July 4 refers to the day the Declaration of Independence from the British monarchical yoke was issued by some 56 noted individuals who risked their lives, fortunes, and their sacred honor for it. Several thousand American colonists fought and perished over a seven year period so that their posterity will live in a free nation governed with the consent of the people to secure their rights as free people.
The first ten amendments to the US Constitution ratified in 1791 contained the Bill of Rights that prohibits transgressions by the federal government into individual life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.
In 2013, some 237 years later, the people have lost most of what was enshrined in the US Constitution. The federal government, instead of being limited in scope as intended, has become a dictatorial national government. Patrick Henry opposed the adoption of the Constitution as he feared the uncontained growth of the federal government by destroying the sovereignty of the individual states. He was right!
The American people lost their way in the early 1900s and allowed the concept of big government to come to fruition and to destroy the core principle of federalism during the Woodrow Wilson administration with the enactment of direct federal government taxation of Americans and the simultaneous removal of state representation in Congress by instituting the direct popular election of the Senators.
Article 1, Section 1 is in tatters as Congress has illegally delegated its legislative powers to such unelected agencies as the EPA, IRS, FCC, FDA, and the other hundreds of agencies with the full approval of the US Supreme Court. People did not bother to punish those politicians but accepted the despotic bureaucratic rule that we find today.
The First Amendment is just about erased. Political correctness depending upon the whims of the favorite political groups is allowed to override that right of free speech and declare it hate speech. There is no religious freedom today. If you do not practice what the national government dictates appropriate, you and your group will be punished with the help of the myriad of agencies it controls.
How about the freedom of the press? The government spies on the reporters, tries to intimidate their families, and prevents them from reporting anything unfavorable to it. Wilson jailed some of them for being against the American entry into WWI. Lincoln also did so in the Civil War.
The Second Amendment, whose presence in the Bill of Rights is for preserving freedom (not for hunting or sports shooting), is under severe assault. A national government that has gone rogue will disarm the citizens so that they can be turned into subjects.
The Fourth Amendment is extinct. Americans gave that up in the name of security. The US government with the guidance of the Supreme Court has eliminated the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures without the required warrants based on probable cause. The president maintains a kill list that includes American citizens, deploys armed drones to exterminate them, or apprehends them to be detained indefinitely under the Patriot Act. What an insult to all the true patriots who secured our freedom to use their identity to crush the very freedom they fought for.
Is anything left of the 5th Amendment? I am afraid nothing is. The government can demand and get confession in some cases to prove a political point. Look at the case of Mr. Libby, who was prosecuted for providing a false statement when the government’s desired outcome of pinning him as the source of the leak of an obscure CIA operative failed.
Private property rights were protected by the 5th Amendment in cases of government exercising eminent domain to confiscate private property for public use. The US Supreme Court, with Justice Souter of our own New Hampshire, broke it wide open when he declared that it was constitutional to take private property under eminent domain for the purpose of allocating it to another private party approved by the government. It was the Kelo case of Connecticut.
With government and the Supreme Court working in tandem, no rights that enable freedom of the individual can be safe. It is how the law is turned on its head to do the exact opposite of what it was originally intended for.
The 6th, 7th, and the 8th Amendments are routinely violated. In some cases, nobody pays any attention to them in our courts.
The 9th Amendment clearly states that those rights that are not enumerated belong to the people, and the government cannot touch them. We don’t have any rights. We are searched at airports in the most flagrant manner without any protest. We are told what we can take in our private possession and how much while traveling. We are told what type of electric bulb we are allowed to use at home. We are now told that we must buy the appropriate health insurance required by the federal government and enforced by the IRS.
The 10th Amendment died a long time ago starting with the Civil War, the adoption of the 17th Amendment, and the unlimited taxing power (16th Amendment), the confiscation of property rights and now confiscation of personal rights. States are merely servants of the national government doing its bidding at local levels.
So tell me again why the 4th of July has any real meaning today? Turning the country around to inspire our people to embrace individual liberty as ordained by the Declaration of Independence is a very long, long shot.
Photo credit: snowlepard (Creative Commons)