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Where Does the Supreme Court Get Its Power? March 30, 2012

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
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This week the eyes of everyone concerned with the continuance of limited government were riveted on the Supreme Court.  For three days the nine Justices heard arguments by the Solicitor General in favor of ruling the individual mandate which is the keystone of Obamacare constitutional.  They also heard the representatives of twenty-six States argue that it is unconstitutional.  This is the first time that a majority of the States have combined to protest an act of Congress.  Now We the People must wait while the fate of our Republic is decided in secret by our Black Robed rulers from whom there is no appeal.

How did we get here?

We elect our representatives and they enact laws which are supposed to be within the framework of the Constitution.  It should be the expectation of Americans that those we entrust with our delegated sovereignty would craft laws in accordance with our wishes as expressed in the founding document of our government.  These laws should reflect our desire for limited government, personal liberty, and economic freedom.

And the unicorns danced with the elves until the cow jumped over the moon.

The perpetually re-elected who control the two houses of our legislature make law with no regard for the limits, the spirit, or the letter of our Constitution.  In this case they have decreed not participating in Commerce is commerce, and that a penalty is not a tax, that is a tax, and then isn’t again.  After years of stepping so far over the line they have forgotten there was a line.  The Party of Power has finally legislated us to the point of no return.  If the court of last resort gives this power grab the green light what limits are left?

Since the law was passed over the overwhelming rejection of the voters its validation would cement the dictatorship of the Party in the transformation of America from what we have known into what we would never choose.  The Court appears to be our last line of defense.  But where does the Supreme Court get its power?

The Supreme Court is principally occupied in a task that has no basis in the Constitution.  The nine justices spend their time judging what is constitutional and what isn’t through a process known as judicial review.  However, when the delegates of the thirteen original States drafted the Constitution they decided after much debate not to delegate such a power to the judicial branch or any other branch of the new Federal Government.

If the Constitution doesn’t give this power to the Court how did they get it?  The surprising answer is that they assumed it unto themselves, and since no one stopped them they just kept doing it.  The process began in 1794 when for the First time they declared an act of Congress unconstitutional.  Then in 1803 they used a minor case Marbury v Madison to outline their justification for the process.  Since that time the belief that the Supreme Court is the ultimate judge of the constitutionality of anything and everything has become such a cornerstone of the American System that the average person erroneously believes the power was granted in the Constitution. Thus the first power grab has become our last defense against what could be the final power grab.

In other words we who want to see the rebirth of limited government are hoping the Supreme Court will use an unconstitutional power to save the Constitution.  We stand hat in hand waiting patiently to find out if the Commerce Clause can be stretched to give the central government unlimited power or will we step back from the precipice and wait for the Party of Power to try again.

Across the country we have watched as everything from abortion to gay marriage has been imposed upon us by the black robed tyrants of the Federal Bench.  We have watched as popularly passed referendums were overturned, and common sense laws such as Arizona’s immigration statutes cast aside by activist jurists determined to force our nation into their mold.  Unelected and almost unaccountable these imperious lawyers on steroids hand down pronouncements from Olympus on the Potomac as the sons of pioneers meekly accept the rule of tradition and the arbitrary decrees of men instead of the rule of law our ancestors fought and died to establish and preserve.

Now the arguments are over.  The talking heads endlessly dissect what was said telling us what it means.  For months we will hear rumors and hints as we wait until June for the word from on high.  Is not purchasing insurance commerce?  Does the government have the power to compel a citizen to enter into a contract?  Is a contract made under duress valid?  Does Congress have the power to make the purchasing of a product necessary to maintain the status of a law abiding citizen?  If the answer to what should be rhetorical questions is not a resounding “NO!” we have strayed beyond the pale of liberty and are adrift in the seas of arbitrary power.

As we look to an unconstitutional process to save the Constitution perhaps we should reflect on the state of our Republic.  I would also recommend a deep study of the works of our Anti-Federalist fathers.  Since we are living in the world they predicted maybe we should take a second look at what they recommended as an alternative to what we have become?

