Once upon a time in America, our two-party political system provided citizens with an imperfect, yet effective, mechanism for preserving our democratic republic as–in the words of Ronald Reagan–“a nation that has a government, not the other way around.” This is no longer the case. The mechanism is broken.
The system’s break-down can be traced to the Democratic Party’s capture by true believers in the totalitarian doctrine of omnipotent, coercive government during the late 1960s and 1970s. Over the ensuing decades, its increasingly anti-democratic leaders have totally ignored or tragically forgotten the implications of the hundred million deaths directly attributable to the 20th Century’s experiments with communism, socialism, fascism and other totalitarian strains.
By way of contrast, the Republican Party has never ceased paying lip service to individual liberty, the rule of law and limited, consensual government. On occasion, its leaders are still heard preaching the material, moral and spiritual superiority of these principles over unconstrained government power. Time and time again, however, they have exhibited a cowardly unwillingness to “walk the talk” of freedom.
For all intents and purposes, the Republican Party has become an enabler of the Democratic Party’s protracted crusade against “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” Both parties have been co-opted by a morbidly-obese federal government which has lawlessly exercised vast powers nowhere granted it in the Constitution. Their members comprise a wannabe, bi-partisan ruling class in Washington, D.C. Under no circumstances can they be trusted as reliable allies of freedom.
The combination of craven, Republican capitulation and duplicitous, Democratic subversion has culminated in the fundamental transformation of the U.S. Constitution. What originated as a security pact among the sovereign states and their citizens has become an instrument of surrender to an unconstrained federal government. Having invalidated the SOLE source of the federal government’s just powers, this transformation has also abrogated its legitimate authority over law-abiding citizens of the United States.
As a consequence, contemporary America very nearly meets the classic definition of tyranny: Power without authority. Under comparable circumstances nearly two-and-a-half centuries ago, Samuel Adams condemned those who would cravenly submit to the tyranny of King George III: “If ye love wealth better than freedom, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, go from us in peace . . . May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.” In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson similarly proposed that his liberty-loving countrymen “throw off such Government, and . . . provide new Guards for their future security.”
All of which raises the question: What, if anything, is to be done about this perilous predicament? Should we submit to the de facto tyranny of Uncle Sam? Or alternatively, should we emulate our nation’s Founding Fathers in rebelling against their illegitimate sovereign?
What I would propose is not a Jeffersonian revolution to overthrow our lawless federal government, but a non-violent restoration of the founding principle of limited, consensual government in our beloved nation. As I see it, this goal can best be achieved by a grassroots movement of citizen CEOs (Constitution Enforcement Officers) with the courage to force the government back within its original, strict constitutional constraints.
The good news is the fate of America is still firmly in our own hands. The bad news is time is VERY short. And the clock is ticking. If we do nothing, we will soon learn the painful truth that “freedom requires courage, but cowardice guarantees servitude.” If we have the fortitude and the will to act, however, we will earn the eternal gratitude of future generations for preserving for them the blessings of liberty which we ourselves inherited from our worthy ancestors.