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.
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.
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
history of the Union has been, nearly from its beginning, a steady
regression from our period of greatest freedomthe loose confederation
of the 13 former-British colonies during and just after the Revolutioninto
an ever more solidified nation. Today it is re-approaching the monarchy
from which it came.
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, andout of the 54 attendeeshe 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."
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.)
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.)
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.
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
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").
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.
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
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.
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?
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.
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.
encourage our readers to share with us articles, news accounts and
other accurate information which compliment the "12 Good Reasons".
Submit your articles or links here. We
welcome your comments.
can you do about it? The Time Is Now Institute is
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to develop a personal solution. Be sure to read all 12
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