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the Historian of the Future and the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2012 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens

 

We Know the Problem … What’s the Answer? March 22, 2012

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
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This weekly column, which I have been privileged to submit for your consideration for the past three years, elicits many comments and questions.  The most common of which can be summed up as, “I agree with your analysis, appreciate the Historical context, but how about some practical suggestions.”

If you are one of the many who have sent me those emails, posted those replies, made those phone calls, or asked me in person this column is for you.

To fully address these questions we have to look at two levels: the macro and the micro.  We need practical suggestions for the very large and the very small.  We need practical suggestions for the societal and cultural level and the personal level.

First of all we need some historical context for our current situation.  In some ways we are unique, we are America after all.  And in some ways what is happening to us has happened many times before.  As I have often said in these columns if History doesn’t actually repeat itself it does rhyme.

The French Revolution occurred between 1787 and 1799.  It was the first to try to replicate the phenomenon of the American Revolution which overthrew the age old tyranny of divine right kings and landed aristocracy replacing it with a federal republic operating on democratic principles based upon limited government, personal liberty, and economic freedom.

The American Revolution inspired the French to believe they too could break free of the chains and breathe the fresh air of freedom.  However, it lost something in the translation.  Perhaps because the French didn’t have the centuries long tradition of limited self-government and human rights which had grown up in England since the Magna Carta had been forced on a reluctant King John in 1215.  Perhaps it was because the French had endured centuries of the cruelest servitude under the most absolute of absolute monarchs.

Whatever the reason once the French broke free of the cultural, societal, and personal restraint of the Old Regime which had persecuted and exploited them for so long the French people sought to exact revenge.  They sought to cut the former ruling class out of society and while they were at it establish a completely new regime in its place.  The French, always famous for philosophers, had produced one who had a tremendous influence on the thinking of the Founders of our country and the Framers of the Constitution: Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

However, Rousseau had two sides.  On one he eloquently expressed the idea that government was established upon a social contract between the rulers and the ruled and that to have any legitimacy government must base itself upon the consent of the governed.  Thus empowering the governed to decide when that contract has been violated and giving them a philosophical basis for change.  Our forefathers based their work upon this side.

On the other side, Rousseau argued against private property.   And that it is the role of the state to impose freedom, equality, and justice for all within the state regardless of the view of the majority.  Thus empowering a minority to decide what constitutes freedom, equality, justice, and justifying the use of state power to mold society to fit the vision of the few.  On this side Rousseau is considered the father of modern socialism and communism.  This is the side that the leaders of the French Revolution chose to follow.

Another difference is that by 1787 France had been a highly centralized nation for centuries.  The local governments served at the pleasure of the central authority and they could be established or overthrown upon the whim of the ruler.  In America we had the experience of thirteen separate colonies each with their own particular history and each with their own particular traditions.  In America this led to the establishment of a Federal republic with sovereignty resting in the states and only delegated to the central government.

These differences led to the corruption of the French Revolution into The Terror.  This was a period between 1793 and 1794 when France was surrounded by enemies and pressed on every side.  The Leaders of the Revolution felt as if there were agents and sympathizers of their enemies everywhere and they proceeded to execute thousands of their own people in order to secure freedom.  The Terror eventually led to a military dictatorship which evolved into an Empire with a monarch at least as absolute as the one they had overthrown in 1787.

Unfortunately for humanity suffering under the yoke of absolute rulers and their crony elites, subsequent revolutions have tended to follow the French model instead of the America.  The Mexican Revolution (1810-1821) was part of a wide ranging revolt against the once great Spanish Empire (1808-1826).  From the Rio Grande to Tierra del Fuego revolutions cast aside the foreign rule of Spain and established homegrown republics.  All of these republics modeled their initial declarations of independence on America’s but the successor regimes all came to model some variation of the French.  The people rose up in righteous indignation against an oppressive system and in the end found themselves under one military dictator after another.  They fought to gain their liberty and merely traded one elite for another as the iron heel of tyranny maintained its stand on the throat of liberty.

