July 4, 2012
OWS and the One Millionth: Right Feelings, Wrong TargetBy Tom Trinko
I sympathize with the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement. I feel their pain.
They are rightfully angry that a small group of people can control their lives and manipulate their freedom. They are right to object to a system that treats them as subjects. They are fully justified in their rage against those who would force them to do what they don't believe in.
The sad thing is is that the people the OWS people rage against aren't the people who in fact control our lives or deny our freedoms.
The 1% can't raise the taxes of anyone. The 1% can't force you to buy things you don't want. The 1% can't make you violate your religious beliefs. The 1% can tell you how to live your life.
But the 0.000001%, the one millionth, can. The president plus the members of Congress and the Supreme Court who side with him are the one millionth, and they can do and have done all the things that OWS ascribes to the wealthy.
The wealthy can't just take money from us, but the the one millionth can; they can raise taxes anytime they like.
The wealthy can't force us to buy health insurance, or broccoli, but the the one millionth can.
The wealthy can't force us to violate our religious beliefs, but the the one millionth can.
In reality, the oppressors in America today are the the one millionth, not the 1%. It's the one millionth who make the rules that the rest of us have to follow. And if we don't follow those rules, we will be fined or imprisoned.
Debtors prisons were outlawed long ago but the the one millionth still use the threat of imprisonment to ensure that they get what they consider to be their fair share of what we earn. Americans condemn the thought of political prisoners but those who refuse to bend their knee to the Government rather than to God face the very real risk of imprisonment in the one millionth's America.
The Founders were very afraid of what the the one millionth could do -- based on their experience with the British government -- so they created two documents that defined the rights and liberties of Americans.
The Founders made sure that those documents could be changed only with the consent of a very significant majority of all Americans. They did that so that the one millionth couldn't collude among themselves to steal property and rights from the people they governed.
The problem in America today is not only that a tiny number of people represent us -- each member of the House represents more than half a million people -- but that many of those people no longer believe in or follow the Constitution.
Many Democrats have been asked what the federal government can't do in light of the Constitution, and the answers have not been of the sort that makes one believe that those Democrats actually think there are any constraints on what the federal government can do.
When you combine a lawless president who yearns to run America as Hu Jintao runs China with congressional Democrats who believe they are rulers rather than representatives and add a dash of Supreme Court justices who don't believe that their job is to interpret the Constitution as it was intended by the Founders, you end up with a soft tyranny that steals Americans freedoms.
OWS is right in that Americans should be outraged at the tiny minority who controls our lives. That minority is not the wealthy, however; it is that part of the professional political class who consider themselves rulers and not public servants.
The Founders intended for politicians to be average citizens who came forth and served their countrymen. Instead of average citizens who go to Congress as one temporary aspect of their lives, the one millionth is primarily made up of those whose lives, whose only experience, comprises politics and controlling the lives of others. They yearn to rule, not to serve. They believe they have the answers, so they need not listen to the hoi polloi.
The power of the one millionth began growing with the Warren Court, when the Supreme Court arrogated to itself the power to define laws rather than merely interpret them. Sadly, a sufficient number of congressmen supported the Court's edicts -- edicts that would never have found a majority in a Congress that was concerned about re-election, so that the loss of freedom by Americans wasn't stanched.
As time went on, the Supreme Court became bolder, discovering a right to privacy and consulting the laws of other countries, and more expansive in its claim to ultimate power.
Unfortunately, the very mechanisms the Founders had put in place to defend the people's rights were used to take away the people's liberty.
To overturn the decision of five wealthy lawyers, all in the 1% that OWS despises, who declare that the Constitution says something it clearly doesn't say, requires either a majority in both the House and Senate being willing to impeach one or more Supreme Court judge, or that two thirds of the members of Congress and three fourths of all states pass a constitutional amendment that says the Supreme Court's ruling is wrong. Additionally, while it takes the Supreme Court a few months to misconstrue the Constitution, the process to correct the Court's error takes years.
What this means is that the Supreme Court can effectively do anything it wants, so long as it has the support of roughly 25% of Americans.
This turns on its head the Founders' intent that to change the Constitution should take the consent of roughly 75% of Americans. In the one millionths' America, it takes only five Americans to change the Constitution.
So long as we allow the Supreme Court to run roughshod over our rights, we will have no assurance that our children will receive the patrimony of freedom so many Americans have fought and died to protect.
We need to elect people in November who are, above all, honest. People who realize that if they want to drastically change America, they need to convince Americans not simply to use the Supreme Court as a new king to enforce unpopular doctrines on the people. People who wish to serve, not rule.
Many of us oppose socialism, but we can respect a politician who would be willing to try to amend the Constitution to bring about his vision of a socialist America. There is room in America for a plurality of voices on what laws are best. However, we can neither tolerate nor respect those, like the current one millionth, who have no qualms about stealing away the rights of Americans.
You can judge people by how they behave. The one millionth have shown that they are not to be trusted. That they don't respect the limits on the power of government. That they view themselves as rulers, not representatives.
If we wish our children to be free, we must vote the one millionth out in November. If we don't, odds are good that we will be the last generation of truly free Americans.
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