From the December 1999 Idaho Observer:

What if Their Oath Really Mattered?

by Hari Heath

Our government has become the enemy of the American people. Just ask anyone who has encountered it recently. Half of what Americans earn is stripped from them by taxes upon taxes. Our every move is controlled and regulated. What was once our rights, have been converted to conditional privileges. We are subjected to fines and jailed for pretended offenses whenever we step out of line -- the line that the operators of government draw for us. Consent of the governed? Not anymore.

All of this happens because people who take a solemn oath before entering a public office do these things to us after they assume their position. The assumption of the powers of a public office is granted to our public servants only after they promise to adhere to the Constitution and laws of our country.

What if their oath really mattered? What if the oath they took was not just a formality -- to get a job and a paycheck -- but a promise to perform their public duties with honesty and integrity according to the law of the land? What if public employees studied and applied the Constitution first, the laws second and their administrator's handbook last?

Our government started out as a limited and well balanced experiment in self government. Over time, a corrupt few attained high office. Once the thin edge of the wedge cracked our constitutional government, more room was made so the corrupted few could operate their new regime with their hirelings in the administrative bureaucracy. They laid a foundation, through usage and practice, for a governmental form which is foreign to the Constitution they took an oath to support. This overlay of an administrative bureaucracy, along with subtle, and not so subtle perversions of the constitutional offices of government, have turned our nation on its head.

There are two paths here. We can continue unchecked on our present course with the governmental monkey on our back clamoring for more and more of our bananas until there is nothing left on the tree, or we can reach a turning point, pull a hard rudder, and get the ship back on course. We only continue on our current direction because we man the deck and shovel the coal to the boilers of the USS government.

Since about one out of three people work for the government now, and the other two give half their pay to fund it, we are really doing it to ourselves. Eventually the gravitational pull of the parasitical third will be more than the citizen host can endure.

We like our “benefits” but we forget where they come from. Most of us in this age only know the goods and services that provide the substance of our lives by their retail packaging. We have become so disconnected from where things come from that we wouldn't recognize our own food if we were standing in the field where it was grown. Our relationship to government is much the same. And nothing new. Frederic Bastiat said it well in 1850:

“Everyone wants to live at the expense of the State. They forget that the State lives at the expense of everyone...The State is the great fictitious entity by which everyone seeks to live at the expense of everyone else.”

This is the great ruse of socialism. Our Constitution creates a limited government and doesn't authorize the socialistic tendencies which prevail today. Those in public office who adhere to unauthorized socialism breach their oath. Unfortunately, we have become accustomed to broken promises from those in government. This could change as the moral fiber of government degrades below the level of public tolerance.

One by one we can refuse to sell our country down the river. Whether we work in the system, have our hand out at the feeding trough, or just pay the piper. Individually we chose our own course of conduct. Like a bad drug, we can just say no to bad government and refuse to send our national sovereignty sailing out to sea. Eventually, enough of us will jump ship until we reach the hundredth monkey. The critical mass will turn the helm of government. It all functions by consent.

We are on the verge of some major changes. The hideous insidious happenings of modern day government leave the average American with nothing to believe in any more. Even those who try not to look at the criminal elements of government are having a hard time finding a place to hide their eyes. The scandal leading to the almost impeachment pales in the face of selling our missile technology to China for campaign contributions. Follow that with the revelations that the FBI and the Justice Department covered up the facts of a military involvement, in a civilian matter in Texas, killing innocent people at Mount Carmel with chemical gas that is illegal to use in war. Add the discovery that for decades, taxpayer-funded research programs have been using Americans and others as lab rats for biological, chemical and radiation experiments -- experiments conducted with the intention of perfecting the art of genocide.

Scandal after scandal. Give us this day our daily horror of some slithering new corruption, or unthinkable atrocity paid for with tax dollars. Will it ever end? Only when a critical mass of the American public, both inside and outside of government, say enough is enough and refuse to allow government to proceed any further on it's current path. How, you might ask, can we turn this ship around?

