The author of this piece is 2soon2b4got10, and we greatly appreciate the submission. With no further ado…
First of all, I’m going to quote a great thinker in my book and a statesman who’s so needed right about now. His name is Alexander Hamilton. All my life I have thought so highly of this man that I named my first born after him. And like Alexander, he’s never let me down.
“When a man unprincipled in private life, desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper…. despotic in his ordinary demeanor; known to have scoffed in private at the principles of liberty; when such a man is seen to mount the hobby horse of popularity…. to join in the cry of danger to liberty…. to take every opportunity of embarrassing the General Government and bringing it under suspicion, to flatter and fall in with all the nonsense of the zealots of the day, it may justly be suspected that his object is to throw things into confusion that he may ‘ride the storm and direct the whirlwind.’
By all means, let’s talk about impeachment.
To allow a president or any rogue government agency or individual to disregard the Rule of Law whenever, wherever and however he chooses – to operate “above the law” – is exactly how a nation of sheep gives rise to a government of wolves.
This is a condemnation of every government toady at every point along the political spectrum… right, left and center, who has conspired to expand the federal’s government’s powers at the expense of the citizenry. For too long now, the American people have played politics with their principles and turned a blind eye to all matter of wrongdoing when it was politically expedient, allowing Congress, the White House and the Judiciary to wreak havoc with their freedoms and act in violation of the Rule Of Law.
“We the people” are paying a price for that now.
We are paying the price every day that we allow the government to continue to wage its war on the American People, a war that is being fought on many fronts: with bullets and tasers, with surveillance cameras and license readers, with intimidation and propaganda, with court rulings and legislation, with the collusion of every bureaucrat who dances to the tune of corporate handouts while on the government’s payroll, and most effectively of all, with the complicity of nearly half of a nation’s citizenry who allow themselves to be easily manipulated by their politics, distracted by their pastimes, and acclimated to a world in which government corruption is the norm.
If we are being honest and consistent in holding government officials accountable, then is it safe to say that when we refer to the “rule of law”, that’s constitutional shorthand for the idea that EVERYONE is treated the same under the law, everyone is held equally accountable to abiding by the law, and no one is given a free pass based on their politics, their connections, their wealth, their status or any other bright line test used to confer special treatment on the elite.
When the government longer respects the rule of…. the Constitution…. or believes that it applies to them, then the very contract on which the civil relationship is based becomes invalid.
We all know that the Constitution requires a separation of powers between the executive, legislative,and judicial branches of government in order to ENSURE ACCOUNTABILITY so that NO one government agency becomes all powerful. For how many years have we seen, through the negligence of Congress and the courts, expansion of the reach and power of the presidency by adding to his office’s list of extraordinary orders, directives and special privileges? Way too many. Now presidents can rule by fiat or executive order. They can conduct secret wars and convene secret courts, they can direct the military to operate beyond the reach of the law, to operate a shadow government, and to act as a dictator and a tyrant, above the law and beyond any real accountability. The are acting above the law and against the Constitution that is so out of reach.
Yet, in operating above the law, it’s not just the president who become a law unto himself, but most of the complicit Republicans that sit in the Senate.
This is what you might call a stealthy, creeping, silent, slow-motion coup d’état. This abuse of power has been going on for so long now that it has become the norm, the Constitution be damned.
There are hundreds… make that thousands of government bureaucrats who are getting away with murder (in many cases literally) simply because the legislatures, courts and the citizenry can’t be bothered to make them play by the rules of the Constitution. Unless something changes in the way we deal with these ongoing, egregious abuses of power, the predators of a divided nation will continue to wreak havoc on our freedoms, our communities, and our lives.
It’s the nature of the beast: power corrupts and worse still, as the 10th century historian Lord Acton concluded, absolute power corrupts absolutely.
We’re seeing this dynamic play out every day in communities across America. A cop shoots an unarmed citizen with no credible reason and gets away with it. A president employs executive orders to sidestep the Constitution and gets away with it. A government agency spies on its citizens’ communications and gets away with it. The U.S. military bombs civilian targets and gets away with it.
Abuse Of Power….. and the ambition-fueled hypocrisy and deliberate disregard for misconduct that makes those abuses possible. It works the same whether you’re talking about sexual harassment, government corruption, or the Rule of Law.
If we continue down this road there can be no surprise about what awaits us at the end. After all, it is a tale that has been told time and time again throughout history about how easy it is for freedom to fall and tyranny to rise, and it often begins with one small, seemingly inconsequential willingness on the part of the people to compromise their principles and undermine the Rule of Law. In exchange, you get a dubious assurance of safety, prosperity and a life without care.
I was born about the same time that another bunch of citizens of another democratic world power elected a leader who promised to protect them from all dangers. In return for this protection, and under the auspice of fighting terrorism, he was given absolute power. This leader went to great lengths to make his rise to power appear both legal and necessary, masterfully manipulating much of the citizenry and their government leaders.
In the ensuing months, this charismatic leader ushered in a series of legislative measures that suspended civil liberties and habeas corpus rights and empowered him as a dictator. On March 23,1933, the nation’s legislative body passed the Enabling Act, formally referred to as the “Law to Remedy the Distress of the People and a Nation”, which appeared benign and allowed the leader to pass laws by decree in times of emergency. What it succeeded in doing was ensuring that the leader became a law unto himself.
I’m sure you know who I’m writing about. Adolf Hitler. The rest, as they say, is history. Hitler’s rise to power should serve as a stark lesson to always be leery of granting ANY government leader sweeping powers….. clearly, 40% of us are not heeding that lesson.
“How lucky is it for rulers, that men cannot think.” Adolf Hitler
The failure of the German people is not that they didn’t think, but that their thinking was poisoned by the enveloping climate of ideas that they came to accept as important. At a certain point, the trivial became important, and obedience to the government in pursuit of security over freedom became prominent.
I see SO much of Trump here. He rules by fear and manipulation. Trump, much like Hitler knew that as long as their base’s creature comforts remained undiminished, as long as their bank accounts remained flush, as long as they weren’t being discriminated against, persecuted, starved, beaten, stripped, jailed and tuned into slave labor, life was good.
This is how tyranny rises and freedom falls.
The American kleptocracy has sucked the American people down a rabbit hole into a parallel universe in which the Constitution is meaningless, the government is all powerful, and the citizenry is powerless to defend itself against government agents who steal, spy, lie, plunder, kill, abuse and generally inflict mayhem and sow madness on everone and everything in their sphere.
This dissolution of that sacred covenant between the citizenry and the government ~~~ Establishing ” We The People” as the masters and the government as the servants, didn’t happen overnight. It didn’t happen because of one particular incident. It is a process, one that began long ago and continues to the present day, aided and abetted by politicians who have mastered the polarizing art of how to “divide and conquer”.
Unfortunately there is no magic spell to transport us back to a place and time where ” we the people” weren’t merely fodder for the corporate gristmill, operated by government hired hands, whose priorities are money and power.
Our freedoms have become casualties in an all-out war on the American people.
“I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: as government expands, liberty contracts.” ~~~~ Ronald Reagan.