by Stephen A. Cambre
As America’s future unfolds before us I am disheartened by what I see. I see a population which appears to accept whatever they hear without question and blindly follow those that demand adherence to laws that they themselves feel are immune.
What has changed that could explain how a population could be so cavalier about protecting ones liberties and the futures of their children? How in such a relatively short amount of time common sense and reason can be removed from the collective conscience of our society? The answer is education or lack thereof.
The education I refer to that is woefully lacking is OUR history. For generations we have been inadequately taught the true unrevised history of how and why our nation came to be or of all the struggles and triumphs that our nation and its people have endured till now. The questions that I list here are but a sample of things that every citizen should know and revere about their country, but most I fear are oblivious to.
-What is the reason for government and why is it necessary to institute?
-What was the purpose of the Declaration of Independence and why is it so important?
-What are the Laws of Nature?
-What does “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal” mean?
-What are unalienable rights?
-How did our Constitution come to be and who influenced the thinking of our founders?
-What is the purpose of our Constitution and what exactly does it mean to the individual?
-Why are the contents of our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution so vitally important and worth being resolute in protecting and defending them?
-What does “consent of the governed” mean?
-What does the “Rule of Law” mean?
-America was established with who or what as the sovereign, the individual or the government?
-When a government becomes oppressive and contradictory to it purpose, what recourse does the citizenry have within the Constitution to provide new Guards for their future security?
-Does the 1st amendment guaranty the freedom of religion and the practice thereof or the freedom from religion?
-What does it mean to be a citizen?
-What is the “Civil Society” and why is it vital for freedom?
The level of ignorance of the things vital to a free society and self government within our population despite the enormous sums of money spent on education is a national disgrace and the consequences of this lack of knowledge and understanding is twofold.
First, on the domestic side our government has expanded far beyond it intended purpose and has become the living entity that Woodrow Wilson set us on a path to achieve. It has grown to a point that no matter who is elected it will continue to expand and will never truly be held to account for its intrusiveness and intentional violations of our Constitution and the rule of law.
The lack of public outrage to the actions of government is because of the lack of knowledge and understanding of the reason our government exists, its purpose and of the limits the Constitution imposes on the actions of government. This creates indifference towards government and its actions. How can a person be expected to defend something they do not understand? They cannot so they remain silent and that silence becomes music to the ears of despots.
Unscrupulous people depend on this apathy for it gives them free license to violate the very document they give an oath to protect and defend.
If we do not know and understand what our rights are then in reality we have no rights because we will not know when they take them from us. Without rights and the liberty to exercise them we do not have an America.
Secondly, on the world stage there is no doubt that America is not respected in the world community today as it was a mere fifty years ago. Our adversaries mock us and our allies distrust us. How can this be? What has changed in America for this to happen? When the citizens of this great country do not hold their government accountable for its transgressions and is allowed to violate its purpose as defined by our Constitution then it ceases to be a principled nation and therefore unreliable and less trustworthy.
If our elected officials do not believe anymore in the principles that is America as evidenced by their disrespect for their oaths of office and the distain and flagrant disregard for the limits placed upon its actions by the Constitution why then would any other nation believe in America. They do not.
Again it all comes down to we the people acquiring the knowledge and the understanding of our system of governance, passing it on to family and friends and asserting it in the public discourse. This is vital are we risk losing the greatest gift ever given to mankind, the freedom to govern ourselves.
Do not depend on government (public education establishment) to educate you and your children about the proper role of government. They have a vested interest in you not knowing. Educate yourself; America’s futures depend upon it.
How much better would we as a nation be today if we held true to the words written by Arthur J. Stansbury in 1828 to which in his conclusion to “Elementary Catechism on the Constitution of the United States”, he wrote in part, In the next place, remember that this precious Constitution, thus wise, thus just, is our birth-right. It has been earned for you by our fathers, who counseled much, labored long, and shed their dearest blood, to win it for their children. To them, it was the fruit of toil and danger – to you, it is a gift. Do not slight it on that account, but prize it as you ought. It is yours; no human power can deprive you of it, but your own folly and wickedness. To undervalue, is one of the surest ways to lose it. Take pains to know what the Constitution is – the more you study, the higher you will esteem it. The better you understand your own rights, the more likely you will be to preserve and guard them.
And, in the last place, my beloved young countrymen, your country’s hope, her treasure, and one day to be her pride and her defense; remember that a constitution which gives to the people so much freedom and entrusts them with so much power, rest for its permanency, on their knowledge and virtue. An ignorant people are easily betrayed, and a wicked people can never be ruled by the mild influence of their own laws.
Know your Constitution and understand your rights, for if not, rest assured you will lose them for Ignorance and apathy is the path to enslavement but knowledge and action will keep you free.