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Trust is a loan, not a birthright…..

July 6, 2014

and Power entrusted sans oversight is an idiot’s folly….

Giving government the power to pretty much do as it pleases with my Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness, is a lot like my father giving me the keys to his Midlife Crisis and a fiver when I was seventeen and expecting that I wouldn’t peel the back tires off of it.

Interestingly enough, however that Power has something in common with the Freedom it can eradicate if it so chooses.

I learned a long time ago that Freedom is not something that can be “given”, not truly, not without conditions. Freedom for those who desire it must be taken. I and I alone decide what my Freedom is. How I express that Freedom is influenced by the will of the community I choose to be a part of, a voluntary association that I am “free” to terminate if I should so desire.

Power resembles Freedom in one crucial aspect. Those who have been given Power to carry out the administrative and military wishes and needs of those they serve, are provided with access to the tools needed to do so. However, just as I can take and define my Freedom, those tools and the authority their users are loaned can be “taken” to redefine their Power, ultimately serving an agenda that is not the will of the People, who were the original source of their Power and its definition.

The usurpation of authority and control over such Power does not occur over night or by permission. Like a child inching sideways toward a puddle he has been forbidden to approach, the incremental violations will continue to their logical conclusion without intervention. Therefore, it is fair to say the only way the child will reach the puddle is by the negligence of his caretaker. Inattention can also be augmented through distraction. It can be difficult to become angry and stern with one who is bathing you in flowers and sweet-nothings, at least temporarily.

Therefore, the Free can lose control of and authority over the Power they have provided to those entrusted with certain duties and responsibilities necessary to ensure the survival and success of the Community as a whole simply through complacency and by not paying attention while it is being seduced away from them.

Does that mean “government” is evil? I would say “no, not necessarily”. After all, our government, at least on paper and by design, is US. However, like the sidling child, without adequate supervision and oversight, a government, even ours, can do evil things. Our society recognizes that good people can sometimes do terrible things, but being a good person is not supposed to be like a hall pass around accountability. Unfortunately, that does happen on occasion. When the hapless offender also wields Power, the likelihood of directly proportionate leeway ensues in the absence of oversight. When those with Power “take” it upon themselves to redefine that Power, and its parameters, and having escaped enough oversight to take actions not permitted under the original authority of their official, roles, the holders of Freedom must act or surrender their Freedom, including their authority over their Lives, their Liberty, and how they Pursue and define Happiness.

Our Constitution provides the means for the Free to do what may be necessary to preserve their rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, provided we will take our asses off of the golf courses and our faces out of the latest widget of digital opium long enough to see that the document doesn’t just become another paper airplane. If you or I choose to lay down and continue to play doormat, then perhaps we would deserve whatever orts those formerly subject to our oversight may choose to dole out to us.

But your children and grandchildren don’t, and neither do mine.

 

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