The Consent of the Governed

The first sentence of the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence is not only one of the most well know statements ever written it is also one of the most profound and important concepts ever postulated by mankind:

“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.”

However, the next sentence, although less well known, is even more profound, and in my humble opinion, is the most important sentence in the entire Declaration because it forms the entire basis for the US Constitution and our Republican form of government:

“-- That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --” (emphasis added).

That concept was not just profound, it was earth-shattering. Never before in human history had a government been formed wherein the government was subservient to the people as opposed to the people being subservient to the government.

The purpose of such a government, as envisioned by the Founding Fathers, was to serve and protect the people, NOT to rule over them. It was a government that was instituted to benefit the people, not the ruler(s). It was a government Of the People, By the People, and For the People.

The members of government would be hired (elected) by the people and work for the People. The People were the collective boss of the members of government and could fire (vote them out of office) if they ignored the will of the people or abused the power granted to them by the People.

Today, that concept seems to have been forgotten, or even worse, is willfully being ignored, by both the elected members of the government, and sadly, by the people that elected them.

Our Congressmen/women and Senators have assumed the role of ruler and have usurped powers that were never granted to them by the constitution or by the people, while the People have abdicated their rights and their responsibilities and have, by virtue of their silence, acknowledged and accepted these usurpations without reproach.

No longer does our government serve the people. Instead, it rules over every aspect of our lives with impunity and buys our gratitude with promises and platitudes that never materialize, but are continually replaced by new promises and platitudes, ad infinitum. The people now serve the government.

The government is not to blame for what it has become. Government, by its very nature, will always grow and become a bloated, multi-headed monster if left unchecked, and will do everything to ensure its continued growth and survival. Like a cancer, it will continue to spread until it consumes its host, and eventually dies. This has been the history of every form of government since time immortal.

The people, We the People, have no one to blame but ourselves. We have the power to control and subdue this monster through the power of our vote, and yet we yield our power again and again, content to feed at the government trough.

Nothing will ever change if We the People are unwilling to take a stand and say “Enough”, to put our collective feet down and stop this monster in its tracks, force this monster back into its cage and show it who is in control.

It is time for We the People to take our country back and return our government to being a servant of the people. It is time for us to return our government to what our Founding Fathers envisioned.

It is time for us to ensure that our government once again submits to the consent of the governed.

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