Other revolutions, the Russian (1917) and the Cuban (1952-1959) are further examples of the trend.  What begins as an attempt to bring the blessing of limited government, personal liberty, and economic freedom to people ends up bringing instead a tyranny usually more cruel than what the people originally rebelled against.

As can be seen by this litany of subverted revolutions it is usually violence that brings the fall of the former tyranny and facilitates the rise of the latter.  One example of a revolution that came about through an election would be the Nazi revolution in 1932.  Another would be the current regime of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.  A revolution by way of the ballot box, but a revolution none the less.

Today America is in the midst of a revolution.  America has elected a President who has vowed to fundamentally transform America.  He promised this to his adoring supporters before his election, and he has worked tirelessly to bring it about.  He is an Alinsky style community organizer who is working to organize our community by occupying the center of power and the streets at the same time.  He follows the Cloward/Piven Strategy spending us into oblivion in the name of saving the economy.  He has seized major portions of the economy and shoved national health insurance, a financial sector take-over, and undeclared war down the throats of a passive American public.  Polls show that vast majorities do not want what he is selling but he is closing the deal anyway.

Right now Mr. Obama is campaigning day and night for another term, and a term that would be without restraint for a President who has already said he can rule without Congress.  He would undoubtedly appoint at least one more Supreme Court Justice and solidify America’s passage from a federal republic to a European style social democracy.

That is the context, so what should patriotic Americans do now?  As I said at the beginning to fully address these questions we have to look at two levels: the macro and the micro.  We need practical suggestions for the very large and the very small.  We need practical suggestions for the societal and cultural level and the personal level.

On the macro level we need to do everything in our power to make sure Barack Obama does not win a second term.  We need to contribute our time, our talent, and our treasure to making sure he is defeated and defeated decisively in the November of 2012.  Whom should we support?  My advice is study the opposition candidates, and support the one who stands for limited government, personal liberty, and economic freedom.  Choose the one that most credibly supports a return to constitutional government.

If after the primaries that candidate does not win the nomination of the Republican side of the government party, patriots will be faced with a dilemma.  If we are forced to choose between Obama and the sure, sudden and, complete destruction of constitutionally limited government or a big government Republican who is in favor of more foreign interventions and a continuation of our role as policeman of the world what’s a patriot to do?

The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you are still choosing evil.  However in this instance with code blue on one side and a slow fall off a high cliff on the other we may want to choose the one who will drive us to the poor house a little slower.  At least that way we will have more time to prepare and perhaps another opportunity to make the logical choice and vote for a return to constitutional government.

On the Micro level I am reminded of the many people I have met over the years who have escaped from any one of the hell-holes socialist revolutions have produced in the last hundred years.  Whether it is Poland, or Russia, or Cuba they have told me over and over that they see the same things happening here that once swallowed their homelands.  They have told me how they cry at night as they see central planning and social engineering consuming America.  They have tearfully asked me, “Where can we go now?  We escaped tyranny looking for freedom and now we see the same thing coming here?”

In answer to their questions I have asked one of my own, “How can we survive the coming darkness?”  One by one they have all given me the same advice, “Get out of the cities, get yourself some land where you can grow your own food, and do all you can to protect your family and preserve the traditions of liberty.”

In other words, head for the hills and hunker down.  Personally my wife and I have made this choice.  We have decided to sacrifice whatever portions of our modern life styles and lucrative careers must be jettisoned to maintain what is truly important: our family, our lives, and our liberty.  We saw this coming and made a five year plan which is now coming to fruition.  Myself and many others have been sounding the alarm from the watchtowers for years.

Now is the time for all good citizens to come to the aid of our nation.  We must stand up for our heritage.  We must do battle in the marketplace of ideas, and we must engage in the struggle at the ballot box, but we must also prepare to save some seed corn in case the winter does descend.  We must preserve what we can so we can begin again.  So “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Keep the faith.  Keep the peace.  We shall overcome.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the Historian of the Future and the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2012 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens

 

Praetorian Progressives and Their Imperial Dreams March 15, 2012

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Under President Obama we doubled-down in Afghanistan?  We sent more of our fellow citizens to a long hard slog in a country whose synonym is Quagmire while announcing the eventual date of their withdrawal at the same time.  In an unprecedented action Mr. Obama announced our attack as he heralded our retreat in a calculated political decision that has cost lives, squandered treasure and told the Taliban to wait in the wings for the second act.

