"Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government." Thomas Jefferson

Are Americans Still In Charge Of Our Lives?

Melanie Sturm | @ThinkAgainUSA Read Comments - 13
Publish Date: 
Thu, 07/02/2015


Amid unending political horserace punditry – who’s up, who’s down in the wake of Supreme Court rulings, Congress’ Trade Promotion votes, Iranian nuclear negotiations, and the racist Charleston massacre – let’s Think Again about the most important concern: are the American people winning or losing? 


Are “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” – the national promise Americans celebrate on July 4th – secure in this year of the Magna Carta’s 800th anniversary? That watershed moment in the annals of human liberty curbed a tyrannical monarch, like the American founding it helped inspire.  


Initially an agrarian backwater in a socially stratified world, America unleashed boundless creativity and industriousness by asserting human equality, becoming history’s greatest economic wonder. While Great Britain’s well-being (real GDP per capita) increased 14-fold between 1800 and 2007, America’s grew 32-fold.


Today, as Wall Street, Silicon Valley and Washington aristocracies prosper, Americans are suffering crisis levels of job insecurity, economic stagnation and poverty. Will immigrants who’ve left societies where one’s start pre-determined one’s end discover that social mobility isn’t much better here?


With the Congressional Budget Office projecting Greek-proportions of U.S. debt within 25 years, and a nuclearized Iranian terrorist state looming, are we bequeathing our children lower living standards and a weaker and vulnerable America?


The author of our Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, captured the dilemma: “The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history. Whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite.”


Echoing Jefferson in his recent Time commentary, former presidential candidate and Colorado senator Gary Hart lamented the erosion of America’s founding purpose – the democratic self-governance of a free people.


“Our European ancestors came to these shores to escape social and political systems that were corrosive and corrupt. Two and a quarter centuries later, we are returning to those European practices,” Hart argued, concluding, “We are in danger of becoming a different kind of nation, one our founders would not recognize and would deplore.”


Considering the unaccountability of Washington’s increasingly powerful and unelected ruling elite – from nine Supreme Court justices with lifetime appointments to the colossal administrative state – is government’s power still citizen-driven?  

Are Americans as free to control how we live, what we believe, and where we dedicate our labor and its fruits, or must we slavishly defer to elites wielding uninhibited power?  


Given calls to abolish the tax-exempt status of religious institutions whose definition of marriage now diverges from the Supreme Court’s, will individual dissidents be similarly hounded, jeopardizing their careers and reputations?


If a female photographer can discriminate, choosing not to photo-shoot a bachelor party featuring a female stripper, can a Christian photographer decline to shoot a same-sex wedding?   


Saved twice by the Supreme Court’s judicial rewriting, will Obamacare deliver the affordable, patient-centered health care its supporters promised, or will skyrocketing costs and narrowing provider networks impede access, disproportionally hurting sick Americans?  


Though an Obamacare and same-sex marriage supporter, Georgetown University law professor Jonathan Turley argued “there are valid concerns when the Court steps into an issue with such great political, social and religious divisions.”


Moreover, in ignoring its constitutional duty to implement laws – writing them instead – the Court circumvents the political process our constitution’s separation of powers was designed to facilitate, undermining the people’s consent upon which government legitimacy depends.


Unlike the blindfolded Lady Justice on whose objectivity and impartiality our free society relies, the Court jeopardizes its integrity and imperils civil society when it operates more like a political institution than a legal one, concerned less with the rule of law and constitutional adherence than winning agendas.


Thankfully, in South Carolina – the state that moved first to secede from the Union in 1860 because it denied “all men are created equal” – we’re witnessing the ordered liberty our founding ethic was expected to foster.   


They’re showing the world how to “combat hate-filled actions with love-filled actions,” as Alana Simmons, the granddaughter of the murdered reverend Daniel Lee Simmons Sr. put it.  In Charleston’s diverse melting pot, prejudices are dissolving through exposure to disparate voices and moral suasion, as freedom of expression is respected.


