This article was contributed by LP Georgia member, Colby Eggleston.
The preamble to the Declaration of Independence ably laid out the bare rights to which all men (and women) are entitled. These were succinctly enumerated as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Declaration correctly identified that the cause of government was, explicitly, “to secure these rights.”
The governments that are currently active at all levels in America have taken their charge and perverted it to the contrary, such that government is the greatest offender of all such rights.
Whether through use of lethal force or life-long incarceration into for-profit, slavery-employing prisons, the United States, and all of its smaller jurisdictions, has stolen the lives of millions, with minorities being, far and away, the most trodden-on portion thereof. Governments have literally robbed entire communities of their livelihoods, and their lives, often over victimless crimes in the name of the “greater good”. They have deprived us of life.
Through onerous regulation and taxation, the United States, and all of its various smaller jurisdictions, has stolen the liberty of individuals to enjoy the fruits of their labor, the harvests of their properties, and the rewards of their having taken risks and opportunities. The growth of the American middle class that erupted through the second half of the 20th century has become nothing more than a cash crop for the authoritarians who use the pilfered proceeds to permanently establish themselves as a ruling class, to the exclusion of all those who have toiled endlessly to provide for themselves and their own families. They have deprived us of our liberty.
Bowing to the pressure of special interest groups, the United States, and all of its various lesser jurisdictions, has stolen the freedom of all individuals to engage in their own pursuit of happiness by outlawing behaviors which are frowned upon by a minority of activist voices. Whether outlawing gay marriage, interracial marriage, use of entheogenic plants for medical or recreational purposes, creation of unpopular businesses that fulfill legitimate market demands, or even using personal property without confiscatory taxation and regulation, the State has made our happiness not just cumbersome but, also, frequently illegal. They have deprived us of our happiness.
The Declaration does recognize that upending established governance should not be taken lightly, nor undertaken for minor grievances. As the Declaration correctly notes, most are too comfortable to stand up in order to end the abusive States in which they find themselves. Only when such tribulations have become insufferable will the majority engage to throw off the encumbrances of their rulers.
However, the evolution of the government of the United States (never designed to be an all-encompassing behemoth to be supreme in all of our affairs) has given ample evidence of its “design to reduce [us] under absolute despotism”. Alas, for generations, we have recognized the designs only when they are executed by those we perceive as our political enemies. We have excused trespasses by “our own party’s” leaders and only recognized the grievances that have come under the hand of the “other” party. Both parties have acted in coordination, and in equal measure, to trample us beneath their self-serving devices.
The promised benefits with which those that govern have plied us have been proven demonstrably disastrous. They engage in this “war” or that, on drugs, on poverty, on climate change. In reality, all of the ills they swear to alleviate have only swelled, further empowering them to take greater and greater liberties and resources from our meager pockets and lives.
Despite countless billions of dollars spent on the war on poverty, many of our neighbors cannot feed or clothe their children.
Despite countless billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives, our neighborhoods remain infested with the deaths and broken lives of drug addiction.
Despite countless billions of dollars for environmental pet projects, our power grid cannot sustain our needs and even our clean electric cars are fueled largely by coal-powered electricity plants.
Their promises are hollow and cynical, yet they continue to mortgage not only our future but also the future of our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Despite the obvious failures that have blotted the history of our country, as we approach our semi-quincentennial anniversary, only a precious few can even imagine a life devoid of hardship at the hands of our “benevolent” rulers.
Consider a few of the many insults we receive at the hand of our leaders:
For those who work from their own land, such as farmers, not only is the income derived taxed and exploited by the State, but the land is seized if the State is not annually paid for the privilege of retention, despite the owner having paid for the land with money that was also taxed before they ever received it. Should the farm (factory, store, etc.) fail, the State takes no loss but allows it to fall on the shoulders of the person who took the risk.
For those who merely exist on their own land, permission is regularly denied the owner to utilize the property for their own purposes. States often prohibit collecting rain water, growing certain plants, building prohibited structures, keeping certain types of animals, or engaging in any activity that doesn’t meet the arbitrary pleasure of the State. When the land is of particular interest to the State, they merely have to declare eminent domain to seize whatever portion they deem necessary from the owner without recourse. This is no less an affront than the quartering of troops in private homes, which was notably the 3rd Amendment to be added to the Constitution, an obvious priority to the Founders of this nation.
