"A republic, madam, if you can keep it."
When asked what type of government the American people were going to participate in, by a well-meaning woman, a stern Benjamin Franklin warned that our new government was going to be "A republic, madam, if you can keep it."
Can we preserve our great country or will the American government be irretrievably lost to the special interests who would dare to use our country for their own ends, regardless of the cost.
“The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment.”
America has indeed been living on momentum which began with the Founding Fathers and has been perpetuated by successive generations of American people, until recently,
Increasingly, the American people are witnessing the abrogation of their political rights, their economic futures and the heritage of its children. Yet, the events which would have plunged America into the throes of a bloody revolution only a couple of generations ago are met with notable indifference today.
As we take stock of our American way of life this July 4th, I would ask that you pause and hear the warning of world visionaries from previous generations who successfully fought the same revolutionary battles which Americans find themselves fighting today. Most of these voices that you will hear from come to us from our own Founding Fathers and they clearly tell us what we must do to preserve our way of life.
"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."
Can we save America? Speaking for me, if there is to be a revolution of any type, let it start here and let it start with me. I would prefer the revolution be political, social and economic as opposed to violent. However, at some point in time, the American masses are going to awaken from their slumber and begin to take stock of what they have lost and I am not certain the response will not be violent. The masses will angrily wonder how things changed so quickly. However, the truth is that some Americans have been warning the country about the very dangerous path that our country is on and how it is a threat to our way of life and potentially lethal to our very means of existence! Yet, the early revolutionaries of any movement are met with derision and charges that they are lunatic conspiracy theorists. Time will tell if enough Americans will heed the clarion call from those who see see real danger in our midst.
On this July 4th, 2008, as we celebrate America’s independence from tyranny, the American people should collectively ask themselves if they are truly free of tyranny; or, do Americans have a lot of work to do?
The dollar is plunging to unprecedented levels. The national debt, deficit spending, home foreclosures, energy costs as well as faith in government and the future of our country is at an all-time low.
On this 4th of July, every American should take a moment to reflect on the true State of the Union.
"When the government fears the people there is liberty; when the people fear the government there is tyranny."
All too frequently in the course of human events, government becomes the personal instrument and private broker of the privileged class in order to get what they desire from the lower and the middle socio-economic strata. However, you and I live in a nation which was founded on truth, justice and fair play for the masses. The Founding Fathers believed that an empowered populace held the key to national and individual success and that it was the government’s role to facilitate, not to inhibit its citizen’s individual initiative. For Adams and Jefferson, facilitation of individual success was achieved by a “laissez faire” attitude which limited the government’s ability to interfere in the social and economic lives of its law-abiding citizens. For the most part, the early role of American government was to serve the people, not to empower itself with a bravado sense of demagoguery. And, “we the people” had the right and ability to choose leaders who would preserve our freedoms and would help to enhance our future endeavors.
"If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace."
As a third grader in Miss Strong’s class, I keenly remember feeling privileged to be an American as I first learned about the horrible plight of many children in Africa, became aware of the horrors of the Holocaust and discovered that half the world went to bed hungry. As a young and idealistic eight year old, I remember wondering why the rest of the world could not be like America and people everywhere would have enough to eat, live in peace and enjoy the freedoms of America.
I grew up believing that America provided a path to success for anyone who was willing to work hard enough to realize their dreams. And for the most part, as a first generation college graduate, I have been blessed enough to experience a measure of success in my pursuit in a variety of rewarding careers which has culminated in the realization of a relatively comfortable lifestyle. But as I examine the opportunities and the country we are leaving to our children, I have come to realize that America has been subsisting on momentum created by much wiser and philanthropic generations that the current leadership ruling over our country at this time.
I am left wondering why America could not remain the America that I came to love and cherish as a child. I have a seven year old son who is decidedly more ambitious and more intelligent than his father was at the same age. However, with the advent of uncontrolled illegal immigration and the rampant issuance of legal work Visas, my son’s generation will continue to see career and subsequent economic success reserved for only the most ambitious and the most gifted as the middle class is being systematically exterminated by free trade agreements, a government which only serves the global corporations while only pretending to listen to its people every four years.
"When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the Republic."
Our country, in the pursuit of our special interest wars, in the name of big oil, has produced an American economy which is broke on a level never seen before in American history. Further, Americans have a flawed Federal Reserve System which has further bankrupted our children’s economic futures through the continued printing of worthless paper money while these international bankers take their cut (prime lending rate) right off of the top. This practice represents the biggest protection racket in our country’s history.
Americans are paying record gasoline prices while the oil companies are realizing record profits. And amazingly, these same oil companies are receiving an annual windfall of over a trillion dollars of tax subsidies courtesy of the same American taxpayers that they continue to be exploited at the gas pump. Over 150 years ago, we warned about these eventualities.
