by Diane Rufino
As we all know, most of the problems that the country faces right now stem from the fact that the federal government has become a leviathan; that is, it has become too large, too domineering, and too intrusive. Its many constricting tentacles extend into our lives, our livelihoods, our purses, our bank accounts, and our private and real property. It has illegally usurped power from We the People and our rightful voices, the States. Federalism is essentially an outdated and archaic concept that the government had to destroy in order to consolidate its power. And now people must be so extensively regulated so the exercise of freedom is just like what Emperor Marcus Aurelius talked about in the movie Gladiator. Referring to the dream that was once Rome – its republic – he said that it has become so fragile that people can only whisper about what it used to be. The exercise of freedom in the United States is barely more than hollow words. On paper we have liberty; in the real world, taxes and regulations frustrate it at every turn.
The consumption and consolidation of power is what is responsible for almost all our nation’s problems. We know this because of the growing anarchy and the emergence of the Tea Party movement. Bad behavior is on the rise because government policy encourages it… maybe not outright, but in consequence. Good behavior is on the decline because government punishes it. At times it appears we are heading in the direction that the New Mexico Supreme Court explained in its Freedom of Speech and Religion case, Elaine Photography v. Willcock (2012): We are free to pray to the God of our choice, but we must leave Him at the doors or our home or our church, for “there is a price, one that we all have to pay somewhere in our civic life…. It is the price of citizenship.” In other words, the government can compel us, by law, to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire our lives in order that the greater good is served.
Again, government has gotten too large and too domineering. It has exceeded constitutional bounds and it has exceeded moral bounds. It has certainly obliterated the definition of government that defines the “united States of America” in our Mission Statement – the Declaration of Independence. Government’s primary role is to SECURE the God-given, inalienable rights of the individual (the rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness) and to honor the powers delegated from the consent of the governed (which means that government is bound by the STRICT CONSTRUCTION of the Constitution because that was the most foundational consent given). [Second paragraph]. Furthermore, the government MUST COMPORT with “the separate an equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them (the People).” [First paragraph].
A government that compels a person in his conduct or the use/plunder his property not to protect his individual rights but to serve others, to serve some “other purpose,” or to serve some “common good” is an unconstitutional and immoral government.
So, where am I, a concerned citizen and constitutional activist, heading with this article?
The answer to our nation’s problems is a reversal of the current government trend (and by “current,” I mean about 200 years’ worth of re-defining the government and re-classifying the Constitution) and a return to Constitutional governance. We re-align the relationship of government with the individual, in accordance with our founding principles and we allow the power of the individual to reinvigorate the land. But how can we accomplish this? How can we hope to go against a leviathan? In mythology, if you cut off one head, more grow in its place.
We accomplish this by a two-prong approach: (1) Government must divest itself of power, which means the 3 branches of government must take their oath and allegiance seriously (to a limited government which ultimately, sides with the People). Constitutionally-minded members of government can do this; and (2) Return power to the individual States, the only real depository of sovereign power that can return the government within the confines of Article I, II, and III.
We need to gain a consensus of like-minded constitutionally-minded servants in Congress. We need to continue to build momentum. We need representatives from North Carolina to add to that momentum…. to join the ranks of Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Michele Bachmann, and others. We need constitutional warriors and not just men or women who call themselves “conservative.” Currently, it is said that 59% of Congress “supports” the agenda of the Tea Party. As expected, not a single Democratic Congressman or Senator sides with the Tea Party, but 18 out of 46 Republicans in the US Senate (39%) and 144 out of 232 Republicans in the US House (62%) support the Tea Party.
And in that regard, I would like to explain why my good friend Greg Brannon is the type of servant we need in Washington DC, particularly as a 6-year termed Senator, to help turn the tide of big government.
First, how could one man make a difference? Well, it isn’t “one man” any more. We already have several strong constitutionalists in DC. The more we send, the more the Constitution has its rightful place in the workings of government. Besides, when the Sons of Liberty started out, it was only a handful of colonial patriots and look where their bold movement took us.
