“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” – Preamble to the US Constitution.
Once revered as the greatest document ever written by a free society, the US Constitution represents the totalality of all that is America. Contained within the Constitution are a set of laws called the Bill of Rights.
The Bill of Rights was written solely as a means of guaranteeing liberty and to ward off future tyranny. It was specifically designed to empower citizens and regulate the power of government over our lives.
However, in recent times, the intent and purpose of the Bill of Rights has been craftily and systematically usurped.
The following consists of the 10 rights along with reasons that show the Bill of Rights has essentially ceased to exist:
1. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
While the language appears straightforward, ways have been found to completely strip away the entire purpose of the amendment: How about, “Free Speech Zones?”
According to Wikipedia, “The existence of free speech zones is based on US court decisions stipulating that the government may regulate the time, place, and manner—but not content—of expression.”
2. A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Obviously, this was incorporated specifically as a means for the population to combat an oppressive government. The Second Amendment has been at the center of controversy for quite some time and despite staunch resistance, laws continue to be passed that further curtail what some call the amendment that gives teeth to the rest of the Bill of Rights. The sheer number of laws passed regarding firearms prevents an analysis of them here but those who wish to find out how much of this right has been whittled away, a simple Google search will show this.
3. No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
So far there has been no reason to touch this one but as anyone can see, there are all sorts of ways it can be exploited.
4. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.
Two words—warrantless searches.
5. No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.
Indefinite detention without trial or access to counsel, extraordinary rendition, along with a host of executive orders has gutted this one.
6. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.
See No. 5.
7. In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Now why would anyone want to mess with this amendment? Nothing here that could foment unrest and there are no weapons involved so why overthrow this one? The simple answer is money. For those unfamiliar with “Binding Mandatory Arbitration” click here for some interesting information.
8. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Indefinite detention takes away the need for bail and fines. Additionally, condemned prisoners have recently been slowly tortured to death using untested methods of lethal injection.
9. The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
This is the one amendment that is so marvelously vague and ambiguous that no one has figured out how to exploit it or kill it off, so its existence is the most closely guarded secret in plain sight.
10. 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.
Here’s another the powers-that-be wish would go away. There is not much talk about this amendment and most likely because it delegates power to the individual states and to the people. Obviously, there is no place in a neo-feudalistic serfdom for this one, now is there?
So there you have it. Our Bill of Rights has effectively been reduced to a list of suggestions that can arbitrarily be ignored, depending on the circumstances. How could something like this happen, you ask? The answer is quite simple. The things that are most important to us are often the things we take for granted and pay the least attention to—until something goes wrong.
We often stand, secure in our belief that our freedom is a thing that can never be stripped from us as long as we abide by the law. However, most of us never count on those laws changing in such a way as to criminalize our normal behaviors and actions.
One of the hallmarks of a nation that is slipping into tyranny is the subtle and constant abridgment of rights.
Only through vigilance and efforts to create a well-informed and educated public can this society hope to stave off the loss of its liberty.
Perhaps John Adams summed it up best when he warned, “The jaws of power are always open to devour, and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing.”
Let us never lose our freedom to think, speak, or write. To do so will certainly spell the end for our country.