Dear Citizens of the United States of America,
I would like to cover a few key points which everyone is losing sight of lately. I have had several online debates with people wanting to fuel the flames of violence and further injustice with caustic and presumptuous language, others who want to dismantle critical operational systems in this country, and still others who want to nip at the very Bill of Rights and Constitution that are there to protect our mutual freedom and liberty.
Let’s regroup for a moment to reflect.
If you are advocating for violence, please stop
The First Amendment to the Constitution protects the rights of citizens to peacefully assemble and to petition the government for redress of grievances. It does not bestow any right to commit murder, steal, block a fire truck, shoot at innocent vehicles driving down the road, set fires, vandalize, commit acts of violence, etc. Those are the actions of criminals, and criminals will be arrested and put in jail. Peaceful assembly is a protected right, but the moment someone commits a violent act, it is a riot. Any person who commits such acts should be tried and punished to the fullest extent of the law. No citizen has any right to commit a crime against any other citizen, regardless of their demographic or station in life. If you are advocating for violence, please stop.
The Second Amendment to the Constitution protects the right of citizens to bear arms. Citizens have the right to protect themselves against criminals, foreign invasion, and other gross and extraordinary injustice. In the event someone commits a violent and unjustified act, they will be tried and punished to the fullest extent of the law. If you feel that owning a gun gives you the right to use it for anything other than those reasons previously stated, consider that acting on such impulse is criminal behavior and you will be incarcerated as a criminal. This Amendment ensures a critical right which history has proven again and again. If you are advocating for its abuse, you are condoning criminal behavior. Please stop. If you are condoning its abolition because a politician tells you it’s in your best interest to take away your rights, please stop for a moment and question a line of thought which is to plead to your government to take away one of the most essential rights defined under the Constitution. History has proven again and again what happens when governments disarm their citizens. Question any official that advocates for the removal of any right of citizens under the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Consider the proper level of government to address grievances
The Tenth Amendment bestows on states the power to establish and enforce laws in order to protect the safety of the public. For those persons who feel there are injustices enacted and perpetrated by their state’s municipal and state police departments, you should be outraged at your governors, mayors, and local leaders for condoning such action since these are state and locally run institutions. If you are not asking for any redress of grievance at this level, consider that your state systems must be addressed. Law enforcement reports at this level of government. It does not report to the president or the federal level. You may protest at that level, but your governors and mayors are responsible for these state-run institutions. This was intentionally set forth for the purpose of decentralizing power so that it does not become corrupt at a higher level. If you are advocating that these powers be surrendered by the states and instead assumed at that federal level, please stop. The balance of power that was created under the Tenth Amendment prevents the potential of putting all power of the militia into one central authority, a decision which has the dangerous potential to lead to a totalitarian system of government.
Please exercise some level of common sense
In relation to this Amendment, some are advocating that no police protection may be required and that these systems of protection be entirely dismantled. In practical terms, there are reasons that law enforcement exists. When a person is rear ended at a red light and has to go to the hospital, when a neighbor’s dog is loose and threatening other citizens, when there is a robbery or vandalism, when there is a domestic dispute, etc., there is a very real and practical justification for having trained police officers on staff to respond. If you are advocating for the dismantling of law enforcement, then the citizens of your community will probably look to you for an alternative solution for these real-world situations. If you are proposing such a radical plan, then it would be productive to have an alternative plan on hand to suggest. Otherwise, you are just advocating for chaos and disorder in our nation, and one would be justified in inquiring as to whether you are of sound judgement and character.
Please measure your words and treat others with respect
The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States protects freedom of speech and the press. Many thanks to the Founders for putting this first in the Bill of Rights because it is a freedom that many people in other countries do not have. That said, please temper your words. When you call people names, presume to read into people's hearts and minds just because of the color of their skin, or use presumptuous, caustic, and offensive language, it incites an emotional response rather than a rational one. At a time when we need solutions to social problems and are experiencing increasing levels of violence, “losing our heads” does not lead to peaceful resolution of grievances but only causes further outrage and violence. You have every right to use extreme and provocative language that enrages the sensitivities of others, but realize that you are adding fuel to the fire, igniting further violence, a violence that can only rip the nation apart instead of bringing it together.
