You On The Other Hand…
I have heard many words and phrases used to describe Thomas Jefferson but I have rarely heard mention made of how prolific a letter writer he was. It is said that during his lifetime Thomas Jefferson wrote an estimated 19,000 letters. While some of them were just short notes, others were lengthy missives explaining his views on a multitude of subjects. That is quite the feat, especially when you consider that Jefferson did not have a keyboard and a word processing program; he had to sit down and hand write each of them.
One of these letters, dated 7 May 1775 was addressed to William Small, a professor of Natural Philosophy at the College of William and Mary in Virginia. In this letter Jefferson poses the following query, “Can it be believed that a grateful people will suffer [individuals] to be consigned to execution, whose sole crime has been the developing and asserting their rights.”
Seeing the overall attitude of most people today I would have to answer Jefferson’s query with a yes, the people would suffer individuals to be consigned to execution for asserting their rights. How many people do you know who are of the belief that you should simply obey law enforcement; even when you have NOT committed a crime, and that if you resist you get what you deserve?
Jefferson wrote those words a year before he was given the monumental task of writing a declaration of independency for all of the 13 Colonies. If you were to begin a study of the period immediately prior to the American Revolution you would find that rights and liberty were at the forefront of all discussions when it came to how much power their government should be allowed to exercise over them.
For instance, in 1764 a leading Founder named James Otis wrote The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved. Then in 1774 Jefferson himself wrote, A Summary View of the Rights of British America. And let us not forget Patrick Henry’s immortal Give me liberty or give me death speech of 1775.
Now fast forward almost two and a half centuries later and listen to what passes for issues of importance to the people today and you’ll find that the preservation of their liberty or the security of their rights aren’t even on most people’s lists.
Why is that?
I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but I certainly don’t consider myself to be free. Let’s say I want to put a structure up in my back yard to provide shade for me and my family during the hot months of summer. Did you know that I can’t even pour a concrete pad without obtaining a building permit from my local government? I wonder, did Jefferson need building permits for his almost non-stop remodeling of Monticello? Did Washington need one for his construction of Mount Vernon?
Let’s say I want to go catch some fish to feed my family, or go shoot a deer to put some venison on the table. Are you aware that unless I obtain a license from government I can be fined or imprisoned if I seek to feed my family without the government’s permission? Did government put those animals in the forests and those fish in the lakes? Then how can they demand that I obtain THEIR permission to hunt or fish them to feed my family?
All our lives we work and slave away to make enough money to buy a home that we can call our own. Yet did you know that if you do not pay tribute, (Ooops, I mean taxes) upon that home that your government can evict you from it; even though you have paid off your mortgage in full? Again, do you think Jefferson or Washington’s homes were assessed annually and then property taxes were levied against them based upon the current value of their homes?
People say that these taxes, these rules are there for our safety, our protection, or to provide the vital services we all need. But what if I don’t want those services or that protection; what if I only want to provide for my own needs without relying upon anyone else; where does that leave me?
Our founding documents tell us that we have consent of the governed, but what if someone no longer consents to being governed in a manner the restricts their individual liberty? Now I want you to think long and hard about what I am about to ask you: What would you call it when a system of government demands that you consent to its authority, even if you feel you don’t need the services or protection it provides?
Wouldn’t you call that coercion? Are you aware that coercion is just another word for tyranny when that coercion is exercised in such a manner as to restrict the liberty of even a single individual?
In another of his many letters, this time to Francis Gilmer, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.”
If rightful liberty is, as Jefferson explained, unobstructed action according to our own free will, with the only limits being the equal rights of others, then how can you not say that our governments are not acting in a tyrannical fashion when they pass law after a law which obstructs our actions?
Using Jefferson’s reasoning, for a crime to be committed the rights of one person must be violated by the actions of another. Tell me, whose rights are being violated if someone does not wear a seat belt, or if they collect rain water for their own personal use?
Why are we seeing all these laws being passed which criminalize actions where there is no actual victim other than the state? Why are we seeing all these agencies established to enforce these laws; impose penalties and imprison those who violate laws where there is no victim other than the state? Why do courts hear these cases when their duty is to provide justice for the people, not serve the state? Why do people support these laws when by doing so they are willingly submitting to a restriction of their liberty?
