Veterans Fight for Individual Freedom, not Collectivist Service to the State.

“I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same…So help me God.” (Oath taken by all soldiers at enlistment).

On Veterans Day we honor the men and women who serve and have served in our military in peace and wartime. But Americans must understand that the cause they serve is not nationalism, or conquest or even to strengthen the power our government.  The military serve to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.  It is the constitution our Veterans serve and have served over decades and that Constitution has one end: to protect the liberty and security of individuals.  The Constitution our Veterans have defended and still defend is designed to ensure that the state serves the individual as opposed to dictating that the individual serve the state.  (Above: Oath Keepers is an organization of military and Police who promise to honor their oath and refuse to follow unconstitutional orders that endanger U.S. citizens). 

Our government was created as an institution of limited powers, all designed with the individual in mind.  When the Minute Men and state militias came together to defeat the British, they were securing the natural right of men and women to be free and pursue life, liberty and property based on their own enlightened self-interest.  When the U.S. military again drove the British off our Shores in the war of 1812, they were defending the Constitutional Republic that ensured that mob rule would not steal away the rights of individuals by a “Democratic” majority vote.  As the Union defeated the Confederate States of America, soldiers were fighting to defend the role of a Federal government in securing the liberty of those enslaved by the southern states. Throughout most of our history our Military has worked to serve the individual freedom protected by our U.S. Constitution. 

However our Military is subject to abuse by politicians who have wantonly engaged them in war against the powers enumerated unto them by the Constitution. (Note that while the Constitution protects the natural rights of individual Americans, it only GRANTS powers to those in government since there is no natural right of any one individual to have power over another without a consent by the people to grant that power). Since Korea, wars have not been authorized in a constitutional fashion, but by the President using what he believes is his Executive power.  Thus American soldiers have been sent to fight in Korea, Vietnam, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, the Congo and Syria without a declaration of war by Congress.  While Congress has passed the “War Powers Act” to ostensibly delegate its war-making power to the Executive branch, this must be recognized as a step on the “Road to Serfdom”: The transfer of Parliamentary authority to the Executive Branch.  The U.S. Constitution was designed to ensure that no President could move America to war without the consent of the people, who are represented in Congress. Our Founders did this since they recognized that Kings frequently engaged in wars for their own benefit and endangered the security of the people in the process.

Such is the situation in which our veterans find themselves: Presidents of both parties are sending them to fight in foreign misadventures that never seem to end.  They are not given rules of engagement that allow them to win and are abused on so called “Counter Insurgency” missions to “win the hearts and minds”.  Our military is a fighting machine that should be reserved for fighting and winning effectively and quickly.  They should not be used for nation building, peace keeping and other diplomatic efforts.  This abuse by our Presidents and by multiple Sessions of Congress is a disservice to our men and women in the military.

While the recent abuse of our military is an injustice that must be cured, it does not cancel out the fact of what our military is really fighting for: individual liberty.  The Constitution is designed to ensure that men and women live free.  They Constitution is also designed to ensure that men and women are not subject to a government that seeks to turn all citizens to its service. That was the government of the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany and remains the government of China and most European nations.  Most Americans don’t know that they have been engaged in a 100 years’ war since 1913: the war of Collectivism vs. the individual. When the Federal Reserve was created along with the passage of the Income Tax in 1913, the government gained the power to print money to fund wars without having to deal with the American citizens to ensure that funding such war was in the interest of its citizens. Since that time, American collectivism has been progressing to the current point where the government is aggressively asserting that individuals have a duty to serve the collective interests of the nation rather than their own interests.  As health insurance purchase is mandated, Americans are given a duty to die earlier or suffer longer to ensure that we are all “prudent stewards of shared societal resources” (AMA ethic, 2012).  As the feds monitor phone calls and emails and store all such data in a central warehouse, Americans hear the lie that their collective security depends on violating their individual rights. As Americans are killed without trial by drone strike or subject to “indefinite detention” we see an America that more closely resembles the dictatorship of King George, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler and Pol Pot than the free nation of our founders.

Our Veterans deserve to serve a better nation. The best way to honor our veterans today is to take back control of our country from the political class who continue to assert that our lives depend on the health of the state. Indeed, Veterans would be better honored by telling our state that its health relies on the freedom of its people. Give thanks to our veterans for securing our liberty and let us pray that we are worthy enough to deserve it and exercise it properly. 







One Reply:

  1. Ron Thompson

    Dr McKalip,

    Soldiers fight for many reason, but nobody doubts their patriotism. They swear to uphold the constitution and report through the military chain of command to the civilian Command in Chief, the President.

    Many American citizens disagree on the issue of a large vs small federal government; whether the commerce clause, or various Supreme Court opinions match their personal vision of America. Many support the current structure and find it in keeping with the constitution. Many others disagree, finding our current government actions either a political issue for the legislature to correct or a constitutional issue to be resolved by the courts.

    However, neither side can hold claim to the members of the service, and their individual motivation and actions. That shows a lack of pluralism or simple empathy to the fact that each and every American citizen, even those we agree with, have a gross (or at least nuanced) different understanding of the complex concept of the working structure of the US Constitution.

    We also see a spectrum of veterans groups including the VFW, American Legion, AmVets, IAVA, Rolling Thunder and Veterans for Peace. There is no “one opinion” that any of us can be projected upon our active service members or veterans.

    But all Americans honor those who serve and have served.

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