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General Articles

Power of the People

 

John Locke wrote in the Second Treatise on Government:

“To understand political power right, and derive it from its original, we must consider, what state all men are naturally in, and that is, a state of perfect freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons, as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature, without asking leave, or depending upon the will of any other man.”

 

The American Declaration of Independence reads:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.  --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,”

 

In Common Sense Thomas Paine wrote that when a society grows to a size that it is unworkable for all citizens to have a direct say in their governance that they send representatives to make decisions on their behalf and “the ELECTED might never form to themselves an interest separate from the ELECTORS”…

 

The governments of the various States of the United States of America reiterate the source of their legitimacy:

“All government, of right, originates with the people, is founded on their will alone, and is instituted to protect the rights of the individual and for the good of the whole. Its only legitimate ends are to secure justice for all, preserve peace, protect the rights, and promote the happiness and general welfare of the people.  The rights enumerated in this Article are inalienable by the state and shall be preserved inviolate by the state.” – Constitution of the State of Louisiana

 

All political power is vested in and derived from the people. All government of right originates with the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole.” – The Constitution of the State of Montana

 

“All men are born equally free and independent; therefore, all government of right originates from the people, is founded in consent, and instituted for the general good.” – New Hampshire State Constitution

“All political power is inherent in the people.  Government is instituted for the protection, security, and benefit of the people, and they have the right at all times to alter or reform the same, whenever the public good may require it.” – New Jersey State Constitution

 

“All political power is vested in and derived from the people; all government of right originates from the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole.” – North Carolina State Constitution:

 

“All power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority and instituted for their peace, safety and happiness. For the advancement of these ends they have at all times an inalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may think proper.” – Constitution of Pennsylvania

 

“All political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their benefit.  The faith of the people of Texas stands pledged to the preservation of a republican form of government, and, subject to this limitation only, they have at all times the inalienable right to alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may think expedient.” – Texas Constitution

 

All political power is inherent in the people; and all free governments are founded on their authority for their equal protection and benefit, and they have the right to alter or reform their government as the public welfare may require.” – Utah Constitution

 

“All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.” – Constitution of the State of Washington

 

 

Two horrendous wars pitting neighbor against neighbor costing tens of thousands of lives were fought in American fields and forests to validate this principle that government derives from consent of the governed.  The American Revolution was fought to remove an oppressive rule that had no care for the welfare of the colonists.  The War of Southern Secession was fought because the Southern States felt, rightly or wrongly, their way of life, their Constitutional protection to hold slaves, was in jeopardy – a change to which they would not consent.

Somewhere along the way of this grand experiment in government things went awry.  Paine’s admonition against self-interest of the elected has been ignored.  Locke’s and the States’ source of political power has been overthrown and corrupted.

 

In Common Sense, Thomas Paine wrote that when a society grows to a size that it is unworkable for all citizens to have a direct say in their governance that they be “managed by a select number chosen from the whole body, who are supposed to have the same concerns at stake which those who appointed them, and who will act in the same manner as the whole body would act, were they present.”

The intent of Locke, Paine, Thomas Jefferson and the other founders was for the citizenry to inform their representatives who would then do their bidding.

 

Did the residents of New York City ask their government to restrict their sugar and salt intake?  In liberal, Democrat dominated Oregon, a recent referendum to withhold driving licenses from illegal aliens reversed a recently passed State law received more votes than any other issue including legalizing marijuana. Clearly, the will of Oregonians to NOT grant identity documents and driving privileges to illegal aliens was not heeded by their representatives.  Did the Oregon State government employees even bother to ask their constituents their opinion about this issue?  The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, ACA, 0bamacare) passed in 2010 was, by all polls surveyed, enacted against the overwhelming wishes of the citizens of the USA.

Have you bid the government dictate what your children can and cannot eat at school?  Have you insisted the government pry into your personal financial affairs?  Have you demanded your Representative require you to purchase a product (health insurance) not of your choosing?  Have you asked your Senator to give special privileges and subsidies to some corporations over others?  Have you pleaded with your State Assemblyman to force you to inject your children with toxic substances?  Have you pleaded with your governor to mandate you wear a seatbelt in your vehicle?  (Which is a good habit to practice, but why do you have to be punished by the government if you don’t?)  Have you written to the president requesting he leave American borders open for criminals, disease and cheap labor to pour into the country draining scarce resources?  Have you written him pleading that he allows a committee of foreigners dictate what environmental and labor regulations apply to American citizens?  Did you give your State governor permission to forbid cash transactions at yard sales?

 

There is a curious phenomenon that is very puzzling:  The Congress of the USA perennially has an approval rating seldom rising above 10% of the people polled and are generally held in low esteem – no matter which political party is in the majority.  Yet in election after election these officeholders that are so reviled as a group are returned to their offices by a reelection rate in excess of 85% for Representatives and 80% for Senators.  If the voters are displeased with the jobs they are doing why do they reward these government employees with continued power?  If you had an employee that did not perform the job you hired them to do and acted against your orders, would you not fire them?

 

“All political power is vested in and derived from the people”.  Even the United Nations believes "The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government" in its 1948 Universal Declaration of Humans Rights.  The people must inform themselves of that power and wield it.

 

It is far past time for American citizens to turn off Monday night football, Sunday afternoon golf and baseball, American Idol, Dancing with the Stars and other diversions and pay attention to what their representatives are doing in the nation’s and States’ capitals.  The ONLY way the power of governance can be returned to the people is if they assiduously recall or replace any elected official who refuses to do their bidding and instead performs to the will of a political party, corporate or union sponsors or for personal aggrandizement and gain.  The people MUST hold their representatives at EVERY government level to a high standard of integrity, honesty and fiduciary responsibility.

 

It does not matter what your political philosophy is.  Pay attention!  YOU are the power behind your government!

 

 

 

 

 

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