by Diane Rufino, August 9, 2021
When I’m out in the pool, I usually bring Alexa outside with me to listen to my extensive Bruce Springsteen songlist. I especially look forward to his duet with Tom Morello on “The Ghost of Tom Joad.” It’s a real rocking version. I had never heard of Tom Morello before and so I looked him up. I learned that his is the lead guitarist for the group Rage Against the Machine.
I thought to myself: “What a great name for a band!” My instinct told that the name was a reference, a bold reference, to their protest against an aggressive, intrusive government. Indeed, their songs express political views which are, to a great extent, extreme and revolutionary.
A definition of “machine” comes from the highly entertaining movie (one of my all-time favorites!), 3 IDIOTS, where the ultra-competitive student explains that “a machine is anything that reduces human effort. … Anything that simplifies work, or saves time, is a machine.”
I think of the government as a machine. On the one hand, for the great many Americans who rely on government hand-outs to sustain them, the government certainly can be seen as machine as it “reduces human effort” in getting education, learning a skill, getting a job (and all that it entails), and providing for oneself. On the other hand, it can be seen as a machine in that it is capable of doing a great many tasks, in a centralized manner. The bottom line is that a large and aggressive government is seen (by those in DC, by career DC politicians, by “the swamp”) as an expedient. “It gets the job done.” Who believes that? Most times, as we have seen over the many years, government has become inexpedient. Ronald Reagan once said: “Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other.”
As I have made clear in my article posted on January 23, titled “A Re-Declaration of Independence,” [https://forloveofgodandcountry.com/2021/01/23/a-re-declaration-of-independence/ ], government has exceedingly abused its powers under the Constitution and over the many years, has usurped many powers reserved historically to the States. (refer to the Tenth Amendment and James Madison’s commentary in The Federalist Papers No. 45). It continues to do so, becoming more abusive with each Democratic administration. I listed 47 examples of how the US federal government has become tyrannical and has not only been abusing its powers under the Constitution but creating assuming new powers as well, usurping them from the States and from you and I (the People), but I could have easily listed so many more.
The federal government has created an entitlement culture, it has expanded the welfare program (Reagan wisely commented: “Welfare’s purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence.”), it has taken over public education and healthcare (both of which are unconstitutional actions), it weaponizes its many agencies (mostly unconstitutional) to target political opponents (ex: Obama’s IRS and now Biden’s IRS), it uses taxpayer-funded bailouts to rescue failing banks and businesses (the ones IT deems are worthy, thereby destroying the free-market system and picking “winners and losers”), it refuses to enforce one of its primary responsibilities – that of controlling immigration at our borders, it puts the interests of illegal aliens ahead of honest, law-abiding, and decent American citizens, it (Obama, that is, using his “pen and phone”) passed DACA, an unconstitutional program (thereby usurping rightful powers that belonged to the legislative branch), it abuses its taxing and spending powers to wantonly and arbitrarily raise taxes in order to compensate illegal aliens, enlarge the entitlement system, send grants to the States (unconstitutional; with such grants, the government is able to do an “end run” around the Constitution), and bail out certain select banks and businesses, it has been using Homeland Security and the FISA courts to spy on ordinary American citizens, reporters, and even a presidential candidate (Trump), it has restructuring Social Security deductions so that they are no longer a “personal property right” but rather a government slush-fund (thanks to the Supreme Court), it uses its full power to attack gun rights and gun-rights groups for the purpose of enacting gun control and burdening our Second Amendment rights, it has used Homeland Security Department to issue a directive to all law-enforcement agencies identifying conservative individuals and groups (those who “cling to their guns and religion…”) as potential home-grown terrorists (see “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,” April 7, 2009 – just 2 ½ months after Obama was inaugurated), it colludes with the lame-stream media to propagandize (“the mouthpiece of the Democrats”), it colludes with the lame-stream media and left-wing radical groups to shut down the free speech and free assembly rights of conservatives, it colludes with the lame-stream media to incite hatred and bullying of conservatives, patriots, veterans, and conservative groups, inciting and encouraging violence from radical groups (BLM, Antifa, etc) to further a political agenda, it continues to lie to the American people and spreads falsehoods (at the very minimum, it sends out only one-sided information and data, discrediting the other side as if it is omniscient – think JFK assassination, RFK assassination, the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr, Benghazi, Carter Page, the FISA warrants, “Trump and Russian Collusion,” global warming, etc), it has been working the American people up regarding the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, misleading them with incorrect and one-sided information concerning the rise in the number of cases and concerning the vaccines, shutting education, businesses, and travel down, causing many small (and large as well) businesses to go out of business and the loss of 20.6 million jobs (as of June 2020, with 7.7 million jobs providing healthcare benefits) resulting in an unemployment rate not seen since the Great Depression in the 1930s, it has resurrected racism in this country where it hasn’t existed in many many years (implementing Critical Race Theory for example), and much more. And most recently, it has ignored (if not been complicit in) the massive voter fraud and election tampering in the 2020 presidential election that continues to be proven with each passing month, each audit, and each lawsuit filed.
