National ID Card Or A Number Tattooed On Your Arm?
I read recently that a proposal for a National I.D. card for American citizens may soon be back on the table for consideration by US Lawmakers. There are some who believe approval for a National ID card is growing.
I have to ask: what is wrong with Americans? Are we sheep to be herded by a National Shepherd? Where is the individualism that won this country from the British and then stretched it across the entire continent to the shores of the Pacific? Even the oceans could not hold back our burning desire for FREEDOM! Yet, today, we are begging the federal government to take our freedoms away! This is scandalous! This borders on cowardice of the highest magnitude!
Are we so quick to give back the liberties bought with the precious blood of our forefathers, our ancestors, and in many cases our immediate relatives? In cemeteries all over the globe lie the bodies of American men and women who put their lives on the line and shed their blood up to the "last full measure" to ensure you and I the freedoms we are now begging the Federal Government to take away!
Some example we are setting for the rest of the world! Look at the cowardly Americans. They talk a good game but when the going gets tough they run to hide under the wings of the Federal Nanny!
Our national motto is: "In God We Trust." Apparently it’s a lie! If we truly placed our trust in God we would not be so hasty to misplace it in a government, which is already too big and intrusive.
There comes a time when we have to stand on our own two feet. Sure there is risk involved in living free! That's why it's called freedom. It means, simply, that you (you and I) take responsibility for ourselves! Example: If I'm afraid to get on a plane.... then I WON'T get on a plane! We have to understand, as did our forefathers, that living free does not mean, necessarily, living secure! To live free, it is required that we must live with certain insecurities, or risks.
There is also the thing called “respect” and “self-respect.” Respect is earned. You earn the respect of your fellowman, and the respect of the world, by standing on your own two feet as a man! You do not earn respect by leaning on others… and that includes leaning on the government. Modern day Americans have forgotten that that. I am embarrassed, as an American, to find that I even feel I have to explain that to my fellow Americans!
Something profound has happened to Americans. That steel in our character is gone. That “damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead” characteristic of American manhood is not there anymore. As a result, our way of life, our freedom, indeed, our nation is at risk. American used to be known for sticking their finger in the eye of government.
I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me. I am proud of my ancestors who were bootleggers and smugglers. They left me more than fond memories. They left me with a strong distrust of government. I think that distrust is healthy. They left me something else as well. They made me understand that the government is not responsible for me. They taught me that a man is always responsible for himself. They taught me that the more I depended on government the more dependence government would require until I had nothing left to give and then I would find that I was a slave to that government.
The historian Edward Gibbon had it about right when he wrote of ancient Athens: "In the end, more than freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life and they lost it all… security, comfort, and freedom. When the Athenians finally wanted NOT TO GIVE TO SOCIETY BUT FOR SOCIETY TO GIVE TO THEM, when the freedom they wanted most was FREEDOM FROM RESPONSIBILITY, then ATHENS CEASED TO BE FREE...AND NEVER WAS FREE AGAIN!
I agree that we need some government. But, I believe, as did our forefathers, that the government, especially the federal government was, and is, intended to be an agent of the states, and not the other way around! Our American Founders believed a federal government was answerable to the states… not the states to the federal government.
I believe the government does some things well.... as it should. One such thing is "provide for the common defense" with a well trained and equipped military. I believe as did one of our founding fathers, Thomas Paine, one of the early “pamphleteers” (Most likely a “Blogger” today!) who said: "Government, even in its best state, is a necessary evil; in it's worse state, and intolerable one." (From: Common Sense).
In this Democratic Republic we call America; it is up to us, the citizens, to keep our government on a short rein. Indeed, it is our duty, as citizens, to keep the tentacles of government out of our every day existence. They have no business there. We must be wary of "Knee-Jerk" responses to danger, real or imagined, such as I believe the National I.D. Card to be. If the government wants to "Card" somebody, why not make every one not a citizen of this country carry one (An I.D. Card) while inside our borders?
How dangerous is Big Government? Well, I believe Alexis de Tocqueville summed it up nicely when writing of the dangers of big government. Tocqueville said of big government: "it covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds, and the most energetic characters, cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, extinguishes, and stupefies people, 'til each nation is reduced to be nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd." (Alexis de Tocqueville on "Big Government".)
Well, there you have it. Animals with a shepherd!
I don't know about you, but I don't want to be counted among the animals that need a shepherd. I, like millions of Americans before me, will live free! I do not choose to beg the government to take back the liberty my ancestors fought and died that I might have. It's blasphemy!
I want my grandchildren to live, and grow up, in a free country. A country, which will allow them to be everything they are capable of being. I don't want their prospects to be lessened by the intrusions of government. I owe them that. I owe them an America in which they can be FREE. Free to succeed and, yes, free to fail! I owe them an America my father, and my forefathers, placed in my safe keeping (as did yours) at my (our) birth. To be worthy custodians of this nation’s freedom, we must insure that we pass it along no less free that when we received it!
As I look about me today, at modern day America, I have to conclude we have failed at the single most important task we have as adult Americans. That task is to preserve freedom in this country… to guarantee a future for our children in a free nation. A National ID card is much the same as a tattooed number on your forearm. It is proof of ownership… by someone other than you. Next will come the National RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chip implanted at birth. It will broadcast a radio signal all the days of your life telling the government who you are, and where you are, at all times. National ID, of any kind, takes away one of your basic rights, the right to privacy.
It is time to get a grip, America! Our National Anthem says: “…The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.” Well, don’t you think it is about time we began to act like it? A National ID card would say to the world just the opposite.
J. D. Longstreet
*** For an interesting read go HERE. and HERE.