Inspired by the magnanimity of grieving Emanuel AME Church families, Gov. Nikki Haley proclaimed “a moment of unity in our state, without ill will.” Declaring no winner or loser in respecting those who wish to display the confederate battle flag on private property, Haley announced, “it’s time to move the flag from the Capitol grounds.”


The people of South Carolina are winning as they prove a righteous and thoughtful citizenry dedicated to society’s safety and happiness, can indeed self-govern.


Think Again – as Americans look beyond fireworks this July 4th, may we see more than political horseraces, perceiving our nation’s enduring notion that free and virtuous citizens – not ruling elites – are our fate’s best masters.


Share this

Where in the Constitution for

Where in the Constitution for the United States of America does it give the Supreme Court the authority to adjudicate the Constitutionality of a law? I have read and re-read the Constitution and I can not find it :o(
Maybe because it is not in the Constitution, do you think?
Why is it not in the Constitution? Maybe, just maybe because the founders knew that they could not be trusted with that authority.
The Constitution was created by the Senators of the states to be ratified by the people of the States. Therefore the constitutionality of a law was left to the adjudication by the States.
Giving the authority to the Supreme Court to adjudicate the constitutionality of a law is as useless as placing a fox to guard your hen house.
Think about it folks, makes good sense don't you think?

Americans are not in charge

Americans are not in charge of their lives. The federal courts rule supreme, with the federal burocracy occupying the next level. Together they dictate every aspect of our lives.

As to the question, are Americans still in charge of our lives? Whoever asked that has to be kidding or they are blind as bats.

Even in a concentration camp

Even in a concentration camp you are in charge of your own life if you demand it be so. Being in charge may shorten said life, but you are always in charge.

See Victor Frankl.

I have been thinking about

I have been thinking about how challenging my week had been because of the Supreme Court decision on marriage—trying to avoid lawsuits by scrambling to add statements and define positions in by-laws and statement of faith for both our church and for our school Classical school. I was feeling very aware of how people’s lives can be turned upside down by government overreach. As a pastor, to put these positions in writing in the cold form of policies and procedures is heartbreaking.

It is not our desire to single out one group of individuals, alienating them before we even get a chance to demonstrate our love and care for all. We are not ashamed of our positions, but would rather speak of them one-on-one—unfortunately, avoiding lawsuits for the sake of preservation demands certain steps be taken. I guess it’s called “Circling the Wagons."

There is a cry among some Repubilcans to abandon conservative social issues. I’ve hoped that is not the case. As one who has been impacted in this last week by my government more than any time in over 20 years of ministry, I would like to have heard more.

For those of us who are passionate for the preservation of religious freedom and of our Judeo-Christian heritage, the “soul of our nation" is a very important issue to keep in the forefront. As a pastor, I am very concerned that the exercise of our faith must be preserved, not just the right to believe.

I believe that last week’s Supreme Court decisions on Obamacare and Marriage were nothing more than unapologetic legislating from the bench. I wish we could have heard last evening how our majority in congress plans to stop the removal of their constitutionally defined and unique role as the legislative branch. Will they stop a president from passing laws through executive action or who decides not to enforce current laws passed by Congress? Will they impeach federal judges that refuse to stay within in the bounds of interpreting law rather than rewording or writing it?

Sorry for preaching. All this is on top of the notification this week that as a small employer, we will be facing penalties in the future for reimbursing employees for their health insurance. This was acceptable until Obamacare. Yikes! Maybe keeping my thoughts to myself would have been better.

Your words and influence are felt and appreciated. You’re not alone, and the fight is worth it.

Nigel Farage of UKIP has

Nigel Farage of UKIP has described the system as it has unfolded in the UK (and I think the US as well) as a “corporatist” system a collusion of “big banks, big business and big government” so to speak.

