“If the Foundations are destroyed, what shall the righteous do?” Psalm 11:3. This country was begun on a simple but solid footing, that being, all men are equal in the sight of our Creator and that each individual has equal rights to Life, Liberty, and Property, among others. All other government systems in the world, other than perhaps, ancient Israel, were based on rights being granted by government, such as a king or emperor, or whatever. The consequence of basing the footing and foundation on these fundamental principles means that no mere man or government is allowed to take these unalienable rights away.
The whole emphasis of our form of government is to grant certain powers to government in order that justice may be served, and to provide for the common defense of the nation. In order to do this a list of powers or functions which government was to oversee was made by the Founding Fathers (FFs) and listed in Article 1, Section 8. Beyond these powers the congress could not go. The same procedure was used for the states.
The chief concern of our FFs was that the general government would eventually shatter the “chains” of the Constitution and move into usurpation of powers and then tyranny. Can there be any doubt in anyone’s mind that the Federal government and even the State governments have easily become what the Founders feared the most. It has happened through the ho hum attitude of the People. As much as we would like to blame the legislators the real truth is that We the People have been asleep and allowed the rulers to rule with impunity. The Declaration of Independence states clearly that the People will prefer to suffer while Evils are sufferable, however if we don’t wake up and call a halt to the theft of Liberty by the legislators we will continue our downward spiral into the abyss of totalitarian rule by government.
Politicians think that the People are too stupid to figure out what is best for them. Consequently they come up with stupid laws such as seat belt laws and how many lights you can have on the side of your vehicle and laws such as “no humming allowed on public streets on Sunday” (Cicero,IL). We have all heard of and a laughed at some of the stupid laws that have been passed and thought how stupid or dumb can these people be? But the truth is that even these laws no matter how silly they seem carry with them a potential sentence of death, if they are intensely enforced and subsequently resisted.
In order to exercise our Liberty we need to be able to live our life as each individual chooses with minimal interference from our neighbor or our government. Our right to choose should only be limited at the point we begin to interfere with our neighbor’s right to enjoyment of his rights. Liberty is about choice; choices on how to live one’s life, even if the decision is a potentially destructive one in most people’s opinions.
Now we come to who is charged to preserve our Liberty? If the legislators fail who do we turn to? It has to be the courts. I have read many court cases that had to do with a claim by an individual that some law has “taken” a fundamental right. The courts will state over and over that the state has the duty and responsibility to preserve “public safety.” Meanwhile the court may never mention that the higher calling is the preservation of fundamental rights of the individual. It appears so much of the time that the courts would look for every possible excuse to preserve the law intact at the expense of a fundamental right. We can have so much “safety” that we have no Liberty. What is safety without Liberty?
I have come to appreciate this quote from Ayn Rand a Russian escapee:
"There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. "Atlas Shrugged"
The way I see it our judges have a trust, an obligation, a duty above all to preserve individual fundamental rights, against the state, except in the truly important issues. The state/government has no end of reasons why it is important that the person in a private vehicle, for instance, should wear a seat belt but our kids riding in school buses don’t need one. Try and reason that one out. The courts must preserve the Foundations or Liberty is lost.
This is a subject whose time has come. If you would like to correspond with me on this contact me at: Follow my blog at: pike912.blogspot.com/ or firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message at 217-285-2134.