Saturday, May 03, 2008

What Kind Of Character Do You Have?

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Are those words even remotely familiar to you? They should, they are taken directly from the Declaration of Independence.

Did you notice the phrase 'endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights'? Our founders believed that our rights are God given, or natural rights as they are commonly known. Government does not have the power to give us rights, our rights are granted us at birth and they come from God. Government can only restrict rights that we are born with.

So what exactly is the purpose of our government? The purpose of our government is to "establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity"

Do those words ring a bell? I would hope so, they are from the Preamble to the Constitution, a document I feel too many Americans seem to have forget limits the power we the people have granted our government.

So, with the presidential election just seven months away, I feel it is past time the American people remember a few things about the purpose and scope of their government.

Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, once stated, "Yes, we did produce a near-perfect republic. But will they keep it? Or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom? Material abundance without character is the path of destruction."

We have forgotten the principles upon which our nation was founded and our government granted the limited powers it was. We have forgotten what it means to be free and independent, and we now rely upon government for far too many things.

Martin Van Buren, the 8th President of the United States said the same thing, "All communities are apt to look to government for too much. Even in our own country, where its powers and duties are so strictly limited, we are prone to do so, especially at periods of sudden embarrassment and distress."

With the election coming up, that is exactly what the people of this country are doing, looking to vote for a president who promises them the most, regardless of whether or not he/she is authorized to act upon those promises.

First of all, the President has no Constitutional authority to create law, or enact programs. That power resides solely with the Congress, and as Jefferson said, "Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated."

We have allowed our elected representatives to usurp powers not granted them by the charter that grants them their very existence, the Constitution. Without the Constitution the government would not even exist. It is their duty to govern within the powers it grants them, are our responsibility to ensure they stay within those confines.

William Henry Harrison, the 9th President of the United States, stated, "There is nothing more corrupting, nothing more destructive of the noblest and finest feelings of our nature, than the exercise of unlimited power."

Unlimited Power is exactly what our government has, because we the people have neglected our responsibility to keep a watchful eye upon them, and hold them accountable when they abuse their power. Andrew Jackson, the 7th President of the United States once said, "The brave man inattentive to his duty, is worth little more to his country than the coward who deserts in the hour of danger."

So, as our government continues to usurp powers not granted them, we need to remember something Thomas Jefferson said about big government, "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have."

Instead of looking for a President who promises us things they have no authority to do, we should be asking ourselves as John F. Kennedy, our nations 35th President, once said, "ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."

John Quincy Adams, our nations 6th President, told us exactly what we can do for our country, "Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost."

So, as you ponder who you will vote for to be our next president I would like for you to think about something Theodore Roosevelt, our 26th President once said, "A vote is like a rifle; its usefulness depends upon the character of the user."

On November 5th 2008 we will see what the character of the people of this country truly is. From all the early indications, it is not

2 comments:

Kenn Blanchard said...

I agree and requesting permission to read your post as a part of a future show on The Urban Shooter podcast.

neal said...

Mr. Blanchard,

Feel free to use it. I just hope you don't get too much backlash. I took some copies to work and got some dirty looks after people read them. I guess I hit a nerve.