|January 13, 2006|
Dark Days Ahead for our Rights and Freedoms
A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
The Alito hearings are over and, barring some miracle, Judge Samuel Alito will probably take a seat on the United States Supreme Court, replacing the more moderate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who believes there are limits on presidential power even in wartime.
What we need to understand is that the right-wing in this country has been much more dedicated to moving America in their ideological direction than the rest of us have been dedicated to seeing to it that they didn't. Most of us have just rolled merrily along assuming the old battles about rights and liberties were settled long ago; we believed there was no reason to fear we would have to re-visit those arguments.
We were wrong.
Books have been written about how the "good" Germans slept while their country was being taken over by right-wing fascist ideologues. Future historians will write books about how the "good" Americans slept while our rights and liberties were being obliterated by a band of ideological oligarchs.
It doesn't much matter if the power-crazed individuals currently in power take this nation in the direction of "fascism" or not; that is an irrelevant argument. What matters is that they want to turn this into a police state, where a small oligarchy of wealthy and powerful people will be able to exploit the resources here (human and mineral) to their own advantage.
In a police state, all power resides with the rulers, and the people have only those rights the rulers permit them.
In America, according to our Constitution, the people are sovereign. That means all power resides with and comes FROM the people. The government has only those powers provided to it in our Constitution -- and no other powers, privileges or rights.
The first words in the preamble to our Constitution are, "We the People."
The Tenth Amendment to our Constitution says, "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."
"...powers ... are reserved...TO THE PEOPLE."
If you want to know why we need to worry about what Judge Alito would do as a Supreme Court justice, there is the long and disturbing record of his judicial opinions and public speeches.
For example, in a November 2000 speech to the right-wing Federalist Society, Judge Alito claimed that the Framers of our Constitution "saw the unitary executive as necessary to balance the huge power of the legislature and the factions that may gain control of it."
That is not so.
If you read the "Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787 Reported by James Madison," you will see that the Framers were adamant that they would not trade one king for another king. They gave as little power to the president as they felt he would need to see that the laws enacted by Congress were implemented. They certainly never intended for the president to have any unchecked powers.
Assuming Judge Alito's almost inevitable confirmation as a justice on the United States Supreme Court, he will soon have the opportunity to endow the president with more powers than our Founders and Framers ever envisioned.
The Constitution will be interpreted in a very novel way; the government will have "rights" and "powers" undreamt of by the men who wrote it. We will have whatever rights the government doesn't need for the moment. Bush and his successors (if he ever leaves the White House) will spout -- as he does now -- patriotic slogans to make the uninformed feel safe but, at the same time, will be working feverishly to seize more control, power and money from those who aren't part of the "in" group.
Sustaining Roe v. Wade is important, yes; but it pales in significance to all the rights, freedoms and liberties that will be eroded by the coming change to the balance of power on the Supreme Court.
I don't think I can begin to draw the picture of the future here in America darkly enough.
And the American people snooze on, almost totally unaware of how frightening the people are who are winning.
An oligarchy of the powerful and greedy has bought Congress and most of the media. There is almost no one left out there willing and able to protect us.
"They" have been patient. "They" started this takeover 30 years years ago and never took their eyes off the prize. "They" didn't bother with silly infighting ... they just keep making progress toward their goal.
And now "they" seem to have won. They have the three branches of government and the mainstream media.
Before it is too late, we must use what power we still have; let's all call our senators and ask them to reject Judge Samuel Alito's vision for America.
You can phone the United States Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121, and an operator will connect you directly with the Senate office you request.
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