Our government derives its powers from the consent of the governed. Two hundred and thirty-eight years ago, we broke away from England because our liberties and rights were being trampled upon.
"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."
Many of us recall these words from the Declaration of Independence. To secure these rights, our forefathers mutually agreed to pledge their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. Had we lost the war for independence, the Founders of this great nation would have swung from the gallows.
We established a government that derived its powers from the consent of the governed. Today, we must call into question whether our government has become destructive of these rights.
Rosie Vohs and Dominic Constantino, right, say the Pledge of Allegiance during the Constitution Day ceremony at Van Schaick Grade School in Cohoes, N.Y. Friday morning, Sept. 16, 2005. The school conducted the ceremony recognizing the Constitution in front of the school attended by the city mayor and Daughters of the American Revolution. (AP Photo/Troy Record, Tom Killips)
Five hundred thirty-five individuals dictate and control the rights of 320 million people. The republic established under the Constitution was not intended to be a democracy, where the majority dictate what the minority can or cannot do. James Madison noted that, "In Republics, the great danger, is that the majority man not sufficiently respect the rights of the minority."
The erosion of fundamental liberties that has occurred in the last 15 years in the name of security and safety points in the direction of a totalitarian state.
National Security Agency spying on U.S. citizens and foreign rulers; the arrest and indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without habeas corpus; the imposition of inferior government mandated health care upon those already possessed of a superior product; covert para-military actions and drone assassinations without warrant or rule of law; presidential cabinet members who do not follow the law or enforce it; a judicial system that creates laws rather than interpret them; a police force that does not follow the Fourth Amendment; an executive branch that disregards the balance of powers prescribed by the constitution.
These are but a few of the erosions of liberty in the name of freedom.
We have witnessed this progression before. The end results were Nazi Germany, Stalin's Russia, and Mao's China, to name only a few. Having broken the chains of bondage from England, are we now subjugating ourselves to yet another enslavement? History has shown that democracies last but only a few hundred years. If we are to keep this great experiment in human liberty free from the encroachment of government, we must be willing to stand up for our rights. We must become part of the political process and elect leaders who themselves are not enslaved to their contributors.
If our government by consent does not survive, who will be left in this world to be the light on the hill? The beacon of freedom that shines in the darkness will be extinguished and the last great hope of mankind with it.
John Lawrence Allen, a nationally recognized legal expert, represents investors nationwide in securities arbitration. Mr. Allen’s second book, Make Wall Street Pay You Back, was just released. For more information visit www.MakeWallStreetPayYouBack.com
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