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.