The pursuit


I was listening to the news a couple of days ago and the newscaster cited the Turkish prime minister as saying he had zero tolerance of protest by citizens.

Now that struck me as a bit arrogant and out of place. I mean, after all, do the citizens serve the government or does the government serve its people? Some might say, well, that is Turkey and they are repressive but it would also seem to me that over the last few years on local, state and especially national levels, the same kind of arrogance by elected officials and bureaucrats alike exist in America.

People who pay the taxes wasted by city councils are routinely asked to leave or are arrested for “disrupting” city government who are sitting like royalty deciding just how to spend the monies of the disenfranchised citizens being asked to “shut up” about their ideas on the wisdom of spending it thus. How do I know? Because I have attended city council meetings – not under the current administration but the past one in Lisbon – and attended one with a Salem resident and observed.

A couple of years ago, I went to Columbus with a group lobbying for tougher state laws banning illegal aliens from receiving state tax money at the capitol, first, we had to ‘pay” for a permit, we were “placed” at a side entrance on a side street that had construction and no traffic so that effectively no one saw us and I thought, well, the criminal trespassers gobbling up taxpayer money certainly have lobbyists who are not required to stand in the shadows.

Recently, a young former Iraq war veteran was arrested in Washington, D.C. for not being in a “free speech zone.” This is odd, do you suppose Thomas Jefferson or James Madison had envisioned that the “First Amendment” was to be restricted to pre-designated places?

Certainly, whatever tyrant wannabee – be he George Bush or Barack Obama, gets to “pre-empt” whatever program happens to be playing on radio or TV when he wants to “instruct” us on his views. What about the people.

I ask you once again, does the government serve the people, or do we,serve the government? Recall, IRS, Patriot Act, NDAA, NSA warrant-less wiretapping, and the massive recording of all phone and Internet traffic.

And I leave you this dusty old definition our founding fathers envisioned as the proper role being for government, straight from our founding document:

“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.”

Wayne Herrod