The Consent of the Governed

The Consent of the Governed

The United States Declaration of Independence begins:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”

Houston, we have a problem. A recent Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey discovered that only 17% of voters believe that the federal government has the consent of the governed. A full 69% of American voters do not believe that the current U.S. government does enjoy the consent of the governed. Only 14% of voters polled were not sure. The political middle is slowly disappearing as the nation divides itself into the statist minority and the freedom-loving majority.

Additional data from related Rasmussen polls are even more elightening. 63% of Americans polled agreed with the statement “No matter how bad things are, Congress can always find a way to make them worse.” This echoes the famous wisdom of Thomas Paine, who wrote “Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil.”

46% of likely Voters believe that most members of Congress as corrupt. Thomas Jefferson wrote “When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself as public property.” This standard does not appear to represent by our current generation of kleptocrats.

Unlike many similar polls in the past, Americans are not happy even with their own representatives. Only 32% of voters now believe their own Congressperson is actually representing their best interests and only 31% believe their Congressperson is the best person for the job. 62% of respondents would, if it were possible, replace the entire Congress and start over again — while only 15% would choose to keep the current Congress.

Only 14% of likely U.S. Voters believe the country is heading in the right direction, and many don’t see that situation improving — ever. 51% say that America’s best days are in the past and only 32% think that America’s best days are in the future.

It appears that those Americans have forgotten what follows immediately after that opening excerpt from the Declaration of Independence:

“… That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, 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.”

This is a very high standard for Americans to live up to. It is a standard to which our forefathers pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. Frankly, I don’t believe that we’re up to the task. We get the government we deserve, and it seems to me that the current generation of Americans is getting the government it deserves. Our lack of will to live as free individuals has left us defenseless against the predations of the federal government. Until we learn once again to stand on our own two feet, we will never deserve the freedom for which our forefathers fought and died.

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