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As we start the new year, one would hope that we could look forward to better times and better lives. However, in the U.S. Republic, that might be a tall order, given the obscene growth and reach of the Federal government in this country and the politicians that operate it.
Read the following and then decide if you think you are still living in a free country:
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– You are not living in a free country if your retirement medical care, via Medicare, is dependent on the actions and whims of Federal government politicians.
– You are not living in a free country if a large percentage of your retirement cash flow, via Social Security, is dependent on the actions and whims of Federal government politicians.
– You are not living in a free country if your pre-retirement medical care, via the ramifications of Obama Care, is dependent on the actions and whims of Federal government politicians.
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– You are not living in a free country if your ability to go to college, via student loans, is dependent on the actions and whims of Federal government politicians.
– You are not living in a free country if your ability to get a home mortgage, via Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, is dependent on the actions and whims of Federal government politicians.
– You are not living in a free country if almost a third of your annual earnings go to taxes to support all levels of wasteful, inefficient, and criminally-infested government programs and entities.
– You are not living in a free country if the Federal government’s executive branch can commit U.S. military resources and taxpayer wealth to foreign military actions (e.g. Libya, Yemen, Syria) without Congressional or Constitutional approval.
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– You are not living in a free country if the Federal government’s executive branch can independently and arbitrarily designate any American for assassination and then actually commit that assassination without due process of law (e.g. Anwar al-Awlaki).
– You are not living in free country when the Federal government can hold a U.S. citizen in prison for an indefinite period of time without due process of law if that government arbitrarily defines that citizen as a potential threat to national security (National Defense Authorization Act – NDAA)
– You are not living in a free country when a President can seize control of all forms of communications when he alone decides it is in the national interest (Executive Order – Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Functions)
– You are not living in a free country when the Federal government can collect and store every electronic communication any citizen makes (e.g. email, text messages) in massive data storage centers (e.g. Bluffdale, Utah) without due process, a warrant, or privacy protection.
– You are not living in a free country when the Federal government’s executive branch thinks it can affix a GPS tracking device to any citizen’s car without a warrant (see U.S. Vs. Jones decision).
– You are not living in a free country when the executive branch thinks it has the power to arbitrarily ignore judicial rulings and existing laws (e.g. Gulf Of Mexico drilling moratorium and DOMA).
– You are not living in a free country when government agents, via the TSA, are allowed to grope and grab U.S. citizens’ body parts in the name of national security.
– You are not living in a free country if government and political class spending has rung up trillions of dollars of national debt that will eventually have to be paid by you, your children, and your grandchildren.
– You are not living in a free country if you privacy rights can be almost arbitrarily violated by the Patriot Act.
– You are not living in a free country when crony capitalism wastes billions of taxpayer dollars every year without any redeeming societal benefits (e.g. Solyndra, Fisker, Tesla).
– You are not living in a free country if your political leaders hold you and your opinions in contempt:
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – those Americans that opposed Obama’s health care reform effort are un-American.
- Congressman Charles Rangel – those Americans that opposed Obama’s health care reform effort are like the racists that opposed the civil rights movements in the 1960s.
- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid – American tourists that come to D.C. in the summer physically smell.
- Congressman Alan Grayson – those Americans with a different opinion from his are knuckle dragging Neanderthals.
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – those Americans against the building of a mosque close to Ground Zero in New York City needed to be investigated.
- Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee – Tea Party members used to wear Ku Klux Klan white sheets.
- Congresswoman Maxine Walters – Tea Party advocates “can go to hell.”
- Czar Van Jones – those opposed to the President’s policies are a_ _ h_ _ _ s.
– You are not living in a free country if the executive branch can circumvent Constitutionally mandated government appointment reviews via a “czar” politburo.
– You are not living in a free country when politicians can use billions of taxpayer dollars, via earmarks, to finance their perpetual re-election campaigns.
– You are not living in a free country where politicians decide what private companies live (e.g. Citigroup) and what private companies die (e.g. Lehman Brothers.)
– You are not living in a free country when those in office can maximize their re-election chances with favorable gerrymandering of Congressional districts.
– You are not living in a free country if your selection of a Presidential candidate for the Democratic Party via the primary and caucus system can be overturned by a small cadre of insiders in the upper echelon of the party called “super delegates.”
