An Alternative to Impending Doom
By: Nancy Salvato
In the time that has passed since President Obama was elected to and now holds the presidency of the United States, there has been something of an ominous and disturbing feel accompanying the media’s portrayal of his administration. It brings to mind news coverage of third world countries taken over by a military coup or overrun by a junta or dictatorship whose next move is to nationalize their industries or indiscriminately ravage the countryside. There is a one-step removed air about the reporting that belies the gravity of what is being discussed and makes each event surreal. There is a resigned quality to the words and to what is happening to our way of life. Have we forgotten that we live under a Constitution that provides â€œWe the Peopleâ€ the power to â€œpeacefully overthrowâ€ those who are elected to hold office? We even have the power to â€œnon-peacefully overthrowâ€ those elected to power, but we’ve never had to use this recourse.
“God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty…And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.” – Thomas Jefferson
Instead of resigning ourselves to each move of this administration to socialize our government, we should be organizing in our communities, our cities, and our states to formulate action plans to elect representatives to office who are aligned with our founding principles. This is no small undertaking because the people who voted President Obama into power see nothing inherently wrong with the decisions being made by his administration. Therefore, not only do we need to decide who is most suited to run for office, but in each constituency, campaigns must begin now, to ensure that our chosen candidates are elected to represent us in government.
When the US Constitution was completed, Hamilton, Madison and Jay understood that they would need to convince the people that it was the best possible form of government in order to ensure its ratification by the requisite number of states. To change the minds of the many people who were satisfied that the Articles of Confederation simply needed revision and that there was no reason to ratify this new form of government, they had to hit the ground running. They undertook the ultimate campaign. All of this required tremendous energy and organization. They had to explain over and over the rationale behind each article of the Constitution and rebut every last argument of the anti-Federalists. In many ways, the resulting Federalist and anti Federalist papers serve the same role as the â€œTalmudâ€ does in Jewish law. These provide an explanation for what was included or not included in the US Constitution and why. Concurring or dissenting opinions about Supreme Court Decisions function in much the same way.
There are a number of actions that must occur if we are to influence those who voted representatives into public office with whose actions we disagree. We must begin with the basics. The American people need further education in the rationale behind each word of our Constitution. Our citizens need to learn about the failures of socialism and other forms of government. To appreciate the freedoms protected by the US Constitution, one needs to understand what sovereignty means to the longevity, power and wealth of our nation. Finally, those who do not engage politically need to become convinced that by disengaging they are empowering people whose actions are not necessarily in this country’s best interests.
The US Constitution is not taught adequately in our nation’s schools. Part of the reason for this is because our schools do not have enough time to focus on the basics. Another contributing factor is that people, places, and events covered in our social studies curriculums are given equal time even though they did not have equal influence in our heritage. Furthermore, the Founders and Framers are maligned when they are examined through 21st century lenses instead of studying them in the context of their time. Finally, many charged with teaching our heritage do not have a sufficient grasp of our history to recognize when curriculum utilized in school districts is missing information or is skewed ideologically.
While most high schools require one semester of US History, a study of political science or economics is not mandatory. When these subjects are offered and required, students are provided an introduction to these areas of study and do not walk away understanding the complexity of these areas. Time, money, and knowledge are needed to ensure these subjects are given adequate coverage. Concerned people with understanding and money need to find a way to channel funding to activists who are willing to fight to change what has become the norm in our schools.
While understanding the how and why of our own governing structure is crucial to the functioning of our rule of law, it is imperative that we understand the motivation and agendas inherent in other systems of government or religious practices. For example, while our Constitution provides for freedom of religious belief, no religion may have undue influence over another. State and Federal legislators have put into place a system of laws which deem what religious practices are allowed or not permissible. By providing such structure, the government is charged with preserving and protecting the maximum amount of individual freedom while at the same time allowing us to live together as one people, committed to the US Constitution. Religious practices or systems of government with a mandate to expand their influence are contradictory to the preservation of our freedoms. We must be vigilant in maintaining our sovereignty in these areas. Socialism, or redistribution of wealth, is antithetical to individual freedoms. A global governing structure undermines our country’s ability to rule ourselves. While some people are cognizant of these conflicts, they do not understand why they pose a problem. Others are simply not mindful of what is happening around them and need to be brought to awareness. Concerned people with understanding and money need to find a way to channel funding to activists who are willing to fight to change what is undermining our sovereignty.
The Founders and Framers understood that the success of our government depended on an educated citizenry. While it is mandatory that our children attend school so that they can receive an education sufficient to allow them to function as productive members of society, we stop short of mandating that citizens young and old receive the surplus of knowledge necessary to respond adequately to the challenges we face today. As a result, we’ve allowed those who are supposed to report the facts to politicize the news. We’ve allowed the regurgitation of talking points to substitute for legitimate debate of ideas to come to a consensus of how to respond to challenges. We’ve allowed majority and minority factions an undue amount of influence instead of working together to make change on which everyone can agree. Concerned people with understanding and money need to find a way to channel funding to activists who are willing to fight to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to learn the facts separate from the opinions of those reporting them.
“The top 10 donors [of the top 50 companies and organizations donating to their elected officials] from 1989 to 2004 have a combined total contribution of almost $238 million. Of that 10, the donors ranked 1,4,5,6,7 and 8 gave at least 90% of their contributions to the Democrats, with the donors ranked 9 and 10 giving at least 60% and 70% of their contributions, respectively, to the Democrats. Roughly calculated, that equates to just under $230 million of the $238 million contributed that went to the Democrats, and that is just within the top 10.” 
Ethics reform pushed by democrats focuses on individual contributions, likely because those tend to break to the Republicans.
Those who understand that the freedoms protected by the US Constitution are being usurped by the ideological agenda supported by big money on the left side of the aisle need funding in order to combat this force. What I’ve proposed in this piece is an action plan to combat the usurpation of our individual rights and sovereignty as a nation. We must act fast.
“One provision [in President Obama's $3.6 trillion budget] that drew immediate fire is a tax increase on individuals in the top income bracket, in the form of decreased deductions for charity donations…
“Currently, if someone in the top bracket makes a gift to charity, for instance, they get a 35 percent write-off. Under Obama’s plan, beginning in 2011, they would get a smaller write-off at the 28 percent rate – a change that worries charity [and nonprofit] groups.” 
While this isn’t a hard sell for my nonprofit, Basics Project (www.basicsproject.org), it is a call to action. Basics Project recognizes that there is a direct correlation between a solid, fact-based understanding of the principles that founded out great nation and the American public’s capacity to foment a desire to safeguard the freedoms and liberties afforded us under our Constitution, the covenant between citizen and government.
As a 501(c)(3) recognized tax-exempt organization, for now, contributions to Basics Project are tax deductible for federal income tax purposes, subject to appropriate limitations. Help us achieve our goals by taking advantage of the tax savings available to you through your financial support of our organization. You can pay taxes to the federal government and hope Congress spends it wisely, (“The American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009″ shows the bill is more payoffs and pork then stimulus.â€ ) or you can affect that amount by contributing to Basics Project with a guarantee it is going to help preserve our American Heritage.
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