A NEW DECLARATION OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE
By Alan Caruba
Take a moment and read the original Declaration of Independence. Its most pro- found assertion is that governments derive their power from "the consent of the governed." It was a revolutionary idea when it was stated in July, 1776, and, for most of the world's citizens, it remains so today.
"Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed." The whole of history before and since our own Declaration of Independence has been an endless succession of revolutions and wars to thwart the ambitions of various tyrants, dic- tators, monarchs and madmen.
The suffering is unimaginable. In just the last century, following the slaughter of World War I, there emerged a new type of despotism and tyranny--the most thoroughgoing authoritanianism, or absolutism, the world had ever known. This new despotism and tyranny, often referred to as "totalitarianism," brought to many na- tions misery and suffering--misery and suffering that spanned the Nazi era in Ger- many and Austria, the era of Communist rule in the Soviet Union and its puppet states, the carnage of World War II, Soviet imposition of Communist rule in the countries of East-Central Europe, and the bloody revolutions which brought Com- munist regimes to China, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. The bitter fruits of this long period of deapotism and tyranny included, among many other abominable things, German and Soviet military aggression against neighboring countries, the Nazi con- centration camps, the Holocaust, worldwide Soviet expionage and Soviet-inspired subversion, sedition and violent revolution in countries not ruled by Communist-con- trolled governments, the "Gulags" (concentration camps) of the Soviet Union, the millions dead from the Chinese Communist revolution, the Korean and Vietnam wars, the genocide by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, those slaughtered by Saddam Hus- sein's Ba'athist regime, the thousands killed by the Iranian Islamic revolution, and the millions more killed by or still living under the control of Middle Eastern and African despots. The slaughters, atrocities, and other outrages of the last century are too numerous to enumerate.
In 1776, Thomas Jefferson enumerated the reasons why Americans should take up arms against the British, the superpower of the time. Among the abuses named, was the imposition of taxes "without our consent" and the obstruction of the "adminis- tration of justice." Other complaints included "cutting off our trade with all parts of the world" and "suspending our legislatures." The Declaration concludes saying that "these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States."
As we celebrate another Independence Day, however, the status of the States that compose our federal union and nation is now one of almost complete subservience to the central government in Washington, D.C. This is the opposite of what the Framers of the U.S. Constitution proposed and what the Constitution provided. The United States of America is a federal republic composed of what are supposed to be autono- mous (self-governing) regional republics. In almost every respect, the sovereign powers of the States have been eroded and taken by the national government. They have little to say regarding the education of children and youth. They have little power to protect individual property rights. Major issues of commerce and transpor- tation are determined by the government at the national level.
Whether it is the Environmental Protection Agency, the Army Corps of Engineers, the National Park Service, or some other element of the national government, a myriad of laws and regulations routinely deprive people of the ownership of their homes, farms, and other property. Zoning, the absolute prerogative of cities and other local communities, is under severe attack.
As for taxes, they have become a national nightmare designed primarily for the re- distribution of wealth. Taxpayers now cede 40% of their income to the States and the national government. The nation's health systems are now so tightly controlled through Medicare that they can hardly be said to be independent. Hospitals are closing because they cannot maintain themselves.
There is no aspect of our lives that is not now under the direct or indirect control of the central government. We are no longer even citizens. We have been transformed into "consumers" of the services provided by the federal and state governments.
What Americans truly need as we approach Independence Day, 2003, is the govern- ment envisioned by the Founding Fathers. That government, if you read the Consti- tution, was one of limited responsibilities and powers. As the Tenth Amendment states, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor pro- hibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
What powers are left to the people when Social Security cards (read: national ID cards) are issued at birth? When a large portion of your earnings is removed before you can use it at your own discretion? When countless laws exist regarding the ownership of any firearm? When you are restricted from smoking in public places? When the government determines how much mileage your car or truck must achieve? When you can't dig a ditch on your property without a permit? The list is endless.
What powers dare we delegate to elected legislators when they bankrupt our States and oversee a national government that is deep in debt, with whole agencies and departments unable to account for millions of public dollars? When were our courts ever empowered to mandate spending programs on education or any other aspect of public governance?
The less than sovereign nation of America is now tied to a vast matrix of United Na- tions treaties, conventions, and protocols--treaties, conventions, and protocols that override our Constitution, threaten our system of justice, and seek to impose UN taxes, create international military and police forces, establish and operate the UN's own system of courts, and impose all sorts of environmental mandates on us.
We have entered upon trade agreements (such as NAFTA) that are eliminating thousands of jobs for Americans. Our borders are so porous that millions of illegal aliens arrive annually. Home of the brave? Yes. Land of the free? Just barely.
Declaration of Independence? Yes, Americans need one. Again!
Alan Caruba is a veteran business and science writer, a Public Relations Counselor, Communications Director of the American Policy Center, and Founder of the Na- tional Anxiety Center, a clearinghouse for information about media-driven scare campaigns. Caruba writes a weekly column, "Warning Signs," posted on the Inter- net website of the National Anxiety Center (www.anxietycenter.com). He is the au- thor of A POCKET GUIDE TO MILITANT ISLAM and THE UNITED NATIONS VS. THE UNITED STATES, both available from the National Anxiety Center, 9 Brook- side Road, Maplewood, New Jersey, 07040.
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