Nancy Pelosi was recently asked where in the Constitution she (and congress) got the power to pass laws involving health care. Her reply was “Are you serious?” That was the best answer this woman could come up with? Are you serious? Is she serious? The woman supposedly took an oath to uphold the Constitution. This woman is third in line to take the office of the presidency should some unforeseen catastrophe or political upheaval cause the president and vice president to be unable to fulfill their duties. This is supposed to be the document that enshrines American values and encodes into law the powers that those elected to federal office are able to exercise. Yes, the reporter was and should be serious when he asked that question. Nancy Pelosi should be serious about paying attention to the Constitution and following its mandates. We should all be serious about making certain the politicians obey the Constitution and prevent them from usurping the powers the founding fathers delegated to us, we the people.
So why aren't they serious? They aren't serious because so far the American people have not been serious about enforcing it. The American people seem to have forgotten that the Constitution was written to constrain the power of the government, particularly the federal government, not as a mere “guideline” for how those in power “should” act. It is the supreme law of the land and it is meant to be obeyed by the politicians in Washington, DC. It was not written as a document meant to rule over individuals or outline how they should behave on their own private property. The United States of America is a nation meant to be inhabited by people who believe they are sovereign individuals capable of creating their own destinies, as all humans across the planet should.
It's difficult for some to understand how Ms. Pelosi could get away with being so arrogant, pompous, and presumptive. It's difficult to understand why we have allowed so many politicians to stay in power when they are as full of hubris as Nancy Pelosi and so indignant when faced with constituents voicing their concerns. I don't know exactly when or how the American people became so apathetic, I don't know how or when they gave up on being involved with their neighbors, communities and safeguarding their freedoms, but then I don't believe it was something that happened at a marked point in time nor something that happened in a distinct way. Despite their violent history, I believe in an esoteric way the American people in general have always been a peaceful group. At the very least they have always been seeking peace.
The people who first settled this nation did so in an attempt to escape tyranny. They came here seeking the opportunities that freedom provided. What they may not have realized is the tyranny they carried in their hearts. What they may not have learned are lessons in freedom such as to be free you must allow others to live free also. Perhaps, since all these people were raised under the heavy boots of tyranny and control, they became the very tyrants they were trying to escape when they arrived on these shores and found themselves no longer burdened with an oppressive state. The reasons shouldn't matter so much as we have hopefully evolved since then, yet the better we understand them the easier it may be to break the cycle. The lessons of the past need to be learned so the mistakes made back then are not repeated, yet that simple sounding proposition seems difficult to execute.
Our founding fathers seemed to have understood this concept. That's why they included the Bill of Rights in the Constitution. That's why they tried their best to divide the powers and put them at odds with each other. Yet almost immediately these concepts built into the Constitution came under assault. Fortunately, for quite some time the federal government respected individual liberty for the most part and this nation of immigrants grew and prospered. Fortunately the principles of the Constitution were, for the most part, adhered to by those in power and the common man found himself attaining unprecedented prosperity through freedom. It was the promise of freedom and the opportunities it provided that attracted so many who were willing to work hard to build new lives for themselves and their families, not a government that promised to take care of them from cradle to grave.
It could be argued that the principles of freedom were first seriously compromised during and after the civil war. It was during this period when power was solidified in a centralized bureaucracy in Washington, DC instead of remaining spread out and maintained at the state capitals across the country, where the common folk could keep a closer eye on it. It was during this period where we first see the concept of sovereign individuals capable of determining their own destinies subverted into the concept of “citizens” who are bound and subordinate to the power of the state, a poorly defined entity that could at any time mutate into something terrifying. Still, even after such a power grab, this nation managed to hold dear to its founding notions and respected the principles it was built upon. As such, the newly defined citizens, war weary and eager to rebuild, set about the business of conquering a continent and creating even more wealth.
It was in 1913, in my humble opinion, when the seeds to the downfall of the American republic were truly sown. This was the year the Federal Reserve was created. This was the year that states lost their power over the senate which fell to mob rule. This was the year the internationalists got their feet in the door and began buying up the politicians. Had the people of this nation taken action back then, history may have been very different. One can only speculate on just how prosperous humanity would be had true freedom won the day, but instead this nation took a turn toward socialist, collectivist thinking and stifled the innovation, creativity and potential of humankind leading to the mess we have today.
