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Business, Free Enterprise and Constitutional Issues; Pro-Life and Pro Second Amendment. Susan Lynn is a member of the Tennessee General Assembly. She serves as Chairman of the Consumer and Human Resources subcommittee, a member of the Finance Ways and Means Committee and the Ethics Committee. She holds a BS in economics and a minor in history.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Basic American Principles

Principles are important - without them we get off track and lose our way. Many believe that our federal government has lost its way while others just don't understand why so many object to the "change" taking place today.

Let's look at some of the foundational principles of American government; the principles that made our nation great.

The purpose of our government is to secure our rights

The Declaration of Independence established the American view of the rights of man and the duties of government. "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." They concluded by stating that our "separate but equal station" with Britain and other governments of the world would give us "full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do."

Our Constitution, drafted in 1787, used the Declaration of Independence as a guide to governance. The Constitution up-holds the purpose of our government, to secure our rights, and provides seventeen specific powers to the federal government in Article 1, Section 8. Two years later a Bill of Rights was added by the states in order to prevent misconstruction and abuse of federal powers; succeeding amendments bring the total number of enumerated federal powers to 30. None of those 30 powers grant general legislative authority to the federal government. In fact, such powers belong only to the states; called police powers – states pass laws to secure the rights of individuals.

So what they created is the freest county in the world - with a government that recognizes mans' unalienable rights, and whose purpose is to secure those rights for its citizens. In the United States, all have freedom and all understand that we can express our freedoms until we infringe upon another's freedom. Except where individual actions may infringe on the unalienable and Constitutional rights of another, our government is to stay out of the affairs of the people and of business.

Our government cannot take-away or infringe on our rights

Our nation, our Constitutional Republic is based upon natural rights. But just what are unalienable rights and Constitutional rights? An unalienable right is a natural right granted to man by our Creator; described ever so simply as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in our Declaration of Independence and it is also a Constitutional right. Life is, well, life. Examples of liberty are freedom to believe, or become, or protect yourself; a right to your speech, your reputation, and the things you create. Pursuit of happiness is freedom to make your own way, own your own property or live anywhere; a right to what you earn.

Constitutional rights such as trial by jury, to bear arms and vote don't seem natural. They are not natural, but they do serve to directly secure our natural rights. For instance, who judges our actions is very important because we can lose our liberty as punishment. Arms are not natural - but protecting yourself, especially from your own government, is a natural right. Therefore, the right to bear arms serves to secure your natural rights. The right to vote protects your right to self-determination and liberty, even speech. All in all, unalienable or Constitutional, our rights are rights which no government can take-away, question or alter, they are unalienable. No social contract can cause us to surrender these rights.

Rights are of no cost to anyone else

My freedom of speech costs you nothing. Your freedom of religion costs me nothing.

The liberal error; confusing needs with rights; confusing positive and negative

What liberals tend to do is to believe that they can "create" rights out of needs and then demand those rights from the government in the form of services - such as for health care. The liberals’ major mistake is that they not only misunderstand what rights are but they also misinterpret rights as "positive rights" - in other words, that the government has an obligation to provide a particular right to each citizen.

For example, we have laws against crime, and in the past there have been times when citizens have sued the government because the police didn't arrive in time to prevent that crime. While you have a natural right not to be harmed, there is no right to expect that the government will prevent you from becoming a victim of a crime; the government is not at any fault or liability in this instance.

Liberals need to understand that rights are natural and negative. There cannot be a natural right to health care. Making health care a right requires infringing upon your rights and the rights of others. Aches and pains are natural but there is no natural right that someone must tend to your every ache or pain. To take resources (money, labor or goods) from one to give to another violates our natural right to our own property. For the government to force you to buy something that is not for the purpose of protecting the rights of another, such as liability car insurance, is a taking of your property in direct violation of your rights.

America is about freedom

Defending our nation from foreign invaders, serving justice through the courts and constructing an orderly monetary and bankruptcy system are enumerated powers in the Constitution. Each of those federal powers helps to secure the continuance of our government, our liberty and our property. Government financing of health care is not an enumerated power of the federal government nor is health care a natural right.

In fact today, the federal government does thousands of things not enumerated in the Constitution - and although it has become customary in Washington, this is why millions object. You can’t fundamentally change the fact that the whole point and most unique feature of our American government is that the government cannot infringe or take-away our natural, unalienable or Constitutional rights.

Federal legislators have had a good time through the 20th and now 21st century infringing on the states, and satisfying the Liberals by creating all kinds of programs and laws that spend trillions and trillions of dollars, all of it at direct expense to individual freedom and liberty and states’ rights.