In 1772 Samuel Adams, another great Founder who believed strongly in liberty, wrote, “Among the Natural Rights of the Colonists are these First. a Right to Life; Secondly to Liberty; thirdly to Property; together with the Right to support and defend them in the best manner they can–Those are evident Branches of, rather than deductions from the Duty of Self Preservation, commonly called the first Law of Nature.”
Yet if I am awakened in the middle of the night by a noise in my living room and find a burglar attempting to steal my television, then I shoot him dead, I am the one who is considered a criminal under the law? What kind of convoluted logic makes it a crime for a person to defend their property from those who would take it from them?
Let me ask you something; what do you think is the purpose for which laws should be written? Laws should be written to defend and protect the Lives, Liberty and Property of those who are being governed, and if the laws serve any other purpose then they can only be considered as restricting the Lives, Liberty and Property of those who are governed; in other words, tyranny.
In 1850 Frederic Bastiat expressed it thusly,
The Preamble to our constitution declares that, among the purposes our government was established was for the providing of justice and the preservation of our liberty. Is it justice when the government passes a law which restricts the liberty government was established to protect? Are we to sit idly by while law after law is passed which restrict our freedom and turn us into slaves?
Do you even know how many federal laws are on the books which regulate your lives and restrict your freedom? Are you aware that nobody has an actual count of how many laws our federal government has enacted since it was first put into operation back in 1789….NOBODY!!! Are you aware that there are almost 20,000 federal laws just dealing with private firearm ownership? Are you aware that between the years 2000 and 2009 the federal government passed laws creating 452 new crimes you could be arrested for if you were found to be in violation of?
Numerous scholars have written that a person today cannot step outside their home without committing at least 3 felonies per day, yet people still believe they live in the land of the free.
Yet while they, and by they I mean our government, have the right to fine, arrest, and kill if we resist their authority, we have no legal recourse other than the voting booth for the grossest violations of their oaths of office to support and defend the Constitution. Where is our justice for the crimes they commit against our trust? Could I dial 911 and tell them I want Dianne Feinstein arrested for violating her oath of office? I would probably have the sheriffs come to my home and arrest me for making a prank call if I did.
What people don’t seem to get is the whole system, from top to bottom, seeks but one thing; its hand on the power to control our lives. As long as we don’t rock the boat, threaten that control they have over us, they leave us pretty much alone. But, if you threaten their authority and seek to assert your rights they will come down on you and there will be no justice for you. The agencies which enforce the laws do not serve justice, they serve those who write and pass the laws. The courts do not administer justice; in some instances they won’t even allow the Constitution and Bill of Rights into their courtrooms.
Have you ever stopped to ask yourself how one set of judges can overrule a decision handed down by another judge? Think about it, if a judge rules solely on the basis of law, then how can a decision rendered by one judge be overturned by a panel of other judges; unless they are interpreting the law using their own biases and beliefs? How is one to receive justice in a court of law when the law is subject to the interpretation of the individual judges sitting at the bench?
In another of his many letters Thomas Jefferson warns of the power held by the judiciary, “The judiciary of the United States is the subtle corps of sappers and miners constantly working underground to undermine our Constitution from a co-ordinate of a general and special government to a general supreme one alone. This will lay all things at their feet. … I will say, that “against this every man should raise his voice,” and, more, should uplift his arm.”
When our Constitution was being argued in the Virginia Assembly James Madison stood up and promised his fellow Virginians the following, “[T]he powers of the federal government are enumerated; it can only operate in certain cases; it has legislative powers on defined and limited objects, beyond which it cannot extend its jurisdiction.”
It was a series of Supreme Court rulings beginning in the Washington administration that led to our government being one of clearly defined powers to one which held numerous hidden and implied powers. Those initial rulings by THE JUDICIARY are what opened Pandora’s Box and has allowed our government to stick it’s greedy fingers into the authority reserved to the States and into the lives of the people. Yet today the only thing that matters to voters is whether a Republican or a Democrat gets elected.
In another of his letters Jefferson writes the following to Charles Hammond, “When all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.”
In Federalist 45 Madison promised the following balance of powers between State and federal authority, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected.
The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.”