 

As our economy was being outsourced, our debt monetized, and our infrastructure crumbled we meekly followed the leader deeper into a thankless nation-building campaign in the Little Bighorn of nations.  A nation that is more of a Western construct than an actual nation-state, and the tribes which inhabit this mountainous waste have resisted and foiled every empire from Alexander to Moscow.

 

There is a fundamental difference between a republic and an empire.  Republics are based upon the consent of the governed.  Empires are imposed from above.  Republics foster a community of equals each with the opportunity to achieve.  Empires exalt the ruling class at the expensive of everyone else.  Though settled by European kingdoms seeking empires the United States wasn’t founded to become an empire.  Individuals fought against the empire building tyrants until their determination and resolve won independence against all odds.

 

It is time to re-think America’s international military commitments.  It is our world wide web of foreign commitments and entanglements that has been used by the self-righteous Progressives and their cronies in the military industrial complex in their efforts to transform the United States from republic to empire.  They have used the never ending wars for peace to regiment our society and create a centrally-planned bureaucratic mega government.

 

George Washington warned us to avoid foreign entanglements telling us, “It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world…”  He warned us about allowing the military to grow to big, “Over grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty.”

 

Thomas Jefferson outlined the essential principles of our government which included this advice concerning foreign affairs, “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations entangling alliances with none.”

 

For the first 100 years of our existence we followed Washington’s great rule, “The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible.”

 

The temptation to empire captured the American imagination in the 1890s: the beginning of the Progressive Era.  This was a time when Europe was rushing to gobble up the last places open for colonization or carving up those areas unsuited for colonies into spheres of influence.

 

Under President McKinley the United States entered the scramble for colonies in the Spanish-American War winning Puerto Pico and the Philippines as well as a long war against those in the Philippines who wanted the independence they had expected when liberated from the Spanish Empire by the American Republic.

 

Teddy Roosevelt the great grandfather of the Progressives followed McKinley walking softly while carrying a big stick in the form of the Great White Fleet.  He used America’s new found industrial might and military power for multiple intrusions into the sovereignty of Latin American countries.  While better known for his war against business, or trust busting as it was then called, the first President Roosevelt extolled war as a means to national greatness, “No triumph of peace is quite so great as the supreme triumph of war”

 

After being re-elected on the promise to keep America neutral President Wilson proclaimed America must fight to “Make the World Safe for Democracy.”  An adventure which cost over 300,000 casualties and which actually expanded the empires of England, France, and Japan while sowing the seeds of an even greater war.

 

After Wilson’s war the Congress of the United States re-asserted control by rejecting the international entanglements of the League of Nations Treaty returning to the traditional American foreign policy of freedom of trade and freedom of action.

 

Under FDR America fought an undeclared naval war against Germany in 1940 and 41 and imposed draconian embargoes against Japan prior to Pearl Harbor.  Once we were attacked we had to defend ourselves.  However, when World War II ended with the defeat of German, Italian, and Japanese totalitarianism and the vast expansion of Soviet totalitarianism, the guiding light of America foreign policy seems to have been permanently extinguished.

 

As the British Empire sailed into the sunset we filled the void taking up the role of leader of the West in the Cold War. For forty-six years we faced the Soviets until they collapsed.  Then instead of coming home we spread our wings even further embracing Eastern Europe.  We made a vain promise to send young Americans to fight for Estonia and Slovakia.  We coaxed color-coded revolutions all around Russia while our allies moved the EU to the East.  All of this rebuffed the hand of the Russians and made them instead of friends bitter foes who realized America had exploited their weakness and attempted to surround them with enemies.  This is the exact scenario which has haunted Russian paranoid dreams for centuries.