As a conservative, a strict constitutionalist, and a concerned citizen, I support Greg Brannon for the following reasons:
1. I trust Greg Brannon. He has taken the time to do his homework. He has studied our history and has a firm understanding of the legal documents that define government and secure individual liberty. He understands what is at stake, he understands history, he understands the role of government, he understands what the real depositories of sovereign power are, and he knows the respective boundaries. Moreover, he is principled, unshakable, moral, ethical, and determined. He represents my hope for a government that respects boundaries. He embodies the work I do that keeps me away from my family. He represents my values. While those of us (including myself) who criticize government, politicians, and even the political parties themselves (both of them) but are unwilling to step forward, Greg Brannon has put his money where his mouth is. Yes, he has criticized Mitt Romney for not representing the true conservative voice and not being principled enough to be the candidate for the Republican Party, but he has offered himself as the constitutional conservative candidate to represent the GOP.
2. As a constitutionalist and one who follows what our legislators do in Washington DC (especially the Supreme Court), I know if Greg goes to DC, I can take him off my radar and not have to worry what he’ll do as a US Senator. I know that he will never violate the Constitution, offend his conscience, or betray his principles. With 100 US Senators and 435 US House members, it can be overwhelming to watch what they all do. Greg is a diamond in the rough; a gem. A warrior.
3 Greg Brannon is a strong supporter of States’ Rights, the Tenth Amendment, and the work of the Tenth Amendment Center (of which I am a volunteer). As a Senator, he will represent both the people of NC and the States’ sovereign interests as well. Greg understands the implications of the 17th Amendment, an issue that is being hotly debated now and one that resonates with the Tenth Amendment Center and constitutional groups. He understands how federalism is promoted when the States are represented directly in government. He understands, as Jefferson and Madison explained, that government is meant to be closest to the people where it is most responsive to them and protects their rights and interests best. That is the reason for a limited federal government and the Tenth Amendment. He understands that federalism serves liberty interests most effectively by allowing the individual states to serve as the “laboratories of democracy” and “laboratories of innovation.” Finally, Greg also knows that a representative that is allowed to serve 6 years (as opposed to the 2-year term of a Congressman) has little accountability to the people. The 17th Amendment was a “progressive era” attempt to wrestle power away from the states and to promote “direct democracy.” It, along with the Income Tax (16th Amendment) and the creation of the Federal Reserve should forever remind us of the malignancy that is the Progressive movement. (1913 was indeed a bad year for America!) What the 17 Amendment did was deliver a critical blow to our federalist system, which was the design feature in our Constitution that provided the most critical check on the federal government’s power (and was unique feature to our American government system). The US Senate was the body that was intended to preserve the precarious balance of power as defined (restated) by the Tenth Amendment. It was to be an effective check on federal expansion. It was the states’ voice in government. After all, it was the states which were the ones that “agreed’ through compact to delegate certain of their sovereign powers to a federal government; it was only right that they had some means to “protect” their investment/sacrifice. It was also a means by which the states could influence congressional lawmaking, evaluate treaties, and assess justices for the Supreme Court.
4. Finally, there are two things that aren’t talked enough about in the hallowed chambers of the US Congress. One is the US Constitution… the very playbook that should be consulted whenever they act. When we send Greg Brannon to the Senate, we will send not only the man but the Constitution!! North Carolina will be the state that takes the lead on what the government can and what it cannot do. Greg’s fellow senators will all be getting a crash course on our founding documents and I can’t wait! The second thing not talked about enough is God and where He fits into the legislative process. Greg will be there to remind the body of the Judeo-Christian values that are woven into our American system. Sure, atheists may cry “Separation of Church and State!” but it is the very right derived from “God’s Law and Natural Law” – the freedom of speech – that give atheists the right to speak their nonsense.
GREG BRANNON for US SENATE. FOR NORTH CAROLINA. FOR LIBERTY !