Home > Uncategorized > 40,000 new indicia of America’s descent into irrelevance

40,000 new indicia of America’s descent into irrelevance

     There are, almost like clockwork, around the first of every new year, a multitude of news stories reporting on the newest additions to the law books. This year, one channel took an almost psychotic glee in reporting that there were 40,000 new laws that took effect on the first of January.

    40,000. New. Laws. That is on top of all the laws that already exist. The stack of books required to hold them grows ever larger, as does the stacks upon stacks of books needed to explain them. If you ever want a terrifying sight, go to any law school, and wander through the law library. An entire library, with thousands upon thousands of books, all codifying and explaining the laws that govern a supposedly free people. Every year, more and more added, practically to the point of incomprehensibility.

     Case in point, the health care proposal currently being worked on in Congress. Two thousand pages, written by people who can’t find honest work. Written by people whose grasp of English is clearly deficient. Read by, well, let’s face it, none of them. First off, it’s longer and more stultifying than “War and Peace.” Second,  I doubt many of the members of congress can actually read well enough to digest such a bill. Let us not forget, that when asked why he broke a promise, Senator Roland Burris(D-IL), said he didn’t want to get hung up on language!

     The real problem is this. I have a brother who used to be a state trooper in the commonwealth of Virginia. He is currently a prosecuting attorney in the same state. He once told me that there wasn’t a person that he could not cite or arrest on a daily basis; that the laws had become so numerous and byzantine, that everybody was bound to run afoul of some law on a daily basis. This strike me as the antithesis of a free state, and almost by definition the hallmark of an authoritarian government.

Theodore M. Vestal of Oklahoma State University–Stillwater writes that the hall marks of an authoritarian government are these:

1) rule of men, not rule of law;

2) rigged elections;

3) all important political decisions made by unelected officials behind closed doors.

Does any of this sound familiar? Of course it does, if you’re paying attention.

Rule of men, not of law? Sounds exactly like the situation we have now, where regulatory bodies, whose executives are appointed, are making decisions on matters so fundamental to our way of life; decisions better left to the people via our representatives. At least we can vote them out of office.

Rigged elections? Well, there are those who have made the case that in my lifetime alone, elections have been stolen by LBJ, JFK, Bush the second, and others. In addition, we are all familiar, or should be, with gerrymandering, a practice engaged in by politicians to protect themselves at the expense of the constituency.

Political decisions made behind closed doors? Did we just not see this in regards to the health care bill? How many times were we told that details would be forthcoming, yet were never divulged? How many back door deals were made, while the public was left in the dark?

     If any more proof were necessary, we need merely to look at the requirement to buy health insurance. You must, under penalty of fines and/or jail, buy a product from a private party. No longer may you decide what is appropriate for you and your family. No, the government has made that decision! Buy or go to jail.

     We are no longer a free people. We are a people burdened by layers upon layers of government that would have been unthinkable to our founding fathers. Benjamin Franklin was said to have remarked, upon observing the carving of a sun on the back of a chair, that he was sure that it was a rising sun, dawning on a new day of freedom. I can only suggest which way he might view the carving were he alive today.

     Thirty years ago I told my father that ballots were no longer effective in the United States, and that the time had come for bullets. He replied that, no, there was still time to shake off the torpor that had fallen upon us. Thirty years later I wonder if he has changed his opinion.

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