What most of us want liberals to understand is that the most important basic principle of our American government is – America is about freedom. The citizen is in charge. He is not just a funding source for the federal legislators - there are limits to federal power and purpose. It is the American people that have always solved the problems of our nation - and we must be free in order to continue to do so.

By Rep. Susan Lynn

District 57


Pierre Boulogne said...

This is the kind of reason and logic that big government liberals will not acknowledge because it undermines their ability to fleece the sheeple. My biggest concern is not that people don't know these foundational principles, it's that they are too distracted discussing the details of unconstitutional legislation to stay in touch with those principles. It's the constant smokescreen these criminals use to confuse the people and serve themselves. We need to shut down the endless debate and say NO MORE to government that ignores the constitution.
Thank you Rep. Lynn for covering what's really important. You are not just a politician, you are an American patriot.
God bless you, and Merry CHRISTmas (emphasis intended).

Pierre Boulogne
Lebanon, TN

James said...

Great job articulating a message that truly needs to be heard today by all!

May I add one humble observation? Many people today have so many other distractions, sports, movies, parties, etc., etc., that they may not see what is happening. Someone once said, "You don't miss your water, until your well runs dry." Let us pray our well doesn't have to run dry before we the people wake up!!!

James said...

I agree this is a great job articulating a message that everyone needs to hear today!
May I offer an observation, however? It seems most people today are distracted by so many other things to pay much attention to politics. Sports, movies, parties, etc., etc., ad infinitum. Someone once said, "You don't miss your water, until your well runs dry." Let us pray our well doesn't have to run dry before 'we the people' wake up!!!

Ron Jones said...

Regardless of the stated purpose of government, we must remember that all of politics revolves around the answer to one. single. question:

"When is the use, or threat of deadly force justified?"

Because that is what we are using when we empower government to take money from our friends, neighbors, and family in order to force them to pay for every government program in existence.

Re: natural rights. Perhaps I misunderstood you, or the difference is one of mere semantics...However, I submit that the right to arms (in whatever form, function & performance metric I see fit) is an integral component of the natural right to life.

For without the ability to defend it, then the right to life [and all things that flow from it] is an absurd farce.

You make an interesting point about the governments perceived responsibility in [and liability for] preventing crime. Peace officers cannot prevent crime, they can only catch the perpetrators. Ultimately, it is up to the individual to protect himself and his family.

For over 140 years, folks have been advocating the need to "vote some good people into office." Yet, nothing has changed. The size, scope and cost of the federal government has grown ever large [with increasing velocity of late], while liberty has suffered woefully.

It is my contention that the current state of federal tyranny and economic decline became a foregone conclusion on April 9, 1865 with the loss of the War for Southern Independence.

Victory by the forces of centralization brought about (by force of arms) the "American System," which was (and is) nothing more than plundering the many to enrich the few.

Advocated under various names by such prominent men of history as Hamilton, Webster, Clay, and Lincoln; the "American System" (so named by Henry Clay) requires a powerful national government, and the relinquishment of sovereignty by states, counties, and individuals.

If merely "voting some good people into [national] office" could fix the problem, then things would have been different after 1994. But we all know what didn't happen.

The only way we will win back the freedoms we have lost is to make all politics local.

Get rid of all the liberals and amateur sociologists on the school board, recycle your city council, get a sheriff that will have the courage to apprehend an agent of federal tyranny for harassing the citizenry..the list goes on.

If we don't stand up and fight for the liberty of our children, then what kind of life will we be sentencing them to?

... said...

Dear Ron, yes, you did misunderstand my point on arms but you basically make my point. I said "Arms are not natural - but protecting yourself, especially from your own government, is a natural right. Therefore, the right to bear arms serves to secure your natural rights."

Richard Hutxhens said...

God Bless You Susan.

Although I don't know you personally, it gives me hope this Christmas Eve, as our nation prepares for this Senate vote on health care that there are a few statemen in our state who know and love our constitutiona and can concisely articulate these foundational principles. For if we can teach these principles, it is my hope that those who are deceived will recognise truth and want to embrace it. I support you 100%

Jonathan Russell said...

Thank you Rep. Lynn. I have been in touch with Rep. Harry Brooks who is my State Representative from District 19. He needs to join you in this fight. The Democratic Senators have no idea about what a right means under our Constitution. We are in deep, deep trouble in America. Our liberties are being eroded day by day.

Matt Collins said...

If only more elected officials in the United States understood what Rep Lynn understands, we'd be in a much better country!

