Good Reason #12
No longer can we...

no longer are we; "We The People ... but, The Time is Still Now!"

We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the united States of America.
—Preamble to the United States Constitution

Few will argue that we, the people of today's 50 states, have fewer freedoms than those of the original 13 did. Each year, Congress passes (thousands) of new laws, and the other levels of government add many more of their own.

Some may think that our highly complex society requires a high degree of regulation. Yet, as seen in Good Reason Number 1, more than half of those surveyed in a 1995 Gallup poll felt that "the people who run the country are not very much or not at all like themselves"* and more than a third of those responding to a U.S. News and World Report survey felt the federal government "poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary Americans." The "credibility gap" is even wider than during Watergate.

Why do "We The People of The United States" feel increasingly left out of making the decisions that now shape our lives? One reason may be found in the second half of the famous phrase itself. While most typewritten versions of the Constitution capitalize both "United" and "States," making a two-word, proper noun (1), these are corruptions of the original, which reads "united States." That is, separate states (countries) united only when acting in their common interest and retaining individual sovereignty at all other times.

The history of the Union has been, nearly from its beginning, a steady regression from our period of greatest freedom—the loose confederation of the 13 former-British colonies during and just after the Revolution—into an ever more solidified nation. Today it is re-approaching the monarchy from which it came.

This slow relinquishing of liberties can be traced to the earliest days of the republic. During the Constitutional Convention itself, Maryland delegate Luther Martin made an accidental discovery that shocked and enraged him: He noticed a fellow delegate making a list of those favoring a monarchy, and—out of the 54 attendees—he already had 22 supporters. Withdrawing angrily from the convention, Martin stated, quite accurately, that its actual purpose was to set up "a national, not a federal government."

At times, our "progress" back to authoritarian rule has crept slowly, at others it has leapt ahead. In the landmark Marbury vs. Madison case (1803), Chief Justice Marshall sweepingly expanded the power of the judiciary: "[I]t is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is." (See Good Reason No. 8.)

Before that, the Constitution itself had laid the groundwork for a nobility of judges: The first clause of Article III gives federal justices life tenure "during good behavior." (Through an "accident" of war, the original 13th Amendment, prohibiting titles of nobility, was "lost" during the War of 1812, although it still showed up in books at least as late as 1840.)

Many other major and minor steps have led to our current circumstances: the 16th Amendment to the Constitution (income-tax) and the Federal Reserve Act (both 1913); Trading With the Enemy Act (1917) which, when revised by Congress in 1933, declared American citizens to be "the enemy" of the federal government; Social Security (1935); and the Buck Act (1941) that created fictional "federal zones" within the separate states; among others.

Possibly no event has proved more of a watershed (or Waterloo) for American liberty, however, than the 14th Amendment (1868). Supposedly it granted full citizenship to the slaves freed five years earlier during the Civil War. In fact it did just the opposite, creating a lower class of citizenship, the "U.S. citizen," which had never existed before but which has gradually replaced almost every American's birthright: Citizenship in and of his or her native state.

Since the social engineers in Washington could not force anyone to forfeit this primary citizenship, they had to find a big enough stick and a tempting enough "carrot" to lure traditionally independent and self-reliant Americans into the federal corral. (Similar to luring Americans into a cashless, debit-card society via the enticement of lowered prices as a benefit of using a "reward card").

The stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression may well have been the stick; carefully planned assaults on our national morale intended to break the resistance to Big Brother's handouts. After five years of unemployment and soup kitchens, a reeling America was offered the carrot: Social Security.

Probably no other administration in U.S. history has produced such a wholesale advance of socialist programs as that of Depression-President Franklin Roosevelt. Most of these programs were soon struck down as unconstitutional, but some, like Social Security, remain today. (See Good Reason #8).

More than 30 years later, one of Roosevelt's top aides admitted that his administration had known very well that its programs were illegal. It had fed the public a constantly reiterated intention that what was being done was in pursuit of the aims embodied in the Constitution of 1787, when obviously it was in contravention of them.

One modern-day, Afro-American student of human rights puts it this way: "The government has taken away all our rights. Black people first. Then they tricked you into it through the Social Security card. You gave up your freedom to become federal citizens; we were brought out of slavery to become citizens. So, instead of bringing us up to where you were and giving us inalienable rights, they brought you down to where we are and gave you civil rights"(2). What do YOU think?

So long as anyone has a Social Security number, he or she cannot be one of 'We, The People' spoken of in the Constitution. "U.S. citizens" have very limited civil rights and no access to the Constitutional guaranties they think protect them.

Those in power have amassed enormous wealth and other resources, at the expense of those who trusted and elected them. The chances of reviving a government truly of, by and for the people may seem slight, but Big Brother's fortress is a house of cards (Social Security cards, credit cards, etc.). The way out may look like a hopeless maze of traps and dead ends, but many have walked it safely and more do so each year.

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