We began our nation as tax protesters. Rumor has it that one out of three would be taxpayers are non-filers. With a growing body of evidence that the filing of income tax is voluntary; the 16th Amendment was never ratified; the tax only applies to government employees and corporations; and many other legal discoveries, more and more people are jumping ship. Add computer problems to bureaucratic inefficiency and the USS IRS appears to caught in gale force winds without a rudder. Some new federal taxing scheme will be necessary to keep the interest paid on the national debt.

If those in government honored their oath and kept our government down to the size authorized by the Constitution, there would be no debt, no “need” for the IRS, and no need to become tax protesters again.

Martial Law -- A Good Thing?

Many Americans have been taught to both fear and expect the imposition of martial law. Executive orders, emergency declarations resulting from Y2K or “terrorist” acts and reports from the regular news media lead us to believe that chaos is in our near future. Is there another possible scenario that could bring hope instead of fear?

Our military has a sworn duty to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Can you describe the conduct of President Clinton and much of the Congress as anything other than the conduct of an enemy, when our missile technology is sold to China, our national sovereignty is destroyed by treaty after treaty, and we are “legally” used as lab rats for toxic research?

And what about those agencies of government? That army of bureaucrats that exist without Constitutional sanction and are sent hither to harass our people and eat out our substance. Is there anything in the Constitution authorizing, for example, an agency to control alcohol, tobacco or firearms? Is ATF's long history of kicking in doors and murdering people anything but the conduct of an enemy?

If members of the military were to take their oath seriously, things would be different. And better. Bubba in the White House could end up in the jailhouse. Many Republicans and Democrats alike from Congress could join him while awaiting trial and sentencing for their crimes. The many non-violent offenders, incarcerated in our country for pretended offenses, could be released, making room for all those bureaucrats from unconstitutional agencies.

With elections, new congressional and executive officers could replace the ones that were indicted. There would be no shortage of work for the new Congress, undoing the travesties that have befallen our nation and restoring our republic.

What patriotic American would oppose martial law if its purpose was to remove the criminals in office an restore our Constitutional Republic?

Respect for the Police? The public image of the modern day policeman has been tainted. The taillight gestapo, ever ready to draw his weapon, while checking your seatbelt and looking for infractions, is everywhere. Add the riot squads that instigated the Coeur d'Alene street riot last summer or the Battle in Seattle at the WTO conference and you have the standing definition of terrorist. It's a far cry from serve and protect. Who do they serve and what are they protecting? What if policemen begin to realize that the police state they are now part of will only escalate to a state of war in which they will be the enemy of the American people? What if they remember their oath and learn to return to the conduct authorized by the Constitution they took an oath to support?

How can the modern day policeman reconcile his promise to support the Idaho Constitution, including its first paragraph, “All men are by nature free and equal, and have certain inalienable rights, among which are enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing and protecting property; pursuing happiness and securing safety,” with a routine traffic stop seeking to ticket a citizen for some “infraction?” Can we be charged with a victimless crime if we “are by nature free and equal, and have certain inalienable rights?” If policemen realized their police power comes from their promise to adhere to certain principles, perhaps citizens would respect rather than loathe them.

What if legislators remembered their oath and only wrote laws on subjects which the Constitution empowered them to legislate upon? Does not the Constitution provide and define the subjects of legislation to limit the ability of legislators to intrude into people's lives? Can the rush to legislate the socialist agenda pass constitutional criteria? Not if their oath really matters.

Article Two of the Idaho Constitution separates the powers of government into three branches and declares “ person or collection of persons charged with the exercise of powers properly belonging to one of these departments shall exercise any powers properly belonging to either of the others, except as in this constitution expressly directed or permitted.” If that's what the Constitution commands, and public officials took an oath to support it, how can agencies be allowed to exist in their present form, when they exercise the powers of all three branches? Adherence to constitutional mandates would end the overlay of the administrative regime. The useful and legitimate components of agencies could be merged into the executive branch. No more promulgating their own rules and deciding contested cases. Instead they would be dependant on the legislature and the judiciary.

If their oath really mattered our taxes would be few. Government intrusions into our lives would be rare. Our nation would prosper as a sovereign entity again. Respect for those in office would return as a natural result for those who responsibly served the public trust. “With liberty and justice for all” would no longer be hollow words -- if their oath really mattered.

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