“When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” Benjamin Franklin
Join the “Founders on your Corner” float in the Independence Day parade in Pinellas Park/Kenneth City. Meet on 62nd St. N between 46th Ave and 54th Ave from 10-10:45 on Saturday July 4th, 2015.
The American government was founded as a Limited Government, a key foundational principle of our country. While modern activists and politicians seek to use the tools of government as a means to accomplish their agendas, our founders recognized that government power is easy to abuse and must be restrained. The American Constitution described specific, enumerated powers and our founders expected that elected officials would restrain themselves to within those powers alone. Further, our American founders expected that the actions of the government would earn the consent of those who were governed. The same modern forces that seek to abuse the mechanisms of government to advance their agenda also seek to impose their views on those who do not consent to the government actions they have enacted. As with our Natural Rights and Individual Liberty, the government and society are in full revolt, treasonously so, against a Limited Government and Consent of the Governed.
Limited Government and its roots
Our founders created a limited because they were breaking away from an arrogant political class led by a king. The king had nothing to justify his position of power over men, other than to be born to a certain family and then to be granted the right to wear a crown. In other places in the world de facto “kings” are “elected” by majorities but their constitution places no limits on their power. Usually such governments with full power are designed to serve what is mischaracterized as “the common good”. Unfortunately, what really happens is that a small group of powerful elite generate benefits for themselves and those in the “political class” willing to play along. Our founders knew that men were fallible and that greed and corruption were common place among men. They did not seek to to eradicate greed and corruption through the action of government, but to prevent those in the government itself from enriching themselves or acting in corrupt ways to harm others. They knew, as Friedrich Hayek taught in “The Road to Serfdom” that the “worst rise to the top”. Thus they should be given as little power as possible over private citizens who could then seek prosperity on their own with no government help and no government interference.
They created a judicial system that would help ensure justice and remedy the acts of greed and corruption that occurred in society by enshrining the protection of individual liberty above all. They created a system of checks and balances so that no single branch of government could be more powerful than another. They ensured that the President could not unilaterally declare war by granting that power to Congress – a power that has been forsaken now for decades in our country. They ensured elections of representatives – a republic – but not direct democracy that often could create a “tyranny of the majority”. In short, they knew that no government could cure all, many or even few of society’s ills. They knew that large governments were more likely to cause harm to societies and individuals. So they gave us our constitution and millions have fought and died to protect it over the years. It is now our turn to stand up and claim our freedoms using the peaceful means our forefathers gave us: speech, press, assembly, petition of government and elections.
Abuses by Unlimited Government
- The Federal government nationalizes the health insurance market through Obamacare, redistributing money from some to pay for others.
- The State of Florida destroys private homeowners insurance market by creating “Citizens” Property insurance.
- Government creates state-sanctioned utility monopolies, driving up costs and driving down quality of electricity supply.
- Government requires a permit and registration with state agencies to carry a concealed weapon.
- Federal Government owns 28% of the land in the United States of America.
- The government creates unsustainable pension and benefit plans for government workers and forces taxpayers to pay for them or refuses to finance them leaving pensioners without promised benefits.
- Government grows in Pinellas county Florida always consume more private dollars to fund themselves through property taxes, sales taxes, and other fees.
- Governments make cars more expensive with unnecessary gas mileage regulations.
- The government subsidizes certain crops or limits their production.
- The government imposes a new definition of Marriage on states that have established their own definition.
Consent of the Governed
Our Government functions best if it has the consent of its citizens. It is not enough that an election is held and a representative takes office. They must be accountable to the voter. They must act in ways which their constituents can provide their consent. Our founders placed many important checks and balances with the voters and their representatives to ensure that elected leaders would act with their consent. This is essential because AMERICA IS A REPUBLIC – a place of representative democracy. While it uses democratic methods to elect leaders and for their leaders to make decisions, we are still a Republic.
A Republic ensures that a simple majority of people cannot violate the rights of a minority. Some ways our founders and their successors provided accountability of elected officials to ensure the consent of the governed include:
- Elections of our Representatives to the House of Representative every two years.
- Ensuring the President must gain consent of Congress to declare war or issues letters of Marque and Reprisal
- Limiting the powers of government to those enumerated in the Constitution.
- A means of free speech to ensure citizens can tell their representatives what they think.
- A means of free elections to ensure that all those represented will have a voice.
- Specifically ensuring that the people and the states would reserve those powers and rights not given to the Federal government.
When elected officials enact policies that do not have the consent of the public, they weaken our country and weaken their legitimacy.
“…democracy by itself implies nothing about either freedom or the rule of law. A majority may destroy the freedom of a minority or make the issuance of edicts as arbitrary and discriminatory as it wishes”.Thomas Sowell
Loss of “Consent of the Governed”
- Americans reject Obamacare, yet the government continues to force people into nationalized health care.
- Looters, mobs and criminals are allowed to riot in the street while their government gives them “room to destroy”.
- Americans seek privacy, but the government monitors their internet activity and subjects them to NSA spying.
- The validity of elections are made meaningless when the Supreme Court declares Voter ID laws unlawful.
- American jobs are threatened and businesses destroyed by so-called “living wage” laws.
- People are forced to recycle trash as local governments cut regular garbage collection to give them no alternatives.
- The people reject a transit tax to build an unneeded commuter train in Pinellas County, but on the same night of the loss the activists are swearing to get it done through other government powers.
- People are forced to pay unsustainable amounts of taxes to provide pension and health benefits for government workers they themselves can never enjoy.
- Red light cameras monitor people like Big Brother and fine them without due process.
- The President bombs foreign governments and entities without asking Congressional representatives of the people to declare war.
- The Federal government causes the American dollar to be devalued with over-printing to benefit some corporate cronies and bail itself out of unfinanced debt.
Restoring Limited Government and Consent of the Governed
Americans will have an increasingly difficult task to bring the government back into service to them. The more that Americans desire a “free ride” through a government benefit, the less likely they will have a limited government. People will need to jettison the entitlements they receive now and claim responsibility over their own lives. Otherwise they are just subjects. Americans can either do that now, or wait for the inevitable collapse of the system (see the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Greece, Detroit, and soon Chicago). As the system collapses, those in charge of the ever expanded government will impose ever more draconian regulations and laws to bring their citizens into submission. An open tyranny will be established. The choice is yours.