Is it the U.S. Government's responsibility to
protect and uphold its citizen's constitutional Rights?
By Wolfeman77346 Aug 13 2008
Although government promotes itself endlessly as our indispensable "protector" and principle guardian of our Constitutional Rights, it's not true.
Nevertheless, that self-promotion has effectively
conditioned most Americans to believe our Constitutional Rights are respected
and vigorously protected by government and public servants. Unfortunately, only
a few people realize that government does not automatically protect our Rights,
that our inclination to trust government is dangerously misguided, and that our
ignorance of our Rights encourages government to abuse those Rights.
The relationship between any government and its citizens is, and has always been, at best, ADVERSARIAL: individual Rights are inversely proportional to government power. The more power the government has, the fewer Rights you have. Government can't grow in size or power except at the cost of our individual Rights and freedom.
The founding fathers also realized that all governments seek
to expand their powers and are therefore driven to diminish their citizen's
Rights. Hence, the Constitution was written to both limit government and
maximize our individual Rights.
In truth, the American Constitution is essentially an anti-government document.
The Constitution's principle purpose is not simply to specify our individual Rights, but to shield us from the single organization that will always pose the greatest threat to those Rights: our own government. That's why we have three branches of government, checks and balances, elections every two years, the opportunity to call constitutional conventions, the Right to jury trials, and the Right to keep and bear arms - each political mechanism was designed to empower the public to restrict government and thereby to protect the people against government's inevitable urge to tyranny.
If the principle enemy of any people is their own government, and if the principle defender of the American people is the American Constitution, then it follows that the first enemy of our government is our Constitution. Government understands this conflict, but tries to conceal it from the public by claiming to be the only interpreter and protector of the Constitution.
But if only the
government interprets the Constitution, then those interpretations are typically
biased to empower government -- the Constitution's archenemy -- at the expense
of the people.
Given the conflict between government and our Constitution, it follows that:
1) The government is not interested in protecting the Constitution;
2) Although the government uses the Constitution to legitimize itself, it's principle interest is in DESTROYING the Constitution; and
3) That the only party able to truly protect and defend YOUR Rights is YOU.
Sound far-fetched? It's not. Even the courts agree.
The individual Rights guaranteed by our Constitution can be compromised or ignored by our government.
For example, in US. vs.Johnson (76 Fed Supp. 538),
Federal District Court Judge James Alger Fee ruled that,
"The privilege against self-incrimination is neither accorded to the passive resistant, nor to the person who is ignorant of his rights, nor to one indifferent thereto. It is a FIGHTING clause. It's benefits can be retained only by sustained COMBAT. It cannot be claimed by attorney or solicitor. It is valid only when insisted upon by a BELLIGERENT claimant in person." McAlister vs. Henkel, 201 U.S. 90, 26 S.Ct. 385, 50 L. Ed. 671; Commonwealth vs. Shaw, 4 Cush. 594, 50 Am.Dec. 813; Orum vs. State, 38
Note the verdict's confrontational language: "fighting", "combat", and most surprising, "belligerent". Did you ever expect to ever read a Federal Court condemn citizens for being "passive" or "ignorant"? Did you ever expect to see a verdict that encouraged citizens to be "belligerent" IN COURT...?
Better go back and re-read that extraordinary verdict. And read it again. And commit it to memory, for it succinctly describes the essence of the American legal system.
The court ruled that the Constitutional Right against self-incrimination is NOT automatically guaranteed to any citizen by any government branch or official. Moreover, despite the government's usual propaganda, this Right is NOT available to all persons: It is not available to the "passive", the "ignorant", or the "indifferent". Nor can this Right be claimed by an attorney on behalf of his client. The Right against self-incrimination is available only to the knowledgeable, "belligerent claimant", to the individual willing to engage in "sustained combat" to FIGHT for his RIGHT.
Government is obligated to recognize your Constitutional Right against self-incrimination only if you fight for that right. Our courts are free to ignore this Right for any citizen who is
1) Ignorant of his Right and/or
2) Lacks the courage to fight for his Right. Therefore, anyone who trusts the courts (or even his own lawyer) to protect his Constitutional Right against self-incrimination is a fool and may pay a fool's price.
