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May 18th, 2022

Insight

As Americans, We Have the Right To a Government That Works For Us

Laura Hollis

By Laura Hollis

Published Sept. 23, 2021

The citizens of any free country have the right to a government that works for them. For Americans, it is our birthright. Our founding documents say so explicitly.

The Declaration of Independence sets forth the principles of individual liberty and free agency that form the basis of American society. That document famously states that all humans are in possession of certain fundamental rights, including life, liberty and (an extraordinary statement in the 18th century) the pursuit of our own personal happiness. Furthermore, it says, we derive our rights not from government, but from God. The government's role is to protect those rights.

The preamble to the United States Constitution delineates the government's duties:

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

The federal government was created by that Constitution to establish justice for American citizens; to protect our peace; our prosperity; our defense; our welfare; our liberty, and to preserve all of this for the generation that created the Constitution as well as for all those who would be or become Americans later.

Patrick Henry, who is most famous for the quote "Give me liberty or give me death," was an anti-Federalist who warned against the creation of a strong federal government. He opposed the signing of the Constitution because he believed it gave the government too much power over people.

The esteemed Henry must be rolling over in his grave.

The federal government in 2021 (as well as that of some states) has utterly lost sight of these sacred principles. Government does dominate every aspect of our lives and interests, and yet those in control of government demand still greater power. They have little to no regard for the right of Americans to run our own lives, believing instead that their Ivy League degrees, their cockamamie theories and the mere fact of their elections are proof of their divine right to rule us all.

The laws Congress passes run thousands of pages, and those who vote for them do not read them. Congress delegates much of its lawmaking authority to bureaucrats in regulatory agencies who are unelected and accountable to no one. The president of the United States, whose constitutional role is not lawmaking but faithful execution of the country's laws, now rules by executive fiat; in President Joe Biden's case, 244 executive orders, notices, memoranda and proclamations — nearly one for every single day of his presidency thus far.

Many politicians and administrations have let Americans down. But the Biden administration represents the worst in corruption, deceit and betrayal.

Virtually no decision made or policy pursued by this administration benefits the American public. To the contrary, the vast majority are so blatantly adverse to our country's best interests that they are indefensible by all but the profoundly deceitful or inexplicably ignorant.

On President Biden's first day in office, he issued an executive order terminating the construction and operation of the Keystone Pipeline. When former President Donald Trump left office, America was energy independent for the first time in decades. The price of oil and gas has nearly doubled for Americans, and Biden begs Middle Eastern nations to produce more for us. Wonderful for OPEC countries, but disastrous for American families and businesses.

Biden refuses to enforce our immigration laws. By the end of his first year in office, more than 2 million people will have poured across the southern border. After the disastrous withdrawal of our troops and subsequent fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, tens of thousands of unvetted Afghans have entered the country and thousands more are expected. Untold numbers of these immigrants will tap into social welfare programs already strained to the breaking point by COVID shutdowns and an aging U.S. population. Who is paying for all this? Working Americans are.

Biden is ordering all federal employees (except for postal workers) to be vaccinated and all companies with more than 100 employees to force their workers to be vaccinated. No branch of the federal government has the authority to order Americans to take medical treatment against their will. This exercise in executive overreach is made more insidious by the fact that the millions of illegal immigrants are allowed to be unvaccinated.

We have people in Congress who have never run a company or made a private payroll deciding on the fates of entire industries, including taxing them out of existence or shutting them down altogether under the auspices of the "Green New Deal" and "climate change."

Our national debt — money our government has borrowed that it has not repaid — is now $28 trillion. Biden wants to add another $3.5 trillion for pet projects that will make his cronies rich. Rather than reining him in, Congress will no doubt raise the debt ceiling yet again.

None of this is incompetence; it is deliberate destruction.

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Two hundred and forty-five years ago, the drafters of the Declaration of Independence set forth their reasons for wanting to "dissolve the political bonds" that tied the American colonies to the British throne. Governments derive their powers "from the consent of the governed," they wrote, and the colonists no longer consented to the king's rule.

"Whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends," they continued, "it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness."

Our federal government has become destructive to the ends for which it was originally created. If we cannot, with the existing means at our disposal, impel those whom we have elected to return to the business of protecting and defending America and its citizens, then perhaps it is time to abolish it.

(COMMENT, BELOW)

Laura Hirschfeld Hollis is on the faculty at the University of Notre Dame, where she teaches courses in business law and entrepreneurship. She has received numerous awards for her teaching, research, community service and contributions to entrepreneurship education.

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