Lately I have been concentrating my writings on Democrats and their big government programs. This is likely because the president is a Democrat and supposedly his administration is one that pushes the agenda of the Democrats. He has, in my opinion, misrepresented his principles to the American people and has simply continued and expanded the big government programs of the previous administrations, programs he intimated would end when he was a candidate.
But I have claimed for years that Democrats and Republicans are more or less the same, two sides of the same coin so to speak. They are all big government control freaks that wish to rule the common folk from on high and remove freedom and opportunity from those of little means so that they cannot compete with the ruling elite. Recently, I received an email from the newest senator from Illinois, Mark Kirk, that troubled me. I felt that this freshman Republican, swept into office due to the mistakes of the power hungry Democrats and their refusal to listen to the will of the common folk, needed a little lesson in the principles of freedom this nation was founded upon.
In his email, Mr. Mark Kirk asked a question that struck me as absolutely obnoxious and ignorant in its nature. To paraphrase, he wanted to know if I felt "terrorists" should be transferred to the US and "given" Constitutional rights. I was aghast that an American who had taken a vow to uphold the Constitution would have such a gross misunderstanding as to what individual rights are, where they come from and what the Bill of Rights was all about. Of course it strikes me that most members of congress likely have the same misunderstandings, or perhaps they just claim to so that they have an excuse to continue growing government and imposing an authoritarian regime upon the common folk.
I shouldn't have to explain to Mr. Mark Kirk, or anyone for that matter, that rights aren't something that are granted by the government, rights are something inherent to every human being because of their humanity. Why is it I constantly feel I have to explain this to people? This is why the Bill of Rights was put in the Constitution in the first place. Our founding fathers, and many of the European common folk inhabiting the North American continent alongside them at the time, didn't trust the authoritarian governments of the times. They realized governments took and took and took from the common folk and gave all manner of privileges to the elite rulers. The sad truth is that likely those at the top who call themselves lawmakers think of themselves as superior to the rest of us and don't believe in individual rights. They likely actually place themselves on the level of gods and believe they grant or deny rights rather than respect or violate them.
The proper question, I suppose, would be should the people in positions of authority within the United States military be allowed to continue to violate an accused man's right to a fair and open trial, or should the right to face his accusers and defend his actions be honored by government officials? My answer to that question is the latter. Of course the United States should honor the human rights of others, no matter their birth origin. These are human beings, not lesser beings to be trifled with. They have the same thoughts, emotions and wishes for a better life as anyone. If they are guilty of some crime, let it be proven in a court of law just like anyone else. Let them be sentenced so they can pay for their crime just like anyone else. If they are innocent, they need to be freed to pursue their own destiny as all humans should. The United States of America was supposed to be a nation that held a moral high ground when it came to law and individual rights. Even if that moral high ground was lost long ago, it is never too late to try to reestablish it.
Another word whose meaning has been obfuscated, much like the term human rights, is the word war. For thousands of years, war was a condition where two nations mustered as many soldiers as they could and then battled on fields of honor, or some such thing. War in the modern vernacular has come to mean any action taken against people who refuse to bow to the dictates of government officials. Any real war that might have been is over in a few days, after that what we have would better be described as an occupation and the subjugation of an indigenous population by military force. The word war is used simply as an attempt to legitimize and excuse violations committed against individual rights that might otherwise be subject to more scrutiny.
Americans might do well to remember that at one time it was our forefathers who were fighting against tyranny and oppression brought to our shores by the military prowess of another nation. One of the reasons the Bill of Rights was written in the first place was because England's military was violating the individual rights of so many colonists. The king felt his men had the right to invade your home without warrant. He felt his men had the right to detain individuals indefinitely without trial. He felt he had the right to ship his prisoners away to a far off foreign land, to torture them, and to use any evidence or confession obtained from said tortures in a court of law to convict them. The colonists felt otherwise. They felt that the individual rights of the most vulnerable should be respected by government, not violated by the powerful, and that the burden of proof should be on the shoulders of the accusers to prove the accused guilty, not on the shoulders of the accused to prove himself innocent. That is the moral high ground, and that is the principle our government needs to uphold if it is to remain legitimate.
The government should have nothing to worry about if those they accuse of being terrorists have, in fact, engaged in some form of terrorism against the civilian populace. They should have no problems bringing the facts into open court and allowing those facts to be scrutinized by the general public. The fact that they keep these accused hidden and their trials secret is troublesome. The fact that it takes whistleblowers and organizations like Wikileaks to uncover disturbing behaviors of our military is also troubling. These behaviors and methods should frowned upon within military and intelligence organizations, not condoned by them. Of course, if the US military was to withdraw from policing the world and maintaining an empire, such methods would be unnecessary and there would be no worrying behaviors to uncover.
More and more I hear people speaking out against the practices of government violating individual rights. For years many common folk have grumbled beneath their breath and silently gone along to get along. Some have even been frightened to speak out against these government practices much like the soviets and those behind the iron curtain were. More and more people are nodding their heads in agreement and adding their two cents worth when I speak of the freedom message at taverns and bars. People are tired of our so called representatives violating their oaths to uphold the Constitution. People are tired of having their rights and the rights of others violated by government office holders and their enforcers. Most people just want to be left alone to live their own lives, and this includes many of the so called terrorists that have been imprisoned by the US military. It is time for politicians to start honoring their oaths and the principles they're supposed to represent to regain the moral high ground the founding fathers fought to establish.
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