Ask yourself: Are you happy with the government’s take-over of healthcare, even though it was unconstitutional in its undertaking and then unconstitutional in the manner Chief Justice John Roberts attempted to save it? If you were paying for your own health insurance, are you happy that your premiums have gone up substantially? Are you happy with the government’s handling of the COVID outbreak? Do you enjoy having to “mask up” everywhere you go?
Who looks at our current deranged and formerly racist president, deranged and vengeful House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the cabal of corrupted and corruptible politicians in DC and thinks: ‘Yes, I trust them to do more to control my life and raise my children?’ Well, we know which group of people is happy to watch as the leviathan in DC grows ever larger and ever stronger, and never ask such questions.
I, on the other hand, despise the syndicate in DC (“The criminal syndicate known as the government of the United States”). In the summer of 2009, I started a Tea Party group in my home county of Pitt in North Carolina and have been involved in running it and furthering its mission ever since. The Tea Party movement started, initially, as a fiscally conservative political movement within the Republican Party after CNBC report Rick Santelli called for a “tea party” from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on February 19, 2009 after some heated words about the federal bail-out program. Of course, the name refers to the famous Boston Tea Party of December 16, 1773, the first in a series of events that ultimately led to the colonies’ fight for independence (American Revolution)
Members of the movement called for lower taxes, for a reduction in the size and scope of government, for fiscal responsibility (ie, for reduced federal spending at home and abroad, for personal responsibility, for a strict separation of powers, for states’ rights (the power of the Tenth Amendment), and for free markets (unconstrained by government). In short, the movement stands for a smaller government of limited functions, as defined by the US Constitution and understood by the States when they ratified the unifying document.
I believe the motto of the Tea Party movement can be summed up by a famous quote by Henry David Thoeau: “Government is best when it governs least.”
The Tea Party movement is a grassroots movement to reign in the size and scope of the government. After all, the Declaration of Independence proclaims that it the inherent right of the people to do so. I see it as a duty.
Sadly, we’ve had far too many ambitious presidents and ambitious Congressmen, all too willing and eager to ignore the Constitution and anxious to grow the machine. They have done far too much damage. The greatest damage, in my opinion, was done by Abraham Lincoln in his deceitful plan to wage war against the Confederacy. He twisted and transformed the Constitution, and in doing so has left the lasting legacy that the inalienable and inherent rights articulated in the Declaration of Independence are no longer recognized. [The southern states, which gave our country the most intelligent and prolific of founding fathers, and which historically have been the most patriotic and loyal to the United States, just wanted to be left alone]. Democrats have historically and traditionally the party of big government and of animus to the Declaration and the Constitution (both which constrain their agenda). Conservatives have been the ones to at least make attempts to respect what our Founders gave us.