The 10th Amendment reaffirms that by saying, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
How is it then that federal law inside the States trump the authority of State laws when it comes to what people can and cannot do? Take for instance the subject of the use of marijuana for recreational use. I do not see one word in the Constitution which authorizes the federal government to pass a law which makes it a crime for a person to put a naturally occurring substance into their bodies; yet they have done just that by criminalizing the recreational use of marijuana. Not only that, in some instances, employers within a State that has legalized the recreational use of marijuana choose to ignore State law and enforce federal law upon their employees.
Now I’m not saying that everyone should go out and start smoking marijuana. What I am saying is by what authority has the federal government criminalized the recreational use of marijuana? Did not James Madison promise that, “The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people…“?
I listen to people talk about government and it makes me want to go into hibernation for a century or two in the hopes that when I wake up what I heard them say will have been nothing more than part of a bad dream. The level of ignorance and apathy displayed by most people is beyond my ability to understand; how can they care so little that their most basic freedoms are being taken away from them.
Yet I see them vote for people who run on empty slogans like Change That We Can Believe In, or Make America Great Again. Do people think that anything an Obama or a Trump could do is going to undo over 2 centuries of damage to our liberty? Sure, we have to start somewhere, but placing all your hope upon one man to solve all our problems is akin to the old saying of placing all your eggs in one basket.
To truly make America great again we need to get government out of our lives and our wallets, and we need them to sever their ties to the monetary interests that keep printing out money to fund their ever increasing debt. This massive influx of new currency into the system devalues that currency already in circulation; reducing the purchasing power of the money you earn.
Did you know that I make more money in 6 months than both my parents did in a year; yet my standard of living isn’t any better than theirs was. That is because the value of the money we earn today is less than the value of money they earned in the 50’s and 60’s.
People today are talking about the Deep State; that entity that hides behind the scenes controlling our government. Some believe it is a few evil Democrats, while others believe it consists of both Republicans and Democrats. I believe it is a pervasive and controlling influence throughout government in all levels and is itself controlled by others who seek total and utter control over the lives of the entire planet. They tell our government what to do or they threaten to use their control over the issuance of our currency to destabilize the entire country.
One would do well to read about how and why the Federal Reserve came into existence; how the moneyed interests of J.P. Morgan and representatives of the Rothschild family created a panic which caused the American people to support the efforts of Congress to give control of our monetary system to the same group of private bankers who created the panic to begin with.
Have you ever seen someone attempt to replant a lawn after it had been taken over by weeds? Often they have to cover the soil to block the sunlight; killing off everything that might grow; only then to re-seed it with grass seeds. And then, once the grass takes root, they have to monitor it carefully to ensure that the weeds don’t once again take over their lawn.
That is what I feel must be done to our government if we truly want to restore it to its original principles. This Deep State people talk of is too entrenched and the only way to remove it is to kill off the host it lives off of. But that would only work if the people then rebuilt the system based upon the principles of those who lived at the time it was originally established back in 1789; and unfortunately, with the ignorance and apathy I witness on a day to day basis, I don’t see that happening.
As long as people’s loyalty is to party, not principles, then America will continue on its march towards an absolute tyranny over the people. Again to quote from Jefferson, “God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure if we have removed their only firm basis: a conviction in the minds of men that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.”
If you truly believe in the beliefs of the Founding Fathers, how can you support a government that has proven that it has no regard for the liberty government was established to secure and protect? How can anyone claim to be a Christian, yet support a government which destroys the liberty that is God’s gift to us?
I don’t know that I will ever succeed in changing how people feel and think about government; and that’s okay with me. You see, I don’t care as long as I keep trying. As long as I continue to make the effort than I can stand blameless before God and say “I honestly tried Lord, but they wouldn’t listen.”
YOU on the other hand will have some serious splainin’ to do…
Neal Ross, Student of history, politics, patriot and staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment. Send all comments to: [email protected].
If you liked Neal’s latest column, maybe you’ll like his latest booklet: The Civil War: (The Truth You Have Not Been Told) AND don’t forget to pick up your copy of ROSS: Unmasked – An Angry American Speaks Out – and stay tuned – Neal has a new, greatly expanded book coming soon dealing with the harsh truths about the so-called American Civil War of 1861-1865. Life continues to expand for this prolific writer and guardian of TRUE American history.
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