When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness.
So starts the greatest document ever written the declaration of Independence. So much is said in just those 182 words. A bold statement that turned the world on its’ head. Until this time most government’s focus was on a king. The king was thought to be in some way divine, above all other people and everything belonged to him. His subjects could live on his land if they paid their annual duty. If they fought in his military if needed to extend his throne or protect his interests. If they were not caught saying anything against the king. Our founding fathers followed the Bible as a guide. Thomas Jefferson was a biblical scholar and noted that when the Israelites followed the instructions within their country they prospered and when they did not, the people suffered. He noted the Saxons among others also followed the biblical guidelines for governing people with the same results. He was a wise man who studied history and learned from it. Those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it, and we are!
The idea that all men are created by a creator, and given rights by the creator that are inalienable which means they can not be taken away from the person, by anyone at any time or for any reason! The idea that men created governments to secure those rights! Protect man’s rights to life, to liberty and to pursue happiness. The duty of government is to protect the rights of the individual, that is the reason for its creation and when it fails to do that, the people have the right to abolish it. That legitimate governments only exist by the consent of the governed. Our constitution was written very precisely to limit the power of government, to protect the rights of the people. The Federal government was to be especially restrained because the government closest to the problem is most efficient and the people are better able to maintain control. Our founding fathers knew that governments had violated the rights of men more so than other individual men ever could. Thomas Jefferson said, “The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.”
The separation of powers was of huge importance in keeping the government from growing into a tyrannical monster. As Thomas Jefferson stated, “When all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another, and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.” They set up three separate sources of power the representative branch to follow the will of the people, the senate to maintain the power of the states. The judicial was to hold the line when those two houses overstepped their constitutional limitations. The 17th amendment to the constitution fundamentally altered our form of government and has shifted power away from the states.
We declared our independence in 1776 and already by 1798 Thomas Jefferson was authoring the Virginia resolution A small excerpt is here “ That the General Assembly doth also express its deep regret, that a spirit has in sundry instances, been manifested by the federal government, to enlarge its powers by forced constructions of the constitutional charter which defines them; and that implications have appeared of a design to expound certain general phrases” As our federal government has increased its’ power and overstepped its constitutional boundaries our representatives have discovered a way to benefit themselves at our expense. To use campaign donations to benefit the politically connected. Every time in history when the government powers expand a two-class system develops the peasants (people) and the politically connected. Even now government employees are earning on average twice what the people paying their salaries to earn, add in benefits and the discrepancy is worse.
Companies now lobby Congress for tax exceptions, laws and regulations to benefit themselves and harm the competition. The free market system has always produced the greatest amount of wealth and prosperity in any nation it exists in. We have not had a free market system in this nation for 100 years. Free market economies produce a vibrant middle class, an environment where an individual starting with nothing can work hard and move up in the economic levels of society. In government-run systems, the rich get richer and the poor poorer and the middle class is non-existent. This is the direction our nation is heading our middle class is shrinking at an alarming rate and the earnings of the middle class are being taken and given to the very rich through bailouts and the poor with “welfare systems” our governments’ tax system is utilized to benefit those that can donate to campaigns. Companies now lobby Congress to get regulations enacted that will harm their competitors, or get tax breaks for themselves, again harming competition and killing anything close to a free market.
We must retake congress, remove the power from the federal realm to benefit any corporation. We created this government to secure our rights. The constitution was written to limit the power of government especially the federal government. We must work to return the checks and balances that have been destroyed over the years and return our government to the Republic of limited power it originated as. Ben Franklin’s answer “A Republic if you can keep it” is more than a little prophetic. We have lost it and must now work to restore our Republic.