I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country....corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war.
Ashamedly, our country has 50 million uninsured Americans who cannot afford health care. We have a significant higher number who are the victims of a system which “manages” the health care system, currently at a record profits pace, so that many of our seriously ill patients are denied life-saving medications and treatments because they are “deemed” experimental or too expensive.
Big Pharma’s reach knows no boundaries as our children are all too often unwilling participants in forced drugging programs, such as Teen Screen. Further, our alternative health care industry will soon be “pharamicized” under the CAFTA agreement as the alternative health care industry will soon require a prescription for most over-the-counter alternative treatments. In America, we by far pay the most for health care in the world. However, we only enjoy the world’s 32nd longest lifespan. Ask yourself, who is winning here?
The gap between global corporate CEO’s and its American workers used to be 30-1. Today, that figure is 278-1. The growing gap between rich and poor is growing at an alarming rate. Congress looks the other was while American based corporations export American jobs to the Africa, Asia and the Pacific Rim where workers do not unionize, ask for raises and will work for pennies on the American hour. Meanwhile, the Wal-Marts are allowed, with impunity, to ship these same products back to American consumers . The net effect is that in real, inflation adjusted dollars, Americans are working for about 20% less and working about 20% more hours that they did in the 1970’s. Americans are more productive that they have ever been before, but it is the global corporations who are realizing the real profits. Who is the bigger enemy to the American people, the bankers or the oil companies. They are one in the same.
The motive for the above-mentioned actions should be obvious. The game plan which has successfully pitted the global corporations against the lifestyle and liberties of the American people is effective, yet very simple. Through corporate campaign donations and the promise of lucrative consulting jobs upon retirement for corporate-compliant government officials, every level of our federal government has been turned into the lap dogs for the global elite. Every four years, the Obama’s, the Clinton’s and the McCain’s smile at the cameras, kiss our babies, promise change and by November all promises have been forgotten as the lobbyists and their huge sums of money descend on Capital Hill and the American people continue to be robbed of their economic opportunities and our children’s heritage has been all but destroyed. When then, you may ask, have not the American people risen up to take their government back either through a political revolution or real revolution such as the one that gave birth to our great nation?
"Our liberty cannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press, nor that be limited without danger of losing it."
Any revolution needs to develop a collective consciousness among its citizens as a precursor to real action. The Founding Fathers were able to accomplish this feat by holding Town Hall meetings, forming the Committees of Correspondence and they even created their own colonial legislatures in which they sought the redress of grievances against the oppressive British government. Despite today’s high speed communications, modern day Americans largely lack the electronic means to politically bond its citizens from coast to coast into a sense of collective awareness needed to educate the country as to who is the real enemy of the American people and what needs to be done.
Six, count them, six global corporations own 95% of the broadcast and print media. If one espouses an anti-corporate, pro-American message, their time on the air is indeed limited. Just ask former Phornic area prime time radio talk show host Charles Goyette and the Dixie Chicks whose anti-war message led to their banishment and confinement to the backwaters of the American media.
If we are going to raise the consciousness of the American people, it is not likely going to be through the corporate controlled media.
"If it be asked, What is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of our security in a Republic? The answer would be, An inviolable respect for the Constitution and Laws."
The President and Congress have obviously anticipated future American civil unrest through the systematic erosion of the American Constitution. Any peaceful and meaningful political revolution, which could subsequently shed the shackles of the global corporate rule over the American people, has been subverted through the passage of unprecedented search and seizure actions through Patriot Acts I and II and the Military Commission Act, which essentially makes it a crime to disagree with actions of the government. The Military Commissions Act, with the newfound ability of the government to snatch American citizens off the streets without probable cause and to violate the tenets of habeas corpus, has destroyed free speech, the right to a speedy trial and the avoidance of cruel and unusual punishment.
With regard to the 2008 Democratic Convention, the federal and state government is championing the practice of “free speech zones” in which the political protesters will be confined to a small region of an obscure parking lot in which even their electronic broadcast devices cannot be heard by delegates entering the Pepsi Center in Denver. And of course, these protesters will be out of range of the national media cameras. So much for freedom of speech and the right peaceably assemble.
"In defense of the freedom that is our birthright. . .we have taken up arms. We shall lay them down when hostilities shall cease on the part of the aggressors, and all danger of their being renewed shall be removed, and not before."
Many constitutional scholars view the Patriot Acts and the Military Commissions Act as being representative of the establishment of a police state. And every police state cements its power through establishment of a gun confiscation scheme in order to disarm the elements of the populace that the government seeks to enslave.
