Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The problem with the Contract from America ~ By Joseph Farah

In the following column, Joseph Farah talks about the mistake of having too many narrow goals and issues in the Tea Party Movement, and it stems from the attempt to have a "big tent." Joseph says it's a mistake, and it isn't necessary.
But we can all unite on two principles:
  • That we have an established Constitution that governs our affairs as the basis for the rule of law in this country, and it must be observed both in spirit and by the letter;
  • That we seek to live as a self-governing people with accountability to God, not government, and have the right today, as yesterday, to pursue "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
That's it.

Why do we need to say more?
By Joseph Farah

Posted: March 24, 2010 ~ 1:00 am Eastern

© 2010

I love the tea-party movement.

As I have repeatedly said, I think it is the greatest grass-roots political uprising in America in my lifetime – not just in size, but in spirit.

But I have a warning for the rank-and-file activists as well as the leaders – all good people with the best of motivations and intentions.

The Contract from America, is a document that does the movement a grave disservice – constraining it to concerns about relatively narrow issues, most of which are materialistic, rather than broad-stroke themes reminiscent of what America's first tea partiers, the Founding Fathers, drafted in 1776.

But you decide.

In 1776, the founders wrote the boldest vision for a future of independence, liberty and self-government the world had ever seen – and none has rivaled its passion, its eloquence or its primacy since.

"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, – 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," it said in part.

Yes, it's true the founders had some specific grievances that were stated plainly.

But, more importantly, the Declaration of Independence was a statement not so much about what the founders were against as what they were for – stated plainly, "life, liberty and pursuit of happiness."

They didn't limit their concerns to those that were economic. In fact, the colonists had it pretty good economically. True, they didn't appreciate taxation without representation, but they didn't say, "Look, it's the economy, stupid."

They made it clear what they wanted was the freedom to govern themselves under God's authority. They didn't look for government to grant them favor. They spoke of being "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights." Government was supposed to be in the business merely of protecting those rights, not granting them.

Look at the specific grievances. Few were economic in origin:

  • Government was failing to do its job
  • Government was exceeding its authority
  • Government was violating individual rights
  • Government was obstructing immigration laws
  • Government was obstructing justice
  • Government was turning the land into a police state
  • Government was superseding the established laws of the land
Sound familiar?

That's exactly what Americans are enduring once again in our own country at the hands of a government in Washington, not London.


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