 

It is against the traditional principles of American foreign policy to establish and maintain an empire of far-flung outposts.  Doing so has broken the bank and we cannot afford to be the Policeman of the world.  We cannot afford to build nations for people who don’t want them while allowing our own infrastructure to decay.  How did a peaceful nation of free citizens become the advocate of pre-emptive attack and endless occupation?  How much blood and treasure did we invest in Iraq and what will be the result: a precipitous pull-out resulting in a Shi’a ally for Iran.

 

The war in Afghanistan was obviously defensive and retaliatory in nature given the Taliban’s support and collusion with Al Qaeda.  But ten years later what’s it all about?  Are we really dedicated to building a modern nation for tribal people who have no sense of nationhood?  Have we blundered into the same trap that brought the Soviets to their knees?

 

And it isn’t only our current hot deployment that is problematic.

 

The United States has armed forces in over 130 countries.  We’re committed to defend most of these countries against aggression.  Where were these allies on 9-11?  Where are they in Afghanistan?  Why do we have treaties binding us to go to war to defend those who refuse to support us when we’re attacked?  If these policies are counter-productive are there any alternatives?

 

Close the foreign bases and bring our troops home.  Sell the bases and save the money.  Station our troops on the borders to protect us from the on-going invasion of illegal immigrants who are overloading our systems. Let the maintenance of the bases and the spending of the troops contribute to our domestic economy instead of the economies of other countries.  If we need to project American power, use the carrier battle-groups designed for that purpose.  Protect America and rebuild our infrastructure.

 

When asked what to do with the American Military after World War I Will Rogers said, “Get ‘em all home, add to their number, add to their training, then just sit tight with a great feeling of security and just read about foreign wars. That’s the best thing in the world to do with them.”

 

We must jettison the Empire to save the Republic!  If we don’t the imperial power will swamp the republican nature.  We will retain the forms our Founders gave us as we find ourselves under the jackbooted heel of the Praetorian Progressives and their imperial dreams.

 

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the Historian of the Future and the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2012 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens

Real Rebels and the Counter Revolution March 8, 2012

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Think of America’s Founders.  These were real rebels.

Sam Adams agitated against the imposition of taxes.  He penned the petitions which brought forth the rallying cry “No taxation without representation!”  While avoiding violence he led the effort to organize resistance to tyranny.  He founded the Committee of Correspondence in Massachusetts and inspired its spread to the other colonies.  He organized boycotts of British goods and the public trial of the British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre.

In a world of divine right kings where the common man was a pawn to be exploited and demeaned James Madison made these revolutionary statements, “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.”  And, “An ELECTIVE DESPOTISM was not the government we fought for; but one which should not only be founded on free principles, but in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among several bodies of magistracy, as that no one could transcend their legal limits, without being effectually checked and restrained by the others.”

Patrick Henry did more than say, “Give me liberty or give me death.”  Before the Revolution, as a member of the Assembly in Virginia he led in the formation of a resistance movement against the tyranny of the British crown.  During the Revolution he served in the Continental Congress that passed the Deceleration of Independence.  After the Revolution he was not afraid to stand up against the desire of many to impose a Constitution without a Bill of Rights leading in the fight to maintain the greatest amount of individual liberty and the strongest limits to the central authority possible under the new Federal Government.  As if he could see the convolutions which currently threaten to swallow the Republic Mr. Henry reminded us at the beginning of our national experiment in limited government, “When the American spirit was in its youth, the language of America was different: Liberty, sir, was the primary object.”

Today the world is turned upside down.  The so called radical rebels of the sixties now own or control most things including the government.  The anti-establishment has become the establishment and the silent majority is being told to remain silent while this progressive minority transforms our nation into what their collectivist programmers have taught them it should be.  And yet they still see themselves as the rebels fighting a faceless bureaucracy for freedom never realizing they have met the enemy, and they are them.

All of this made me think about my old friend the professional revolutionary and something hit me.  He has always considered himself a rebel.  And considering he has made a living out of being a spokesman for the movements dedicated to destroying the America we have always known that kind of made sense at one time.

