Guest Editorial


Does America stand for the preservation of rights or the perpetuation of power?

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Lawrence Sellin

In numerous forums, I have argued that there is a Cold Civil War underway in the United States between the power of a one-party state represented by the entrenched Democrat-Republican political establishment and the rights of the American people.

The Declaration of Independence states that certain rights are unalienable and endowed by the Creator. A one-party state believes that rights are granted by the government and, when deemed convenient, are revocable by politicians.

The first through ninth amendments to the Constitution enumerate the rights of citizens and the tenth restricts the role of a central government, as stated:

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

There is no ambiguity.

Nevertheless, the Democrat-Republican ruling class, which seeks an ever larger and more intrusive government, argues the opposite, that the rights and restrictions stipulated in the Constitution are unclear and that all powers not specifically delegated to the citizen are reserved for the government.

Barack Obama wrote in The Audacity of Hope, "I have to side with Justice Breyer's view of the Constitution -- that it is not a static but rather a living document, and must be read in the context of an ever-changing world."

Kevin Gutzman, author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution, has said, those who would offer us a "living" Constitution are actually giving us a dead one, since such a thing is completely unable to protect us against the encroachments of government power, for example, the misuse of executive orders.

As conservative radio host Mark Levin noted, Obama's announcement that he will assume lawmaking powers via executive orders violates the separation of powers clauses of the Constitution.

Yet no objection is raised by the majority Republicans in the House of Representatives, whose power Obama usurps.

Sadly, either through fear or self-interest, instances where members of Congress uphold their oath of office to "support and defend the Constitution" above political expediency are at best serendipity or at worst urban myth.

Not surprisingly, the politicians of America's one-party state view elections as little more than an opportunity for the redistribution of power among the political elite because the Democratic and Republican parties are not representatives of the people, but representatives of big government.

Members of Congress, once elected, become party foot-soldiers, whose sole purpose is to maintain the power of the permanent political elite at the expense of the rule of law and the well-being of the country.

In the service of the governmental oligarchy, in which power effectively rests with a small number of people, politicians preserve the illusion of democracy for the now disenfranchised voters, and journalists, falsely proclaiming themselves as the tireless defenders of liberty, substitute propaganda for news in an attempt to manipulate public opinion.

Judge Andrew P. Napolitano describes the dilemma:

"Everyone who works for the government in the United States takes an oath to uphold the Constitution and the laws written pursuant to it. In our system of government, we expect that Congress will write the laws, the courts will interpret them and the president will enforce them. Indeed, the Constitution states that it is the president's affirmative duty to enforce the law. That duty is not an abstract formulation. Rather, it means the president cannot decline to enforce laws with which he disagrees or whose enforcement might cause him or his political allies to lose popularity. It also means the president cannot make up his own version of the law as a substitute for what the Constitution commands or Congress has written.

What we have is a runaway government, dismissive of the Constitution it has sworn to uphold, contemptuous of the law it is required to enforce and driven by its own values of maximum control and minimum personal freedom. And we have a Congress supine enough to let this happen, as well as a judiciary so tangled in its own arcane procedures that immeasurable human freedom will be destroyed and Obama out of office before any meaningful judicial review can be had."

What to do about it, he asks? What did the Founding Fathers do about it, Judge?

Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is a retired colonel with 29 years of service in the US Army Reserve and a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq. Colonel Sellin is the author of "Restoring the Republic: Arguments for a Second American Revolution ". He receives email at