New Guards For Our Liberty

By Jerry McDaniel

“…When a long train of abuses and usurpations [by government], pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
~ Declaration of Independence

In this quote from the Declaration of Independence, it is interesting to note that Thomas Jefferson did not use the word “if” but “when”. The founding fathers were well versed in world history, government philosophy and the laws of nature that govern the affairs of man. One of the inviolable laws of nature is that all governments devised by man eventually end in despotism. (See video) America has survived longer than most free nations, primarily because it was established as a republic and not a democracy. Democracies seldom last for more than a few generations before they are destroyed from within. James Madison expressed the dangers of a democracy in Federalist No. 10,

“Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions.”

The Founders did not delude themselves into believing they had established a plan of government that would last forever. Perhaps Benjamin Franklin was speaking the mind of the whole assembly when he said on the last day of the Philadelphia Convention,

“In these sentiments, Sir, I agree to this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such; because I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of Government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered, and believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other.”

The former colonies had thrown off the yoke of English despotism and were seeking to provide “new guards” for their future security. The guards they provided are found in the Constitution. That same Constitution is still the best and only security for the liberties we have enjoyed since it was first implemented in1789. In the recent election America stepped back from the brink of disaster when millions of patriots went to the polls and set a new course for our future. Ideally it will not be a “new” course but a return to the course established by the founders over two hundred years ago.

In many ways, the November 2, 2010 elections are like the battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775. Just as those battles marked the beginning of the first revolution, November 2 marked the beginning of a new revolution, hopefully with similar results but without the bloodshed. It will not be easy to get our country back on the road laid out by the Founders. It will take many years, perhaps generations to once again bring the government back within the boundaries established for it by the Constitution without major societal upheavals. Nevertheless, that is what we must do if we are to survive as a free nation.

Hopefully we have learned the lessons of the past two years of the Obama administration and what can happen when citizens become complacent and fail to hold their officials accountable when they refuse to abide by their oaths of office. Washington is not going to relinquish its power willingly. There will be unbelievable pressure on the American people to compromise with the forces of socialism “for the good of the country”. Conservative patriots will be demonized and labeled as extremist, radicals, obstructionists, idealists, impractical and a host of other epithets in an attempt to undermine our efforts.

If we are to succeed in preserving our liberties for future generation we must not compromise on violations of our principles or the Constitution. We must start immediately with an attitude of zero tolerance for any new legislation or policy not justified by the Constitution. This requires that each of us become familiar with and understand the Constitution and our founding principles. At the very least, we must understand those parts of the Constitution dealing with government powers, taxation, legislative limits, and the limits imposed by the Constitution on the three branches of government. There are innumerable resources on the internet for learning about the Constitution. It is our responsibility to avail ourselves of these resources and pass on what we learn to others. A free society cannot exist unless its citizens value freedom above all else and understand what is required in order to stay free.


One response to “New Guards For Our Liberty

  1. Returning to a strict interpretation of the constitution would be hollow without consideration of two other factors.

    The first is morality. What Franklin did not say, but probably understood and which was thoroughly discussed by Alexis de Tocqueville, is the co commitment necessity for a democracy, be it republican or otherwise, of a moral underpinning of its laws. Quoting de Toqueville,

    “Liberty regards religion as its companion in all its battles and its triumphs, as the cradle of its infancy and the divine source of its claims. It considers religion as the safeguard of morality, and morality as the best security of law and the surest pledge of the duration of freedom.” (“Democracy in America”, Book I, Ch. 15).

    Today morality is ‘anything goes’ and therefore there is no ‘common morality’ as is implied by de Tocquevill above.

    Secondly, when our nation began it was assumed that individual freedom informed by enlightened self-interest would cause individual citizens to forsake selfish interests for interests which promoted the common good. Unfortunately, the enlightened self interest of the Founders (and John Locke) has today become un-enlightened self absorption.

    We cannot undue time. To recover our liberty as intended by the constitution in an amoral, self indulged society those two conditions would need to be reversed. The first by a morality based upon this world, (no, I am not an atheist or agnostic), and the second by an understanding that self indulgence is not compatible with the maintenance of a free society.