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Declaring our independence
By Alan Caruba
I have a friend who says America needs a new Declaration of Independence. Specifically, he says the United States needs to declare its independence from the United Nations. There is little the US gains from being tied to the dictates of the UN and much to lose as it continues to erode our sovereignty and our Constitutional rights. It does this while opposing our intention to rid the world of despots who despise freedom.
Take a moment and read the original Declaration of Independence. Its most profound 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, dictators, monarchs and madmen.
The suffering is unimaginable. In just the last century, following the slaughter of World War I, it spanned World War II's Nazi concentration camps, the Gulags of Communist Russia, the millions dead from the Chinese Communist revolution, the genocide by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, those slaughtered by Saddam Hussein's Ba'athist regime, the thousands killed by the Iranian Islamic revolution, and the millions more killed or still under the control of Middle Eastern and African despots. The slaughters 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 its time. Among the abuses named was the imposition of taxes "without our consent" and the obstruction of the "administration 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 nation is now entirely subservient to the federal government. This is the opposite of what the Constitution proposes. America is a republic composed of republics. In almost every respect, the sovereign powers of the States have been eroded and taken by the federal government. They have little to say regarding the education of children. They have little power to protect individual property rights. Major issues of commerce and transportation are determined at the federal level.
Whether it is the Environmental Protection Agency, the Army Corps of Engineers, the National Park Service, or some other element of the federal 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 communities, is under severe attack.
As for taxes, they have become a national nightmare designed primarily for the redistribution of wealth. Taxpayers now cede 40 per cent of their income to the States and the Federal government. The nation's health systems are now so tightly controlled through Medicare, 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 federal 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 government envisioned by the Founding Fathers. That government, if you read the Constitution, was one of limited responsibilities and powers. As the Tenth Amendment states, "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."
What powers are left to the people when Social Security cards are issued at birth? When a 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 federal 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 Nations treaties, conventions and protocols that override our Constitution, threaten our system of justice, seek to impose their own taxes, create their own military and 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 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 the author of "Warning Signs", published by
Merril Press. His weekly commentary is posted on www.anxietycenter.com,
the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center. © Alan Caruba, 2003
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