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The Individual is King

The Preamble to the United States Constitution begins with, "We the people….," signifying to the world that the individual rules his life and establishes government for his benefit. The Declaration of Independence discusses the inalienable rights of the individual, again, establishing the idea that the individual is in charge of his own life and therefore superior to government. Embedded in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is "….the right of the people to petition the government for a redress of grievances," once again, recognizing the idea that government officials are subservient to the individual.

The beauty of the free society is the recognition that the individual is king and is the significance of the recent vote by the Yuma city council to have the citizenry decide the current annexation issue. The decision by the council is an excellent example of how in a free society the individual is king. No matter what the final outcome is, the individual has the final say. The council could have voted to rescind their decision as well, but the individual would have still made the final decision through the petition process. The individual is always the final arbiter in any decision in a free society.

The idea of the individual rules is found in the impeachment process, the voting process, and the recall process as well as the initiative and referendum process. Yes, the free society is cumbersome, slow, and possibly even inefficient. However, it is more important to honor and respect the rights of the individual than to be efficient when it comes to government operations.

Also, when it comes to government officials making decisions it is definitely more important that decision making be made at the lowest level of government in order to protect the rights of the individual. The lowest level of government is the individual. Most decisions are made at that level. Many decisions are made at the family level of government as well, again, for the same reason, to reinforce the right of the individual or family to make decisions about their own life.

School district, city, and county level decisions impact many more individuals and therefore fewer decisions are to be made at those levels. The state and national government are the furthest levels of government from the individual and therefore those decisions are to be few and far between. Hence, constitutions are created that limit decisions by lawmakers at those levels to very specific areas. However, the individual still has the ability to contradict decisions made even at those levels government.

The new proposed spanking law in California making it a crime for a parent to spank their child or the proposed law in Arizona making it a felony for the individual to watch for alleged illegal activity is a typical example of government gone amok reflecting lawmakers making decisions outside of their responsibility.

Individuals must stop demanding higher levels of government to decide their lives for them. A free society is one where the individual takes responsibility for his own life and does not ask or demand government officials for help. By allowing government officials to make decisions for the individual's life the individual loses or sacrifices his right to his life.

It is much more difficult to rescind government officials' decisions the further one is removed from the lowest level of government. Getting the individual to change his mind is much easier than trying to get members of a city council to change their minds, which is definitely easier than getting a whole congress to change its mind. However, there still remain safeguards for the individual to control his government, at no matter what level. The recent petition drive to override the recent city council decision on annexation is one of them.

President Thomas Jefferson is coming to Yuma. Be sure to attend The Freedom Library 11th Annual Constitution Seminar at the Booth Machinery conference hall Thursday, January 25 at 7 PM when President Jefferson discusses, "Why the Declaration of Independence."

The Freedom Library began its spring semester study of the United States Constitution January 23. All those interested in earning an opportunity to receive one of four available $1,000 scholarships may go to www.freedomlibrary.org to register or may register at next Tuesday's class. Those interested in providing funds to The Freedom Library to help those interested in learning about individual liberty may make a tax deductible contribution at the same website.

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