Conclusion to Lies The Government Told You
Before you finish reading this book, return to those quotations at the beginning. Did I prove my case? If you believe in God, you believe He is Truth. But a Roman governor asks if anyone can know the truth, and a modern-day American vice president marvels at its debasement by the government. And two philosophers claim we are ripe for being plucked into the baskets of the deceivers.
As I finish writing this book, the country is consumed with a great public debate over proposals for the federal government to take over and manage the delivery of health care to every person in America.
During that debate, Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) was disciplined by his colleagues in the House of Representatives because he called President Obama a liar during the President’s address to a joint session of Congress. The statement that the President made, which provoked the Congressman’s ill-timed outburst, claimed that illegal aliens would not receive health care benefits under the President’s government option proposal, which essentially establishes a Medicare-type program for everyone in America under the age of sixty-five.
When the Supreme Court last looked at government attempts to deny social benefits to certain groups, the Court held that the Constitution protects all "persons"; persons are citizens as well as strangers, people born here and people who end up here, people here lawfully and people here unlawfully; and in the area of social services, whatever benefits the government makes available to the general public cannot be kept away from a class of persons based on their immigration status or that of their parents.
Did the President know this when he stated the contrary to the Congress? Did he lie? And if he did lie, wasn’t that lie in the tradition of his forebears?
We know where his forebears’ lies have brought us: war, fear, power, loss of innocent life, loss of liberty, and loss of property. My friend Llewellyn Rockwell, an astute philosopher and commentator whose Web site, LewRockwell.com, is the best monitor of government excess in America today, is fond of reminding me that we are all susceptible to temptation; we all have lusts within us that we must suppress. And the most pernicious of those lusts is libido dominandi, the lust to dominate.
This lust is in the heart of all in government who lie, who break the laws they have sworn to uphold, and who violate the Constitution they are committed to preserve. They lie to enhance and retain their power over us. Justice Antonin Scalia has commented that courts should refrain from reading what members of the legislative branch have publicly stated about a law when the courts are endeavoring to interpret the meaning of that law. It doesn’t matter, he has argued many times, why they say they voted for any given law. They only do so, he maintains, for one reason: To get reelected — the Natural Law, the Constitution, the laws of the land be damned. They want to dominate us.
I don’t personally know this lust, but it must be overpowering. My own lust is to challenge illicit authority, to break the chains of slavery with which the government has bound us, and to liberate all persons to fulfill their lives as they see fit, by pursuing happiness. How can we do this?
We will need a major political transformation in this country to rid ourselves of persons in government who kill, lie, cheat, and steal in our names. We will need to recognize some painful truths.
First, we must acknowledge that through the actions of the government we have lost much of the freedom that we once all thought was guaranteed by the Constitution, our laws, and our values. The lost freedoms have been cataloged in this book and need not be restated here. In sum, they are the loss of the primacy of the individual’s inalienable rights and the concept that government is limited in its powers. We have lost the diffusion of power between the states and the federal government. We have lost a federal government that stays within the confines of the Constitution.
Second, we must recognize that we do not have a two-party system in this country; we have one party, the Big Government Party. There is a Republican version that assaults our civil liberties and loves deficits and war, and a Democratic version that assaults our commercial liberties and loves wealth transfers and taxes.
Third, we must acknowledge that there is a fire in the bellies of millions of young people who reject both wretched visions of the Big Government Party. These millions of young folks need either to form a Liberty Party or to build on the libertarian base in the Republican Party by banishing Big Government conservatives, neocons, and so-called social conservatives who want to use government to tell others how to live their lives back to the Democratic Party from whence they came.
Then we need a political fever that consumes the careers of all in government who voted for the Patriot Act, the illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the TARP and stimulus programs, the federal takeover of education, spying on Americans without warrants, and all other unconstitutional monstrosities that have tethered lovers of liberty to Washington, D.C.
We should abolish the federal income tax, prohibit eminent domain, impose term congressional limits, make Congress part-time, return the power to elect senators to State legislatures, abolish the Federal Reserve system, and prosecute for malfeasance any member of Congress who cannot articulate where the Constitution authorizes whatever he or she is voting for or who has voted for any law that he has or she has not certified under oath that he or she read and fully understands. And we must reject the nice smiles and easy ways and seductive promises of anyone in government who lies to us.
The Big Government Party crowd is obviously not afraid of lying or being caught in a lie. Its members do not fear their own lawlessness or our loss of freedom. They only fear the loss of their own power. So let’s use that fear against them. Jefferson understood and articulated this best when he wrote: "When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty."
If we fear our own government, if we accept its deceptions, its lies to us, if we take no action to redress them, our freedoms are doomed.
Andrew P. Napolitano [send him mail], a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is the senior judicial analyst at the Fox News Channel. His next book is Lies the Government Told You: Myth, Power, and Deception in American History, (Nelson, 2010).