King George couldn’t hold a candle to the judicial despotism we are governed by some 12 score and three years after the colonists rebelled against what they thought were “intolerable acts.” Sure, there was some taxation without representation going on in the 1770s, but I think the colonists would have taken that any day if they were to see in their crystal ball the severity of today’s social transformation without representation.
We celebrate so much more than the founding of a new nation on July 4. After all, the day the Continental Congress actually declared independence was July 2. What we celebrate on Independence Day is the philosophy of self-governance that the Founders adopted in our Declaration of Independence, for without self-governance, what would have been the point of declaring independence from one king, only to condemn themselves to despotism under their “own” rulers?
Packed into the 201 words of the preamble of the document crafted by Thomas Jefferson with the help of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman were six foundational principles on the morality of a just governing system.
Perhaps the most important principle established at the time was the right of the people who created the society to self-govern. As immortalized in the words of the Declaration itself, “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
The most important decision a society will ever make is whom they will accept as another member of that society, who in turn has a stake in determining the outcome of all the other major decisions.
This is why James Madison, in his 1835 essay on sovereignty, used the example of citizenship to explain how, in a republican society, decisions must flow with the consent of the people through their elected representatives. And there’s no greater decision for society than the future makeup of the society itself. Madison wrote, “In the case of naturalization a new member is added to the Social compact … by a majority of the governing body deriving its powers from a majority of the individual parties to the social compact.”
No foreigner or foreign entity can control the destiny of our nation and force upon us an outcome for citizenship, judicial standing, or any other benefit against the will of the president or Congress. It’s obvious that a country can never be forced to issue citizenship against its will, for if that were the case, it would cease to be a sovereign country “free from external control,” as the term is defined by Webster’s dictionary.
Yet here we are, fully one year into a crisis of one million aliens invading our border, all resulting from a single district judge, Dana Sabraw, erroneously ceded power by the other branches of government to throw out our immigration laws. Just last weekend, another district judge in California ruled that a president of the United States can’t even build a wall to keep some of them out.
Again, King George couldn’t hold a candle to the despotism we’ve allowed to flow from a few unelected California judges. This is worse than a constitutional violation. This is a violation of popular and territorial sovereignty, the most foundational principles established in the moral underpinning of the Declaration of Independence. Now, the judges are telling us that we can’t even conduct a census for the citizenry of this country and that, by default, hostile cartels can send millions of aliens into this country, force citizenship for their children upon us, and be counted in the census.
What we have today is the worst manifestation of Abraham Lincoln’s nightmare – the shredding of the right to self-govern as expressed by the Declaration of Independence he loved so much and sought to preserve. In his first inaugural address, Lincoln famously warned that “if the policy of the Government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made in ordinary litigation between parties in personal actions the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their Government into the hands of that eminent tribunal.”
Today, we have every vital question that affects the whole of the people absolutely, irrevocably fixed by judges. Raise your hand if you’d rather have the Stamp Act by King George than every social transformation imaginable by a California judge!
But even though the degree of despotism today emanating from the judicial tribunal is worse than that of King George, the path to our new independence is much easier. For the cause of taxation without representation and establishing for the first time a government built upon popular sovereignty, our Founders were willing to “mutually pledge to each other” their “Lives, Fortunes, and sacred Honor.” We, on the other hand, need not risk “hanging separately” on the gallows, as Benjamin Franklin quipped at the time. Our Founders created other branches of government for a reason. In this case, it is the weakest branch from which the most mischief is flowing. All we need to do is to simply say no and use the arm of the executive branch of government. The president and the attorney general have a constitutional duty – indeed, they have an even more foundational duty mandated by the Declaration of Independence – to do so. Were they to simply push back against the eminent tribunal one time, it will become self-evident that the black robes don’t have nearly the power the redcoats did in the 1770s – unless of course we subjugate ourselves and give it to them for free.
A revolution for self-governance can free a people from the yoke of despotism by a monarch, but not even a revolution can free a people from self-subjugation.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.