Democracy and Freedom Lost

Member Group : Lincoln Institute

In my years of service in the United States Marine Corps and having had the opportunity to spend a great deal of time in foreign nations, it became very clear how to me how governments are overthrown and ways of life destroyed.
The developments over the past decade or two have caused me great concern that the very freedoms upon which we were founded are in jeopardy.

The Bill of Rights, a most precious accord of rights for mankind, is being challenged daily by those seeking to oppress and all in the name of "taking care of us."

The communist playbook from its early days focused on controlling certain activities and societal functions in order to take control of a government.
I cannot help but wonder if our democratic and republic form of government is being systematically replaced with a socialist, communist or even totalitarian regime today.

Consider how socialism or communism gains control.

• Control schools and education programs.
• Control labor unions or businesses
• Increase government regulations and restrictions
• Control ballot access and limit effectiveness of the political process
• Control the courts
• Remove the ability of citizens to seek redress of government
• Create a "foreign threat" to instill fear
• Demonize an opponent

First, the continuous decline in the quality of education in the nation has already been well documented.

The squashing of freedom of expression in the academic world is almost legend. If students are not taught to question, the foundations of a free society become undermined.

Second, when labor unions or business gain an upper hand in any transaction, the customer will suffer. Be it the bailout of General Motors or the problems at Goldman Sachs, the impact on markets and our freedoms are profound.

Are Toyota’s problems because of their own issues or because one of their competitors is owned by the government?

Third, government regulations are everywhere. Consider your daily activities and see where you are controlled by some sort of government regulation. Nutrition labels on bottles of water that say it has no calories, speed limits, toll booths, property taxes, OSHA, TSA, Medicare and Medicaid, payroll taxes and the list goes on.

Fourth, does the McCain-Feingold bill really protect us against special interests or does it merely serve to create an Incumbency Protection Act to protect those already in public office? Article 1, Section 9, prohibits our government from granting titles of nobility but I question whether or not the elected elite have done just that with our election laws.

Fifth, legislating from the bench and gaining control of government by judges making versus interpreting laws. Franklin Roosevelt was so frustrated with the Supreme Court that he attempted to gain control by appointing more than 9 justices. Does the sudden resignation of two justices in one year create the same opportunity?

Sixth, removing our ability to seek redress from government is already in place. The bankruptcy laws were trampled on to take away rights of debt holders to give to labor and government special rights in the GM bankruptcy. No fly lists, Patriot Act provisions, and financial sector bailouts all limit rights of some in favor of rights for others. As long as you are on the right side of this no problem but God help you if you are not.

Seventh, creating a "foreign threat" instills fear in people who are willing to trade safety for freedom. When you are willing to sacrifice your safety for freedom, you deserve and will get neither.

Finally, demonizing Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly or Ann Coulter and describing some of them as acts of sedition is a way to threaten their freedoms with acts of treason. Create fear and you win.

Put all these together and you have just lost your government and your freedoms.
In 1969, I took an oath of office as a United States Marine. That oath is: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.."

I hope that all in government who intend to trample the rights of our citizens will read these words clearly. The oath which I took and as all officers take is to the Constitution of the United States of America and the Constitution only without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. We take this oath very seriously.

The very fabric of our freedoms as Americans is held together by those willing to sacrifice personally for the better of the entire nation. As our young men and women so gallantly gave their lives in service in Valley Forge, Gettysburg, Normandy, Tarawa, Inchon, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq, the very memory of their ultimate sacrifice should rally us to defend the rights of all to dissent whether we like their opinion or not. It is what we as a Nation are all about.

Frank Ryan is a retired Colonel in the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve. The Department of Homeland Security can contact him at [email protected].