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Last week we celebrated the 242nd anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The American experiment heralded freedom over oppression, self governance over a monarchy and a limited government that gave way to rights of the people as opposed to government control. There are things that make us wonder how this experiment is going.
This week President Trump made a nomination to the Supreme Court. By objective standards Britt Kavanaugh is more than qualified for this position. Yet, in the streets of Washington, DC, on our televisions and in the halls of congress the opposition was ready to pounce, no matter the nominee. Protesters were waiting in the streets with baited breath as the announcement was made, just waiting on the excuse to do what they were going to do anyway. Many Democratic members of congress had announced their opposition before the nominee was names and it didn’t matter who it was. The venom, accusations and supposition were in place and the fight was on.
Where are the statesmen? Is everything to be decided by partisan positions?
And then, there is the practice of government. Remember this phrase from the Declaration:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
It will be important in examining the Independence Day celebration at the City of Rockledge last week.
A disabled Afghanistan veteran and his father were at the Rockledge celebration of our freedom when their freedoms were severely curtailed by the government. The two were politicking with information about a drive for term limits, petition gathering and other issues. The City Manager approached them and advised that political campaigning was not allowed at the city run event. The veteran attempted to advise here that the 1st Amendment prevented government from stopping political speech which prompted her response of, “Do you want to go that route?”
While my response would have been, “Oh, if you make me go that route, you bet I do,” the veteran and his father, with discretion being the better part of valor, decided to leave without further confrontation. Our vet described the situation to the police officer nearby and was advised to take the matter up with the city the following day. Unwittingly the officer assisted in the executive branch’s violation of these men’s constitutional rights.
It was also reported that others who were actively campaigning for specific candidates were allowed to continue distributing material while others were not. Does his reek of political partisanship guiding the actions of a local official in how the rules are enforced? Most certainly it does.
If we allow even a local government to act in a despotic and discriminatory manner, we will get despotic government on that local level. It brings to mind the rest of that portion of the Declaration:
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Rockledge’s powers need to be brought into line with the spirit of this country or, as it becomes destructive of these ends, it just may be time for some altering or abolishing!
Wake up, Rockledge! Address this wrong with a public censure of your City Manager and direction that all employees to be trained that government is there to serve the public, protecting these ideals and not oppressing them.