But in reality he is now and has consistently in the past loyally spouted the logical progression of the anti-American, anti-capitalist garbage that many of the teachers at our good old public High School tried to shove into our young skulls full of mush.  He also sounds exactly like all of our contemporaries who have spent a lifetime drinking at the well of the Corporations Once Called the Mainstream Media. Though they see themselves as deep thinkers it has always been obvious they receive their programming, their news and views from the major networks, and the transcripts in the print media.  They spout the same anti-traditional values pro-socialism talking points time after time.

Their representatives have spent decades chipping away at the America we love in the movies, on television, and in songs.  They have gained control of one component of society at a time: education, the media, the board room, the Congress, and finally the White House.   Through patience and planning they have gained control of the entire federal government and the elites of most areas of society.  Therefore I cannot see why we should continue referring to them as rebels merely because they see themselves that way.  When you listen to their current spokesmen such as the Daily Show, Bill Maher, or any of the MSNBC line up they come off as so hip and so cutting edge when in fact they agree 100% with the current administration and its collectivist anti-life New Age agenda.  What’s rebellious about that?  That’s like saying Pravda was a radical spokesman for change when they parroted whatever the leaders of the former USSR had to say.

Today my friend the professional rebel is actively helping recruit and train the brown shirt Occupy troops?  They may rail against Wall Street but that same Wall Street promotes and funds the very people these protesters vote for.  Someone is being used for something, but they never seem to wake up to ask, “Why should we pay no attention to the man behind the curtain?”

I can no longer consider myself a conservative.  What is there left to conserve?  I am a radical and a rebel, because I advocate for limited government, personal liberty, and economic freedom.  These 1960s retreads who continue to advocate for the progressive collectivists who have won their revolution and now occupy the seats of power are faux rebels: organizational apparatchiks spouting the party line.

Look at how revolutionary some of our real rebels still sound today:

Sam Adams said, “The Constitution shall never be construed… to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.” And “The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil constitution, are worth defending against all hazards: And it is our duty to defend them against all attacks.”  He also said, “Our contest is not only whether we ourselves shall be free, but whether there shall be left to mankind an asylum on earth for civil and religious liberty.”

Patrick Henry said, “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.”  And, “We are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of Nature has placed in our power… the battle, sir, is not to the strong alone it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.”  When thinking of his most famous statement we should keep it in context and recall the whole quote, “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!”

So the next time the nightly faux news shows are filled the antics of the faux rebels demonstrating for more government power, or the next time one of your relatives or old friends wants to fill your ear with their oft repeated mantras for the collectivist establishment tell yourself, “This is the time for real rebels and the counter revolution.”

And if pointing out the transparent hypocrisy of the faux rebels of today should ever be considered too rebellious for the faint of heart let me share one more quote from Patrick Henry, “If this be treason, make the most of it!”

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the Historian of the Future and the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2012 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens

 

None Dare Call It….. March 1, 2012

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In 1777 the British thought they had finally hit upon a strategy to crush the rebellion.  They would divide the colonies.  General John Burgoyne had presented a bold plan to the government in London.  He proposed to invade New England from Canada marching down the Hudson River Valley.  There British troops moving up from New Jersey and New York under the command of General Howe would join Burgoyne and effectively cut the colonies in  two demoralizing the rebels and discouraging the French who were considering recognizing the independence of America.

In early summer Burgoyne set off with a professional army of over 7,000 men and many thousands of Indian allies.  In a declaration Burgoyne threatened to unleash his Indian allies to pillage the Americans.  When numerous atrocities were committed the vast majority of Americans in the path of the invading army resolved to join the rebellion thus swelling the troops and supplies of the Americans.

