What then, is the answer?
The answer is us! You and I working together.
The answer is you and I and our families, our communities, our neighborhoods and our local churches.
No elected official has the power to change the system by himself. The bureaucracies are massive. The cumulative regulations and the unending legislation that empowers them are overwhelmingly complex.
This makes the reform process messy. Bureaucracies are structured so that power and money lies in the hands of the special interests that have the most to lose.
This makes the entrenched elites extremely difficult adversaries. But, it is our "skin in the game." We have the most to lose and therefore, we have the most to gain.
We lose our liberty with every dollar needlessly striped from our wallets. We lose our freedom with every needless regulation placed in our path. We lose our independence with every fee, permit, and subsidy added to a list of never-ending obligatory requirements.
These burdens hamper our cause of human liberty.
This is why Thomas Jefferson wrote, "In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."
It is our responsibility is to demand adherence to our US Constitution. The Bill of Rights protects citizens from the government by making the law a shield for the people rather than a weapon in the hands of the government.
Our First Amendment protects the freedom of speech, the press, and assembly or public protest.
The Second Amendment gives the people the right “to keep and bear arms.”
The Third Amendment has to do with the quartering of soldiers on civilians, a large complaint against King George III, but not a practice of present-day armies.
The Fourth Amendment grants “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures” and prevents the issue of warrants except “upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
The Fifth Amendment prohibits double jeopardy, self-incrimination, the taking of life, liberty, or property without due process and the prohibition of seizing property without just compensation.
The Sixth Amendment guarantees speedy and public trial requires that a defendant be informed of the charge against him and to be confronted with the witnesses, to present witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of an attorney.
The Seventh Amendment gives the right to trial by jury to civil suits.
The Eighth Amendment prevents excessive bail and cruel and unusual punishments.
The Ninth Amendment says that the enumeration of certain rights in the Constitution does not deny or disparage others retained by the people. In other words, people have rights in addition to the those listed in the proscriptions against the government’s use of abusive power.
The Tenth Amendment reserves the rights not delegated to the federal government to the states, or the people.
Your next Senator must believe in, understand and advocate for these legal protections as the legitimate boundaries for Oregon’s government enterprise.
I will be that Senator!
Vote for Dennis Linthicum in the Primary Election on May 17th.