These folks are shoving it down our throats with both parties giving us trade deals, an ever increasing national debt and so on down the line to include Obamacare, Amnesty-Open Borders, Common Core, Gay Marriage without First Amendment religious freedom protections for objectors, sanctions on those who don’t say the right things about controversial issues like Amnesty (Trump).

America’s Uniparty system resembles the capitalistic one party state in Singapore at the very least, and seems headed towards the Chinese Communist one party state where capitalism is allowed.

Are the American people

Are the American people winning or losing?

Is this a trick question?

I echo the prior comment. I

I echo the prior comment. I found the article rather wishy-washy after the engaging headline, finding the comments here much more incisive responses to the question.

I´m also think that our resistance lies in quietly living an honorable life while ignoring regime edicts whenever possible. Don´t pull a building permit for your backyard shed and you won´t have any government inspectors snooping around. Don´t self identify. If illegals can "live in the shadows," how hard can it be?

Who is John Galt?

I would add to the prior two

I would add to the prior two excellent evaluations, the Supreme´s decision on Kelo.

I would also point out that the EPA regulation of pond water and roof runoff of rainwater as ´´navigatable´´ is yet another attempt to limit our freedom to exist without government intrusion. A large part of this usurpation of liberty exists in the body and wording of laws enacted by a complacent and careless congress, who pass legislation based upon a desired outcome, yet leave the details of such to a bureaucracy that has determined the rules to achieve the ´´lofty goal´´.

The best way to be in charge of your life is to run low to the ground. Never ask anything from the government, they will expect compensation in the worst possible manner to your personal freedom. Recognize the impending carrot-on-a-stick (Obamacare) and refuse to chase it. Those of us who are quietly rebelling have learned that the government is not our ally, nor is it serving to help us live our lives in freedom.
On this upcoming 4th, I wish for everyone the continued pursuit of happiness!

Charleston´s victims of that

Charleston´s victims of that vicious hate crime exercising their Christian mandate to replace hate with love and forgiveness was a breath of fresh air.

However if the Supreme Court continues down the path of arbitrarily deciding our morals and ethics for us as in redefining marriage and so putting ethics, morals and religious beliefs under the purview of the federal government, I fear the answer will soon be no.

I can´t see how that decision does not conflict with the first amendment injunction against the federal government making laws that establish a religion. It immediately paints Christianity and especially Islam as illegal (both find homosexuality sinful and punish it to one extent or another).

If the Supreme Court continues to sanction particular morals and ethics and religious practices they will eventually eliminate all except a small number of religions. Establishing their acceptable version of religion by eliminating the other religions is still establishing religion.

After over 6 decades

After over 6 decades observing, it is very clear that I am far less free to do what I choose, buy what I choose and say what I choose than I was when I was a teen.

Every single year, some more choices that I might make have been removed, often "to make me safer" or to "promote freedom and equality". The only freedom that seems to be any better is the legal ability to be armed, although openly carrying a handgun in a holster, in small town Fla when I was 17 was not a problem.

Taxes are higher, and the government now controls my health care decisions, forces my medical care providers to provide poorer care, controls the specifications of my cars in detail, has eliminated access to ´dangerous´ things like fireworks, certain guns, explosives and other things we somehow managed to live with relatively safely 60 years ago. I need an FBI background check to by a gun now, and bought them mail order then.

We have been invaded by Mexico, with 25% of their uneducated population now living here illegally, taking jobs from Americans, stealing welfare and health care, and doing crimes that Americans are unwilling to do. The VP says it is good that white Americans will soon be a minority here, rather than protecting us from this foreign invasion.

Americans are FAR, FAR less in charge of our lives than 50 years ago.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • No HTML tags allowed
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

Article List

Thu, 09/10/2015

Thu, 09/12/2013

Thu, 06/06/2013

Tue, 01/15/2013

Thu, 05/24/2012

Thu, 03/15/2012

Thu, 07/07/2011

Thu, 03/31/2011