Government of the People? Not Anymore.
We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
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 abolish it.
Almost 250 years after these words were put to paper, the Declaration written and then signed by those who risked their lives to do so, we have come to a new juncture in the state of the people’s relationship with government. Those who come to government service are no longer concerned with the welfare of the people, but with power over the people. There are so many instances of abuse it seems meaningless to pick one as example: Everyone has their most recent favorite, so it will be better to quote the complaints of the Declaration, which is how we should think about our relationship to government. The Constitution is an attempt to limit the power of government, but it is only a paper document, which has been all too easily distorted and circumvented by those it is intended to restrict.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our People and eat out their substance.
For protecting them, by a mock Trail, from Punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these States: For imposing taxes on us without our Consent: For…altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments: He has destroyed the lives of our people.
Many of the other complaints listed in the declaration would not apply, yet. But this does: We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act must be defined a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free People.
When the president, and those he surrounds himself with, use the power of government to abuse the people, to stop the people from their attempts to change the government, that government is no longer the government of the people but has become self-serving and is the antithesis of a government of the people.
When the legislators vote themselves annuities at the expense of the people, which the people are required to pay, they eat out the people’s substance. When officers of the government make themselves the rulers over the people, and take from the people exorbitant retirements, which they have not earned but have taken only through force, they do not serve the people, but plunder the people and destroy their lives.
When the officers of the government make onerous rules, to stop the people from enjoying the fruits of their labor, rules whose sole purpose to make the people subservient to the government, they destroy the peoples lives and eat out their substance.
When people by the thousands flock to the centers of Government power, in fact live their lives as lobbyists seeking special dispensation from the government for their personal benefit; it becomes obvious government no longer serves the people, but serves special interests and itself.
Our governments, from the local towns to Washington, DC have become abusive of the people. They seek more and more ways to take from the people to give to themselves or their friends and associates. Even though they pretend, using every imaginable device, that they are serving the people.
Unfortunately, constitutions, those contracts between the people and the government they agree to, are only as strong as the people who enforce them. When immoral people are allowed sway, no paper limits will restrict them. So the answer is to hold fast to the truths of morality: that an action is immoral and not to be allowed if it appears immoral, and if committed by someone in the public weal, he should be removed, no court need be involved. This false idea that anything legal is allowed is wrong, simply because we cannot make laws which cover every conceivable wrong. We, the people, to survive, must have a publicly moral code, which those who would work in government, whether by election or by employment, must abide by to hold their position.
Until we return to such a method of self government, we will continue to see our government be used by those who have no concern for the people, but only for themselves.
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