When the government sends in it minions against those they think pose a threat to anything the federal or state governments do, they will not only arrest, imprison, they will murder, all under the name of the law and the backing of state and federal governments. The latest to fall victims of an out of control government are the Protesters in Oregon
If I were to tell you without qualification that the American people have a God-given right to alter or abolish the U.S. government or any state government and to replace them with something new, how would that strike you? Would you reject the idea because it is only me who is saying it? Does the idea seem too radical, or too extreme? Would it make a difference if you realized that without this type of radical extremist thinking, there wouldn’t be a United States of America at all? Let’s put it into context:
We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are … endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…. That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men…. 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, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. … Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. Declaration of Independence (1776).
Still think the idea of a right to alter or abolish any of our present governments is too radical or extreme? Well, some people certainly think so, and they’ve taken steps to make sure nothing like what happened in the American Revolution ever happens again. First, they have taken pains to discredit the Declaration and to restrict the way it is taught in government approved curricula and government sponsored schools (including universities). Second, they have enacted statutes to strongly discourage any “throwing off” of the government, to wit:
Rebellion or insurrection. Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof … shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both…. 18 U.S.C. §2383.
Seditious conspiracy. If two or more persons … in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, … they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both. 18 U.S.C. §2384.
Advocating overthrow of Government. Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States or the government of any State … by force or violence, * * * Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both…. 18 U.S.C. §2385.
Just let the above words sink in for a moment. First we have a quotation from the founding document of our nation, beloved and cherished by Americans for well over 200 years, to the effect that people have not only the right, but the duty, to throw off an abusive, despotic or tyrannical government which tramples on their individual rights.
Then we have laws enacted by that same nation having the primary purpose of ensuring that no one ever overthrows the existing government, conspires to overthrow it, or advocates its overthrow – without regard to whether those actions might actually be justified because the government has become abusive, despotic or tyrannical. Which illustrates a truism – the people have an absolute right to alter or abolish any given form of government, but the persons in power absolutely never want people to exercise that right.
It should be painfully obvious this is one reason (among others) why the Declaration of Independence has not been seriously regarded as law by legal scholars for over 100 years (and why it has been denigrated in academia). If people actually took the words of the Declaration at face value it would create all kinds of problems for our modern world, and people in academia, law and government have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.
Belief in a government of limited powers, or (God help us!) a government that can be discarded from time to time, would put politicians and government workers of all stripes (as well as those in the symbiotic fields of law and education) at risk for losing their jobs – an intolerable risk. That is one reason why mainstream political culture left the worldview of the American founders in the ash heap of history long ago.
We must find ways to deal with the pressing issues of an overreaching, over-regulating, abusive, and dare I say, increasingly tyrannical American government (both state and federal)