One can hardly blame our predecessors. Its easy to fall prey to the devious nature and promises of the international scam artists. It was easy to stop thinking, to just relax and enjoy the artificial indulgences of the twenties. It was easy to accept the socialist solutions and handouts of the thirties and become dependent on government. It was easy to accept the propaganda of empire and turn a blind eye to its hypocrisy after World War II. Perhaps the prosperity of the fifties, the boom in wealth and the obsession to obtain what became known as the “American dream” helped create a blind spot in mass consciousness as to the cost of that dream. Perhaps modern marvels in technology helped numb the pain of the never ending wars and occupations that come with maintaining an empire. But mostly, perhaps the American people have ignored the transgressions of our political servants and allowed the erosion of their respect for our rights because we have enjoyed such abundance for so long. That has now changed and will continue to get worse until our freedoms are once again revered and honored by the politicians who claim to represent the people.
Those who point out that the Constitution has not protected us have a valid point, but it is one that is not completely accurate. The Constitution cannot protect us. It is just a piece of paper with words written on it. There is power to the words, but the power does not come from the document itself. The power comes from the ideas and principles such words instill in the hearts and minds of men. It is up to us to determine when and how to apply that power. Those people in congress who refuse to recognize the inherent rights of the individual need to be reminded that they are put there to serve the individual, not the special interests or the rich corporations who pay for their campaigns, and to protect the rights of the individual, not to violate those rights for some misguided philanthropic cause. Forced charity is not charitable.
I have heard some people recently make the claim that once our rights are lost they can never be regained. I don't agree with that statement because I don't believe that rights, which are part of our natural makeup, can be truly lost. They can be violated or respected by those who deign to rule over us and force us to bend to their dictates. Words on paper declaring they shall not do such things will have no power over them unless the people exercise their rights. I know its been a long time since such muscles on the body politic have been used, but it is time for the people to flex their rights and exercise their power. The congress now needs to be hounded and reminded that the people are serious about the Constitution and intend to make certain that their oaths to defend it are honored.
Over the weekend, on a Saturday night when very few were paying attention, when the news had turned to other matters, the House of Representatives approved a health care reform bill that is sure to put many out of business, put even more burden on the already overburdened taxpayers, and ensure a monopolistic privilege for the large insurance companies that the taxpayers have already bailed out. They had to do it like that because they were aware of the popular discontent that had been expressed for the bill. I saw a picture of Ms. Pelosi after the vote and she looked like the cat that ate the canary. She had a huge grin on her face as if she had won a great victory. What was a victory to her is a great blow to American ideals and the principles of liberty, individual responsibility and self determination. She and her colleagues who voted for this nineteen hundred page monstrosity of a bill are seriously not serious about honoring their oath to defend the Constitution or the principles its words ensconce in our collective psyche.
Clearly these people couldn't care less about what the people want. Clearly they couldn't care less about the individual rights they have usurped. Clearly they couldn't care less about real change. Clearly they don't even fear the specter of not getting reelected, likely because the voting system in this country with its electronic balloting has been rigged for quite some time. No, as I've said many times before, they only care about their power, their money and their privileges. It's time to do something about that. If the bill makes it through the Senate and is signed into law, which I suspect is likely to happen since no one in government seems to be listening to the people, then businesses need to say enough and to refuse to abide by these new laws. They need to refuse to pay the fines. This will require a few brave souls as the government bullies will likely extract quite a toll, perhaps even imprisonment, but then isn't this supposed to be the home of the brave? In any case, it needs to be shown that although those inhabiting the halls of congress don't care for the constitutionality of the laws they pass, we the people do.
The people of this nation have quite boisterously displayed their disgust lately for the congress critters who continue to ignore the shouting. The Constitution is a legal document that they are bound to by virtue of their oaths and the offices they hold. Perhaps the time has come to hold them personally accountable for their actions. Since we can't seem to get them to take the Constitution seriously by protest or vote, perhaps there is a way to hold them accountable for violating it in a peaceful courtroom setting. The Constitution is, after all, the law they are supposed to obey and it should be used as such.