Anonymous said...

We need people like Rep Lynn and Cleve Tidwell in the US Senate. They have the common sense resons and solutions that our nation was founded under.

Anonymous said...

Oh how I wish we could clone you and distribute you throughout the country to run for office everywhere...you have a great gift for articulating the core message that needs to get out. Please never stop...

WV Patriot said...

Representative Lynn, thank you for your wisdom and courage. I just heard you speak on the Mike Church Show and I felt compelled to offer my support. I live in a nearby state and I wish our politicians shared your vision. I may have to move to Tennessee! United we stand, divided we fall. The criminals currently in charge in DC are trying to divide us. We must stand strong together or we all shall fall.

Anonymous said...

Can you, please educate the representatives from New Jersey?

Thank You

tennesseety said...

Great read! Thank you for your work up there. Keep it up.

alecat said...

I heard your comments on talk radio the other day. You are so logical it is impressive! Conservatives need to be pro-active in their individual states so that their respective Attorneys General need to have all of the means ready to nullify the obamination coming from Washington for the shortfall period and then let the courts dictate the 'unconstitutionality' of the bill which sadly will take much longer.How many other states are on board with you?

Anonymous said...

The only way the Federal Government can take away our Constitutional Rights is if the State Governments and the people of this nation stand by and allow it to happen. If the State Governments and the people of this nation were to stand up to the Federal governments when the Federal Government tries to impose unconstutitional mandates or laws onto the people of this nation, and the people demanded from their state representatives that their state representatives nulify any and all unconstitutional laws or mandates coming from our Congress, and if the State Representatives don't do this for the people of their states then the state representatives can and will be recalled and ousted from office. Also what the States need to do would be for the individual states to combine together and refuse to send any tax dollars to the Federal Government. Also, the individual states need to combine together and enact mandates onto the Federal government to stop the Federal Government from borrowing money from the Federal Reserve. They can do this by doing the same thing that North Dakota has done and open their own State Sanctioned Bank and issue their own credit to the individual states they would not need to borrow money from the Federal Govcernment or the federal Reserve. If the states would issue their own credit from their own state sanctioned banks then the states could make very low interest loans to fund their own state infrastructure and save the taxpayers billions in tax dollars borrowed from the Federal Government and the Federal Reserve. North Dakota does it and they have a surplus of funds in their state coffers while most of the other states are either broke or are running a deficit.

ConstantConservative said...

Well put. Thank you for laying this out in simple terms that all should be able to follow.

Unknown said...

Great job! Your articulate the feelings and beleifs of Freedom Loving people everywhere.

Our founders knew what they were donig when they invented our governnment By the People, oF the People and For the People so many years ago.

Unfortunately it has been prostituted and watered down by the process of "incremetalsm"! The Liberals know thet cannot win a "frontal attack" victory therefore thet "water down" our freedsom a litle at the time until like "catching wild hogs" they ensnare us! I for one se the trap and hope others are finally WAKING UP TO THE PLOY!

Falconer said it!

Anonymous said...

This is a great article. However, I would like to hear your admission that the *conservatives* have ALSO been part and parcel to eroding our rights and liberty.

Under a Republican presidency (Bush) and Republican majority in Congress we had the Federal govt spend more money than Lyndon Johnson and his crack pot ideas. Not only that, we aggressively invaded a nation that had actually not done anything to us nor was any threat to us. Combine that with an eradication of Habeas Corpus, torture, warrantless wire tapping and eavesdropping, immunity for any Telecomms that participated in this, bailing out financial terrorists at the banking institutions, this insane failure called the War on Drugs that funds terrorists/organized crime, over burdens the criminal justice system and prisons, brings about artificially high prices due to a black market which in turn leads to violent crime to afford the drugs........NONE of this stuff is even LEGAL under our Constitution and many of these things are known as WAR CRIMES under international law.

THAT is what I want to hear coming out the mouths of potential TeaParty/Constitutional Conservative candidates. Don't get me wrong, I REALLY like your article as it is spot on, but a spade needs to be called a spade and CIVIL LIBERTIES are JUST as important as ECONOMIC LIBERTIES.

It is NOT the Federal Governments place to mandate anything in regards to whom can marry, what you may or may not ingest into your body etc. and THAT is where a lot of staunch fiscal conservatives part ways with the typical Republican.

Economic and Civil liberties are just two facets of the indivisible whole that is LIBERTY.

Not only that, but I want to hear that there will be charges levied against Federal agents that try to enforce federal laws that violate the notion of States rights.

All bark and no bite just doesn't sit well with me.