By now, nearly everyone in America has been told they are under a state and/or county executive fiat to stay within their homes or to avoid assembling in groups of 10 or more. Some of you are in a health situation where this makes sense for you and your family, and you have voluntarily complied. Many others have simply complied because they are unsure of their rights and are afraid of what might happen to them if they violate the order…
…and then there is the rest of us who ask:
- What gives you the authority to prevent me from meeting with others?
- Aren’t you violating my Constitutional rights?
- What are you going to do if I don’t comply?
For this is the spirit of an independent America where our individual liberties are paramount, and We the People are sovereign.
“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, PARAGRAPH 2 (EMPHASIS ADDED)
But doesn’t the government have a duty to protect our life, liberty, and property?
Yes, but our central government (in Washington, D.C.) has a very limited role in protecting life, liberty, and property. That role is defined clearly in our Constitution. In accordance with the 5th & 14th amendments, our God-given unalienable rights cannot be deprived without due process of law (by a jury of our peers).
That being said, the central government’s role is NOT to protect us from ALL threats to these unalienable rights; only those for which We The People have granted them authority to either 1) act affirmatively, or 2) ensure a jury trial before any governmental entity attempts to remove these rights.
For example, the flu is a threat to our lives and so is a gun in the hands of a robber. But, we did not grant the central government the authority to address health care, and the only Constitutional way to remove a gun from someone’s possession is through due process (e.g. with a jury of one’s peers consenting).
Other countries’ borders are a threat to our individual liberty to travel freely, and the costs to access the internet as well as the fees to see a doctor whenever we want inhibit our freedom to do as we please. Yet, We The People did not grant authority to our government to protect us from the just prosecutions of other nations; nor to grant us the fruits of another’s labor without paying them.
Natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes and floods are a threat to our property, and so are bad business or investment decisions. However, we did not grant the central government authority to reimburse us for property lost in the event of one of these calamities, or in the event of our own poor judgment or bad luck.
Of course I have cited extreme examples, but I hope it is clear that in all of these threats to life, liberty and property, it doesn’t have to be the central government that takes action. There are other remedies including action from the states, private industry, and individual citizens that don’t require forfeiting the protections guaranteed to us in the Constitution.
According to our Constitution, We the People have not consented to a restriction on our freedom to peaceably assemble, but we are allowing this infringement for some reason in our states and counties. If it is our choice to self-quarantine, that is perfectly acceptable, but allowing any government to restrict our unalienable God-given rights is but the first step to accepting authoritarian rule.
If We the People want to continue to allow this, the proper remedy is to amend the Constitution, not simply ignore it.