It feels like 2010 arrived at breakneck speed. Perhaps this is due to the fast-tracking of legislation that, by its very design, will financially impact American lifestyles in ways we cannot yet comprehend. The time has come for Americans to truly question the lawfulness of the legislation that is being passed in Washington, and what we are willing to do about it. Make no mistake: The next three years will shape for generations to come how we define ourselves as Americans.
America is a republic governed by the rule of law, not a democracy as many mistakenly refer. The United States Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence provide the keystone for all lawmaking, enforcement, and review. All legislation should conform to the U.S. Constitution, without exception. Much recent legislation is outside the scope of the Constitution, and as such represents unlawful governance. Our legislators should know better. Their oaths demand as much.
Several current examples of legislation that should be challenged for repeal include the TARP bailout under Bush; Obama's stimulus bailout; any military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan without a declaration of war by Congress; the USA PATRIOT Act that suspends habeas corpus even for U.S. citizens, eliminating the right to face one's accusers; the nationalization of banks and an auto manufacturer; and the establishment of special-interest "czars" that replicate cabinet positions, to name just a few of the more dangerous threats to civil liberties that literally define American sovereignty.
The Constitution strives to protect our individual rights against tyranny by our own government, and from undue influence in our lives by large corporate interests, domestic and foreign. Adhering to the Constitution is what sets us apart from the rest of the world in profoundly meaningful ways.
Americans can no longer trust that any legislation is in their best interest. It simply isn't true. Our servant government has lost the vision of our founders and operates in a vacuum of self-interest. The recent health-care legislation included billions in earmarks (the more appropriate description is bribes or extortion depending upon your perspective) to secure necessary votes for passage. We can only conclude that the legislation itself lacks enough merit if it requires such horse-trading for support.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who shepherded the legislation through an extremely partisan process, with regard to the horse-trading used to pass the bill, told reporters that this is the way things get done in Washington. Any senator who didn't get something in this bill should be answerable to his or her state. This attitude reflects the sense of entitlement, underscored with arrogance born of sincere contempt for Americans, that characterizes most elected officials of this century.
This November, Americans can take a stand by voting every incumbent out of office. Last November, many of us voted for the very culprits who shackled us financially with TARP under Bush, only to be further indentured with the stimulus packages under Obama not six months later. Obama exercised his considerable influence to help ensure that the $750-billion TARP bailout was passed just prior to the election. To claim that he inherited the problem is dishonest, because he voted in favor of TARP. The legislators are ultimately responsible for such egregious laws that give billions to undeserving entities with virtually no strings attached. Such was the case with TARP, and Obama is 100-percent accountable, along with every other legislator whose supported it, including Durbin and Hare in Illinois and Braley, Harkin, and Grassley in Iowa.
Over the past two decades, corruption and a double standard have been the mainstays of American politics. Legislators obviously believe American voters have not the will to actually hold them accountable. The questions is: Are they right?
I say no. We have enormous power in the voting booth if we and our families and friends vote in all new legislators. American voters finally learned the terrible truth after the last election in 2008 - that Democrats and Republicans operate with an identical agenda. Obama is no different from Bush or Clinton. Clinton introduced a new level of arrogance in Washington, which Bush advanced beyond redemption. Obama, however, has given exponential growth to the sense of impunity and open disregard for the Constitution that now characterizes American governance.
There are several national movements afoot advocating voting every incumbent out of office in November 2010. The concept has merit because many entrenched career politicians will lose their seats. Voters must abandon the notion that they must vote for the incumbent because his/her challenger is a Democrat/Republican. The Democrats have clearly demonstrated their political ethic is no different from that of Republicans. Both summarily ignore their constituencies in favor of their careers and campaign contributors to a felonious degree. Voting out all incumbents would deal a much-needed blow to cronyism in Washington. Nonpartisan Web sites such as Get Out of Our House (GOOOH.com) and Retake Congress (RetakeCongress.com) are good examples of such movements and ideas that deserve exploration.
Outside of the voting booth, Americans can take action as well. The newly crafted Articles of Freedom (ArticlesOfFreedom.us) - the result of the recent Continental Congress 2009 (CC2009.us) that took place in November - is a worthy blueprint for restoring American sovereignty through peaceful and lawful civic actions such as jury nullification, alternative currencies, and economic sanctions.
Another untapped source of enormous power is America's consumer power. A good example of this concept is Move Your Money (MoveYourMoney.info), which advocates moving one's money from the big national banks that took in bailout funding to one's locally owned community banks. The TARP and stimulus bailouts did precious little to restore economic stability, and clearly restored the wealth of an elite class of Wall Streeters whose influence in Washington increases with each administration.
This same influence caused the nationalization of private debt, making taxpayers responsible for its repayment, thereby absolving those who incurred it through extreme greed and risk, leaving the profits to the special interests and organizations whose influence over current legislators is at the heart of the corruption that infects modern-day governance.