By: Tom Chatham
With all of the discontent with the establishment in Washington, this should be a time to reflect on the type of government we have and why it works the way it does. We should also reflect on the reasons our government is set up the way it is. Far too many people have abdicated their power and let the government run free of the constraints initially placed on it and we are now paying the price for that lapse of judgment. A young child may not understand or care about the repercussions of health and tooth decay and when allowed to run free in a candy store can do a great deal of damage to himself if it is allowed to continue every day for years. These repercussions will be felt by the child over time but will also exact a price from the parent in medical costs and disrespect to authority over time. We as a country have let the public servants run free for so long that they now consider it their right to do as they please and we will have to pay the price for it.
Our nation was set up with checks and balances to insure no one branch would get out of control. Each branch, Executive, Judicial and Legislative, acts as a regulator on the other branches and stops any blatant abuses of power before they cause irreparable harm to the nation. At least that is how it is supposed to work. But, what happens when the three established branches of government are all corrupted and act in unison to usurp power and take actions that will ultimately cause great harm to the nation and its people?
A free press has been considered the forth branch of government because it has the power derived from the First Amendment, to illuminate government abuses and act as a call to arms for the citizens to utilize their First Amendment rights to restore order to the three branches. Through the use of the freedom of the press, the press can act as the collective voice of the country and demand change. In a perfect world, the government servants would succumb to the overwhelming vocal opposition of the press and adjust accordingly but what happens if they ignore the press or worse, the press becomes infected with the same disregard for rule of law as the government? When the first four branches fail, it is incumbent on the fifth and final branch to make the necessary corrective action.
A free citizenry is the fifth branch of government and utilizing the freedom of speech and the freedom to assemble, can exert coercive force on the government to keep it in line with the founding principles. These are the peaceful actions that a populace can take to reign in government abuses and restore law and order to government operations. The population can make known their grievances with their elected representatives and threaten to replace these persons in an upcoming election if they fail to comply with the will of the voters. This is how the Republic functions in normal times, but we are no longer living in normal times.
When the citizens express their discontent with unresponsive elected officials they are now offered a choice of two or three candidates selected by the establishment. When they seek to address their grievances with the court, it usually sides with the government. When new laws are enacted, they now favor large banks and corporations rather than the taxpayers. The media has been indoctrinated into the government fold and to a large degree repeats the government propaganda. The government has even resorted to establishing areas where free speech and protesting is no longer allowed all in an effort to eliminate the coercive effects of the population.
When the citizenry fail to coerce the government by all peaceful means, it falls to the final option relegated to the citizens of a free state, and the Second Amendment is invoked against the government. This is the one and only meaning of the Second Amendment which is much maligned in the press and by the government. It is the final means by which a populace can regain control of an oppressive government that has abused its power and uses excessive force against the population. When a government decrees that it can detain and imprison citizens without charges or trial, spy on private communications without cause, restrict movement of wealth and citizens, treat the traveling public like criminals and debase the nations currency, it has proven itself to be an impediment to freedom and must be removed by the fifth branch of government utilizing the Second Amendment and final option.
This is not an option to be taken lightly by the population but will become necessary at some point if trends continue along the current path. The fifth branch of government is the final arbiter in the maintenance of liberty and freedom. It is for these reasons that an oppressive government must restrict or eliminate arms from public hands in order to carry out oppression to its natural ends in the form of a total police state where there are no rights for citizens who are ruled by an oligarchy. Many of those who are repulsed by the former exercise of slavery are now unknowingly selling themselves and their progeny into that very thing with total ignorance.
The fifth branch of government and our Second Amendment rights are the only things standing between a free and prosperous nation and a poverty stricken third world nation with a dictatorship. History can be a harsh teacher. For those who fail to learn history, the future can be a menacing and tragic place to live.