Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Respecting liberty to fix America

Respecting liberty to fix America

(My Clovis News Journal column for October 12, 2012)

What is "America"? America isn't the landmass, although it does sit on a spectacular and rich piece of real estate.

America isn't the shared history, although that is a vital thread that gets neglected, inverted, or obscured today.

America isn't the US government or those employed by it, nor is it the massive mountain of "laws" that government has imposed.

America isn't even the individuals living here. Many who have lived here for generations, both in and out of government, violate everything America is with everything they advocate or support.

What America is, at its very core, is a way of respecting the liberty of the individual that had never been tried before.

An argument could be made that it was the Constitution- or better yet, the ideals spelled out in the Declaration of Independence- that made America what it was. Not perfect, but a good start.

A great many people feel, for one reason or another, that they owe an obligation of obedience, or even loyalty, to the government authority in America. What they miss is the fact that this "authority" is not embodied in any person or group of people. Not the president, the congress, or any employee or agent of the government. If there is any authority called "The United States of America" that you should respect, it is only in the Constitution.

Any government employee, from the president to the congress or the Supreme Court, is a legitimate government authority only as long as he strictly obeys the law that sets out his job parameters. When he fudges that obedience he is no longer a legitimate authority and you owe him nothing.

That means if he works for the government and supports any gun "law", no matter how "reasonable", he loses all authority. That means if he rules that the Patriot Act is "legal" (in clear violation of the letter and the spirit of the Constitution) he is no longer an authority. It means if he signs a health care bill, or a wealth redistribution plan, or keeps supporting any department or agency not specifically authorized, by name and function, in the Constitution, he has lost his claim to be an authority of the government. He is not "America".

This realization may disturb some people, but it may allow others to finally defeat the cognitive dissonance caused by feeling they are supposed to respect the government authority, while knowing that what government employees and agents do is wrong. They have been misinterpreting just what the authority is all along and throwing their support or obedience behind the false authority.

Getting this right is the first step in fixing America.


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