When a man assumes a public trust he should consider himself a public property. –Thomas Jefferson
Trust, but verify. –Ronald Reagan
If the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists – to protect them and to promote their common welfare – all else is lost. –Senator Barack Obama August 2006
25% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Forty-two percent (42%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -17. (Rasmussen)
For the past year, those giving Congress good or excellent marks have remained in the narrow range of nine percent (9%) to 16%, while 53% to 71% have rated its performance as poor. (Rasmussen)
Guess when the 71% was. Health Care “deem and pass” cram down talk in February. Right before they did cram it down your throat! 🙂
30% of Likely Voters say the country is heading in the right direction, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey taken the week ending Sunday, August 8.
Confidence in the nation’s current course has ranged from 27% to 35% since last July.
Pew Research Center:
Thomas Sowell—Democracy: It’s an awful thing in a country when its people no longer believe the government protects them and their rights. Yet, a new poll shows that’s exactly where Americans are headed right now.
In a Rasmussen poll of 1,000 adults taken last Friday and Saturday, nearly half, or 48%, said they see government today as a threat to their rights. Just 37% disagreed. The poll also found that only one in five (21%) believe current government has the consent of the governed.
In other words, people think much of what our government does today is illegitimate — possibly even illegal.
For a democratic republic such as our own, this is extraordinarily dangerous. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were created explicitly to protect Americans’ rights by limiting the scope, reach and power of the federal government.
The Declaration promises “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” and goes on to say that “to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
In short, our government was designed to protect our rights — not to serve as an all-embracing nanny state that slowly, silently strips us of our ability to act as free individuals.
Bailouts, TARP, the takeover of the auto industry, nationalization of health care, the micromanagement of Wall Street and the banks, the expected $12 trillion explosion in U.S. publicly held debt over the next decade — all this and more adds up to a feeling of loss of control by the American people over their lives, both public and private, and a diminution of their rights.
The Founding Fathers understood this could happen. “Government is not reason; it is not eloquence,” George Washington presciently warned. “It is force. And force, like fire, is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”
His generation understood it would be up to us, the citizens, to ensure government wouldn’t trample our rights. That’s what the Constitution was — an agreement to limit government to certain, carefully prescribed duties. And that’s why we vote.
Today, Americans feel their rights are threatened by a government that has grown beyond its constitutional bounds. Once merely a dangerous servant, our federal government is on its way to becoming a fearful master. The only question is, will we let it?
How did we get to the point where many people feel that the America they have known is being replaced by a very different kind of country, with not only different kinds of policies but very different values and ways of governing?
Something of this magnitude does not happen all at once or in just one administration in Washington. What we are seeing is the culmination of many trends in many aspects of American life that go back for years.
Neither the Constitution of the United States nor the institutions set up by that Constitution are enough to ensure the continuance of a free, self-governing nation. When Benjamin Franklin was asked what members of the Constitution Convention were creating, he replied, “A republic, madam, if you can keep it.”
In other words, a Constitutional government does not depend on the Constitution but on us. To the extent that we allow clever people to circumvent the Constitution, while dazzling us with rhetoric, the Constitution will become just a meaningless piece of paper, as our freedoms are stolen from us, much as a pick-pocket would steal our wallet while we are distracted by other things.
It is not just evil people who would dismantle America. Many people who have no desire to destroy our freedoms simply have their own agendas that are singly or collectively incompatible with the survival of freedom.
Someone once said that a democratic society cannot survive for long after 51 percent of the people decide that they want to live off the other 49 percent. Yet that is the direction in which we are being pushed by those who are promoting envy under its more high-toned alias of “social justice.”
Those who construct moral melodramas– starring themselves on the side of the angels against the forces of evil– are ready to disregard the Constitution rights of those they demonize, and to overstep the limits put on the powers of the federal government set by the Constitution.
The outcries of protest in the media, in academia and in politics, when the Supreme Court ruled this year that people in corporations have the same free speech rights as other Americans, are a painful reminder of how vulnerable even the most basic rights are to the attacks of ideological zealots. President Barack Obama said that the Court’s decision “will open the floodgates for special interests”– as if all you have to do to take away people’s free speech rights is call them a special interest.
It is not just particular segments of the population who are under attack. What is more fundamentally under attack are the very principles and values of American society as a whole. The history of this country is taught in many schools and colleges as the history of grievances and victimhood, often with the mantra of “race, class and gender.” Television and the movies often do the same.
When there are not enough current grievances for them, they mine the past for grievances and call it history. Sins and shortcomings common to the human race around the world are spoken of as failures of “our society.” But American achievements get far less attention– and sometimes none at all.
Our “educators,” who cannot educate our children to the level of math or science achieved in most other comparable countries, have time to poison their minds against America.
Why? Partly, if not mostly, it is because that is the vogue. It shows you are “with it” when you reject your own country and exalt other countries.
Abraham Lincoln warned of people whose ambitions can only be fulfilled by dismantling the institutions of this country, because no comparable renown is available to them by supporting those institutions. He said this 25 years before the Gettysburg Address, and he was speaking of political leaders with hubris, whom he regarded as a greater danger than enemy nations. But such hubris is far more widespread today than just among political leaders.
Those with such hubris– in the media and in education, as well as in politics– have for years eroded both respect for the country and the social cohesion of its people. This erosion is what has set the stage for today’s dismantling of America that is now approaching the point of no return.
“To those who claim omnipotence for the Legislature, and who in the plentitude of their assumed powers, are disposed to disregard the Constitution, law, good faith, moral right, and every thing else,” Lincoln declared in an early speech to the Illinois legislature, “I have nothing to say.”
In Lincoln, we have a glimpse of prudence in a liberal democracy; but it is also our best glimpse of it, and perhaps our best hope for understanding and recovering it, and our best hope for the possibility of statesmanship in an age of the partisan absolute, where ignorant armies clash by night. (Heritage.org)
Or on the Internet and the 24/7 News cycle…:)
reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.confident expectation of something; hope.the condition of one to whom something has been entrusted.the obligation or responsibility imposed on a person in whom confidence or authority is placed: a position of trust.charge, custody, or care: to leave valuables in someone’s trust.something committed or entrusted to one’s care for use or safekeeping, as an office, duty, or the like; responsibility; charge.
The new “reach for hope” should be a renewal of trust. But Verify 🙂