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Government take-over of America

By Joseph Randolph
web posted March 22, 2010

Last week I found some needed encouragement from the exemplary Virginia Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.  This individual has formed her own watch, called Liberty Central, over her grave concern that the American Constitution is spiraling toward neglect these days, chiefly of course from the venturesome ways of the current White House, in league with like-minded congressional devotees.  Would that there be more people like Virginia Thomas in her opposition to them. 

By way of rebuke for the sleepy response to the waywardness of Washington these days, why didn't congressional opponents of the health-care bill call a summary press conference to voice with absolute unmistakableness and few pleasantries, their determined opposition?  The event would be announced a few days previous for portentous publicity and take place in the great out-of-doors—not in some dark corner—for all the nation to see and hear and witness a rebuke such as the country rarely sees.  A clarion announcement would be sounded out that this administration seems prepared to truncate inconvenient American freedoms blocking the way toward a revolutionary agenda less akin to 1776 than to Orwell's 1984

Aside from the microscopic sliver of disobedient Democrats refusing their vote for their President's health care bill, where stood any other members of the President's party objecting to the obvious indifference, not to say disdain, of this President for the American Constitution?  While many Americans find the ways of their President perplexing to preposterous, they may have even more anguish over the frankly mediocre resistance to his leadership from elected officials of either political party. 

Even the "party of no," as labeled by the President's party, did not say "NO" loudly enough or with sufficient rigor or with adequate repetitions.  However, all fault does not belong to them; the citizens needed to produce their own opposition and more of it.  Whether the President's bill passes or flops, the Obama health care debate should serve to forever warn the American people that politicians should not take the place of the citizens—at least not in a country where we the people are in charge of our politicians.  To allow that to happen is to court democracy with its opposite. 

Of course there are the very noticeable tea-party folks and there is Glenn Beck.  Note, however, that this spartan list of two would scarcely find a congressional critic as vocal as these folks. Kentucky's Jim Bunning comes to mind as a possibility.  I fear, however, that some of our elected officials have feared a tarnished career more than the ruin of a country.  In other words, their career is more important than the career of the country.  I do not mean to deride those officials who have been very vocal opponents of the President, such as Bunning or Wisconsin's Paul Ryan.  I am saying, however, that not enough voices—and not enough pitched voices—have come from officials who have witnessed up close the President's recklessness.  Opposition to him has seemed timid, but the President is not.  This should have told the opposition closet to him what they must do.; 

Again, it is not good practice to relegate responsibility for ourselves to other selves, such as the President and his party tried to persuade Americans to do regarding health care.  Moreover, the burden of the current American predicament requires more opposition to the President and his agenda than a few very vocal folks, whether they are congressional members or plain citizens.  It requires many, many, more, very, very, vocal folks.  My point is strategic: if this administration is to be placed in checkmate, multiplication will be required by more and gutsier critics, and they will have to be much more vocal than murmuring or mumbling or snippet size sound bites or even pithy essays.; 

Before his election Scott Brown could have been intimidated by a question that implied he was somehow irreverent to desire the seat of the late Senator Kennedy, but he shot back that that seat belonged neither to Kennedy or Brown, but to the people of the state of Massachusetts.  This is the shot that all Americans in 2010 should have heard, for all citizens should feel the sense of ownership of their respective states and their country.  The life of democracy in a republic is precious but precarious.  It requires vigilant citizens who simply do not permit leaders to bequeath unconstitutional burdens on the people—or remove the freedom of the people—even when a voting majority of those citizens have elected candidates to office who lack proper respect for the people or the freedoms of the people.  We are, after all, a nation of laws rather than men, and certainly not one man. ESR

Joseph Randolph is an academic and writer living in Wisconsin.  His 2010 book Debilitating Democracy: Power From The People, is available from Wasteland Press and Amazon as well as Barnes and Noble.  His email address is jqrandolph@hotmail.com.; 

 

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