This I believe

Brian - Gold River, California
Entered on September 13, 2008
Age Group: 50 - 65
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The central value of life in the United States is freedom for each and every citizen. I was raised to value the fact that each one of us was guaranteed personal freedom to pursue life, liberty and happiness. We are guaranteed freedom from oppression and freedom to live the life we want as long as it does not limit the freedom of another. I still believe that is true.

To this end I have come to believe that there is no justification for any government to exist except to serve it’s people. The only rights a government has, is to do what an individual cannot do for themselves. These include National Defense, oversight of a banking system and other areas that would require a mutual agreement among us all.

I was raised to believe that every government official from local positions to federal office, exist as servants to the people. They can only justify what they propose and do on that basis.

I believe that our constitution is a miracle. It is a dynamic document that is better than the people who wrote it. The founding fathers owned slaves, oppressed women and had other shortcomings. Ever since that time people in the U.S. have stood up and called for the wonderful inclusive rights described in the original document. Each time there was a struggle and a lot of discomfort before a decision was made to go with the founding principles. Slavery ended. Women got the vote. More and more groups are included in the life the constitution describes.

I believe that we have strayed from several of these principles and that it is time to correct our course. Our leaders act as a ruling class instead of servants. We have too many citizens who feel comfortable telling groups of equal citizens how to live. We give up individual rights because of fear mongering. The thing we should fear is the loss of freedom, the reason for our existence.

We are wrong to limit access to the United States. The statue of Liberty has the words inscribed that talk about people who are oppressed, tired, poor and yearn to be free. We need to be the place in the world where people can come and reinvent themselves.

The only entitlement we have is our freedom and the right to work and make whatever success we can. We need to be careful to recognize that the constitution guarantees religious freedom and is not separated from it. We need to live the best life we can and not try to control the lives of others. We need to abandon our oppressive tax system and look for other ways to finance the operation of the government. We are free to be as creative as we want. All levels of governments can become venture capital firms that invest in the country and it’s people rather than taking the hard earned wealth of the citizens to pay for programs that never have any real return.