The cause of liberty is so vital that one must keep the proper perspective if patriots wish to preserve liberty. Historical perspective from patriots of the past serve as a roadmap on how to win and maintain liberty, as well as preserve it for posterity. Without that perspective, we may as well start from scratch, which can lead to thrashing around in hopes that something will work as we try to protect the liberties that so many worked hard to ensure. While circumstances may be different, the principles are the same.
Many of the principles of freedom can be discovered in the Declaration of Independence, which I would urge all to rediscover. While I am not trying to toot my own horn, I would encourage all to read and rediscover the history and principles of the founding of America by reading The Founders’ Revolution: The Forgotten History and Principles of the Declaration of Independence. Not only will you learn how government, from which the colonies struggled to free themselves, violated their rights as Englishmen but violated their natural rights and the form of government to which they consented and for which they provided constitutions to maintain their civil societies. Most have a general idea of the struggles but enough of the details to really recognize how the Declaration is very much applicable to today. The Founder’s Revolution demonstrates how applicable it is.
However, my point here, as in my book, comes down to this all-encompassing idea — Jefferson’s words — “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive to these ends (protecting life, liberty and property and exercising the powers granted by the governed), it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government.” Jefferson continued by describing when to alter or abolish that government “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.”
While I would love to list all the grievances here, there are far too many to do so. As such, I will list a few and refer you to past articles with more detailed grievances explained and enumerated, where they exist. Additionally, I will assume that you understand the proper role of government — to protect life, liberty, and property — and where government derives its power — from the people or the consent of the governed. I will start with the more recent acts of usurpation of powers and tyranny, which in some ways are more egregious than ever before.
Idaho’s current governor, Brad Little, is guilty of many of the despotic acts, of much of the usurpation of authority. The most egregious are the numerous violations of the inalienable rights of citizens as guaranteed under BOTH the US and Idaho Constitutions. These include but are not limited to violations of the right of religious worship, preventing individuals from making a living by shutting down the economy and thus taking property, violations of the equal protection clause of the US Constitution and the “no special privileges or immunities” clause of Idaho’s constitution when he arbitrarily decided which businesses were essential and which were not. Furthermore, Idahoans have been incarcerated in our homes with no proof of guilt, no jury to try our innocence or guilt, denied us the right to assemble, whether in church or elsewhere and more. See my article titled “Charges Against Governor Brad Little.”
Governor Brad Little has not limited himself to violations of individual rights. It can be alleged that he is committing felony crimes. Again, in another article, Governor Brad Little- Felon-in-Chief?, I demonstrate his possible felonies, as he has determined or is still determining how to spend $1.25 billion of federal money sent as aid to Idaho in our struggle against coronavirus. Under Idaho’s constitution and code, ONLY the legislature may by law appropriate any money the state can use for whatever purposes they choose, or those they choose that follow the federal guidelines of its use. He could easily have worked within the law by calling a special session of the legislature to decide how to use the funds. The legislature could easily have passed the law in its simplest form to state that the governor may use it all as he sees fit and hand him the reins, or they could have done whatever they wanted, which may be why he has left the legislature out. The violation of the law, upon conviction requires jail time, fines, prohibition against holding office or public employment.
When it comes to culpability of the numerous, sometimes appalling abuses and usurpations of power, the legislature must be included. In our present crisis, coronavirus continues its natural, practically unpreventable spread and we are seeing the results of a sometimes impotent legislature, which impotent situation they themselves created, which is an abuse and usurpation of power. You might ask how can they be both despotic and impotent at the same time? The above examples show their impotence. Some, including Idaho’s cover-your-legal-backside attorney general, have declared that the legislature can only be called into another session by the governor. Assuming that is legally true, which it is not, this is how they are impotent — not being able to hold an out-of-control governor and those departments working with him accountable for his despotic actions. The fact that they refuse to call themselves into session provides ample proof of their willing impotence.
How are they despotic? The answer can be easily seen when we consider that it is the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare that is advising and, in reality, the ones behind the numerous executive orders concerning the pandemic. Additionally, we are beginning to see the individual health districts, who are unelected and unaccountable to the people, mandating medical treatment, such as masks, social distancing, among items and actions they are mandating. From where did this usurped authority come? It came from the legislature who provided for it in code that the departments believe gave them authority to act in such a manner.
