Friday, January 6, 2012

The Cost of Ignorance…

No matter what they say - ignorance is not bliss. In fact it is dangerous and imperils our freedoms. Our founders understood human nature because they were students of history. The founders had a love of learning and believed that education was a personal obligation to becoming a good citizen. Knowing history is like having a crystal ball to the future. By studying the civilizations of the past, our founders created the foundational principles of the Constitution.

Limiting the capacity of government to be able to control individuals was the principle goal of the Constitution. The main argument for a central government was to create the ability to provide a common defense for the states. They didn’t want to have to beg the states to support the defense of the country as they did during the revolution where George Washington had to make due with very limited resources. The Constitution was designed to contain the tendencies of governments to overstep and control the lives of the governed as was the case throughout history. They believed by putting us in charge of us, and limiting what a central government could do, they could improve the lives of everyone that lived within the constitutional republic. The Constitution was the written culmination of lessons learned that would set a foundation for a brand new form of government. One created by the people for the people. No ruling class or group of people would have power without the consent of the governed. It was a revolutionary concept but could only survive with an engaged citizenry. The founders feared if the citizens ignored the government it could quickly deteriorate into dictatorship so they provided as many safeguards in the Constitution as they could. But ultimately they knew it would come down to a willingness of the people to defend the Constitution. Without the people’s attention they knew the past would repeat itself.

They feared many things when designing the new republic including an all-powerful president. They did not want one man to have too much power or any group of people in the government to have too much power so they used the concept of “balance of powers” between the executive, judicial, and legislative branches of government. It was the job of each branch to keep the other in check. So no one branch could determine the direction of the federal government without the consent of each branch. It was a design nothing short of a miracle.

As we consider the actions of the Federal Government today and this President, it is apparent that the American education system has failed. The outrageous conduct of the appointments made by this president without the constitutionally mandated consent of the senate yesterday should have received a greater reaction than it did. The limited reaction to these appointments shows how our education system has systematically limited the citizen’s knowledge of their form of government. These radical and unlawful acts should be stirring up a beehive of legal action against this administration. Yet we go on and act as if this is just a game being played by a President intent on creating a rift between him and the congress to be used in his re-election campaign strategy. It is a dangerous and illegal game that deserves the attention of our congressional members and the judiciary.

This President has said he will go around the congress to do the “people’s work” which is exactly what every dictator in history uses as an excuse to implement their own tyranny on the governed. I know most people don’t realize how dangerous this is but they should. No matter what rhetoric is used to justify his actions, in a constitutional republic the law is king not the president. And the law says he can’t appoint people to positions of power within the government without the consent of the Senate. The Senate is officially in session and therefore the excuse of recess appointments is irrelevant.

Following the process of government is like watching paint dry for most citizens but if we expect to live in a country that respects freedom and the rule of law we must pay attention and react when necessary. The congress should threaten impeachment immediately and defund the departments affected by these appointments. This is not business as usual. This is a crime.

The country is worth watching over. It may be boring but it is our responsibility to protect future generations from the ambitions of leaders that would rather dictate than follow the law of the land.

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