The importance of rule of law…

Politicians ask for our support when they run for office.  When they win, they take an oath to uphold our Constitutionally Guaranteed rights.  They promise to abide by the charter or governing authority over their offices.  They promise to uphold the law.  They promise to uphold the ordinances and/or resolutions of their political jurisdiction that are applicable.  They promise to do their duties.  Then, once in office, they too often set about doing whatever they want and whatever they think will get them re-elected.

What is the difference between Constitutional Rights and Constitutionally Guaranteed Rights?  The Bill of Rights are our Constitutionally Guaranteed rights.  I would go as far as to say that the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution as originally drafted and approved, along with all amendments to the Constitution, are our Constitutionally Guaranteed Rights, but they are not Constitutional rights.  We derive our rights, not from government or any construction of man, but from our Creator.

When man endeavors to enter public office and finds himself violating our Constitutionally Guaranteed Rights, that person is necessarily, at the same time, at odds with God.  God institutes governments among men to serve His good pleasure and he turns men’s heads to the left and the right like the waters of a river.  However, that does not mean that God ignores our Constitution.  I think God very much acknowledges our Constitution and I believe He was the true author of it.  Obviously, I take the Constitution very seriously.  But what is most important for all of us to understand as citizens, in my opinion, is that we all recognize that we not only have been given tremendous and awesome powers to create, within God’s will, our own destiny and craft our our own futures, but we have also been given a tremendous charge to keep the republic.

It is not fitting that we should put people in public office and then turn our heads and our backs on them and not support them when they are correct and not hold them accountable and responsible for what they do or do not do when they are wrong.  In the immortal words of Clint Eastwood, that great philosopher and spaghetti western actor, “we own this country….”  We, ultimately, are answerable to God Himself for how we have taken care of His nation and His people.

The Constitution doesn’t give us rights, it acknowledges rights we have had all along.  It codifies in law that our government cannot infringe on the rights that God has given to us.  So, while we interchange terms and call our rights, “Constitutional Rights”, what we mean to reference are our “Constitutionally Guaranteed Rights.”

Our Wilson County Government has infringed on our Constitutionally Guaranteed Rights. It is incumbent upon us, as caretakers of God’s nation, state, county, and city, to hold the county accountable for its actions.  If we are unable, or unwilling, to take a stand here, then what are we willing to stand for as a people?  Any violation of our Constitutionally Guaranteed Rights, however small, in any area of this country, no matter how small the area may be, is a violation against all citizens of the United States of America.  No government should be allowed to infringe on the rights of any one of us, and we should, in my opinion, be willing to take the attitude, you trespass against one of us, you trespass against us all.

Our society has been split in two, those who do not see the value in a common set of rules, and those who don’t care that the other side is violating the common set of rules.  That always leads to one of two extremes.  With this apathy and attitude, we end up with either anarchy or totalitarianism, but we will meet with one extreme.

Isn’t it time we took a stand?  Isn’t it time we ended the rein of a certain group of people in this county where citizens talk about the “good ole boy network” and the “hillbilly mafia”, and where we know that they are about their work and yet do nothing about it?  Isn’t it time for us to introduce home rule to the county?  If politicians can’t be trusted with our powers, shouldn’t we take them back?

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “The importance of rule of law…

  1. W

    I’ll grant you the difference between constitutional rights and constitutionally guaranteed rights, but your overly simplistic call to action loses any impact due to the lack of specificity.

  2. W, obviously you haven’t been watching.
    I am developing a campaign to file a petition to force the county into a charter commission. With 10 percent the number of people who voted in the last election for governor, we can set up a charter commission. The charter that comes out of that commission gets voted on by the people. If the people adopt it, it becomes law and that charter becomes the document by which the county must operate. It becomes kind of like a county constitution. That county charter can be home rule. We literally can get rid of the county commission altogether! There are places that operate everything by referendum. There is a manager that runs the county or city according to the charter and who has a budget and a set of ordinances and resolutions and a staff to execute the will of the voters. If that person, or anyone else, wants to have something voted on they can sponsor it and have it on a referendum. If the people want it, they vote for it, if they don’t want it, they vote against it. I can’t think of a more democratic way to run things. If you don’t vote, you don’t have a voice. That is just my version of what I would like to see. Others might have other opinions. Only laws that are general in nature would then apply to this county. Home rule at the county level, and home rule at the city level, with everything run by referendum, would make Mt. Juliet one of the freest places on the face of the planet. Boy, I think that would be awesome.
    Everyone has a voice if they are only willing to step up and cast their vote. Their vote and opinion then counts equally with all others in the city and county. That is as free as you can be and not have anarchy. We could severely restrict the government from spending our money. Special interest groups would not be able to unduly influence politics in this county or city (Think of how many people on our county commission and city commission(s) are also employees of the school system or are married to people in the school system or are former school administrators). People with particular political agendas could only get their way if the majority of the people agree. It is a much harder thing to get half plus 1 of the population to side with you and champion your cause than it is to get 13 on the county commission.