– You are not living in a free country when sitting politicians can automatically grant themselves annual pay increases regardless of how poorly they led the nation during the past year.
– You are not living in a free country when sitting politicians cannot be removed from Congressional committee posts regardless of how poorly they performed their jobs on those committees (e.g. Intelligence committee members who did not foresee the 9-11 attacks, Finance committee members who did not foresee the coming of the “Great Recession”, Interior Department committee members that did not properly oversee the BP oil rig inspection process, etc.)
– You are not living in a free country when any level of government can seize your property for a supposedly fair price and turn it over to developers for a private sector development project.
– You are not living in a free country when perceived and actual voter fraud makes you question whether your vote actually counted and whether the political winners actually won the vote.
So let’s review. Politicians control our pocketbooks, our health care, our retirement funding, and who we vote for; invade our privacy; read our electronic communications; violate our property rights; and control our ability to get a mortgage or student loan while calling us names if we dare to disagree with them. Hardly sounds like the traditional definition of a Republic.
The beauty of this system that the political class has worked out for themselves is that they are able to keep us fighting among ourselves. This diverts our attention to the fact that our freedom and liberty have slowly been stripped away. We have reached a point in this country where a great portion of our lives is no longer controlled by our brains, our energy, and our initiative, but by about 600 people sitting in Congress and the executive branch of the Federal government.
We vehemently and fruitlessly fight among ourselves over relatively trivial issues while the political class strips us of our wealth and our liberty without ever solving a major issue:
- We are no closer to a rational drug policy in this country since Nixon declared war On drugs in the 1960s, with this void allowing a narco-state to develop just south of our border with Mexico.
- We are no closer to a rational and coherent national energy policy, despite the oil crises from the 1970s.
- We are no closer to having world class public schools, despite the warning of failing public schools from early in the Reagan administration and the expenditure of trillions of dollars since then.
- We are no closer to having a coherent and effective immigration plan and strategy.
- We are no closer to having an effective strategy for containing escalating health care costs.
- We are no closer to having a sane, balanced budget process for the Federal government with the political class spending trillions of dollars more than they bring in in revenue.
We no longer live in a free country, and we have allowed the politicians to do it to us. That is why it is so important to begin the cleansing process and the restoration of freedom with the implementation of the following steps:
- Step 1 – reduce Federal spending by 10% a year for five years in order to tame our out-of-control political class spending.
- Step 2 – implement specific and fair processes to eliminate the current gerrymandering process for Congressional districts.
- Step 3 – eliminate the “Super Delegate” process.
- Step 4 – strengthen eminent domain laws to prevent the arbitrary confiscation of private property.
- Steps 5 – Make the following changes to the Patriot Act to protect the privacy of citizens: review every section of the Act to see if each part is still really needed for national security, make it illegal to intercept any form of communications of a citizen without a judge-approved warrant, notify any citizen if they have been investigated and cleared by any government agency investigation, and finally appoint the members to the oversight committee of the Act, a committee that has never been staffed.
- Step 6 – repeal Obama Care, an atrocity that imposes thousands of rules and dozens of taxes on the nation without solving the root causes of our escalating health care costs.
- Step 7 – implement a citizen approval process that would remove politicians from Congressional committees for gross dereliction of duty.
- Step 8 – eliminate the Congressional process that automatically grants an annual pay increase to Congressional members, replacing it with a citizen satisfaction-based pay system.
- Step 9 – implement term limits for all Federal politicians in order to get some fresh thinking and problem solvers involved with the myriad issues facing America, “one and done.”
- Step 10 – Disband the czar process and restore the Constitutionally mandated checks and balances of our government processes.
Time is running out to fix what the political class has destroyed in this country from a liberty-based, privacy-based, freedom-based, economic, and Constitutional perspective. We have allowed this situation to arise, and we are the ones who need to fix it. Otherwise, some morning, we will wake up and realize that fifty years ago, Nikita Khrushchev got it right when he said:
You Americans are so gullible. No, you won’t accept communism outright; but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of Socialism until you will finally wake up and find that you already have communism. We won’t have to fight you; we will so weaken your economy until you fall like overripe fruit into our hands.
Photo Credit: marsmet 541 (Creative Commons)
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website.