The problem with King George was that he would not make a reasonable law that would enable proper immigration. We have the same problem today.
2. He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
Have you noticed how many departments and agencies now exist? All of them are funded through taxpayers’ dollars, and all of them are in charge of regulating our lives. Some of them are good and necessary. Others are redundant and would be better if done on the state level, where local concerns may be taken into consideration. It may be time to say ‘too much’ and work to simplify government, in much the same way we do when our lives become busy and over-extended.
3. He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.
The Department of Homeland Security, the NSA and the TSA are examples of agencies whose purpose seems to be policing the citizenry. This is not how our founders expected free men to live. Further, some of our police departments, and social service agencies seem to have overstepped their bounds and gone from ‘serve and protect’ to harass and assume. As frustrating as it may be, all citizens are to be treated with respect and are assumed to be innocent until proven innocent in a court of law.
4. He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to the civil power.
Our military is now under the jurisdiction of the federal government (no more is it a coordination of state militias), and when it is sent to an area, it does not seem to answer to the local officials in charge. Our founders wanted protection from an over-reaching government. Any policy that places the federal government in supreme control over everything does not comply with what our founders intended.
5. He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution…
Have you noticed how many treaties and executive agreements have been made? And many of them were made without the consent of congress. (Reminder, according to our constitution a treaty trumps any state law. (Article VI) And an executive agreement between our president and another country is being treated as if it carries the same weight as a treaty that actually made it through congress.) This is not the method our founders envisioned, and these short-cuts bring us closer to a dictatorship. It is time to back away from that edge and re-instate a little more restraint when it comes to the power of one man, our president (any president).
6. For quartering large bodies of troops among us.
What the heck is the DHS doing with all that ammo and riot control machinery? Why is the IRS training with rifles? Is this really the job of the federal government, to police our local streets? We have a military and we have police, what exactly are these other agencies doing? These tactics are not what one would expect if their only purpose was to weed out terrorists. Let’s put the responsibility of keeping order in America back in the hands of local people who know their community and can make judgments based on that knowledge.
7. For protecting them, by a mock trial…
When was the last time a congressional review resulted in anyone losing their job, no matter how grievous the error? Today the name of the game seems to be protect those who are appointed, not ensure the safety and rights of those they supposedly serve (the taxpayer).
8. For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world.
Some trade agreements are good, but today we seem to be using trade as a means of obtaining what we want politically from other countries. This was not what our founders wanted. They wanted the freedom to trade with whomever they wished, free from government interference whenever possible.
9. For imposing taxes on us without our consent.
Pork and other deals that sneak into bills meant for other purposes reek of this. We may have wanted whatever the bill was for, but we did not want all of the ‘extras’ it came with.
10. And waging war against us…
Cutting funding to things that will ‘hurt’ in order to manipulate the people into supporting funding for the things you favor is not the way government is to work. Like King George it seems that many of our elected officials wage a passive-aggressive war on the American people in order to find support for the ideology they believe in. This is not the way the system was designed to work.
11. He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny… totally unworthy of a civilized nation.
When was the last time the American people fully understood why we were involved in a military action? Tyranny is when the government decides for itself, without the consent of the people, to do what it wants. Shouldn’t something as large as sending our troops, our sons and daughters (my son), oversees into combat require a bit more of an explanation than what we are receiving? And it seems some of our methods are suspect. On one hand we hamper our troops effectiveness with PC rules that have no place in actual combat, and on the other hand we use drones that seemingly do more harm than we should have intended. It’s time to revamp and rethink how we do war.
12. He has excited domestic insurrections among us…
You cannot mention the president’s name today without stirring emotions and potentially starting an argument. This was true for G.W. as well. Our government, it’s policies and the statements of our elected officials do more to enrage and encourage emotion than they do to encourage serious debate. We really need to get back to the issues and stop acting like we are on a reality talk show when dealing with the problems we face as a nation. And we need to hold those accountable who seek to stir up emotions rather than engage in honest debate.
This problem is ours. We the people need to take responsibility for what we have created. We need to encourage cuts and accountability. We need to take back responsibility for our local affairs. We need to encourage responsible dialogue and not jump emotionally into the fray without realizing that we have no idea what we are actually supporting. And we need to hold the media accountable. They are to report in an unbiased manner (i.e. They may give their opinion, but they may not leave out the facts that may lead us to disagree.), and they are not to seek to merely stir emotions and get people upset over things they know nothing about. It’s time to take back our country and run it in a way that makes sense, before we, as a nation, become a reality show that is too sad and dysfunctional to watch.