As the British proceeded south the resistance constantly stiffened and the swarm of snipers buzzed about the invaders like mosquitos snipping at their heels over and over.  Burgoyne ignored these attacks and continued his advance to the south in a grand style.  Meanwhile, miles to the south General Howe made a decision that would have a fateful consequence.   Instead of marching to meet Burgoyne as he was supposed to do he decided to attack Philadelphia, the Rebel capital.  Not aware of the change of plans Burgoyne continued to march south unconcerned that his supply lines were becoming longer and less secure since he thought he would receive everything he needed as soon as the reinforcements arrived.

Soon American ambushes began to defeat or capture any British forces sent out from the main body to forage or scout.  The Americans began to burn and destroy all supplies, crops, and pasture in front of the British.  Day by day General Burgoyne should have begun to realize he was marching into a trap.  Finally in the first week of October 1777 the American Continental Army confronted the British north of Albany near the town of Saratoga.  Ever the flamboyant firebrand Burgoyne though now surrounded and outnumbered trusted to his professional troops to overwhelm and defeat the citizen soldiers of the American Army.  Without hesitation Burgoyne took the offensive and was soon smashing his way through the poorly trained militias that made up a major portion of the American Army.  He seemed about to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat when one of America’s greatest heroes intervened.

When the British were about to break through General Benedict Arnold rallied his troops and against the orders of his commanding officer led a valiant counterattack which changed the course of the day and set the stage for the eventual surrender of the entire British army.  This ultimately led to the recognition of America by France.  And this led to the French fleet and army being present at Yorktown for the final victory which won the war.

General Arnold was grievously wounded at the battle of Saratoga and would never completely recover his health.  In the reports of the battle the American commanding general Horatio Gates did not mention Arnold’s heroic deeds and took all the credit for the victory himself.

This slight festered in the heart of Arnold, and is believed to be the reason why he eventually betrayed the cause he had sworn to defend and earned a name forever synonymous with traitor in American History.

In 1777 a foreign army tried to divide America.  The assault was met by minute men rushing from all directions leaving the comfort of their homes to sacrifice their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to save their home land.  Today the forces of social welfare use class warfare to divide and conquer.  Now is the time for all good men to come to the aide of their country!  Now is the time for loyalty and patriotism not the time to be timid in the face of forces dedicated to the transformation of our Republic.

Exactly what is treason?  It is the offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance: the betrayal of a trust.

Benedict Arnold did that by trying to surrender his command: the fortress at West Point.  He betrayed his trust and sought to bring about the defeat of his nation.

What should we call leaders who act against the interest of the nation?  Who fight endless wars for peace that do not enhance our security or protect our interest?  What should we call leaders who sacrifice our energy independence to a false religion of manmade global warming and squander our treasure pouring it into ideologically driven fringe technologies that fail time and time again?  What should we call leaders who embrace our enemies and offend our friends?  What should we call leaders who have cast off all fiscal restraint and are spending us and our great grandchildren into oblivion?  What do we call leaders who ignore the limitations of the Constitution, expand the police and detention powers of the military, and actively work to put law abiding citizens under constant surveillance?

Historians always say that hindsight is 20/20 and looking back we can see that General Arnold believed he had a reason or at least an excuse for his treason.

Seeing as clearly in the present is always a more challenging assignment; however, it is our responsibility to act as the stewards of the heritage we have received.  And as the current stewards of America’s precious heritage of limited government, personal liberty, and economic freedom it is our duty to evaluate those who are sailing the ship of state over Niagara without even a barrel and ask ourselves why are they doing this?  Why are those sworn to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States doing everything conceivable to undermine the Republic and institute a centrally-planned collectivist democracy in its place?

The hidden secrets of the heart are impossible to discern.  None of us can ever truly know the unspoken motives of another.  Therefore we must base our interpretations of motive upon actions.  We watch the bravest of the brave fight and die in wars already surrendered.   We watch endless talk about the debt as the debt is constantly increased.  We watch as thousands of new regulations are added every day binding the free citizens of America in a totalitarian nightmare of control.  Though none dare call it by its real name, none dare point the finger of accusation for fear of being called a bigot, a racist, or intolerant, is it time to use the word none dare speak: treason?

As Thomas Paine once said, “THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.”

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the Historian of the Future and the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2012 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens

 

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