Give Me Liberty

I am often confronted by political detractors stating that my ideas of the Constitution are “quaint” and “outdated.” Indeed, I hold the ideals of the founders of our nation in high esteem. They were not perfect men by any stretch of the imagination, nor the Constitution a perfect document. However, both accomplished something never before realized in history. A nation was born where the framework established that government obeyed the laws of the people, and the people were the sovereigns of a nation.

These very detractors are often those who promote a concept where the rule of law applies only to those outside their immediate peer group. Regardless of political positions, be they leaning right, left or somewhere outside of the “mainstream,” they promote the concept that government may employ whatever measures necessary to advance their agenda regardless of the ramifications to those who are not in agreement with their goals.

Previously, I discussed what the positions of our founders were with respect to “authority” provided to the federal government under the Constitution. The premise that no authority exists outside of those codified under Article I, Section 8 can be clearly proven by a simple glance at not only the IX’th and X’th amendments, but the Federalist / Anti-Federalist papers and the individual writings of Madison, Jefferson et al. Why then do proponents of authoritarianism and statism constantly denigrate these positions and promote resistance to lawful authority?

Today, we live in a politically correct world where federal authority pervades our lives with malicious intent. Similar to the time when the Alien and Sedition Act was thrust upon our nation, we must remember the response of our most fervent of founding political thinkers.

Virginia’s response to this egregious assault on liberty was the Virginia Resolution of 1798 which in parts stated:

That this Assembly doth explicitly and peremptorily declare, that it views the powers of the federal government, as resulting from the compact, to which the states are parties; as limited by the plain sense and intention of the instrument constituting the compact [the Constitution]

and continues

the General Assembly doth particularly protest against the palpable and alarming infractions of the Constitution, in the two late cases of the "Alien and Sedition Acts" passed at the last session of Congress; the first of which exercises a power no where delegated to the federal government and which by uniting legislative and judicial powers to those of executive, subverts the general principles of free government

Kentucky’s followed in short order by producing the Kentucky Resolution of 1798 which in part stated:

That the several States composing, the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government; but that, by a compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States, and of amendments thereto, they constituted a general government for special purposes — delegated to that government certain definite powers, reserving, each State to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self-government and that whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.

and continued:

That the Constitution of the United States, having delegated to Congress a power to punish treason, counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States, piracies, and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations, and no other crimes, whatsoever

Kentucky felt it necessary to reiterate its position with the Kentucky Resolution of 1799 which in part stated:

That if those who administer the general government be permitted to transgress the limits fixed by that compact [the Constitution], by a total disregard to the special delegations of power therein contained, an annihilation of the state governments... will be the inevitable consequence.......

I cannot help but wonder what has become of such men (or women) who would don the mantle of leadership and demand that the federal government act within the bounds of the authority granted to it by the individual states. Where are our state elected officials? Where is their leadership? Why do they remain silent regarding such unconstitutional laws such as The Patriot Act (federal spying on the citizens without probable cause or warrant) and the Military Commissions Act (suspension of habeas corpus)? Who will stand up for what is right and lead our people back to our roots of liberty?

Whenever I engage someone who states “if it isn’t prohibited (federal authority) by the Constitution, then it is legal,” I have the urge to strike out against their ignorance and perfidy. There is a phrase for those who promote resistance to lawful authority [the Constitution]. That phrase is sedition. It is long past the time we call the kettle black and call these nefarious people to task.

I for one will no longer remain politically correct for to do so only invites further transgressions against our liberty. My creator granted to me such rights as only to be limited and restrained to the extent of violating the equal rights of another. This is the essence of natural rights on which this nation was founded. Those who contend that government grants me my rights I will view as a mortal enemy to liberty. For those who refuse to take a stand on these issues, I am reminded of the following quote by Samuel Adams:

“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace.

We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”

It is high time that we as a people reject the politics of derision and embrace the mutual goal of returning our nation to its roots of individual liberty and personal responsibility. I ask you to join me in this endeavor. Get involved and make a difference. Challenge those who would rule over us as opposed to representing the interests of the people. Begin by helping clean your own house (locally) and rejecting those moneyed politicians who place the profits of their special interest benefactors above the rights of the people. Look beyond parties and follow the money. Become an informed citizen, for only an informed electorate can be the guardian of liberty.