Independence Day and State of the Union 2014

We must remember that our Constitution is not self-enforcing. It will live only as long as the principles remain in our hearts and minds, and we continue to act on those principles.

During a sultry July 238 years ago a group of 56 men–among them doctors, educators, and clergy–aged 26 to 70, signed The Unanimous Declaration of the United States of America, a then treasonous document that would break the bonds between the 13 colonies and Mother England.

The fortunes of those 56 men was varied. Nine died of wounds or hardships during the war. Five were jailed and brutally treated. One lost all 13 of his children; and the wives, sons and daughters of others were killed, imprisoned, harassed or deprived of all material possessions. Seventeen signers lost everything they owned, and all were hunted as traitors, with most separated from home and family. But none of the signers ever betrayed his pledged word. There were no defectors. No one changed his mind. Lives and fortunes were lost, but their sacred honor was never sacrificed.
The signing of the Declaration would pit a poorly equipped and badly trained militia of 10,000 men against an armada of British ships with 42,000 sailors and the British army.

The reasons for the break with Britain were laid out beginning with this basic principle:

“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 of 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.”

Freedom was not free for those Colonial patriots who committed treason 238 years ago. Nor is it free today. But the further removed generations are from that two-centuries-old insubordination and the ensuing conflagration, the dimmer the magnitude of their dedication and sacrifice. In the comfort and security of freedom we are complacent; we take that great gift for granted.

Now we find ourselves in similar bonds of slavery as those who declared independence from England two centuries ago. We find the right to life, liberty and property threatened, not by an absent king, but by an increasing almighty and ever-present government; a government that has “erected a multitude of new offices and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.”

In the “Seven Principles of Animalism” in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, those in power deliberately, letter by letter, smeared and blurred and eventually erased the seven original principles. The animals shook their heads and rubbed their eyes in astonishment and incredulity at the changes, but in the end were convinced that only one Principle had ever existed. It read, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

Today we rub our eyes and shake our heads in astonishment and incredulity. . .

-that Politicians who wanted a means of legal plunder have changed the meaning of “welfare” from “the state of faring well” to “the redistribution of wealth.”

-that Freedom of religion and speech and the press have mutated to abolition of religion, politically correct speech, and an advocacy press.

-that “The right of the people to keep and bear Arms,” has metamorphosed into a protection for criminals–who acquire their guns on the black market–while law-abiding citizens are having them stripped away.

-that “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures” has been trampled by governmental agencies that trespass on private land in search of endangered species which are used to confiscate the land and a government that electronically spies on our every communication.

-that State Powers have been appropriated by the Federal Government via legislation, executive order and bureaucratic regulation.

In the song, “God Bless the USA,” Lee Greenwood sings, “the flag still stands for freedom, and they can’t take that away.” Every new regulation takes freedoms away. Every new bureaucracy takes freedoms away. Every new government intrusion takes freedoms away.

The Declaration provided a list of grievances against King George. In one form or another, many of those grievances can be applied to our current federal bureaucracy which has become bloated and dictatorial. For instance:

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

Think of the junk science-based green zealotry of the EPA and their regulatory war on energy production. Or, think of the Fish & Wildlife Service using the Endangered Species Act to crush economic development and private property rights. Does the IRS come to mind? We have a proliferation of federal agencies, each filled with unelected bureaucrats, who together produce tens of thousands of pages of regulations each year, many of which “harass our people and eat out their substance.” That is a long way from the sixty small pages in my little red book. Congress, too, shares the blame. Much of what should be done legislatively has been turned over to regulatory agencies. In spite of pompous declarations, the era of big government is not over, and in fact government continues to grow bigger and more distant from the founding principles and the people.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws ….

Our current President seems to rule by executive order and decree, deliberately bypassing Congress and proper legal authority. A headline in the Arizona Daily Star: “In 2012, Obama to press ahead without Congress.” Papers and emails necessary to legal investigations become mysteriously lost and words are parsed beyond common sense. Promises to “Put people first” and to run “the most ethical administration ever” or to have the “most transparent administration ever ” have turned out just the opposite.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation….

Biodiversity programs, World Heritage sites, Man and the Biosphere, Ramsar Convention, Kyoto Protocal, Border 21, Agenda 21, and gun control, are all United Nations programs or their offshoots which directly affect private property and national sovereignty. Even the Endangered Species Act is based on international treaties. Add to this questionable military adventures of little import to our national interest.

Remember, as John Marshall, the fourth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, wrote: “The people made the Constitution, and the people can unmake it. It is the creature of their own will, and lives only by their will.” Do we still have the will to uphold our basic principles and preserve our unalienable rights, or will we allow the “gradual and silent encroachments” to destroy our great experiment?

Our Americanism and our Constitution are on the endangered species list, and it’s time to reclaim both.