As we start a New Year and decade, individuals look to the past to reflect and to the future for hope. For a nation there are moments in time that are pivotal, where decisions will forge a path for the future and destiny for generations to come. We are living in one of those moments. What we have been through in the last few years and where we are heading have never been more important or apparent in my lifetime. What will the future bring? Our action or inaction could change the foundations of what we are as a society. Think about that. How will we respond as a people to this pivotal moment in time? We have one major decision. Will we be a top down or a bottom up people? Will government rule us or will we rule government?
The advantage of a top down hierarchy is that you don’t have to make many decisions–for they are made for you. You observe and are told what to do. You are told what health care you will have, if you can own a gun to protect yourself, how and when you can utilize your 401K or IRA savings, how many carbon credits you will receive to provide for your energy needs, how much money you can contribute to a political campaign, what you can say before an election. The government will determine if you can or can not develop private property so as to save a swamp rat or silver minnow, what federal laws your state must implement. School curriculum and standards will be established by the federal government and not the parents or community, but as a taxpayer you will pay for it. Your government makes spending decisions on your behalf with your money, whether you like it or not, or even if you are morally opposed to their decisions. You are told you are more secure because we have a government who will take care of you from cradle to grave. It is security at the sacrifice of freedom and self determination. The decisions are established from the top down. There is no choice in it for you; you are told, not represented. The more powerful the federal government becomes, the less self determination you have. So if you need a nanny, top down government is for you.
Benjamin Franklin understood bottom up. Our founding fathers in their wisdom established a constitutional republic, established by and for the people. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines republic as:
(1) : a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law.
Take a hard look at the past few years. Did you ever think you would hear a Republican president say he had sacrificed his capitalist principles for the monetary viability of the United States and proceed to nationalize AIG, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, GM, Chrysler, and give our banks billions of dollars through banker guided legislation? Did you ever think you would see socialized medicine or an attempted surrender of any US sovereignty to world institutions, (i.e. The Copenhagen Agreement)? Did you know our current president through an executive order granted full immunity in the U.S. to INTERPOL an international police organization that is not required to provide information through the Freedom of Information Act on its activities? Did you ever think you would be taxed on the amount of energy you use, (i.e. Cap and Trade)? This is not the country in which I grew up.
At the close of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia on September 18, 1787, a Mrs. Powel anxiously awaited the results, and as Benjamin Franklin emerged from the long task now finished, asked him directly: “Well Doctor, what have we got a republic or a monarchy?” “A republic if you can keep it” responded Franklin.
“Supreme power resides in a body of citizens”, (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). Mr. Franklin and his colleagues gave us supreme power to keep our elected officials accountable to protect and obey the U.S. Constitution, this included ALL of the constitution, not portions, or the parts they think are important, but all. The bottom line is they gave us “self determination.” Self determination though constitutional laws preserves life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Do you remember the phrase, “limited government” taught to us in junior high government classes? I don’t hear that term used anymore, I guess because it has become antiquated, or just doesn’t exist. How far have we lingered from what the founders of our nation envisioned? If Benjamin Franklin asked you, “Have you been able to keep your republic?” How would you answer?
Why is this a pivotal year? It is a pivotal year because we have momentum. The American public’s awareness of Washington abuses is at an all time high. Look at the explosion of the ‘Tea Party movement. There is also a momentous power grab occurring in DC. It is cumulative. It has slowly progressed and we find ourselves at a time our leaders are not listening to our demands, (i.e. the uproar over health care legislation). Our federal government and elected representatives are not living up to their commitment, “to protect and follow the US Constitution”.
Ask yourself the question. Can you keep it? Can you keep the Republic? It is a decision for all of us. I choose to be a “bottom up” person. I choose what my forefathers chose, to be free. I choose to fight for freedom that I may give the gift of freedom to my children. I hope you choose to fight with me and preserve freedom for yourself and for your children.
Oklahoma Tenth Amendment Coordinator
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