The very nature of our separation of powers—the original composition of government, with a judiciary that only enforced the laws as prescribed by the legislative and executive branches—has become corrupted. Judges at literally every level find and enforce laws where none such exist and ignoring laws that are indisputably applicable to cases before them. From the aforementioned eminent domain, to civil rights, to electoral law (Bush v. Gore, and numerous state judiciaries establishing election laws during the COVID era that were in direct contravention of their own State constitutions) to violation of religious rights to assemble or for citizens to retain arms, declared “necessary to the security of a free state” by the Constitution, our courts have become complicit in denying our rights and tantamount usurpers of our freedoms.
Litanies of extra-constitutional offices and agencies have been created, at our expense, and with the sole purpose of treading on our liberties. The EPA, Department of Education, DEA, ATF, FBI, IRS, etc. have all been weaponized against Americans, particularly to the end of protecting the power and privilege of the elected class who demand our fealty with no concern for the cost we bear nor the consent of the governed they claim authority over.
Our States, more reactive to the needs and demands of their local citizenry, have been subjugated to vassal wards of the great Federal behemoth. Contrary to the very explicit 10th Amendment, our local laws can be easily cast aside by the Federal government, or even the unelected bureaucratic agencies that feast on their scavenged carrion. The States, as currently designed, are no more than functionary figureheads to parrot the edicts of the almighty Federal government.
The State regularly takes up military arms against its own citizenry. There is no law on the books which a government will not kill someone to enforce. Only by threat of violence can they hope to remain atop the perilous perch they have built for themselves on the corpses of the people who came before them.
The government protects itself from accountability, whether through qualified immunity or laws that require the State to “permit” itself to be sued for malfeasance or violations against the citizens. There is no liability for the government that demands certain behaviors (i.e., vaccines) or prohibits certain behaviors (accessing experimental drugs to treat terminal illness) or from gross incompetence in the execution of their monopolistic controls of resources (the water in Flint, Michigan).
The State interferes with free market agreements through various labor laws (knowing full well that this depresses the employment pool) and punitive taxes on business owners. The fruits of earnest labor are then given to entitlement programs that do nothing to address the poverty, skills, or opportunity of those who otherwise might have found productive employment.
The State has engaged in needless wars under spurious justification to enhance its own wealth and power, or to serve the crony corporate donors that protect their coddled seats of power. In doing so, they prevent challenges from outside the walls of privilege by citizens who wish to genuinely serve their neighbors. These wars have deprived our nation of resources, and the lives and livelihoods of countless men and women, at great cost to their families and communities.
Despite the wishes of large majorities of the American public, the State opts to choose winners and losers among market participants. In place of holistic and natural medicines, we are forced to consume the poison of pharmaceutical drugs that have addicted and destroyed many of our citizens.
The number of outrages foisted on us increases quicker than can be chronicled. Through continued arming of numerous government agencies that have no legitimate need for arms or ammunition, the window of opportunity for us to throw off the burden of this present authoritarian construct is closing quickly, if it has not already been slammed shut.
By establishing laws to protect its own interests, such as burdensome electoral ballot access laws here in Georgia, the State has sought to maintain control over we free citizens of the United States. We cannot demand accountability without their consent. We cannot change term limits, taxes, regulations, or laws because that can only be done by insiders, who will not do it out of their own self-interest.
Their only remaining ploy is to turn us against one another by race, religion, tribe, nationality, social standing, and other characteristics. The “us vs. them” mentality that is being shoved down into our collective psyche is contrary to what we stand for as individuals. We share many of the same priorities in life, despite not always agreeing on the best method of how to obtain these goals. The demagoguery employed to poison our minds against those who mildly disagree with us is the last thread holding this nation together under the undeserved omnipotence of our various governmental “betters”.
We all deserve life.
We all deserve liberty.
We all deserve to pursue happiness.
We all deserve respect, especially from those who live on the power and resources with which we have entrusted them.
Our present system has failed us, individually and collectively.
We have reached that moment at which the Constitution acknowledged 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”.
Our predecessors strived to give us a better world, but their good intentions have fallen drastically short of that ideal. I call on all people, of all backgrounds and of all persuasions, to resist the machinations of the government and refuse to give consent to their misdeeds through the election box. Regardless of belief, we all know this system is irreparably broken. Rather than to dump it, even more dysfunctional, on the next generation, we must bring to an end this present system and start to forge a new direction that is built on respect for the individual, not the government.
Our efforts will not be the last. Our new system will also fail and need correction. But we know that we cannot pursue our own life, liberty, or happiness, collectively or singularly, without throwing away the unjustifiable system that we find ourselves polluted by.