As many of the followers of this blog know, I have been transcribing the day to day journal of my dad’s service during World War II. Through this work, I have discovered a depth of sacrifice that he, and those of his generation, made to secure and strengthen our freedoms as United States citizens. There was the sacrifice of life where so many young men died. There was the sacrifice of health through injury and disease. There was the sacrifice by loss of precious time through separation from family and friends. These sacrifices were made to fight a tyranny that, at every opportunity, replaced individual freedom with enslaving government. My dad and his generation, that group referred to correctly as “THE GREATEST GENERATION,” gave all they had to leave us with the hope of freedom from tyrannical government. We seem to have forgotten what was done for us and by our actions trample on those who went before us to forge this nation of rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
To those who cheer the “authorities” in Boston and their actions during the week April 15. 2013, I suggest that you take a moment to reflect on a larger reality. Take a look at your country through the window of a citizen (click the link for the video) in Watertown as they watch their neighbors being removed from the security of their home at gun point without cause or warrant.
Now, picture yourself as one of the people in this home locked down from the outside world minding your own business trying to live your quiet life. You hear someone banging on your front door demanding entrance and treating you as if you are a criminal. The next thing you know is that as you hold your hands up, you are being dragged out of your home at gunpoint.
How would you react? Would you cheer these invaders as heroes, knowing you were completely innocent of any wrong doing and had no information to assist with their search for a fugitive? Like many of you ,my initial reaction would be compliance out of fear, not fear of the bomber, but rather fear of those who held me at gun point, hoping that there was no loose cannon with a hair trigger among them. Ultimately, my reaction would be extreme anger at the government and their active violation of my personal rights and the conscious choice these home invaders made to ignore their sworn oath to protect and defend the US Constitution. These alleged bombers accomplished their mission of terror because we, the people, allowed it. Certainly the fear from the bombings was real and terrifying. Certainly the loss of life and the horrible injuries to innocent citizens is tragic and should be seen with empathy and care for these victims and their families. The more insidious fear, the one that ultimately lingers as a dark cloud over this country, was brought by the thousands of armed police and soldiers occupying a major US city. And the citizens cheered them as heroes.
Some would hold that these type of governmental police actions are through some planned, sinister, back room program to oppress the people. I don’t personally believe that to be the case. I believe that it is the nature of government to grow and accumulate all of the power that it can through an acquiescing consent of the governed. Government grows like a cancer stealing the life blood of the host organism until either the cancer is removed through intervention or the host is consumed by the cancer. Government, left unchecked, by its nature accumulates more and more power over the governed. To say otherwise is to ignore the history of humankind. Without intervention by people who risk life and limb against such growth, government consumes all freedoms. So it has always been, so it shall always be.
Each amendment to the US Constitution was fought for and adopted to address a serious issue of individual right and freedom. Most of the amendments restrict the power of government, not power of the people, as it is government through its nature that seeks and seizes power. We, the people, had best realize that willingly allowing our rights to be violated, “for the greater good,” is never for the greater good, or for our individual good, or for any good.
The fourth amendment to the US Constitution states: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
It seems that all of the house to house searches did not result in the capture of the 19 year old alleged bomber. The capture resulted from a single citizen paying attention to his surroundings and his possessions and making a call that something was amiss. Remember the time line. The alleged perpetrator was captured shortly after the lock down was lifted and was captured outside of the perimeter where all of the house to house searches were done.
In no way, do I condone the actions of these two, if they were guilty of these evil acts. I hope they find appropriate judgement for their deeds. Neither do I condemn the people of Boston for bowing to the acts of oppression against them by government authorities. I seriously question their wisdom in cheering the infringement on their personal liberties and lives. I expect that in the days to come, more of these citizens will reflect on a larger view and find that they have similar concerns regarding the over reach of government beyond constitutional boundaries. I hope that is the case as such realization is the best hope we have for continuing the things that have made this country different from all others, the legislated preservation of individual freedom and the lawful restrictions on government.
There is truth in the quote attributed (erroneously to Thomas Jefferson,) “a government big enough to give you everything you want, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have.” Regardless of the originator of the thought, the truth remains.
We, the people, had best wake up from our malaise and recognize that it is we, the people, who hold the responsibility and power over our own safety and security. Continuing to relinquish that responsibility to those who would govern OVER US, will assure that we will ultimately lose what power we hold.