That government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
September 17, 2012
The Future of Our Country
I decided to do this site because of what I believe is an extremely important upcoming election. I usually don’t talk politics, though I have been very interested in history and the U.S. Constitution for nearly 40 years. It’s a truly fascinating document; extremely sound and practical, and I would even say profound in its wisdom.
At a time when many in this country and world live on pre-digested, media information, there is something very exciting about the sovereignty and weight of individual thought and expression – that any one of us, through study, consideration, and first-hand experience, can share our unique perspective, and that our thoughts can have as much weight as anyone’s – philosopher, king, president, or celebrity – because our words can be weighed, not by who we are, but on their own merit. But I don’t think words should cause decision. I think words should cause thought, and through thought, one makes their own decisions. As someone once said to me, I can learn from all, discuss with some, but I decide with God alone. So, for your consideration...
Free, Honest Elections
We live in an amazing country, where we can have free elections. I lived in a former Soviet country, Ukraine, for nearly 2 years. Even though the Soviet Union fell in 1991, the effects of communism and socialism can still be felt in Ukraine today. Many of the young people welcome democracy and free markets, hopeful for the opportunities they bring. But many of the older generation who were dependent on the socialist government, want a return to socialism, even though their government allotments were less than meager.
In Ukraine’s 2004 presidential election, Moscow’s sponsored candidate, Viktor Yanukovych, bought votes for a few Hryvnia. Some people voted two, three times, and more; dead people voted, and non-existent people voted. Ukraine’s young people filled the streets in the 2004/2005 Orange Revolution, contesting the election. The international community intervened and re-conducted monitored elections, and a West-friendly candidate, Viktor Yushchenko, was elected president. (In case you don’t remember him, this is the candidate Russian agents injected with poison in an attempt to kill him, disfiguring him for life.)
In 2010, Russian sponsored candidate, Viktor Yanukovych, once again ran for president, this time against Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, and because of infighting among Yanukovych opponents, Yanukovych won the election. Shortly after his win, he imprisoned his opponent, Yulia Tymoshenko, on trumped-up charges. He continues to bully private citizens out of their jobs and business, and like Russia’s Putin, imprisons (or causes to disappear) private citizens and members of the press that speak out.
[ED: WOW! A lot has happened in Ukraine since 2012.]
The 1917 Russian Revolution started out as a democratic revolution. During demonstrations, a mother and her child were shot by the Tsar’s army, and the entire Navy stationed on an island near St. Petersburg were outraged. Once they got involved, the revolution very quickly deposed the Tsarist government, and a provisional democratic government was instituted. However, (the short story) it was soon hi-jacked by the communists, which hunted down and killed all opposition, including the Navy that had assisted in the revolution. The rest is history.
The Romanticizing of Socialism
Unlike the many Russian and Ukrainian young people of today, many young people in the United States want socialism. It looks good on paper. Many of their university professors (who have never done anything “off-paper” in the real world), encourage this ideology. Young people look around them at the many ills society faces, and think, maybe this could work. In an increasingly dysfunctional society, filled with makeshift social arrangements, they feel a sense of purpose and belonging in this collective identity, as technology, pop-culture, and government seem to be merging. They believe that they belong to the government, and they welcome this sense of collective identity, not knowing its history. To these young people (and to many adults) the Marxist idea of, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need,” sounds pretty good. But a single regulated class of people, even if that single class is middle-class, is still socialist, and there are a plethora of reasons as to why it has never worked and won’t work.
When you try to put a limit on human ambition so that those without it won’t fall behind, you remove all incentive for those who want to get ahead, and you remove all examples of success from those who don’t. Everyone hurts, because there will be no successes to share, nor examples to inspire. The nature of nature is abundance and competition. For every seed planted, thousands, even millions are produced. Every seed, every plant, and every animal, competes for existence, and in this dynamic natural process, cooperatives ebb and flow, and balance is maintained. It cannot be legislated, because it is a constantly changing process. That’s the whole concept of balance.
Government Belongs to Us
Many of us share the hopes of our 16th President – that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. And if so, we must recognize that we absolutely do not belong to government. We are not a people of the government, by the government, and for the government. We do not derive our rights from the government; on the contrary, government derives its powers from the consent of the governed. If you understand this, then you understand that the bill of rights is not something our government gives us, but what we are telling our government that it cannot take away from us. When you lose this perspective, you are losing your rights, and government will start to do what it has always done historically if and when it is not limited – owning people.
I realize that people came to America for many different reasons, but bottom line, they came here for a better life, and they weren’t waiting for others, let alone government, to give it to them. They did, however, want a government that would protect them from others trying to take from them and their children what they’d built, and they wanted a government that would protect them from – well – government. Government does not and cannot provide life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness. It can only serve to protect these Creator endowed rights.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
The government that our founders sought to escape was one that dictated what they could believe, what beliefs they could exercise, what they could say, and what the press could say. Before the American Revolution, if the colonist didn’t like something about the government, “hard cheese!” (as the Brits say). The American Revolution was not a frivolous revolution. They tried to maintain bonds with England, while trying to get their petitions heard, but it all fell on deaf ears. Soon, in every colony, on every street corner, and yes, in every Church pulpit, people began to cry out, “We don’t want to belong to government. We want a government that belongs to us!” Eventually, through much blood, they gave us the experiment in Liberty we have (hopefully, still have) today.