And on this July 4th, let us not forget that the first shots of the American Revolution took place as British soldiers were attempting to seize Colonial weapon caches. Recently, the United States Supreme Court struck down Washington D.C.’s ban on the private ownership of firearms by a 5-4 vote. Most gun rights advocates hailed the ruling. However, I find myself in abject horror that four justices, from our highest court, thought it were permissible to judicially abolish the second amendment. Ask yourself, since 90% of the guns used in the commission of a crime are stolen, why are certain government officials so intent on separating law-abiding Americans from their guns?
"Unhappy it is, though, to reflect that a brother's sword has been sheathed in a brother's breast and that the once-happy plains of America are either to be drenched with blood or inhabited by slaves. Sad alternative! But can a virtuous man hesitate in his choice?"
Where will the figurative Lexington and Concord of this revolution commence? History consistently demonstrates that the rank and file of most revolutionaries is comprised of discontented and disenfranchised young adults and older teenagers. With political corruption, energy costs at an all time high and with a rising unemployment in the context of severely declining dollar, then isn’t their hope for our country coming from the discontented youth of America whose futures have been severely compromised? Sadly, I do not think that this is the case. This generation of Americans is the most distracted generation in our history. Walk into any shopping mall or any public school and virtually all you will see are children who either texting or their ear is permanently attached to their IPODS. This generation of youth and young adults are totally disconnected and largely unaware of the world around them. They can tell you how many times Paris Hilton has been arrested, who won American Idol but they are oblivious to the challenges which impact their future jobs which have already been exported to India, China, Thailand or anywhere that workers will work for pennies on the dollars. And these same young people have no clue that their semi-skilled jobs are being filled by illegal and legal immigrants (i.e., work visas) as they are working for 60% less than their parents did.
With a 30 point drop in SAT scores since the implementation of No Child Left Behind, this young generation of Americans lacks the awareness, the intellectual capacity and the critical thinking skills needed to form a schema which helps them see their declining place in the world. However, if the adults of the country lead, the youth will eventually follow.
The modern day American Revolution will begin with self-aware American adults, like yourself, who are long enough in the tooth to fully realize what we have collectively lost and are about to lose. On this July 4th, as we ooh and ah at the fireworks red glare, I would encourage all of you to begin to educate your family, neighbors and friends to the plight that our children will face if we are not able to reverse the global corporate takeover of our great country. In a manner similar to the movie, Pay It Forward, we all need to devote a portion of each day to tell anyone who will listen what we are losing and what we must do to recapture our American way of life.
I know that some of you are wondering what you will tell your fellow Americans. And more importantly, what must we do to reverse these sovereignty snatching trends? First, if we are to recapture our country, a modern day revolution will have to be based on four principles: (1) We must eliminate the privately owned federal reserve and return to metal backed currency; (2) We must practice diplomacy with all but avoid, at all costs, engaging in engaging in bankrupting, undeclared and unconstitutional wars; (3) We must withdraw from all so-called “free trade” agreements. Free trade is not fair trade and the American people have paid the price with the loss of millions of jobs for the benefit of our corporate masters; and, (4) Re-establish the United States Constitution as the supreme law of the land notwithstanding the World Trade Organization, CAFTA, NAFTA, and the United Nations. Interestingly, these principles form the backbone of the Ron Paul Revolution campaign. I would like to add that Americans need to strongly outlaw the practice of corporate campaign donations. We must end the two party stranglehold over our political system and we badly need to unelect all of Congress (save Ron Paul and Tom Tancredo) if we are to break the corporate stranglehold over our political system. Americans need to permanently exterminate the Republican and the Democratic parties (i.e., the global corporate party) from the landscape of the American political scene.
At this point in time, America has the right man, with the right views needed to save our nation. Ron Paul may be a Republican on paper, but he is a true Libertarian. However, if we are going to get Ron Paul elected, we are going to need the grassroots efforts of everyone who loves freedom. How fast can the Ron Paul Revolution spread into the heretofore ignorant American voting populace? Do the math. If you are able to talk to one person per day, seven per week, 30 per month and your efforts are multiplied in proportion to your efforts, the 5 million Americans who currently support Ron Paul will exponentially grow in number and reach a counter critical mass of angry, newly aware Americans who will stop at nothing to reclaim their country. The future is within our grasp. Let history write that the new revolution began here.
The Founding Fathers never had the political options that present day Americans have due to their lack of representation in Parliament. I fear that if we are not soon successful in recapturing our government, most Americans will come to pick up the pitchforks and we will all yearn for the “good ole days.” I implore all freedom-loving Americans to act now while we still can. Capture and spread the vision of the New American r3VOLution
"Every generation needs a new revolution."
Dave Hodges is an educator and a basketball coach. He is member of the Libertarian Party and tirelessly works to preserve our uniquely American way of life.