In previous articles (https://eclecticmusings.blog/2021/03/14/is-it-time-to-dispose-of-the-constitution/ https://eclecticmusings.blog/2021/03/16/our-heritage-liberty-what-is-it-why-is-it-important/ https://eclecticmusings.blog/2021/03/25/the-constitution-from-the-beginning/), I briefly discussed what liberty is and began to examine liberties lost. I also promised to address peaceful means of regaining lost liberties. Although there is much more to be evaluated in terms of liberties guaranteed in the Constitution, but currently lost to us as citizens, I wish to now address the peaceful means available to us for regaining liberty and restoring true Constitutional government to this nation once we recognize what has gone wrong and why.
Let’s begin with a review of the 10th Amendment, the final statement in the Bill of Rights.
“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 power the Founding Fathers placed in that single sentence! It makes very clear that ALL POWER not specifically granted TO the federal government by the Constitution is to be kept by the individual states and/or the people.
The Founding Fathers often referred to “usurpations” or the exercise of “arbitrary power” when they spoke of out-of-control government. “Usurp” means to seize and hold something (position, office, power, etc.) by force or without legal right, to use without authority or right, or to employ wrongfully (Dictionary.com). Thus, any power or authority that the federal government has taken which was not expressly assigned to it by the Constitution is held by it without legal right, without authority, and is wrongfully employed – usually against the citizens’ liberties, lives, or property, but sometimes against one or more states.
How is power usurped by the federal government?
During the debates of the Constitutional Convention in Philidelphia in 1787, Governor Morris observed, “…the public [is] in greater danger from Legislative usurpations than from any other source.” This is a clear indication that the Legislative branch, i.e. the House of Representatives and the Senate, were considered to pose the greatest danger to the power of the states and the power of the people via the passing of unconstitutional laws that would usurp power to the federal government and away from the states and the people where it rightly belongs.
President George Washington in his 1796 Farewell Address further elaborated on both the potential for usurpations and the ultimate result of them when he said, “…let there be no change [to the Constitution] by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.”
In other words, allowing the federal government, via any or all of its branches, to usurp power from the states and/or the people for some apparent good is, in the long run, detrimental to maintaining a free government.
If you value your liberties, hold onto them. Do not give them up for any perceived “benefit” from the government.
President Washington also spoke of the danger of political parties:
“However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.” (ibid)
In so saying, he warned that power seekers would use the associations of political parties to get themselves into positions of power and authority, after which, they would destroy the very means by which they themselves got into power – the process of free and fair and honest elections would thus be subverted and destroyed.
What would happen then President Washington?
Real patriots, who may resist the intrigues of the favorite, are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people to surrender their interests.” (ibid)
The people would be convinced to surrender their liberties to the arbitrary whims of those in positions of power and authority and would be convinced by those authorities to view true patriots who stand against or in defiance of the usurpations in a very unfavorable light.
Fear is a principle tool of would-be tyrants and there is no better example of how fear, not based in science regardless of claims to the contrary, has been used to drive public opinion into acceptance of tyrannical orders and closing of businesses (many permanently) and churches for an illness that, according to the CDC, has infection/death ratios barely higher than the flu, and brainwashing our youth and elderly into believing that masks meant to stop nothing more than spit and dust can somehow prevent the spread of a virus. Meanwhile, isolation and fear have caused massive increases in suicide rates, drug/spouse/child abuse, and delayed vital healthcare that will likely have a significant long-term effect on deaths from things like cancer, high blood pressure, and other diseases.
January 19, 1870, a woman by the name of Eliza R. Snow stated in The Deseret News Weekly, “I heard him [the Prophet Joseph Smith] say that the time would come when this nation would so far depart from its original purity, its glory, and its love for freedom and its protection of civil and religious rights, that the Constitution of our country would hang as it were by a thread.” And so it does at this very time.
What then is the answer?
The answer, outlined in the 10th Amendment, lies in LOCAL authority.
The state is the first line of peaceful defense against federal usurpation of power, authority, and liberty.
That means it is essential to elect state officials who are willing to stand up to the federal government’s overreach in defense of their citizen’s rights. That means citizens have the responsibility to RESEARCH the history of anyone running for office, not just listen to the platitudes, famous names, and gleaming smiles of those who truly are in favor of a burgeoning federal government, or even a global government, and then vote for those who truly understand that the power is in THE PEOPLE, not the government. The people are thus responsible to elect only those who are serious about upholding their oath of office to protect and defend liberty.
The next line of peaceful defense is in the local Sheriff.
When an unconstitutional or unjust law, decree, policy, or executive order is imposed by any federal authority, and the state officials cave in to the usurpation, it is the local elected Sheriff who must make the decision whether to stand in opposition to it or to capitulate. Standing in opposition is a position that requires great courage, and hopefully those who elected him/her will have his/her back.
The final line of peaceful defense is citizen nullification which I will address in my next article.