by Elizabeth T. Andrews
American Reporter Correspondent
March 3, 2008
DON'T VOTE; IT ENCOURAGES THEM
CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- Call me angry and disgusted but don't call me un-American because I won't be voting come November.
Even if Hillary gets to be the Democrats' diva, I've changed my mind about her. Anybody who spends $5 million in one month for advice on how to get elected could hardly make a decision on how to deal with an Iranian death-to-the-Jews-and-Americans dictator or a puffed-up Russian Putin.
Oh, but you say, I must vote. It is downright unpatriotic not to. To which I will reply that I have trouble with guilt-by-association issues, and that I do not feel a vote for a cog in a big wheel will make the wagon run smoothly.
In my sad American awareness that our federal government is corrupt, self-serving and has little left for an idealist to hang a hat or headscarf on, it would seem the only way left for citizens to fix a government gone sour is to pull its power. And, yes, I know that would be like a David trying to extract a sleeping Goliath's teeth without waking the giant.
But if we are worthy of our American heritage of independence and the right to live free of government interference in our private and community lives, we are going to have to come to terms with today's reality: Our current federal government is malfunctioning and cannot be changed by voting in a process that is controlled and manipulated by big money and individuals so hungry for power they will sell their souls to the highest bidder for one more chance to be a mini-god.
I have said it so often even I am tired of hearing it, but it bears repeating: The primary purpose of government is to protect you, your property and your constitutional rights. It is not the purpose of government - local, state or federal - to tell your doctor what kind of medicine you can or cannot take; to tell you how to dress your children; who you can or cannot sleep with; who you can or cannot marry; that you will serve your country or be arrested; that you cannot make decisions for yourself about your body, or what books your children will read if in a public school, or if they can or cannot pray in said school; that you have to work about three months each year and send your money to Washington, D.C., to support a president and Congress-persons in the style to which they have become accustomed; that you cannot be buried in a simple pine box; you cannot smoke pot even if your life depends on it ... and about nine billion, eight million and seven hundred thousand other ways the federal government controls your life.
How did we get ourselves into this un-American, government-controlled nightmare?
Let's say you live alone. Your money is all yours to spend as you wish.You delight in not having anyone around to tell you breakfast must be eaten before lunch; your dog must be vaccinated, licensed and live on a leash, or that your trash must go in a green can exactly three feet high.
One day your cousin from Peoria calls and wants to come live with you. You agree, reluctantly.
Two days into the roommate scene and it is obvious there have to be some rules. You agree to eat breakfast first and lunch later. You agree not to take any more hour-long showers or run around nude, and you agree to stay out late when he has a girlfriend over.
One evening he brings a co-worker home with him and says the co-worker got thrown out of his girlfriend's apartment and has no place to live.
OK, you say, but that means more rules are necessary ... and you vaguely sense something is slipping away from you.
Three months later there are six guys living in your apartment and you all sit down together and decide to buy the building which contains 50 apartments like yours so you can all live independently of each other, still be friends while making some good extra money.
You buy the building and hire a manager to run it for you. The manager complains a lot, convinces you and your partners he needs an assistant manager and there needs to be a lot more rules about what the tenants can and cannot do. Request granted.
You and your partners are working hard and don't pay a lot of attention to what is going on and you give your manager and assistant manager the freedom to write checks, make purchases, post new rules and give themselves raises.
Slowly you and your partners start to notice a large portion of your personal paychecks is going to cover the expenses of the apartment building, which should be paying it's own way plus making a monthly profit.
You confront your apartment manager and assistant manager who are now living in the top-floor penthouse, have personal maids, are driving limousines and taking long luxurious vacations. The manager informs you that you gave them written permission to run the complex, make the laws and bylaws, and that you no longer have the power to fire them.
Change the above scenario slightly. Label yourself, your former roommates and the other residents as 50 states; your manager and assistant manager as president and Congress. You will get a glimpse of how we got ourselves into allowing a federal government to grow very rich at our expense, very powerful by writing unnecessary laws that control us, and very greedy by making sure their way of life continues ... at our expense.
What to do?
I have no degree in political science but it doesn't take a degree in anything to see that when government employees make more money than their employer (taxpayer); when they live "high off the hog" while the "boss" eats boiled pig's feet; when the employees have written into law ways of controlling not only their employer's money but his rights to fire and hire ... then we bear witness to the sorry state of affairs that is today's federal government. And, no, an election is not a hiring or firing process when all it takes to ensure a throne chair is glib rhetoric and millions of dollars.
Secession: To withdraw formally from membership in an organization, association or alliance. It is not a dirty word. It is a survival word. It removes power from a distance and puts it back into the hands of individuals, towns, counties and states. The state controls its own revenue, giving to the federal government only enough to sustain a strong national military, and to cover modest salaries of a president and a greatly reduced Congress. And it controls the federal government by reversing the control process and saying "Do it our way or move to North Korea, Iran, China or Russia."
In 1860-61, 11 Southern states withdrew from The Federal Union ... an action that was the precursor to the Civil War. Disagree as we might with their motive - to secure their odorous right to own other people (slaves) - we have to salute their right to passionately take action over the issue of who gets to tell who how to live.
Tell me not that a gargantuan federal government is too big to dismantle. Tell me not that Goliath is now girthed to withstand a slingshot and a small stone.
The ideals on which our once grand nation was birthed are not impossible to reclaim.
The most basic of that reclaiming process would be a shift in our individual consciousness away from government-as-benevolent-parent. Our grandparents had no such illusions. Stoic, dedicated to hard work, church and family they believed they had the unspoken right to the fruits of their labor.
They believed in helping those who temporarily could not help themselves. A willing, compassionate helping ... not a government-forced action. They believed if a healthy man wouldn't work he should be left to starve ... not counseled, clothed and fed at the expense of those who worked every day for their bread and strawberry jam. They believed in families helping family members, churches helping families, and communities aiding and encouraging both.
Today's politicians can wring grateful tears out of rocks by reciting all they are going to do for Tom, Dick and Harriet. Totally ignoring the ability of most families to resolve their problems among themselves; totally ignoring that the purpose and function of churches is - or should be - to inspire independence and personal responsibility among its members; and totally ignoring the rights of communities to insure the individual's right to define "the good life" for themselves and to set their own standards as long as those standards do not interfere in the rights of others.
It is not in the best interest of any government that promotes dependency on government to have a Ralph Emerson or a Henry David Thoreau in its midst. The federal government doesn't make a dime in taxes off a man who hacks his way through a wilderness and lives in a $29 house. Why, that is way below the poverty line, they screech. And I suspect Emerson, if he were living today, would reply "A person's character should be measured, not in what he owns, but in what he is willing to give up in order to run his own life."
Does our federal government practice "Tax the people on everything from toenail clippers to coffins, pretend we love them and will take care of them to insure their dependency on us, and we shall live greedily ever after"?
You better bet your Aunt Betty's ho-made booties, it does. If you want to cripple an individual or a nation, insidiously take away their belief they can think intelligently and make personal decisions on major issues, and that they are quite capable of running their homes and communities without some gilded god in a White Palace telling them two-plus-two equals five.
Land of the free, home of the brave? I can't speak for you but I'd pay almost any price to have it back.
AR Correspondent Elizabeth T. Andrews is based in Cartersville, Ga. Her Website features her columns and poetry. Write her at email@example.com, or at P.O. Box 816, Cartersville, GA 30120.