If one of our Constitutional Rights is only available to citizens who are both knowledgeable and belligerent, how are the balances of our Rights any different?
Fundamentally, if you don't know your Rights, the court is under no obligation to inform you, or to protect your Rights. Even if you know your Rights, but lack the guts to fight for them, again, the court is not obligated to protect you. If you are superior to the Government, then why SHOULD they be obligated to inform their Master? Ignorance of the law is NO EXCUSE! In the same respect, if the executive or legislative branch violates the Constitution, it is our duty to fight to restore the limitations provided by the constitution.
In fact, your ignorance or passivity legally empowers your adversary to exploit you in court. If the opposing side tries to
That's the way our courts really are: The ignorant and the passive can be routinely railroaded and abused without ever understanding that the cause for their abuse is their own ignorance or cowardice.
Our cowardice and fear of the courts typically entices us to "play nice" with the judge. But that's exactly the wrong strategy because by "playing nice", we become accomplices in our own destruction. By not objecting and defying the courts, we implicitly approve, validate, and accept whatever injustice the court cares to dispense on our lives. By not fighting, we give the government license to destroy us.
The key to a successful defense of our Rights is not to kiss up to the judge with yes-your-honor's, no-your-honor's, and pray-the-court's, but to stand up and belligerently defy the system.
Given that the government does not defend our Rights, what's a reasonable person to do?
Clearly, we must do SOMETHING, for as Edmund Burke said, "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." But apathy isn't simply a function of cowardice or indifference; "apathy" is a synonym for "ignorance".
Ignorance makes the public more "manageable" in the courts and in confrontations with the government. Insofar as government naturally seeks to expand its powers at the expense of the citizen's Rights, government has a vested interest in the public's ignorance and consequent apathy. The interest in expanding its powers encourages the government to provide little, no, or even false, education on what our Rights should be.
So first, you must learn your Constitutional Rights. If you don't know what your Rights are, you can't "fight" for them.
Second, given the reality of American education, you can't rely on the state to teach you anything other than basic vocational training. Therefore, you must study your rights, learn about law, history and EDUCATE YOURSELF.
Third, teach your friends and neighbors. It's not enough to know YOUR Rights. You must also know and respect your neighbor's. Like-wise, your neighbor must learn to know and respect his, and you’re Rights, too. Our chances of compelling government to concede our Rights are hugely improved when the general public also understands and respects those Rights.
Fourth, knowledge alone is not enough: once you know your Rights, find the courage to fight for them. Courage ("belligerence") is the final requirement to secure your Rights. Fight for YOUR Rights, and more, learn to respect others, no matter how seemingly bizarre, who also fight for THEIR Rights. Make no mistake -- anyone who's fighting for HIS Rights, is also fighting for YOURS. He's entitled to your respect.
Fifth, don't trust the government. Recognize the true nature of a citizen's relationship to government is ADVERSARIAL. All governments naturally seek to expand their powers at the cost of their citizen's Rights, both nationally and internationally. This has been true since time began and will not change in this life. You have what they want: personal power (and as consequence, freedom from government authority). Trusting the government has already enslaved us. It is up to us to break these bonds and restore true liberty and freedom.
The most effective tyrannies begin by luring their subjects with carrots. Only later, after the people are addicted to government and weak, will they use the stick to compel public obedience.
America thrived for nearly two centuries based on the Constitution's mandate of limited government/maximum freedom. But limited government demands personal self-reliance. As government has grown in size with the carrots of welfare, entitlements, and special interest programs, the public has become increasingly dependent of the government, and the nation has declined.
This is America, boys and girls. It's more than a piece of land; it's a political miracle -- the only nation in the world with an anti-government Constitution. But this miracle is conditional and dependant on the knowledge, courage, and self-reliance of its citizens. Freedom will not flourish in a nation of ignorant fools and irresponsible weaklings. To live free takes knowledge, nerve, and personal responsibility.