By David Wilder – July 10, 2023
I love history.
As an American, it is amazing to look back and see those critical moments that allowed our unique social experiment of “We The People” to prove itself time and time again.
Some amazing people voiced an unusual goal; to create a “more perfect union”. I note none were arrogant enough to voice creating a perfect union, just how can we govern better. This process versus final product perspective encourages positive change, even if we started off with some terrible ideas like slavery.
Unlikely events, like Reverend Thomas Hooker telling his congregants in 1638 that “The foundation of authority is laid firstly in the free consent of people.”1 started to become common place as the colonies were growing. Fortunately, the King’s reach didn’t care about the backwaters of Connecticut at the time. This radical, and really illegal idea, took root. Not so much out of design, but by necessity. Villages and towns springing up had no available authority, so they decided in local committees. Unheard of in the monarchy-run societies at the time.
It didn’t take long for this concept to mold colonial governance. The Hartford convention of 1639 Fundamental Orders of Connecticut is considered by many scholars to be the first constitution in America. Did I mention this was in 1639?
This outlandish idea of relying on the people’s self-determination unleashed the energy and creativity to overcome the challenges of the Revolutionary War, Civil war, the Industrial Revolution, world wars, civil rights, science advances, and so much more.
The might of the people’s voice has proven ability to overcome those that enjoy the power of the status quo, when the status quo provides the few to have control and wealth.
King George heard our grievances.
He refused to allow laws to protect the public good.
He bypassed local leaders unless they gave up their concern for their constituents to accommodate royal demands.
He created a multitude of new offices, and sent swarms of officers to harass us, and make it more difficult to make a living.
He made a mockery of justice by subverting the courts.
Back then, we called this tyranny. Not because we had a gun to our heads, but because the needs of the people were being slowly, but consistently overshadowed by the desires of the King. Often such tyranny was wrapped in a façade of good intention. The result is a soft tyranny eating away at liberty and freedom.
We had a response, didn’t we? We made a declaration “… with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”
Today, we have those in power, as well as social activists like the John Birch Society and Common cause (and many politicians), opposing the power of “We the People”. They all wrap their ideas with good intentions and ungrounded logic, but they all support a status quo that is building this soft tyranny and benefits their own bottom-line.
- pass multi-thousand-page, multi-trillion-dollar spending bills at the 11th hour with neither review nor debate, adding to our national debt crisis,
- admit millions of unvetted immigrants into our country, contrary to established laws and procedures,
- delegate massive legislative and regulatory powers to over 500 unelected and virtually unaccountable federal agencies and departments
- Refuse to act on very popular policies of Terms Limits and Fiscal Responsibility.
Let’s make our voice heard – let your local representatives know. Also, we need to talk to each other and combine our voice on issues we can all agree on. It’s that simple. In our communities and states, let’s speak up!
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