S. Paul Forrest
America was founded in an attempt to escape the oppression of not only religious expression, but also the misrepresentation from a monarchist system that cared only for the proliferation and interests of the elite class. After 250 years, we have found ourselves in the same position as those who left Europe for these shores so long ago: oppressed by a system that only wants to serve itself before the citizens that support it. They say history repeats itself, and nowhere is this more evident than in the case of modern America’s politicians, putting their corporate puppet masters and damaging agenda of faux patriotism before the needs of the people.
To understand how we have been led to the erroneous conclusion that America is somehow a free nation, one must come to an understanding of what type of political system exists in this country and how it adds to or detracts from our social system as set up by our forefathers. We also must recognize the erosion of our system under the watch of the overzealous quasi-patriotism which has served to initiate the current Police State in place and growing in America.
First and foremost, it is important to understand that we do not live in a democracy as most people have been led to believe; America is a republic where we are granted the opportunity to elect representatives to make decisions for us. Our forefathers were learned enough to understand that a pure democracy was not possible in a complex society, especially the one they were setting up. In a democracy, although touted as the ideal system for freedom of the people to decide all matters of State, the minority only has those privileges granted by the dictatorship of the majority. In a democracy the sovereignty is in the group, whereas in a republic the sovereignty is in each individual person.
The problem with a republic, though, is that the inherent rights of the people are surrendered upon the casting of a vote for representation. After this action has taken place, our fate lies in the hands of politicians who, with the innate human deficiency of sin, represent our interests. This type of system was set up because the idea of a complex society deciding all aspects of government and the minority becoming unrepresented was unrealistic. The thought that we the people could effectively be served by those who are concerned not with the continuation of our liberty but with the development and proliferation of self-service has been greatly discredited by the reality of this, our modern model of representation.
To understand our freedom, or lack thereof, it is important to recognize what type of political system exists within our social structure into which we put our faith each election period. This country is currently run and controlled by a two-party system that determines for us, the “free” voters, who we can vote for. The choice of candidates is determined by the parties themselves as the proper representatives of their interests, rather than the interests of the American people. Even the self-labeled “freedom party” or Tea Party, is just an extension of this old, two-sided coin. We can either vote for the lesser of the evils, or suffer the consequence of others doing the voting for us.
Regarding words by James Madison on the American political system, Jack N. Rakove of Stanford University writes:
Madison assumed politicians . . . would be able to command the allegiance of large numbers of voters. Once in office, they would act with a broadmindedness that would elevate the very quality of public life. They would think not in terms of the immediate interests of their constituents, but of the larger public good which was synonymous with the concept of the public itself. The virtue which could no longer be expected to reside in the populace might still be found, he hoped, in its rulers.
It is clear from today’s system that this assumption was wrong. Our modern politicians are largely self-serving, and the quality of our lives is directly relative to our freedom to vote for true representation.
Madison obviously had great confidence that an elected official through the ages would think similarly as he and his colleagues with regard to intellectual consideration of the established hierarchy. The effects of this representation was, in theory, to contribute to the ongoing freedom of the people. With the issuing of the Constitution, he and others like him believed they had established a system that would endure the natural tendencies of corruption that had ended with the oppression of the masses in so many other social systems. The reality, as proven with our modern institutional malfeasance, is these representatives eventually become corrupt in the position of power they hold over the people.
The limited choice of representation has fostered a governmental system of insular thinking and the gradual erosion of our own national freedoms. The two-party system, with its inbred philosophy of elitism, has been taking our freedom from us bit by bit with innumerable laws and initiatives to foster control. The decay of our Constitutional freedom has been exacerbated by such legislative initiatives as the Patriot Act and its associated nullification of habeas corpus, while labeling some citizens concerned with the direction of our government as dissidents.
Some would argue this action is necessary to protect the security of the nation, but it only stands as proof of the intrinsic dilemma of our current democratic representation. As stated by the Constitutional Society:
. . . governments must be vested with a certain degree of power. It is this power that can be most dangerous to the liberties of the people. To find out who committed a certain crime, police must be able to question suspects and witnesses, and be able to search for evidence. In a society where the government is omnipotent, the powers of the police to detain, question, and search are unlimited. In fact, the power to determine guilt would be unlimited.
In the modern era of terrorist influence and the over reaction of associated governmental propaganda, a police state, initiated by our increasingly corrupt system, has expanded control and the violation of our rights to a writ of habeas corpus rather than allowing it to remain. It makes certain that any dissonance or suspicion of anti-patriotism is answered by restraint pending conviction. Guilt before proof of innocence has become the mantra of modern justice in the evolving decay of the American political system.
Ease of movement and civil rights are also largely questionable in this system. One only need look at the new TSA screening process, public face recognition programming and intelligence agency policy of Net watching to know these are not applicable freedoms in modern America. If we want to travel, we are forced to endure a violation of our rights and forced to endure molestation by security screeners. In an effort to protect our “democracy”, under the new American Police State, we are robbed of our innate, individual rights. These new, national security measures have only served to imprison us all within the realm of paranoia driven, political propaganda.
The U.S. Government, in the eternal quest of total control of the people, has led the charge in the deception and misconception of our freedom. In the ever increasing amplification of Al Qaeda’s desire to terrorize our country, America has expanded the control of the people through the Patriot Act, legislation that was pushed though Congress under false pretenses and nationalist plasticity. This Act was an orchestrated move in response to a false, immoral war begun and promulgated by the United States and has added a fascist element to our Republic.
It is vehemently argued from the creators of this control that steps must be taken to protect our borders and our citizens, but the American people are not the ones who started this war. It was begun by greedy politicians in an effort to obtain oil rights and control over an area that largely supplies the world’s fuel needs. The death of whatever freedom we may have previously enjoyed occurred with the initiation of this legislation and the paranoia associated with its inception.
The reality of it all is that our choices are limited, our politics contrived, and our country controlled by corporations fed by an American obsession with excess; America’s political puppets no longer represent citizens, but rather their own interests. We are all slaves to a predetermined mentality of competition for monetary acquisition and zealot-controlled governmental fascism that provides us with 4,000 new laws per year. Our choice is to conform to these laws, or else be controlled by the bars of a real prison. We are coerced daily to live silently within a system that is corrupt, or we can pay the price for not following the rules of its deception.
This country is not the model of democratic individualism most of us were taught it was. From our schools to our media sources, the decay of our American rights has been continuously fed in the name of faux patriotism. Until we all wake up and see these truths of deception, the constant move to add to the growing state of total control will destroy not only the fabric of this nation but the last freedoms that we do possess.
There once was a dream that was America. With the ever increasing intrusion of Big Government and its media propaganda, we are slowly falling into the realm of fascist machination, the end result of which will spell the death of the dream of those settlers who first came here to establish a free society.
The time has come for Americans to realize how little control they have in daily choices and to awaken to the fact that we are now suffering from a very damaging misconception of our freedom. Until we collectively stand together and let our representatives know we will no longer allow their destruction of this wonderful country, the erosion will continue.
John Locke had once declared that under natural law, all people have the right to life, liberty, and estate; under the social contract, the people could instigate a revolution against the government when it acted against the interests of its citizens and to replace the government with one that served the interests of those citizens. In the recent years, our governmental representatives have not acted in any interest save their own. It is time that the system is corrected and even more importantly, it is time for America to come to terms with its misconception of freedom else lose all that this great nation stands for. The revolution is near and unless the in-place system comes to realize its errant ways, they will find themselves thrown from the Ivory towers they have built upon the backs of America.
Other articles by S. Paul Forrest
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