Friday, March 12, 2010

A Nation of Quiet, Peace Loving Men

In the classic film The Quiet Man, Sean Thornton (John Wayne) moves to Ireland after unintentionally killing a man in the boxing ring. His muse, Michaleen Flynn, describes him to another as a "quiet, peace loving man," come home from America to forget his troubles.

And if I had to characterize Americans I would say they are by and large quiet, peace loving men and women happy to lead their lives in private, away from the prying and covetous eyes of government. Our Founders were like that, too. They wanted and tried to get along with the King but eventually they tired of his abuse and took an irrevocable stand.

Thank God they did.

I asked my class of college freshman to read the Declaration recently as an example of an argument essay. Their comments were insightful. Read it again. Refresh your view. What struck them was the respectful, though firm language employed. What struck me was the seemingly modest list of grievances that prompted the revolution.
  • "He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good." We have a government hellbent on passing laws that a super-majority of Americans think are against the public good: health care, amnesty, cap-and-trade.
  • "He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures." So we have legislation being negotiated in the dark of night, behind closed doors, with the locks being changed by the party in power (the Democrats) to keep out the opposition party (the Republicans). Our leaders have changed Senate rules to stifle debate, have contemplated changing the House rules, all to a purpose to ram through an ideological hostile takeover unlike any this nation has ever seen. And most certainly not Constitutional, if that matters any more.
  • "He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone..." President Obama's shameful display during the State of the Union where he politicized the Supreme Court with a mis-characterization of their ruling can be viewed as nothing other than an attempt to intimidate the Court and turn public opinion against them. He showed a profound contempt for the separation of powers so necessary to our form of government.
  • "For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:" For my part I can't remember the last time I was taxed with my consent.
I would like to ask every member of Congress to start their day with the following from the opening paragraphs of the Declaration. Maybe then, they would understand the purpose of the government they have been entrusted to steward.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.- That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, -That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government..."

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