Granted in 2016, the legislature sought to lessen the ability of this and other bureaucracies’ power to make rules that have the force of law with HJR5. However, as I argued then, including against numerous legislators who consider themselves conservative and wanted oversight, the legislature has NO authority to create lawmakers; they can only create laws. As I stated then, siting John Locke, “The legislative cannot transfer the power of making laws to any other hands…The legislative (powers) being derived from the people by a positive voluntary grant…which being only to make laws, and NOT TO MAKE LEGISLATORS.” The usurpation of power came when legislators provided power for bureaucracies to make rules, which have the force of law. Do not forget that the numerous departments are executive branch departments, NOT legislative branch departments. That is the very purpose of separating powers of the legislative from the executive- to prevent tyranny. In this way, the legislature is just as despotic as the governor.
However, as one may recognize, with those rule making powers, these unelected, unaccountable individuals pass their edicts with impunity and in violation of the inherent, natural rights of citizens and in violation of any powers granted by the people, also an argument I made. Unfortunately, in the present crisis, we are seeing my argument come to fruition.
Ultimately, as demonstrated, the legislature is BOTH impotent and despotic because they both refuse to stop the abuse of citizens by the executive department, claiming to have no power to reconvene themselves, and they have provided for the ability of the executive branch to abuse citizens by their creation of unelected, unaccountable legislators, or bureaucrats, that work within the executive department. The legislature is nearly as worthless to us as any hope of a promise being kept by the devil.
But we cannot leave the despotism of the executive and legislative branches without a discussion of the despotism of the judicial branch. For example, in 2017, after the legislature passed a bill making sales tax on groceries exempt from sales taxes, then Governor Otter vetoed the bill, clearly in violation of the Idaho Constitution requiring any valid veto to occur by the 10th day after the legislature adjourns. He vetoed it on the 11th day. However, the Idaho Supreme Court upheld his veto in contradiction to the constitution, with the decision including a statement that future vetoes must follow the constitution — just not this veto. Really?
Another good example is the Medicaid expansion initiative that the Idaho Supreme Court ruled as legal. It thus ignored the Idaho Constitution that states all powers are inherent in the people. One simple question can be asked that easily dismantles the “legality” of the court’s decision. What power do the people inherently possess that allows them to take from their fellow citizen and give to another citizen? Those powers are not inherent in the people and a power that the people are not able to grant to themselves or to government. They are usurped powers. These are but two examples of a court that blatantly ignores the constitution.
Local governments are no less culpable in their continued violations of the constitution. While there are too many to list here, some examples include mayors that mandate masks, requiring business licenses to operate a business, requiring permits to build any structure on your own property, continued increases in property taxes, despite the pleas of citizens for relief, and continued spending on pet programs that have nothing to do with the proper role of government — to protect life, liberty and property — but rather provides for recreation and entertainment among many other programs that are unnecessary.
I have demonstrated how every branch of the government of the state of Idaho, as well as taxing districts within its jurisdiction continue to abuse the citizens of Idaho, whether by its blatant disregard for plight of its citizens, the violations too numerous to list in detail, for failure to protect the life, liberty and property of its citizens, most of the time endeavoring to take property and liberty rather than protecting them, or whether the people need their government to act but claim no authority to act, which is itself an abdication of power. We have, as Jefferson said, been “more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right [ourselves] by abolishing the forms” of government we have grown accustomed to.
“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.” Every branch, therefore, has proven to the citizens of Idaho that it is time that we the people revoke their authority. Stated once again, as Jefferson so eloquently wrote, “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive to these ends (protecting life, liberty, property, acting WITHIN powers justly derived from the people), it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it.”
It is time that the people abolish Idaho’s form of government as it is constituted simply because it has clearly become corrupted. The powers that be have ignored their responsibilities or abused their powers, thus abused the people by their usurpations or their claimed impotence. Neither can be acceptable to the people. Neither should the people continue to permit. If it is not done immediately, that is, during the next impotent and yet authoritarian legislative session, then it will be as Charles de Montesquieu declared “A state may alter in two different ways, either by the amendment or by the corruption of the constitution. If it has preserved its PRINCIPLES and the constitution changes, this is owing to its amendment; if upon changing the constitution its PRINCIPLES ARE LOST, this is because it has been corrupted.” We have lost many of the principles of proper government, but the corruption can be corrected. However, if the nearly useless legislature fails to act immediately, then all of this abusive government’s powers must be revoked.
Finally, I would simply warn the legislature, the elected executive department officials, and the courts to provide the necessary corrections, to act ONLY within your spheres of power granted by the people and to stop the abuse of the people or the people will act to reacquire their rights and abolish all usurped powers used to abuse them. Government and the people are at the precipice. We can either move together as one, continuing in light and liberty or we can dispose of you, leaving you behind as the people move forward in freedom by whatever means necessary to do so.
Government- it is your choice. Choose wisely.