The following is taken from the first chapter of my book, "Don't Tread On Me!" The Constitution and State Sovereignty.
For anyone wanting to know a little more about what it means to be free, this might help.
The Declaration of Independence is most remarkable for its revolutionary statement, “That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men.” This statement boldly declares that the only valid purpose behind the existence of any government is to do one thing: protect individual rights. Have you ever wondered how your tax money being sent to Syria in the form of foreign aid does anything to protect your right to keep your own income? Have you ever wondered how congress could introduce over 5,000 bills a year and all of them be for the protection of your rights? My guess is that most of those bills, in some way or another, do nothing more than infringe on your rights, even if it’s just by wasting your tax money or regulating what kind of light bulbs you are allowed to use.
Now let me quote the previous part of the Declaration of Independence and continue on just a little with the principle that defines the existence of the US Constitution and tells you what this little book is all about. This is the principle:
“That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
Let me touch on the last part of that quote where it says, “deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” It is from this that the principle of self-government is taken. From the Declaration of Independence, we can come to the conclusion that government is only legitimate if it does the following two things:
1. Secures and protects the inherent rights of the citizens
2. Operates with the consent of the citizens
One excellent way to establish your political view would be to read the Declaration of Independence and use the principles it contains as a filter of sorts. In other words, if the government, at any level, is operating without having met the criteria listed above, then it may very well be infringing on your inherent, God given, rights to one extent or another. As you read through this book, you will understand that American citizens should make a big deal out of small infringements.
In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “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...” In other words, what our Founding Fathers were asserting
was the fact that the King of England, or any king for that matter, did not hold all inherent rights and sovereignty unto himself. Simply because all men are created equal, all men are sovereign; each one unto himself is bestowed with sovereignty at the moment of creation and therefore, each man is his own king.
What exactly does it mean to be sovereign? I am glad you asked! If you were to pick up a Black’s Law Dictionary, you would most likely find a couple of definitions similar to these:
Sovereignty – Sovereign –
1. Holding supreme dominion, authority, or rule.
2. A person, body, or state bestowed with independent and supreme authority.
The easiest way to illustrate sovereignty is to give you the example of a man who owns one acre of land that borders your property. If you want to walk across his land you will have to ask his permission. He may not give you permission, but if he does, you will be allowed to walk across his land. You must ask permission only because the land you want to use does not belong to you; you have no right to it. Let’s say that your neighbor gives you permission to walk across his land, but after three weeks he decides he does not want you on his property anymore so he tells you to get off and never step foot on his land again. As the owner of the property, he can do this without a reason because he is the supreme authority; he is the chief ruler, and he is sovereign over his property. You, however, can walk across, build fences on, dig holes in, and burn your land if you choose to because you own it; you have the right to it. You do not need to ask permission to exercise your rights to your own property because you have sovereignty over it, you have a claim of ownership over you land.So here is the main point all summed up for you: You only need to ask permission if you don’t have a right. If you find yourself asking permission to exercise what you're told is a right, then the reality of the matter is that it isn't really a right and ownership has been attributed to another person or organization, government or otherwise.
© 2009, Paul Curtman "Don't Tread On Me!" The Constitution and State SovereigntyIf you would like to reuse in entirety, please ask email me first for permission.