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George Washington Quote

To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace. A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well-digested plan is requisite; and their safety and interest require, that they should promote such manufactories as tend to render them independent on others for essential, particularly for military, supplies.

ideas > Discovering what happened to America

Discovering what happened to America
The United States was a country which was founded upon the idea that man has universal rights with which the government and other individuals cannot infringe upon. These rights are innumerable. It is relatively easy to determine what these rights are. Here’s how to do so. Imagine you were standing next to a person who had a lot of money and property. Could you shoot this person or kill this person? No, because their right to life supersedes your right to kill them. That is an inalienable right. Can you take money from that person forcefully or against their will? No, it is an inalienable right. Can you force that person to follow your will? No, the right to choose the direction of one’s life is an inalienable right. Government exists to protect individuals from violating these inalienable rights. The purpose of the government is to protect these rights, not to supersede or abuse these rights. Once the government abuses these rights, the Declaration of Independence states that it is the right and responsibility of the people to change their government. If an individual cannot violate rights of another, then a government cannot violate these rights either. They are inviolable rights.

The United States was also founded upon the idea that centralized power leads to tyranny and an abuse of these inalienable rights. For that reason, the founders devised a system of government that attempted to divide the powers of government between different branches of the federal government and among the states. The founders hoped that dividing the powers of government between many parts would ensure that it would be impossible to have centralized government power. The founders did not trust centralized government power.

To ensure the people’s inalienable rights were protected, the founders enshrined the structure and form of the government in a document called the Constitution. The roles and responsibilities of the federal government were spelled out in the best way they could be. It was pretty obvious what the federal government could and could not do. The whole idea was that the federal government should do a few things well and leave the rest to the state and local governments, but unfortunately the pull to consolidate power is too great. In order to consolidate the power of government into one government unit, conspiring men had to do two things. First, they had to convince the people that consolidating power was beneficial to the people. Second, they had to convince that the Constitution was a nice document, which set forth some important principles of governance, but it did not have to be followed literally. The danger in this position is that the government no longer needs to pay attention to the Constitution or the words in it. The Constitution just becomes a nice document like the Declaration of Independence which sets forth some nice principles of governance, instead of the foundation of government or a document that clearly delineates the boundary lines of government. In other words, we become a nation of opinions, instead of a nation of laws.

The saddest part to me about the United States these days are that the majority of the people seem to believe that inalienable rights do not matter. They believe that it is acceptable to tax the rich to give to the poor, even if this means violating inalienable rights of others. They believe that it is acceptable for the government to tax the people as much as it wants. They believe that the government should regulate most activities. They believe it is acceptable to look to the government first for remedies. In other words, the majority of the people no longer believe in the sanctity of inalienable rights. They no longer believe that the government must follow the Constitution. They no longer believe in liberty. Instead they have traded in their love of liberty for the false belief of security. How did this happen? What was the process that led the people to believe that centralized government power is better than freedom? What was the process that led the people to no longer love the Constitution? I want to spend the next several years of my life discovering how this happened. I imagine that conspiring men and women in many levels of government and throughout the world have worked together to convince the people that socialism is preferable to freedom. As Confucious said, “When words lose their meaning, people lose their liberty.” Security is now called liberty. People now believe that giving half their paycheck to the government in taxes and regulations is liberty. People now believe that what ails America are the supposed evils of capitalism, when in reality what ills America is the incessant meddling by the government in the economic, social, and political lives of the people. The government now serves the interests of a few at the expense of the majority. It pains me to see that America could be on the verge of electing an outright socialist in Barack Obama. Have we really fallen that far from the tree of liberty? Let’s discover together how this happened?
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