By Darrell Beck
I’ve read Robert Krysak’s response to my Ramona Sentinel commentary, “Voices warning of tyranny,” and I agree with his premise that “ignorance and apathy are our real enemies.” Even though Bob and I often debate on opposite sides of politics, I respect his reasoned opinion and his keen interest in the founders of our government and the Constitution. When I think about how the government of the United States and the founding documents were conceived through all of the disagreement, debate and violent revolution, I see a miracle that I believe must be a work of divine providence. The Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights and other amendments that lay out the foundation of our law are written in such a straightforward manner and are so concise they can be printed in a booklet so small that it will fit in a shirt pocket, yet so powerful as to be the guiding beacon for this great nation.
Contained within the Declaration of Independence are the words, “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.” This is a most important statement that I believe is the essence of our future as a free nation, but a belief I think is not being taught to present generations, leaving the question: Are we being taught to place our faith in government as our provider and master and thus become its subjects, or are we to believe in the individual as a free man guided by a higher power?
The First Amendment states that Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances, among other rights. The Bill of Rights is unique by placing limits on Congress, prohibiting it from making laws that would act to restrict these freedoms.
The birth of America was possibly the only instance in recorded history where the founders of the government actually ceded power to the people by writing the Second Amendment, understanding that the people had a right to self-defense, existing long before the U.S. government was formed by recognizing that our rights come from God, and not from the governments of man. And because America was created as a government of the people, this meant it was the citizen’s duty to be informed, to be armed, to be vigilant and to protect against the same kind of tyranny from which they had won their independence.
Because many of the founders feared losing their hard-won freedoms by creating an overly powerful central government like the monarchy they had just defeated, they wrote the Tenth Amendment reserving all powers not delegated to the U.S. by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it, to the states, to the states respectively, or to the people. This is often referred to as the “State’s Right’s Amendment,” yet often ignored by the states who favor federal funding over sovereignty, and frequently violated by the central government to usurp power from the states.
Finally, contained in the Constitution are found the powers of the three branches of government; Legislative, Executive and Judicial and laying out all of the methods by which the government functions. Article 1, Section 8, states the powers that were originally granted by the individual states as the means to establish the U.S. central or federal government.
In that section, the Constitution delegates 18 specific duties to the federal government, seven of which deal with military defense of the nation against enemies both foreign and domestic. The others concern taxes, debt, coining and borrowing money, post office and post roads, naturalization, promotion of useful science and arts, patents and making laws to carry out these powers. The commerce clause and the welfare clause have proven to be the most controversial and misused powers of the federal government, along with having control of the printing presses, and that’s where mischief and tyranny are often spawned.
According to my interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, Congress has no constitutional right to pass legislation providing national health care such as the misnamed “Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act,” nor does Congress have the constitutional authority to meddle in state education issues such as its latest federal funding for standards called “Common Core,” nor can be found any language or power to claim control of the natural occurrence of summer and winter, traditionally known as weather or climate change, but now called global warming.
Nevertheless, once our elected representatives arrive in Washington, D.C., and get too far away from the people who elected them, they seem to develop amnesia and many forget their oaths to uphold the Constitution, or for that matter to even understand the Constitution. They keep pushing the envelope further and further; then the Supreme Court makes an irrational decision like Justice Roberts did with Obamacare, each time setting some imaginary precedent and before we can say “fast and furious” we find the federal government in charge of health care, education, car manufacturing, food stamps, housing, college tuition, cell phones, global warming, carbon dioxide, swamp gas, vernal pools, fairy shrimp, light bulbs and federal limits on the use of toilet paper.
During my lifelong search through history, I tend to heed the quotes and warnings from those men of history, regardless of whether their positions rest on the right or the left and despite the fact they are dead, because much knowledge is found in the words from those who have acquired wisdom through a lifetime of experience. Of course I, too, could fill the pages of this newspaper with quotes from current political leaders, bringing us their false words and broken promises claiming they are emissaries from the government bearing great gifts such as Obamacare, even though many of us don’t want the assistance they offer.
So while I have lived through the experiences of depressions, recessions, wars, floods, fires, global warming, several ice ages, 13 presidents and plenty of political scandals, I just can’t bring myself to be cheered by the specter of Obamacare — a health care plan we are forced to purchase and penalized if we don’t, which purportedly covers a least 30 million more people without adding a single doctor but provides for 16,000 new IRS agents who will enforce it, written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn’t understand it, passed by a Congress who didn’t read it but somehow were exempted from it, signed by a president who says it won’t cost a dime, and for which we’ll be taxed for four years before any benefits take effect, by a government that has essentially bankrupted Social Security and Medicare, all financed by a government that’s broke.
What possibly could go wrong?
Darrell Beck is a Ramona resident.