Wake up to technology and its effects on your health
As relates to the press, many people are taking to social media as an outlet. Please realize that these electronic channels of communication have been deliberately programmed to elicit an emotional response from you, particularly that of anger and outrage. Studies have demonstrated that it is actually anger which elicits a higher response than joy, and social media uses this to its advantage. Additionally, those technologists who program the algorithms that feed data to you, find what you are “feeding” on and feed you more of it, particularly if it is caustic and opinionated. Realize that this is not news but rather opinion. If you are engaging in opinionated commentary on the internet, realize that it will only elicit a great deal more of it. You have every right to engage in it, but please be aware of the impact it may have on your emotional and mental health as well as your outlook on society. If you feel that the electronic media it is overwhelming your circuits, consider turning away and turning to other more impartial sources of truth for news and commentary. They are becoming scarce in this country, unfortunately, but they do exist.
Responsibility at all levels of government
The current violence and brutality in this country is heartbreaking. It is further dividing us instead of uniting us. We, as a nation, should grieve for all people who have been subject to criminal behavior by any person who violates the principles outlined in the Constitution of the United States of America and the Bill of Rights. Those in violation of these basic principles of human decency and justice should be tried and punished under those rights set forth under Amendment Five and Six of the US Constitution, regardless of any demographic of any kind. Those who have been granted power and authority to govern and to enforce the laws of this nation, such as our elected officials and those who have been paid to protect and serve, must be checked. Citizens have not only a right but also an obligation to ensure that the powers of government do not stray from their original intent as outlined in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and leaders must be held accountable in accordance with the level of responsibility to which they have been elected and hired to serve. All elected and hired officials are accountable to their appropriate station and should be measured accordingly.
If members of the general population are not attentive to all levels of government, from municipal to state to federal, then they are not exercising their responsibilities as citizens. If they neglect to vote at all levels of government, then they are neglecting their rights and responsibilities as citizens.
There is a dangerous mind-shift occurring in the United States. Citizens have begun to surrender their rights. They look to the politicians (particularly to the role of president) of this country as having supreme power and authority, rather than looking to them as public servants administering and governing in the best interest of the country’s citizens. And if that individual is not administering and governing in the best interest of the citizens, then they must be questioned and held accountable, regardless of any party lines. Citizens who align to one party without questioning their candidates or their platform, or those who do not exercise their right to vote regularly and at all levels of government have neglected their responsibility as citizens. This has, in fact, become so rampant that one supposes we may at some point need to start the process over, voting out all long term politicians and administrators and looking for a fresh approach to old problems such as education, law enforcement, environmental issues, and the like.
In terms of justice and equality, if one of our citizens has had their rights violated, then every citizen of the country has had their rights violated. When someone acts beyond their rights and station, they must be held accountable for their actions and in accordance to their station. This is not a one time event, but a consistent responsibility of the citizens. We must all monitor the behavior of our elected and hired officials, from the president to the clerical worker. These people are civil servants, and they have a responsibility and accountability to all citizens, regardless of demographic.
Furthermore, it is appalling and disappointing that elected officials are proposing mandatory electronic voting at the federal level when this could be decided at the state and local level and that they are proposing this change through the oversight of a commercial business entity which would not be tied in any way to a balance or review process by the citizens. Furthermore, these politicians are soliciting money to support this political platform which should instead have arisen from the will of the people. When these types of egregious manipulation of the system occur, we should not jump on the bandwagon because of party lines but instead question the will and intent of those in positions of power. If you see this type of abuse happening and you are aligned to these representatives, please hold them accountable instead of defending their manipulative endeavors to disrupt the election process for all citizens. If you defend or provide money to them, then please stand in review of your own role in the corruption of the electoral system which is intended to be fair and impartial with direct oversight at the municipal level by neighbors in your own community.
Recent events have shown many violations taking place in all of these areas. This is not a call to further criminal action and violence but to constructive dialogue and constructive action. We are witnessing the abuse of power at many levels of government, from municipal to local to state to federal. If citizens are not researching all candidates, questioning their party lines, taking time to vote at all levels of government, signing petitions, exercising their freedom of speech and assembly, but instead taking to the streets in anger, violence, and vengeance against their fellow neighbor, that is not a path toward resolution. It is the path toward anarchy and further injustice. This is an election year. Let us not become so mired in anger, division, and hatred of our fellow citizens and those that do execute their power to protect and serve rightly that we forget to hold our politicians at all levels of government accountable.
Exercise your rights
Please know and exercise your rights, defined in the Constitution and Amendments. Please vote this election year at all levels of government and challenge anything on the ballot that opposes the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Most importantly, do not become so consumed by the emotions of hatred and division and taking to the streets out of a spirit of violence and revenge and being consumed by electronics and technology and dividing by agenda instead of standing on principles that you forget the power of human decency and respect for your neighbor and your fellow citizens. Measure your words and actions carefully. Remember that our country can only thrive and improve if there is unity, justice, decency, and respect for all citizens.