Friday, November 13, 2009

2009 Continental Congress: First Thoughts and Impressions

There's an anger roiling throughout American society. Perhaps it reaches overseas into all of Western society, I can't say, but it's particularly palpable here, especially among the middle classes. People know that something is wrong. They may not be able to put their finger on exactly what is wrong, but they know something's not right. And there are many, many people who aren't sure what they should do about it. Most people feel their country is slipping away. They feel that the principles upon which this nation was built no longer have meaning. When the foundation of your society crumbles, then there will obviously be nothing left for your society to stand upon. There are many scenarios that could play out should this happen, some of them very frightening. As a freedom loving people seeking liberty for all, it should become incumbent upon each of us as individuals to do what we can to promote the restoration of the respect for individual rights that has been lost to those serving in the federal government. When such tyranny rears its ugly head, it becomes necessary for concerned men and women to speak out or their silence may be construed as condoning the actions.

A group of 104 men and women from 48 states have decided to convene a Continental Congress in St. Charles, Illinois this week and next in an attempt to make their voices heard. The “We the People Foundation” has sponsored this event which began on November 11th with much pomp and ceremony. I attended the event on the 12th to try to get a feel for what was being accomplished and I plan on attending more in the coming days.

There is, I have heard, some cynicism in the movement as to exactly what will be accomplished with this event. In my estimation, such cynicism is good. There is a lot to be cynical about. Those in charge of the federal government have more than proved they have no respect for what the American people think, how they feel, or what they want. Recent events have shown they have no consideration for the wants of the majority, let alone a minority with little or no funding. Those in charge or working within the system seem to operate under two rules; “He who has the gold makes the rules” and “Might makes right.” It seems futile to go up against the leviathan the federal government has become.

In the late eighteenth century the nation's founding fathers were in much the same boat. They were ruled over by the largest, strongest bureaucracy of the time. They felt they weren't being represented in their government structure. They felt their grievances weren't being heard by their government, that they were unfairly preyed upon by those in charge of a government out of touch and far away. They gathered together a group of men and met for the purpose of trying to find a way to resolve their differences in a peaceful manner with the empire that had birthed them. War and violence was the last thing they wished for, yet providence brought these things upon them and from this conflict ideals and conventions were developed so that future generations could live without fear of government and the power that corrupts it.

So evolved the great nation which we inherit. Unfortunately, it seems that certain aspects of our governance have devolved. Once again, we are ruled over by the largest and strongest bureaucracy of our time. Once again, we are preyed upon by a government that seems out of touch and far away. Once again our grievances aren't being heard. Once again there is no representation, and the amount we are taxed has far surpassed what our forefathers wouldn't put up with. So the time has come to gather and attempt to resolve the differences between the people and those who wish to govern them.

The delegates from the states that were appointed to this new Continental Congress are doers. These are people who wish to hold accountable those who would infringe upon the rights of the people. They are those who wish to empower the common folk rather than the politicians. They are interested in taking action rather than merely spouting rhetoric. So they may get together and argue, they may disagree with each other as to an appropriate course of action, they may have to hammer out the details and come up with solutions that will anger some and concern others, but they are trying. They are not merely sitting upon their hands, hoping for change and praying for the best. They certainly are not like the robotic followers of certain established political machines spouting childish slogans such as “Yes we can” and then they don't. It is time to challenge the establishment, not placate it. It is time to demonstrate to the political establishment in Washington, DC that there are still people in this country who care about their rights and liberties and who wish them to obey the law that is the Constitution.

It is difficult to say what will come out of this Continental Congress. It is difficult to predict the significance it will have on the future. I'm sure the founding fathers were uncertain as to their future also. Indeed, had they lost their struggle, their names may very well have been erased from the annuls of history rather than revered as they are today. Those who sit in their ivory towers need to be reminded that they are not the leaders, they are the servants. There are certain laws they agreed to abide by when they took office. Indeed, they swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. It may indeed be futile to expect those who broke the system to fix it, but it is necessary to ask or they will certainly never try.

This is an event that should be news. It should be heard far and wide that such an event is taking place so that more can get involved. It's such a shame that mainstream media has been so corrupted by the same multinational corporate interests that have corrupted the federal government. As such, this event remains hidden from national consciousness. We common folk are all tired of being ignored, brow beaten and completely disrespected by those we entrust with the power to govern. We expect them to honor their oaths and they continuously refuse to do so. We need to back these people making an heroic effort to communicate with our supposed representatives that we simply wish them to adhere to the law that was laid down in the blood, sweat and tears of our forebears. We need to support these men and women who are shouting at power that it must be constrained rather than whispering in fear of it in some hole-in-the-wall neighborhood tavern but doing nothing to stop it. We must make it clear that there is nothing more important than the principles of liberty upon which our nation was built and that without these life itself becomes meaningless. Please help spread the word that this event is taking place and that there are those who still care about the principles that are what America is supposed to stand for.

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