from the Congress Action newsletter

When, in the Course of Human Events

by: Kim Weissman
July 8, 2001

"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 to 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."

That was the theory. So after 225 years, what happened? What happened is that Independence Day, now almost universally known simply as "The Fourth of July" (let's have no unpleasant reminders of exactly what it is that we are celebrating on that particular day in July), is just another day to take off work, have a backyard barbecue, fly flags, and entertain ourselves by shooting off fireworks. Or rather, sit and watch as professionals hired by our local government officials shoot off fireworks, because we are too stupid and too incompetent to be allowed to do so ourselves.

Thomas Jefferson, largely responsible for writing the words of the Declaration of Independence, was an obvious hypocrite because despite his glowing prose, he continued to own slaves throughout his life, and had a child out of wedlock with one of his slaves. The Founders believed, according to Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, that blacks were "so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect…".

The founding generation were just a bunch of greedy white guys who really launched the revolution in order to preserve their upper class privilege and keep the rest of the "lower classes" under foot.

The American flag "…represents the former colonies that enslaved our ancestors…and when this flag was designed, they did not have [black people] in mind", according to a Tennessee state legislator who refuses to join her fellow legislators in pledging allegiance to the American flag at opening sessions of the Tennessee State legislature. According to a prominent black media commentator, the words of the Pledge of Allegiance are "nothing but a lie, just a lie", and expecting blacks to recite the Pledge of Allegiance is "ridiculous".

James Madison, the so-called "father of the Constitution", really stole all of his ideas from the noble Iroquois Confederation of Indians.

And the United States of America, the nation created by all that subterfuge and deception, is destroying the planet through our pollution, robbing poor nations through our over-consumption of raw materials, threatening to destroy the world through our aggressive militarization, seriously misguided in our arrogantly nationalistic refusal to accept the enlightened direction and leadership of our European "betters", and is generally the root of all evil in the world.

All of that is what the elitists who rule us believe, and what they try to pass off as "education" to our children. If a child graduates from the public school system with an utter loathing of his nation, and in complete ignorance about his heritage, his Constitutional rights, and his civic responsibilities, the public education system considers that to be a resounding success. And very successful the system has been, by that definition. We are all by now familiar with the surveys detailing the monumental ignorance of our supposedly "educated" youth — and most of the rest of us as well — regarding the Constitution, our form of government, and our heritage.

A survey of adults two years ago revealed that only half of those surveyed would vote to ratify the Constitution today, although since the vast majority (83%) also admit that they know very little or nothing about what it is they would be voting for or against, one has to wonder about the meaning of that percentage. And if the citizens of our modern American society — peopled by individuals who increasingly depend on government to take care of them and protect them from all risk in life — were asked to put their names to the Declaration of Independence today, how many of us would actually be willing to "mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor" in order to declare our independence from oppression?

Proposals were made several years ago for school children to recite the first two lines of the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence along with their Pledge of Allegiance, and those proposals were met with outrage from school administrators and much of the general public alike, many of whom called those phrases, and the entire Declaration of Independence itself, racist, sexist, exclusionary, outmoded, a secular prayer, a plot calculated to teach fascism, and a stealth attempt to introduce "conservative values" (horrors!) into schools. Suggestions were made to "reword" those phrases to make them more politically correct, and the idea that government authority is dependent on the consent of the governed was too dangerous to be taken seriously. After all, if children actually began to understand that under our form of government, ordinary citizens are supposed to be in charge, rather than government officials, they might take the next sentence seriously also: "That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government…".

Such an idea is anathema to the elitists who run our government, most of our institutions, and who would run our lives for us if they could. But Jefferson went even further. He wrote not merely about the rights of the people, but about their duties as well:

"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."

Our elites do not want people to understand what our Founders actually intended: that the founding documents of our republic established the people as superior to their government, and that our national government is extremely limited in what it is permitted to do. The freedom announced by our Declaration of Independence, and our rights which defend that freedom, as specifically protected by our Bill of Rights (without which many states would have refused to ratify the Constitution), are not granted to us as licensed privileges by a benevolent government. That freedom was won and protected through extraordinary sacrifice. Our rights are inherent and "unalienable", and it was the intention of the Founders that our government dare not interfere with them. It is we who set the rules, in our Constitution, by which our government must abide. But that is a relationship that few of our fellow citizens still understand, and that our overlords in Washington are striving mightily to reverse. And they are succeeding with, sadly, the connivance of most of us.

Our Constitution is not a self-enforcing document. It requires the constant attention and devotion of all citizens. The story is told that upon exiting the Constitutional Convention, Ben Franklin was asked what sort of government had been created. He is said to have answered, "A republic, if you can keep it." A Constitutional republic is not merely founded upon the consent of the people, it is also totally dependent for its continued existence upon the active and informed involvement of the people who live under that Constitution.

Imagine some magical reincarnation in which some of the luminaries of our founding generation were suddenly again in our presence. It is our responsibility to tell them how their great experiment is faring. How have their posterity guarded the liberties that they sacrificed so much to protect? Perhaps the first thing to strike them would be the startling ignorance among the public about the fundamentals of their own form of government. Thomas Jefferson might lament that "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." James Madison would agree, "It is certainly very material that the true doctrines of liberty, as exemplified in our Political System, should be inculcated on those who are to sustain and may administer it." And he would wonder why those "true doctrines of liberty" are ignored, even denigrated, by our educational system.

The concept of the "consent of the governed" has been turned on its head by our modern legislators, such as Senator Charles Schumer, who thinks it is a conservative plot for the judicial branch to constrain congress from doing whatever it wants to do. The role of the courts is specifically to constrain congress, on the basis of what the Constitution allows the congress to do. The Constitution sets the limits of the power that we, the people, have consented to give to congress. Yet those limits are constantly ignored. And how have those "true doctrines of liberty", and those specific "unalienable rights" guarded by the Bill of Rights, fared?

The First Amendment protects freedom of speech and association, including, especially, the right to criticize the government. But not if Senator McCain and his cohorts get their way. With the excuse of reforming campaigns, they will criminalize people who band together to criticize what they do. Does anyone really think that the men who drafted the First Amendment expected that it would allow government to penalize people for speaking out about the political issues of the day? "I remain baffled that this Court has extended the most generous First Amendment safeguards to filing lawsuits, wearing profane jackets, and exhibiting drive-in movies with nudity, but has offered only tepid protection to the core speech and associational rights that our Founders sought to defend." — Justice Clarence Thomas, dissent in Federal Election Commission v. Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee; June 25, 2001.

The Second Amendment is irrelevant if you're an ordinary citizen seeking to protect yourself and your family from the violent thugs in society; and if you seek to defend yourself with deadly force from violent attack, you will likely be prosecuted because you didn't abandon your home to the thugs, even at the risk of your life.

The Fourth Amendment won't protect you from intrusion if you say or believe things that some bureaucrat considers "out of the mainstream", your home will be declared a "compound", and the exercise of your right of self-defense will be considered dangerous and countered with overwhelming force. Your houses, papers, and effects can be seized if some bureaucrat thinks you may have committed a crime, and the burden is on you to prove your innocence.

The Fifth Amendment will protect your home if you're a bird or a fish or a rat. But if you're a private landowner who happens to own land which some bureaucrat or environmentalist wants, your property will simply be taken away.

The Tenth Amendment...forget it, it no longer exists. The Supreme Court has said so.

"If in the opinion of the People, the distribution or modification of the Constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. 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."
— George Washington;

Farewell Address (September 19, 1796)

The above article is the property of Kim Weissman, and is reprinted with his permission.
Contact him prior to reproducing.

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8 jul 2001