The America of 1776 and the America of 2021 can, in many ways, seem like two different nations. There are some ways in which we are a better nation, such as the abolition of slavery and establishment of equal rights for minorities. In other ways, we are a far cry from the republic that allowed us the capability of self-determination and inspired the people of the world to drive for freedom and democracy. The fundamental principles of the republic are under attack, the rights and freedoms of the Constitution are under assault, and the government of, by, and for the people is transforming into a government above and beyond the people.
The founding fathers fought the American revolution to bring forth a new nation, built on a foundation of individual liberty and limited government. They risked their “lives, fortunes, and scared honor” to stand against tyranny and fight for independence. Today’s liberal socialists are conducting a counterrevolution to transform the American republic into an oppressive socialist state with expansive government and restricted liberty. The Democrats seek to impose tyranny upon the American people – climate tyranny, economic tyranny, social tyranny, political tyranny. This far-left government seeks to control every aspect of life, from the cars we drive to our healthcare decisions, from how we outfit our homes to how we raise our children, from how we spend our hard-earned money to how we speak and interact with others. Whereas dissent and debate were accepted and encouraged, and the backbone of early American success, obedience and compliance have become the demanded norm, setting up future American failure.
The Constitution drafted in 1787 provided for three distinct branches of government, separation of powers, and checks and balances. The framers were careful to avoid a government in which one person or one branch could amass too much power and grow tyrannical at the expense of the other branches. They feared the rise of another monarch as well as the rule of the mob. The Democrats currently controlling Washington D.C. are trying to blur the lines. President Biden, acting as the king the founders feared, is usurping the legislative role of Congress with an historic number of executive decrees. At the same time, the Congress is trying to turn the Supreme Court into a mini-legislative chamber by packing the court with liberal activist justices, ensuring that the Democrats’ radical, and in many ways unconstitutional, legislative agenda can be passed and implemented unhampered.
The framers of the Constitution were also very careful to ensure state sovereignty in our system of federalism, including the 10th amendment in the Bill of Rights. This amendment limited federal government powers to those specifically delineated in the text, with any powers not mentioned belonging to the states. The American public of the 1700s, with greater loyalty to their states than the distant federal government, were unwilling to cede sovereignty and autonomy. Oh, how the times have changed. With the establishment of the U.S. Department of Education in 1979, the federal government has consistently overstepped its constitutional authority and exerted far greater control over education than it should by way of stipulations and requirements attached to federal grants and spending enticements (i.e. No Child Left Behind, Race To The Top). This year, the House passed HR 1, drastic election reform legislation that would federalize elections, usurping the constitutionally granted state power with a federal power grab that minimalizes local control. This legislation would ban states from requiring identification for voting and would require them to legalize ballot harvesting. Article I, Section 4 states, “The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations…” While not unconstitutional, HR 1 is a bold power grab, and one of those silent encroachments James Madison warned about.
Speaking of James Madison, the Father of the Constitution… he included the second amendment’s right to bear arms in his draft of the Bill of Rights, guaranteeing future generations of Americans that “this right shall not be infringed.” For decades, the National Rifle Association has joined with Americans of all stripes to oppose efforts by leftists to restrict access to guns and outlaw certain types of weapons. The left has taken to exploiting recent tragedies for political gain, using the loss of life in school shootings and other mass shooting events in attempts to try to turn Americans against their constitutional right to possess firearms. While having some success, as Americans polled seem to be more willing to support some restrictions and gun control measures, a majority of Americans continue to support the second amendment and oppose any efforts to ban firearms. This is not stopping King Joseph I from using executive order to push gun control, and the Democrat-led Congress will not be far behind. The leftists will not be satisfied with greater restrictions; they will continue their exploitation of tragedy and try to find any way possible to repeal the second amendment.
The fifth amendment to the Constitution states that no one should “…be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” This right of due process, repeated verbatim in the due process clause of the fourteenth amendment, is absolute and universal. At least it should be, but it doesn’t seem to work that way for everyone. We have seen elected officials forced to resign due to mere accusations of sexual harassment and/or misconduct, college students disciplined for the same indiscretions before investigation, and police officers under relentless assault, presumed guilty even after proven innocent. A multitude of lives have been ruined and families destroyed by false accusations, empowered as truth, before any due process occurred. With the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements, the leftists have cast aside the Constitution, denied due process, and exacted revenge on individuals assumed to have behaved unethically, immorally, or illegally. It was wrong when blacks were denied due process during slavery and Jim Crow, and it remains wrong today.
The father of our country, and its first president, George Washington, warned the nation against the rise of political parties. He foresaw a political system in which regional loyalties would supersede the national good, and party priorities would rival the needs of the nation as a whole. We did not heed his wise words, and today, the political parties are an impediment to unity, collaboration, and compromise, and stand as a barrier to passing legislation for the good of the country. Our elected officials have chosen party over people and ideology over country, presiding over the worst division of the American people since the Civil War. Rather than “one nation under God,” we have a left America and a right America, a white America and a black America, a rich America and a poor America. Our national colors are red, white, and blue, yet we have “red states” and “Blue states,” and we have professional politicians who would rather see the American people suffer rather than allow a leader of the other party get a “win” by passing his or her legislation.
Will we see a return of the hated Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798? As unconstitutional as that would be, it does not seem out of the question considering that anyone who dares question the woke orthodoxy or liberal socialist canon is labeled racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic, transphobic, etc. Conservative voices are being censored on social media, liberal so-called journalists are calling for the elimination of FoxNews, NewsMax, OANN, and any other non-marxist news stations, and individuals are being fired and ostracized for dissenting from current popular opinion. The Alien and Sedition Acts are currently in action in all but law.
What do these changes mean for the nation? Are we still the United States of America? How much longer can we endure the liberal socialist counterrevolution before the republic is permanently transformed into a socialist state? Government reach is expanding, with democrats using the Covid-19 pandemic to enact emergency powers to restrict the rights and liberties of the citizens, and refusing to cede those powers as we have learned to control the virus. Speech is being censored with democrats actually talking about truth squads and committees to determine which speech is allowed, and which should be banned. Dissent and debate have been stifled, diverse perspectives are now disparaged, and conformity is demanded. Students and youth are being indoctrinated into an anti-American value system, being taught revisionist history, and radicalized at very young ages.
Socialism has been tried in many countries on various continents over the past century, and the results are always the same… government control of all aspects of life, increased poverty, oppression, loss of rights, mass deaths. Is this the future we want for the freest nation in the history of the world? It’s not too late, but time is running out. If we don’t remember what it means to be American and return to the principles of our founding now, we will not recognize the banana republic we leave for our children and grandchildren. What we have now is not what the founders established then, and what we have in the future will be determined by what we do now. We better hope that past is truly prologue.