Our government is taking it upon itself to grant us new rights. Some leaders tell us about a right to healthcare, a right to a job. Thank God that most Americans understand that government only gives rights after it takes freedom. Our founders never considered forming a government that would grant rights. They expressly fought against such a system. Their design, the concept behind our society is that federal government is limited only to issues that are expressly granted to it by the Constitution and that the states and people hold all other rights. This structure is what established the United States as the beacon of liberty in the world.
Protecting liberty from government is the tie that binds those among the Tea Party. Civilization unquestionably advances, and we are now dealing with issues that our founders did not imagine. All understood that government would have to evolve. The key question, however, is whether our cultural evolution is based upon preserving freedom and maximizing the potential of individuals or whether we cede freedom to the government for rights that it grants to us.
Members of the Tea Party are concerned that government is taking our liberty in a misguided effort to transform our society. New liberties exist when liberty is at risk. “Liberties” is a word for “rights.” Tea Parties recognize that our country was based on natural rights, not rights granted by the government. That’s why the Bill of Rights explains what government cannot do, rather than what citizens can do. For example, the First Amendment states in part, “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech.” The Bill of Rights did not grant us freedom of speech: it limited government from taking free man’s right to the freedom of speech.
I cherish our country and the opportunities I have been afforded. I currently dedicate myself to doing what I can to preserve liberty, including serving in public office and influencing as many as I can to preserve liberty. Once certain constituents become dependent upon services provided by their government, it is very difficult for government to remove the services, even if the cost to freedom exceeds the benefit of the services. Most in government understand this, and many in both political parties unfortunately succumb to the temptation to add services and/or rights.
I was against TARP the moment that I heard it. I immediately fired a letter off to my representative, Eric Cantor, explaining the importance of the issue to my constituents and begging him to vote against it. To me, TARP was simple. Congress was being told that economic collapse was going to occur without action. The necessary action was to give government much more power and money so that the executive branch and Federal Reserve could fix the problem as they saw fit.
We don’t know if the economy would have collapsed without TARP. We do know that Congress acted out of fear rather than conviction. We also know that we need leaders that act out of conviction rather than fear. A lot of our money and some of our freedom was taken by our representatives to prevent a potential catastrophe. That’s a far cry from a speech in Richmond a few hundred years ago where Patrick Henry famously decried, “Give Me Liberty or Give me Death.” Our current leaders seemed to be saying “Take a little of our liberty and a lot of our money so that we can do what bureaucrats told us is necessary to save our economy.” TARP was followed by the Bailout/Stimulus, along with government control of Chrysler and GM. Next came government mandating health insurance according to government specifications, all enforced by the IRS. We are told that soon to follow is an arbitrary scheme to regulate carbon-dioxide, the by-product of us breathing! According to the House-passed bill and Senate deliberations, the all-wise on Capital Hill have decided that our breaths will not be counted, and neither will the breaths of our pets, unless they happen to be cows. Cows breathes will be counted, and they will be counted differently than even our auto emissions. Once again, the government is telling us that it needs to create a right to limit carbon emissions – not all carbon emissions; just the ones that it believes should be regulated.
April 30, 2010