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The Slow Erosion of Freedom

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Monday, May 16, 2011

In 1776, the founders of this nation agreed that it would be better to die than to live under the tyrannical rule of an unjust and unrepresentative government. 235 years later, the very rights people once died to preserve are slowly being stripped from us piece by piece. The sad and unfortunate truth is that it is being done quietly in the name of fairness and equality, when in reality, it simply weakens the power of the people.

America was designed to allow the people to have the freedom of democracy where their voices would be heard but the limitation of a republic so that "mob rule" did not oppress the minority. Over time, unfair practices, such as slavery, were righteously removed from the rule of law as our system sought to self-correct to give the same rights to everyone. Our system isn't perfect; however, under the blanket of protection provided by the Constitution, we can identify and correct those laws, policies, and procedures that over-exert the powers given to one group over another.

There are some people today that think the Constitution is simply an old, out-dated piece of parchment. Others in that group think they have the ability to wildly and liberally interpret the writings in making laws. Sadly, the "intent" of the framers of the Constitution is being replaced by more modern means of doing business.

Yesterday, I read an article about the Supreme Court of Indiana ruled last week that a homeowner has no right to resist the illegal entry of police into their home. Last week, I was dealing with some upset business owners in Springfield over the invasion of their property rights regarding the passing of a smoking ban. For the past two weeks, people have been debating whether America acted justly upon entering a sovereign land and killing an "unarmed" man who admittedly coordinated attacks that destroyed buildings, wrecked the economy overnight, and ended the lives of 3,000 innocent people on September 11, 2001. What will it be tomorrow?

The government is seizing power from the people for whom it works everywhere we look. As a nation, we have departed from the dream. When I was growing up, my parents (like many of you who read this) used to tell me that I could be anything I wanted to be if I worked hard and never gave up. While it might have been a tad optimistic, this is the embodiment of the American dream. "The New Colossus," a sonnet by Emma Lazarus that appears on a plaque in the Statue of Liberty says, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free..." I wonder what it would say now? Terrorists and drug cartels have made it nearly impossible for us to simply let immigrants in freely. We can't even get on a plane nowadays without taking our shoes off and posing for dirty pictures. While these aren't the fault of government, it does show how things have changed in the past two centuries.

I have heard some call for a new government and/or constitution. Please, PLEASE, put their brakes on for them, for they are skidding out of control. These people can't even make a law forcing people to get healthcare without putting it in a 1,000+ page dissertation and destroying private sector businesses! Do you really want them in a locked room somewhere deciding what rights we are going to have? The choice is simple. We have all the rights we need spelled out in black and white (well, tan) in a glass case at the National Archives. What we must do is identify those individuals in Washington, D.C. who trample on them.

In the meantime, what is best for the people of this nation is to return to grass-roots initiatives. Whatever "side" you claim to be on, you need to find like-minded individuals and contact your representatives in your state's chambers and the ones in Washington. Go to town hall meetings. For goodness' sake, vote! Let them know what their constituents expect them to do instead of simply electing them and walking away to throw stones. That is the real basis of a democratic republic. Without your freedoms, America as you know it will cease to exist, and only you hold the key to preventing that from happening.



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