Here are some things that must be considered if we want to keep this dream of liberty.
Perhaps the greatest threat to liberty (after people thinking they belong to Government) is government corruption. Corruption in the private sector is fixable; competition gives people alternatives that starve corruption. Corruption in Government, however, is extremely difficult to eradicate, because it compounds itself, giving itself more and more power, becoming the worst of monopolies.
Government corruption cannot be prevented if our election system is corrupt (i.e. Ukraine, Russia), or if there is even the potential for corruption. The solution is simple. We must assure that every citizen who wants to vote can vote, that each citizen is a CITIZEN, that he/she is a LIVING citizen (as opposed to a dead one), and that each living citizen only votes ONCE.
We are very quickly moving away from the government established by our constitution, to an administrative government, thereby losing the checks and balances built into our system of government. The People elect our Congress, our Congress is to make the laws, the Executive Branch (also elected by The People) is to execute the laws, and the Supreme Court is to Judge the constitutionality of those laws. If the president doesn’t like a law congress has proposed, he may veto it, but once it is law, the president’s job is to enforce it. The president cannot make or ignore laws by executive order.
Whatever Obama’s intentions were by circumventing congress in removing the work requirement from welfare and by giving immigration passes, these acts translate into votes from those who benefit from these orders, and are an abuse of executive power. My wife is an immigrant from Ukraine, my son-in-law an immigrant from Mexico, so immigration issues are very important to me. But these issues, like all issues, must be handled within the framework of our constitution and current law.
I’ve always been in favor of term limits for Congress. Without them, we have the situation we have now – professional politicians beholden to special interests, protecting their phony baloney jobs, instead of citizen statesmen representing the people.
Social issues are polarizing this country and clouding our objectivity. Groups want what they want, no matter what the cost to the individual and to our form of government. They want government to fix their problems. They want big-brother to step in and “level the playing field.” Problem is: big brother! Once he is involved, he likes being in charge, of everyone and everything. You just wanted a little help, and now you can’t get rid of him. Once he tramples the Constitution underfoot, he’s coming for the individual.
Our form of government is designed to protect individual liberties. As we become a socialistic society, we lose our individual freedoms, and the individual becomes subjugated to group interests. A government quick-fix in the social arena may seem like a great idea. But the long term results are devastating to individual liberty and will bury the individual in group concrete, annihilating free thought and expression. When this happens, words will be redefined for agenda’s sake, and language will become useless as a tool for communication and for the preservation of thoughts and ideas. Political power will just be shifted from group to group as individual rights are lost in the sea of the collective.
Motivation by Class Envy
I don’t know if I’ll ever understand envy, or if I’ve ever felt it. Jealously, yes, but not envy. I don’t think I’ve ever felt resentment that someone had something I didn’t have. I have felt happy many times for the success of others. But I’m just too busy with my failures and pursuing my goals to resent others achieving theirs, and so, I’m not motivated by those who use class envy as a tool for political motivation. I have learned much from others who have succeeded. The idea of using the success of others for justification of the redistribution of wealth just doesn’t work on me. I’m not rich. I’ve been poor. But my parents taught me that stealing is wrong – PERIOD.
Many who consider themselves honest, don’t feel bad about envying the rich. They might not steal from the rich, but they have no problem, even feel absolution, letting government do their dirty work. Envy is a base emotion, and does not motivate honest people.
Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom... of the press. A free press is vital to keep government honest and to give the people a voice. But as media outlets align with government, rather than confront government, there is no government auditor left, and news simply becomes an extension of government power. It’s called propaganda.
Maybe objective journalism cannot exist, because we are all people with opinions – even journalists. One’s affiliations indicates one’s ideals, ideals biases, and biases objectivity on a given subject. But maybe we should demand the press to be more transparent about its political affiliations?
According to a 2006 Gallup poll, 95% of the main-stream media journalists are Democrats, and past polls indicate that the number of left-leaning journalists are rising disproportionately to individual political leanings. It is highly doubtful that the networks are ever going to offer us this information, so we owe it to ourselves to do our homework. Still, it would be nice if they did. Maybe, The media general has determined that this network’s biases are dangerous to your objectivity.
Rule by the Elite
The purpose of the Constitution of the United States of America is to keep government and those in it from taking away the rights of the people. The people will ultimately decide if they will allow tyranny to supersede their will. But the people must stay involved and hold its leaders responsible to the constraints of The Constitution, or this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall indeed perish from the earth, and it won’t be back anytime soon, if ever.