  3. Sonny Griffin

    Butch,

    I love you like a brother; I honestly do. I have never in my life seen anyone fight as hard as you have for what is right.

    If I were in a fox hole, I couldn’t think of anyone I would rather have next to me. I know you would fight till you were dead and I know you would never leave me.

    That being said, I have to play the devil’s advocate and I hate to because I know you are right and I wish I were wrong.

    We’ve already played the referendum card and got it shoved up our ass. Eighty seven percent of MJ voters cast their vote in a referendum to not permit the holding of dual offices in our City.

    Did that make any difference? Not a damn bit.

    The City itself, along with two active commissioners, actually sued those voters with their own money and overturned an overwhelmingly popular referendum decision. One of the complainants in that lawsuit was Jim Bradshaw, who now holds two offices and is currently running for Mayor! He is asking the people he sued to take away their vote on the referendum to vote for him for Mayor!!!! This is an example of how bizarre and obscene this situation is.

    I agree with you in principle, but I can’t, in my own mind, see it working practically.

  4. Sonny Griffin

    If I gave the impression in my last post that I don’t believe in the rule of law, I am sorry. That is definitely not the case.

    As we all know, the United States is a Republic, not a Democracy. The difference is, of course, that a democracy is rule by the majority and a republic is a democracy under the rule of law.

    An example would be that, if the majority of the voters in a democracy, for some reason, decided to kill all male children under the age of five, that is what would happen. In a republic, where the majority is tempered by law, that could never happen because it is against the law to kill all male children under the age of five.

    Therefore, I strongly believe in the rule of law. However, there is a major problem in the practical application of the rule of law in politics.

    Butch has pointed out numerous violations of law by our city and county politicians. Has that done any good?

    I think that question was best answered by our former mayor, Linda Elam.
    She was asked whether the commission could legally do something. Her answer was that they could do anything they wanted until a judge stopped them.

    Her statement made a light bulb go on in my head. I finally understood how the system works. Butch and I and anyone else that quotes the law and makes it absolutely obvious that it is being broken have little effect.

    Linda was right. TO BE EFFECTIVE YOU HAVE TO BRING YOUR ALLEGATIONS BEFORE THE COURT AND CONVINCE A JUDGE TO STOP THE ILLEGAL ACTS.

    Until the city of MJ finds the cojones to bring the county to court on the emergency services situation, we are p—ing in the wind. Guess what? So far the citizens of MJ are getting really wet!

  5. Sonny Griffin

    Thanks, Sheepdog.
    I have read some of your articles and I, too, am getting pretty damn tired of holding my nose when I step in the voting booth.
    I’m always voting for the less of two evils. Is this guy going to be less of a threat to me and our beloved country than the other guy, knowing full well that both of them are going to screw us if they can advance their own agenda.

  6. Thank you, Sonny. I appreciate you taking the time to read them (my articles). Feel free to comment anytime, too. I am always trying to learn, not only by reading and studying but also by listening to others. Perhaps you can teach me a thing or two. The America that I grew up in is better than “having to choose the lesser of two evils.” I believe it can be like that again. However, in order for that to happen, we have to stand up and let the incumbents, and aspiring candidates, know what we expect and hold them accountable. There are good potential candidates out there, too. The problem is that politics has gotten so ugly that they don’t want to put themselves or their families through the crap. I think it’s fair to hold someone accountable based upon their record, but it’s unacceptable to go after them and / or their family members personally. Also, if you are gonna go after their record, do so accurately without distorting or twisting it.

  7. Sonny Griffin

    Amen to that, Sheepdog.

  8. Sonny Griffin

    The following link is to a very comprehensive article about the difference between a democracy and a republic as it applies to our form of government.

    It’s very lengthy but I guarantee that when you get through it, you will have gained a whole new perspective about what is wrong with our country and where we are heading.

    http://www.freedom-school.com/republican_form_of_government.pdf

  9. Sonny, I finally had an opportunity to read through the link you provided. You’re right – it is rather long. However, in my opinion, the author’s points are right on target in regards to much of the country’s problems. We are now more under a democracy, and mob rule, rather than a republic. He also touched on the spiritual deficiency we now see in the U.S. I’m convinced that is the biggest problem we face.

    I thought his simple definitions of a “democracy” and a “republic” on page 3 were great. They were so simple even a caveman could understand them.
    Thanks for passing along. The analogy of a teenage boy who brings a hooker home (page 15) was good for a few laughs and on target as well.

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