Barking Up The Wrong Tree

Almost as long as dogs have been around humans, they have been a part of our societies, as family, friend, protector, and even soldier. Just like humans, it takes special training to prepare a dog for these roles, most especially for the rigors of war. Not every dog is cut out for this very stressful and precarious line of work. Some dogs lack the inborn discipline necessary to be silent when noise could be dangerous. Other dogs simply cannot handle the chaos and noise of war, but there are always plenty of dogs available to train, and invariably many are up to the task.

Just like their human soldier counterparts, discipline is absolutely essential to the war dog. Though the word “obedience” may often be used, it’s no more true of the dog than it is the soldiers that they serve with. Neither the dog nor the soldiers truly obey an order because they are “obedient“, they obey an order because they are disciplined and have learned to trust and, more importantly, respect their superiors. The best war dogs, like the best soldiers, understand that they are part of a unit (or a pack). They follow the rules of the pack, because it is necessary.

The worst war dogs, like the worst soldiers, are those that disregard the rules of the pack. They endanger not only their own lives, but the lives of their entire unit. Not every man can deal with the rigors of combat. Not every dog can either. It is up to the trainers and the handlers of these marvelous dogs to give them enough leash to accomplish what they need, yet always to hold onto that leash so that the dogs remain aware of their boundaries and, ultimately, who is boss.

“Why can’t I have a normal, ordinary dog like everyone else?”
-Charles M. Schulz, Peanuts-

Every year, the Constitution spends less and less time in the national consciousness, the more the country continues to “progress“, the more our founding document is treated like a relic of some bygone era, rather than as the very Republic it describes. Within four handwritten pages, in plain English, are the nation’s basic structure, powers, and limitations, including our government’s offices, the enumerated duties of those offices, and the limitations both on the offices of the federal government and the several states.

With ever dwindling frequency, our politicians pay lip service to the founding document, like a holiday believer, trotting out some clichéd and hackneyed praise for the voters to hear once a year or two. The electorate dutifully nods their collective heads, then go right back to ignoring the document that barely a dozen out of a hundred would even be able to recognize a single sentence of. Even a great number of self-professed “Conservatives” have never bothered to read past the Preamble and a few of the shorter Amendments, but they sure talk a good talk.

In such a nation, where the people treat the Constitution with even less interest than they do the ingredients list on a can of green beans, should it be any surprise at all when practically no one in Washington even acknowledges it? If the people, angry as they may be, wish to blame someone for the rolling dumpster fire that is the state of Washington politics today, they need look no further than their favorite mirror.

“Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” – Mrs. Powel
“A republic, if you can keep it.” – Benjamin Franklin

Philosophically the most interesting and least appreciated feature of our Constitution is that nowhere within the four pages is any duty ever imposed upon the individual citizen. Not even the Amendments create a duty or expectation for We the People, though there have been at least two serious transgressions upon our Liberty. To find any duty imposed upon us, the citizens of our Republic, we have to look outside of the Constitution and to the Declaration of Independence.

Though most politicians and “scholars” of law may dismiss the Declaration as a “legal document“, the Founding Fathers certainly assumed the Declaration to hold some potency as a matter of Common Law, establishing what amounted to a list of legal complaints against the Crown of England for which the only reasonable (and thus legal) recourse was the dissolution of their bonds of nationality. Within the Declaration, the Founders declared, unequivocally, Natural Law granted them the right to pursue this course of action, and that same Natural Law was used as the basis for the Constitution, more than a decade later.

In the second paragraph, buried deep in the middle of the Enlightenment rhetoric of our original founding document, is the one and only reference to a “duty” expected of the individual.

“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
-Declaration of Independence

It must be clearly understood, by Americans, patriots and conservatives, that when the government does go astray, it is not the fault of government for going astray. It is the natural course of government to ever test the boundaries of its cage, like a restless and disobedient dog, it will always chew at its leash and dig under the fence. Once out from its confines, it is a devil to get it back in.

It is not the dog’s fault for escaping the confines of our Constitutional yard. It is ever the fault of the owner, and We the People are the owners and masters of this ill tempered beast. It is our responsibility alone to keep our government from tearing up our gardens, soiling our porches, trampling our liberties, and seizing our property. It is our responsibility to keep our government on its leash and to enforce the boundaries within which it may roam. In so much as our government has violated these limits, only we are to blame for failing to learn what we needed to teach.

Though we are poor masters, only we are able to put our government back within its pen, if that is at all possible at this point. The Declaration states that we retain the right (and duty) to “alter or abolish” our government. As with every other right, the right exists because we are endowed with it by our Creator. The presence (or absence) of government does not remove or reduce this right. It is inarguable that our government no longer observes the confines of our Constitution and is, in fact, in serious breach of the boundaries within which it is required to conform.

Patriots, it is time that we, as responsible masters, decide whether we can restore discipline to our government by merely altering rules or individuals or if the government is so far removed from its Constitutional limits that it now poses an actual threat to our sacred Liberties and must be abolished, and a new government instituted for our future security?

This is the question of our time.


Liberty is For The Win!

PS – If you have not yet read the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, both front to back, please take the 20 to 30 minutes it takes to read both today. If you do not know what limits are even imposed, how do you even begin to claim to know how our elected officials have transgressed against you?

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