With advancements, there are costs. With automobiles, it is accidents, cost of fuel and pollution. With television and computers, we’ve abandoned our social lives and sequester ourselves with these devices that spoon-feed us information instead of providing us information we need to know — all in the name of politics.
In the words of a founding document, The Declaration of Independence:
“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 — 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.”
In the first sentence, the principals of equality, rights, happiness and God the creator, are addressed. The notion our nation was formed based on any other “truths” is not arguable.
Note that we only have the right to pursue happiness — we are not guaranteed to have happiness, or free health care for that matter.
That being said, we often overlook the second part of the paragraph, which states our government derives its power from the people it governs. Should it start to govern at its own will instead, the declaration does not just recommend the people abolish it — it indicates an obligation for them to do so.
I see dangerous things in our government today.
One concerns the national health care bill. Instead of publishing it so everyone can educate themselves, we are told it has to be rushed into law, and public “education” is spoon-fed by people who carefully control its dissemination.
We see “town hall” meetings in which elected representatives marginalize the voices of dissenting citizens and promote their own agendas. Thus, citizen voices are being locked out by others calling them names, discrediting their knowledge and restricting their First Amendment rights.
I find it intolerable and disgusting that the Speaker of the House or any official would make implications that dissenting views toward the government are being made by “swastika-wearing Nazis.”
But the most upsetting thing is the incremental erosions we see to the Constitution that protects our rights.
First, the attempts to disarm law-abiding citizens of their guns by scrapping the Second Amendment, followed by an attempt to control ammunition.
Second, attempts to stifle free speech by controlling the media, in particular talk radio, with a so-called Fairness Doctrine.
Next, attempts to ferret out dissenters by collecting personal information on them and using it to stifle their dissent, such as a White House-sponsored e-mail address where one can clandestinely report such dissenters.
Today, we have elected officials who have stated they will vote the way they see fit, regardless of the feelings of the constituents who elected them.
We witness town hall events across our nation where questions and responses are scripted. If the public complains and demands questions be answered, they are pushed out of the way, locked out or, in some cases, the “meeting” is completely shut down.
Where once cabinet members were appointed by the president and approved by Congress, we now have “czars” through presidential appointment who are not approved by Congress, thus not answerable to the “governed.”
Now, we have a bill before the Senate, SB 773, which could grant our president power to control the Internet based solely on his feelings if there is a cyber threat or not.
Things are starting to look pretty bad in our government — and it’s the fault of the “governed.”
As a suggestion for the next election: If the word “incumbent” follows any candidate’s name, I recommend you vote for the other candidate, write in your vote or don’t vote at all.
It’s time to clean up our governments, local, state and federal. Force our elected officials to govern at our will instead of theirs.
Enough is enough.
• Dave Hardesty, a satellite communications engineer for Lockheed Martin and former Tracy parks and community services commissioner, is among a select group of local residents with columns in the Tracy Press.