With the next election cycle right around the corner, We the People are getting ready to choose who we wish to represent our views and beliefs for our common benefit during the next term. As such, many issues and concerns will be at the forefront of discussions and debates, some new, many old. But at the core of every issue lies the fundamental question upon which each decision, method, and vote should be rendered: Will the candidate worthy of my vote champion the rights of the people over the interests of government? Will he/she support statism or defend my individual liberties?
While due diligence regarding any important measure is necessary, far too many of our arguments are debated so far down stream that we miss the root of the problem at the head gate. Both sides of these arguments are often engineered for the purpose of crafting two predetermined solutions regardless of the side that wins. For instance, instead of arguing about how and who should fund health care for everyone or how and who should fund college educations for students, or whether or not these issues are opportunities or guaranteed rights, the question should first be settled as to what the federal government’s proper role is in handling, mandating, and compelling me to participate. I know this may sound like a broad stroke statement, but per the Declaration, governments are instituted by us, the people, to protect and defend our inherent rights; not to compel us into a modern definition of slavery wherein government effectively abolishes our private property and hinders our life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness to benefit someone else without my say.
When federal legislation, judicial rulings, or executive actions violate the very foundational document which gave them the ability to exist in the first place, their actions should be nullified by We the People immediately. And to lean on court decisions of judges who clearly violate their own existence when ruling on a meaning outside of the context of what the Founders intended when they wrote and ratified the framework of government itself, is irrational, illogical, and downright lazy! Government that consistently breeches the terms of its own creation is currently operating, to be sure, but not as the Republic defined in the Constitution and ratified by the colonies in 1789. It has morphed into something different. And if this morphing is truly the will of the people, so be it. Let them officially and lawfully dissolve the Union under the Constitution as it stands, and form something different. Good luck with that though. But until then, it’s insulting to We the People for the federal government to continually violate the agreement it has with the States and act like everything it does is in accordance with the Constitution.
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” –10th Amendment
Two Letters to the Editor printed in the Hells Canyon Journal last week presented arguments in favor of the federal government’s push to force the databasing of gun owners and registration of firearms in the form of compulsory background checks. The other letter argued in favor of federal management of public lands within the State of Oregon. Now background checks for guns are a huge issue right now in national dialogue. Whether or not it’s a good idea is one argument, but let’s go back upstream to get perspective. Should the federal government even be weighing in on the issue? Or should it strictly be a State or County matter of authority? The only place in the Constitution I know of that speaks to the federal government on guns is regarding their obligation to protect my right to bear arms. That’s it! Now the State of Oregon on this issue is a different discussion. But it shouldn’t be a national issue at the federal level. Period.
Same thing goes with public lands within the boundaries of each state. Under every enabling act wherein each state was admitted into the Union, the federal government was to dispose of all lands within the new state’s borders either to the state or to the people. The federal government has indeed divested of 95% of the lands it was holding in Trust for the people to the respective states east of Colorado. But it still unlawfully controls over 50% of the lands west of that same line. Because the lands should be controlled at a local level, it’s not an issue of funding, or whether or not the locals are smart enough to manage that land (although there is sufficient evidence to support the local governments can and will fund and manage that land properly), but rather the issue of authority in the first place for the federal government to even have an opinion on the matter. Where it doesn’t have jurisdiction or authority, we should either keep them out or use them in a management role within the confines of ‘coordination’. And if congress or some judge comes into the picture and asserts alleged authority downstream from the original agreement, that act should be considered null and void by the people and treated accordingly.
I respect that no two people will see a particular issue exactly the same and there are many opinions of how things should be accomplished. However, when government forces us to live according to its agenda wherein my unalienable rights are violated, then a line has been crossed.
The federal government may have intelligence and money (that it took from us in the first place), to manage public lands within the state’s borders, but where it doesn’t have authority, we need local leaders to stand and defend our local rights against unelected federal bureaucracies. Can we legally and lawfully do this? Yes. Is it the best option for the local government to challenge the authority of the federal government outside of the federal government’s jurisdiction? You’ll have to decide and then support the local candidate that will best represent your view. However, in terms of the federal government’s agenda, I’m skeptical when I see that the federal government committed more theft ($4.5 billion) through asset forfeiture alone on the people in 2014 than all non-government theft and burglaries in America combined! That means federal cops are now officially raking in more “assets” than burglars in this country do. And that’s in addition to theft from unlawful taxation and other acts of theft such as refusing to release the State’s public land.
When electing a county commissioner and a county Sheriff, keep these issues in mind. We need leaders that will legally force federal bureaucrats to sit down and coordinate on an equal basis with We the People of the county. We need a Sheriff that can think for himself and support and defend the Constitution on our behalf. If that means standing up against unlawful federal law enforcement by not consenting through Cooperative Policing Agreements with them, then so be it. I’ll stand and support leaders that defend my property rights, my public land rights, my due process rights, and my right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in Baker County.
Baker County Oath Keepers