WAKE FOREST, NC, March 8, 2013 ― “We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.” (George Orwell)
Our elected officials have an obligation to uphold the Constitution while they do the will of the people. That is not a matter of debate; it is an undeniable fact. The problem is that “We the People” have not held them accountable for their collective efforts. Partisan bickering needs to stop, and our elected representatives need to take care of our business right now.
The key is the U.S. Constitution. In their oath of office, our Federal representatives (in all three branches of government) swore to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States: So help me God.” Unfortunately, few Americans understand what it is that their representatives are expected to protect. Dr. David Gibbs wrote for the Christian Law Association:
“A 2006 survey found that 22% of Americans could name all five family members of the cartoon TV show The Simpsons, only one in 1,000 (one-tenth of 1 percent) could name all five of the freedoms guaranteed in the First Amendment. Only one in four Americans was able to name JUST ONE of these five important freedoms (freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly and petition for redress of grievances)! One in five thought the right to own a pet was a protected First Amendment right! Thirty-eight percent believed the right against self incrimination was in the First Amendment (it’s actually in the Fifth Amendment). These appalling results demonstrate a tragically widespread ignorance of our basic American freedoms.”
Why is a sworn commitment to fully uphold the U.S. Constitution singly established as the hinge pin to ensure that those in office do that which is in America’s best interest? The words in that magnificent document have withstood the test of time. Its principles are straightforward, yet penetrating. Its message is comprehensive, yet succinct.
The Constitution is written in plain language for a clear purpose: It actually limits what the Federal government can do. It binds our government with law. Its limits were imposed by the Founding Fathers to make the government subservient to the citizens. Consider the words of the First Amendment:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an 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.”
The First Amendment clearly states that Congress has no power (zero, zip, nada) to infringe on the rights of the people. And if Congress cannot make a law in that regard, it goes without saying that neither the President, the judiciary (state and Federal courts), nor Federal agencies (e.g., the EPA or the IRS) can make a law imposing on the rights of the people, because the authority to make laws is reserved solely to Congress.
It is time for Americans to awake to the reality of their power to call the shots. Many of us feel that we are a mere drop of water in the ocean, and that our efforts to petition our elected representatives are an exercise in futility. To an extent that is true; if an acorn falls on your head, you are unlikely to care. If a million fall on your head, there is no way you can ignore it.
The same goes for Washington. If citizens were to become organized at the grassroots level, and that worked its way up to the state level, that momentum would carry to the halls of the U.S. Congress. This brief clip from “A Bug’s Life” can help drive the point home:
Most of what we have in Washington D.C. is partisan bickering and strategic posturing. We need a Constitutional remedy applied to the ills of our nation – not bipartisan clichés. It is time for citizens who care to rise up and insist upon a responsive government that acts according to the U.S. Constitutional template. Again, this starts at the local level, and carries all the way up to the highest office in the land.
Does all of this “go without saying?” Today’s reality illustrates the fact that the quote from Orwell is more relevant now than ever before.
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.