A commentary by
By Chuck Baldwin
June 3, 2003
(Used by Chuck Baldwin's permission on CR's Range)
The principle of limited federal authority is the bedrock principle upon which our government was created. America's founders envisioned a nation of strong, independent but united states, and a very limited and myopic central system.
However, when General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia, the vision of the Founding Fathers was destroyed. The principle of limited federal authority was cast aside and a nation preoccupied with unlimited federal power and authority took its place.
As a result, we have lived under a European-style federal system for nearly a century and a half. America today has become the very kind of country that our forebears fought to break free from.
Conservatives would have us believe that President Bush and the Republican Party are working to reverse the rush toward bigger and bigger government. They aren't. In fact, Bush and Company are putting the pedal to the metal when it comes to promoting a bigger-than-ever federal system. In fact, Bush has used the events of 9/11 to strip Americans of more liberties than any President during the 20th Century, including Bill Clinton or Franklin Roosevelt.
For example, Bush has selectively suspended the right of habeas corpus, which means the right to know the charges one is being held under. Through his attorney general, Bush has also authorized using federal agencies to conduct searches and seizures without requiring them to first obtain proper warrants. This is blatantly illegal and unconstitutional!
Furthermore, the Bush government now even has the power to investigate American citizens with absolutely no probable cause. Under Bush's policies, a citizen could even have his or her citizenship revoked if they were found to violate these newly enacted and loosely defined anti-terrorism laws.
Obviously, you will not find these kinds of policies in the U.S. Constitution. They are right out of Orwell's "1984" and Hitler's Third Reich. But it doesn't stop there.
Now, President Bush wants to give the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the National Security Agency the authority to demand personal and financial records of individual citizens. Beyond that, sources are reporting that private pressure groups are currently being organized to collect taxes for the IRS. They will be paid by commission, of course.
Furthermore, bankers are already being told that beginning this fall all new customers will be subjected to a required background check which will be forwarded to the federal government. That's right! Your banker is soon to be a private snoop for the federal government.
In addition, have you noticed all the check-points going up everywhere? One can hardly travel more than a few miles without finding himself in a long line where various and sundry police agencies probe and even search his or her person and property. If you look closely, you will notice that federal agents are included in practically every one of these random check-points. The old Communist command, "Show me your papers," has become a routine American demand.
This administration is quickly turning what was once a constitutional republic into a federal police state. But what is worse is that the architect of this tyranny, President George W. Bush, seems to enjoy the support of the vast majority of Christian conservatives.
It is extremely difficult to imagine how willingly we forfeited the fundamental principle of limited government upon the altar of pseudo-conservatism and disarming Christian rhetoric. Yet, that is exactly what we seem to have done.
© Chuck Baldwin
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