On Being American   1 comment

If you’re looking for a nationalistic post that celebrates the United States of America I hope to disappoint you.

I am an Alaskan raised by Americans, and I celebrate both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America … circa 1830. But the United States of America today is a far cry from the the nation establish by the Founders. The Founders revolted against England for far less than modern Americans experience everyday.

Seriously, read the Declaration! For an eye-opening twist, read the list of grievances FIRST and then read the awe-inspiring opening. Go ahead. I’ll wait ….

You see what I mean? The federal government became King George a long time ago.

Yes, I’m kind of an anarchist. I see that our Founders did not establish a nation. They formed a cooperative body of individual states. I live in Alaska where almost every moment of our lives is dictated by faceless bureaucrats in DC at the behest of the folks who live in other states. This is no longer Jefferson’s America.

When did we decide it was a good idea for people living in Michigan to tell Alaskans how to live? Yeah, I know about the Civil War, but with all due respect, whether I can burn firewood to heat my home does not rise to the same level as whether I can own another human being. Slavery infringed upon human liberty. Burning firewood to heat my home infringes upon Conoco Phillips ability to make a profit.

Do we see the fundamental difference?

I’m only a passing anarchist. I believe individuals can govern themselves, but I think there needs to be some guidelines. Our Founders recognized this and that’s why they wrote the Articles of Confederation, which failed because it didn’t allow cooperation among the states and couldn’t be amended. Nothing engenders revolution like tyranny that cannot be changed.

Of course aren’t we there today?

In June, state delegates met quietly to discuss a convention of the states to propose amandments to the US Constitution. Thirty-four states have applied for a convention on the subject of a balanced budget. John Boehner is trying to figure out a way to deny it, but 33 states met to plan for it anyway.

I spent considerable time last year explaining how an amendments constitution is not a constitutional convention. I won’t revisit that. It”s a safety valve to prevent revolution when the federal government eats liberty. That”s why Boehner et all wants to weasel out of it.

He can’t ad he shouldn’t. We’re at a critical juncture for our country. If we do nothing, revolution will eventually result because Congress, the Executive branch and the Supreme Court all act as if we the people are subjects, not citizens. If we address this mess through this constitution safety valve, maybe we can restore liberty.

Or maybe not. We may be too far gone to return to our roots. That would be sad because the America of our Founders was a wonderful ideal and we could — and likely will — do a whole lot worse.

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