The last presidents to recognize constitutional limits and have acted to curb or curtail the growth of the federal government, or to even have downsized it were:
(1) George Washington – He was committed to over-seeing a limited federal government (except for signing a bill creating a National Bank)
(2) Thomas Jefferson – He was the author of the world-famous Declaration of Independence, arguably our most important and influential founding document. He eliminated taxes and otherwise was extremely fiscally conservative. He also fought the growing power of the judiciary.
(3) James Madison – He drafted the US Constitution (“father of the Constitution”) and the Bill of Rights. He used his veto power to reign in the legislative branch that desperately wanted to expand the power of the federal government.
(4) Martin Van Buren – He was dedicated to a limited federal government and used his veto power to reign in Congress.
(5) John Tyler – He believed that tariffs imposed by the federal government were unconstitutional and he strongly supported States’ Rights.
(6) Franklin Pierce – He respected States’ Rights and would not allow the federal government to encroach upon them.
(7) Grover Cleveland – He was known as the “last small government Democratic president.” He was anti-tax, anti- government tariff, and against an aggressive Congress (in fact, he used his veto power 414 times). He also refused to enlarge the influence of the US around the world (including Canada, Central America, and South America).
(8) William Howard Taft – He was perhaps the last president in American history to believe in the limited powers of the Chief Executive.
(9) Calvin Coolidge – He was a firm believer in the free market and believed the federal government should stay out of its way. He cut federal taxes by 50%, eliminated farm subsidies, and cut government spending by almost half.
(10) Ronald Reagan – One can truly say that he lived up to his famous quote that “government is the problem, not the solution.” He cut taxes, shaved budgets for non-military programs, historically forced the bankruptcy and then the downfall of Russia, reduced assistance to state and local governments, and implemented a massive down-sizing of government regulation and oversight.
(11) Donald Trump – He was called “the most pure conservative President ever” by New York Magazine. He pursued pro-business policies, significantly reduced unemployment, reduced taxes and government regulation, confronted NATO regarding its unfair financial burden on the US, re-negotiated and signed new and equitable trade deals with foreign countries, and in doing so, led to one of the greatest economic booms in American history. FACT. He also influenced the judiciary for generations to come by not only appointing 3 conservative justices to the Supreme Court but also appointing more than 200 judges to the federal benches.
In short, the federal government, over the years, has assumed greater and greater power to intrude upon our lives, to run our lives, to coerce our businesses, to unduly burden our inalienable and God-given rights, to burden our property, and to interfere with our “pursuit of happiness,” believing it is helping its citizens (by helping take care of us and thus “reducing human effort”), by relieving us of the God-given right of free will and of the freedom to “pursue happiness.” Why exercise one’s God-given rights, why work, why get an education when government will take care of you and provide all the essentials for you. But you then have to ask yourself: If government doesn’t trust you to exercise your freedom and liberty, then why do we need freedom and liberty at all? Why do we continue to use the phrase “The Land of the Free” when truthfully, we really aren’t free after all. We certainly can’t exercise all our rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” freely, as well as the rights and privileges guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. Increasingly, government creates and endorses policies to make the poorer and non-working (but capable of work) members of society “more comfortable in their poverty” rather than to pursue policies that are aimed at eradicating poverty. (This is one of the many areas I have devote my attention and have come up with solutions). Why? Because the government has no real interest in eradicating poverty. Poverty makes for good politics. It is a political expedient for the Democatic Party; it’s the foundation of their political agenda. Ignoring its motivation, the government has been using its powers as a massive re-distribution of wealth scheme, siphoning money from the upper but mostly middle class to those it believes need subsidizing.
President Ronald Reagan once explained (July 1, 1975): “If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. If we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is. Now, I can’t say that I will agree with all the things that the present group who call themselves Libertarians in the sense of a party say, because I think that like in any political movement there are shades, and there are libertarians who are almost over at the point of wanting no government at all or anarchy. I believe there are legitimate government functions. There is a legitimate need in an orderly society for some government to maintain freedom or we will have tyranny by individuals. The strongest man on the block will run the neighborhood. We have government to ensure that we don’t each one of us have to carry a club to defend ourselves….”
Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty.
When he was stumping for Barry Goldwater during the 1964 presidential election, Reagan gave a famous speech (perhaps one of his most famous) titled “A Time for Choosing” in which he said: “This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves. You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right. Well, I’d like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There’s only an up or down – the upside is man’s old-aged dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, but the downside is the path to the ant heap of totalitarianism. And regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course.”
We all feel this foreboding sense that America is on a decline, although we enjoyed a short period of optimism with Donald Trump in the White House.
I rage against the Machine every day. I write, I help educate, I use my First Amendment rights to discuss and debate political issues, I come up with solutions and remedies, and I criticize all branches of government when they abuse their power and impose unconstitutional laws and policies. I started a Tea Party movement in my county back in 2009 (which I am still active in to this day), I take up activist causes, I have established relationships with my representatives (federal, state, and local), and I provide free legal advice (especially when it comes to those who are victims of unconstitutional, abusive, or arbitrary government action). I do it for my children and for my grandchildren someday. I do it for my friends and neighbors, whom I have great affection for, I do for those who are poor and uneducated and unable to comprehend the importance of our rights and the need to protect them, I do it for those unable to articulate or speak out, I do it for God. And I do it for you too.
Many have raged against the machine over the years. Reagan reminded us of this back in 1964, when he summoned the spirit of Patrick Henry: “You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. Is nothing in life is worth dying for? Should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the pharaohs? Should Christ have refused the cross? Should the patriots at Concord Bridge have thrown down their guns and refused to fire the shot heard ’round the world? The martyrs of history were not fools, and our honored dead who gave their lives to stop the advance of the Nazis didn’t die in vain…… You and I have the courage to say to our enemies, ‘There is a price we will not pay.’ ‘There is a point beyond which they must not advance.’
I hope wherever you are, you too are raging against the machine. A wise President Reagan concluded his “A Time for Choosing” Speech (1964) with these words: “You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on Earth, or we will sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.”
You may forget lessons, birthdays, jokes, and memorable quotes, but always remember these words: “Thank You Lord,” “ I Love You,” “….. Til Death Do We Part,” and “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.” These are the important words to live by and which give our lives meaning.
Diane Rufino, “A RE-DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE,” January 23, 2021 – https://forloveofgodandcountry.com/2021/01/23/a-re-declaration-of-independence/
Text, Ronald Reagan speech, “A Time for Choosing” (September 27, 1964) – https://www.reaganlibrary.gov/reagans/ronald-reagan/time-choosing-speech-october-27-1964
Stephanie Soucheray, “US Job Losses Due to COVID-19 Highest Since Great Depression, Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, May 8, 2020. Referenced at: https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2020/05/us-job-losses-due-covid-19-highest-great-depression
James Madison, Federalist No 45 – https://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/fed45.asp
“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected.
The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State. The operations of the federal government will be most extensive and important in times of war and danger; those of the State governments, in times of peace and security. As the former periods will probably bear a small proportion to the latter, the State governments will here enjoy another advantage over the federal government. The more adequate, indeed, the federal powers may be rendered to the national defense, the less frequent will be those scenes of danger which might favor their ascendancy over the governments of the particular States. If the new Constitution be examined with accuracy and candor, it will be found that the change which it proposes consists much less in the addition of NEW POWERS to the Union, than in the invigoration of its ORIGINAL POWERS. The regulation of commerce, it is true, is a new power; but that seems to be an addition which few oppose, and from which no apprehensions are entertained. The powers relating to war and peace, armies and fleets, treaties and finance, with the other more considerable powers, are all vested in the existing Congress by the articles of Confederation. The proposed change does not enlarge these powers; it only substitutes a more effectual mode of administering them. The change relating to taxation may be regarded as the most important; ….. “