Thanksgiving In America, what if?

“The government needs to be made to believe. Believing that the king is divine, making to believe that he can do no wrong or making to believe that the voice of God is the voice of the people. Make believe that the people have a voice or make believe that the people are the people’s representatives. Believe that rulers are servants of the people. To believe that all men are created equal or to believe that they are not.” — Edmund S. Morgan (1916-2013)

What if the government’s true goal is to perpetuate its own power? What if the real levers of governmental power are drawn by agents and diplomats and by bureaucrats and central bankers behind the scenes? What if they stay in power no matter who is elected president or which political party controls either house of Congress?

What if the frequent public displays of animosity between Republicans and Democrats are just a facade? What if the two major political parties agree on the fundamental issues of our day?

What if the leadership of both political parties believe that our rights are not natural to our humanity but rather gifts from the government? What if those leaders believe that the government that gives gifts to the people can take those gifts?

What if the leadership of both parties gives only lip service to President Thomas Jefferson’s assertions in the Declaration of Independence that all men are “created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, namely Life , Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” and that when the government attacks our natural rights, we can “change or abolish” it?

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What if the leadership of both parties quietly dismisses those ideas as Jefferson’s old thoughts? What if Jefferson’s words are enacted into federal law that everyone in government is sworn to uphold?

What if the leadership of both political parties believe that the constitutional requirement of due process somehow allows mothers to hire doctors to kill babies in their wombs, out of fear or convenience? What if the leadership of both political parties believe that the president can legally kill any foreigner out of fear, because due process is an inconvenience?

What if the last four presidents—two from each major political party—have used high-tech drones to kill innocent people in foreign countries that the United States was not at war with and claimed they did so legally, rely not on a declaration of war from Congress but on erroneous and secret arguments which claim that American presidents can kill with impunity?

What if the Constitution requires a congressional declaration of war or due process whenever the government wants the life, liberty or property of anyone, whether convenient or not, and whether the person is American or not? What if due process means a fair trial by jury, not a secretly ordered killing?

What if most members of Congress from both political parties believe in perpetual war and perpetual debt? What if the political class believes that war is the health of the state? What if the leader of that class wants a war in order to incite the loyalty of his base, open the pocket of the taxpayers’ books and win the compliance of the voters? What if the political class uses war to enrich its benefactors? What if the government has been paying for war by increasing its debt?

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What if the current $31 trillion federal government debt was caused by borrowing to pay for wars and false prosperity? What if the federal government collects about $4 trillion annually but spends about $6.8 trillion? What if the feds borrow money to pay $500 billion in interest annually?

What if it is crazy to borrow money to pay interest on borrowed money? What if American taxpayers are still paying interest on debts incurred by Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt and every president after World War II?

What if the banks have borrowed the money they are lending? What if they can’t pay it back? What if the stock market was once soaring on money borrowed at artificially low interest rates?

What if the government demands transparency from us but refuses to be transparent to us? What if government leaders claim they believe they work for us but tacitly acknowledge that we work for the government?

What if the federal government has access to all of our electronic communications, bank accounts, medical and legal records, and utility and credit card bills? What if the government knows more about us than we do?

What if the federal government stays in power by bribing the states with cash, the rich with handouts, the middle class with tax cuts and the poor with welfare?

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What if the government believes that the Constitution is credible and does not apply in bad times? What if he thinks he can cure disease by forcing experimental drugs on the healthy? What if it mocks the Bill of Rights? What if the government that the Founding Fathers gave us needed our permission to do almost everything? What if today you need government permission to do almost anything?

What if our thanks, on Thanksgiving Day, is not to the government that attacks our freedom and steals our wealth but to God, who gave us our freedom and our ability to gain wealth?

What if our thanksgiving, on Thanksgiving Day, is for life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and the exercise of free will and human reason?

What if these are an integral part of our humanity despite the government’s attacks on them?

What if the Thanksgiving holiday has become a four-day oasis from a government of friction that is blind to the consequences of its borrowing, killing and attacks on freedom?

What if, on Thanksgiving Day, we are very thankful that we are free creatures made in the image and likeness of God?

What if, on Thanksgiving Day, we begin to change or abolish the government, believe it or not?

Happy Thanksgiving.

• Andrew P. Napolitano is a former law professor and New Jersey Superior Court judge who has published nine books on the US Constitution.


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