The Diminution of Liberty

Commentary by Dr. Gerhard Falk


The American Police State


     In November 2008, the majority of American voters rejected 219 years of democracy and, for the first time in American history, promoted a police state in this country.

     In 1789, two years after the Constitution was ratified, George Washington was inaugurated president and congress met for the first time in New York City. From then, until 2008, Americans were indeed a free people living their lives under the protection of the “Bill of Rights” added to the Constitution in 1791 at the initiative of Thomas Jefferson, our third president.

     According to these ten amendments, Americans have been guaranteed freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the right to “petition the government for a redress of grievances.” The second amendment guarantees the right to bear arms, i.e. to own firearms, and subsequent amendments protect citizens from unreasonable searches of their homes and guarantee those accused of crimes the assumption of innocence until proved guilty in a court of law.

     Most important are other provisions of the constitution which led to a culture of individual liberty in this country and allowed innumerable immigrants to rise from utter poverty to achievements and wealth, regardless of ethnic origin, race, religion, or gender.

     Indeed, it took years for all to enjoy these advantages. However, American history proves that democracy became ever more inclusive, as women were granted the right to vote and run for office, and racial minorities were accorded all those privileges once reserved for Europeans until a black man became president.

     Then, in 2008, a sharp break in American tradition occurred in this country, as the majority of voters followed a demagogue who, like all such politicians before him, shouted slogans which promised everything to anyone willing to vote for him.

     The outcome of that vote, repeated in 2012, is the current American police state. A police state is not to be confused with a totalitarian dictatorship in which constitutional rights never existed or are abolished.  In a police state, the constitution is given lip service and is in part preserved. However, in a police state, the police and, in the main, a huge, un-elected bureaucracy, dictate to the erstwhile citizens what they may or may not do, from sunup to sundown.

     Such a gigantic bureaucracy exists in the United States today, including the all powerful IRS, the so-called Environmental Protection Agency, and hundreds of others, all staffed by faceless, mindless bureaucrats telling all of us what to do. This bureaucracy has turned former American citizens into subjects of the government, so that the erstwhile assumption that government serves the people has been turned upside down. Now the people, as in all oligarchies, serve the government.

     How did this come about? First, this did not occur on one day or in one year. It developed gradually as Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected four times, despite the tradition inaugurated by George Washington that a president serve only two terms.

     Thereafter, several presidents seeking to overstep their authority were defeated at the polls. This included the arrogant Richard Nixon, who was indeed re-elected but forced by congress to resign. It included Jimmy Carter, Jew baiter extraordinary, who lost reelection when, for once at least, some of the Jewish community deserted him. It included the first George Bush, who promised no new taxes and was defeated when he reneged on his promise.

     Yet, by 2008 and again in 2012, independence was replaced in this country by a slavish acquiescence to all government directives, as voters did what Benjamin Franklin predicted so many years ago. Franklin wrote that many people would rather trade safety for liberty and that those who made such a trade deserved neither freedom nor safety.

     The great rejection of our democracy came about as more and more immigrants from dictatorial countries entered the United States, legally and illegally. Those who came from Asia and South America never lived in a democracy, had no traditions of freedom, and had always followed loud shouting dictators. Accustomed to being told what to do, they followed the frenzied harangues of the minority candidate who told them that they need not rely on themselves but that government would give them whatever they needed or wanted. He appealed to envy and the sense of deprivation felt by new immigrants and those relatively poor.

     Traditionally, immigrants from the 17th century to the 20th were self reliant people who did everything and anything to succeed in “the land of unlimited opportunity.” Now, however, the poor and others are told that their efforts are not relevant because the government will supply them with their needs. Now, government has no money. Taxpayers have money. Therefore, the government, seeking to be re-elected in perpetuity, raises taxes on those working so as to support one half of the American people receiving government aid. Hence 47 million Americans now receive food “stamps,” a misnomer of a credit card. Millions receive disability benefits without being disabled, and millions more depend on 99 weeks of unemployment compensation, aid to dependent children, supplemental security income, etc. etc. etc. It is of course obvious that as more and more people depend for their livelihood on that segment of the population who work and pay taxes, that the day must come when the working taxpayers cannot afford to pay the expenses of more and more nonworking recipients of other people's efforts. As is already the case in Greece, those accustomed to receiving benefits without working then riot in the streets because the government has run out of money and cannot support so many people anymore.

     Meanwhile, the rich and the super rich leave the country or locate their money elsewhere in order to escape taxes upon taxes. This impoverishes the government, who then cannot support the ever increasing dependent population, leading to disastrous results.

     In addition to immigrants unaccustomed to democratic self reliance, the descendants of the nineteenth century slaves are claiming in this, the 21st century, that the population of European descent owe them a livelihood. The problem with that demand is that the vast majority of present day Americans are the grandchildren of immigrants who came to the United States long after slavery was abolished. These people had no connection to slavery, but are the descendants of those who themselves were industrial slaves in the factories of the 1890’s and early 1900’s.

     Yet, the 13% of Americans who automatically voted for the minority candidate for the presidency continue to claim that all their problems are the fault of others, and that “the goment” needs to give them a living. They are also in the forefront of religious bigotry, as they denounce the small, 1.8% Jewish population with vehemence. For example, the “civil rights leader” Al Sharpton stood in front of a clothing store in Brooklyn, N.Y. and shouted “burn down the Jew store.” His followers did just that and killed eight employees in that store. Sharpton also induced his followers to kill a Jewish divinity student on the streets of Brooklyn, a young man they surrounded and murdered for no reason other than his religion.

     A recent survey showed that only 9% of Americans of European descent harbor religious hatred against Jewish Americans. Four times that many, i.e. 36%, of minorities hold such views.

     The outcome of all this is that freedom and democracy, constitutional government, and the rights of the individual are in grave danger in the United States in this century. Added to these circumstances is the use of technology by government determined to control all aspects of our lives. Now the police have installed video cameras at street corners, used to detect who talks to whom, and who enters or leaves which building or drives this or that car. The latest devices used to control the American people are so called “drones,” unmanned aircraft, which can observe all activities on the ground and which have already been used to kill American citizens without as much as an accusation, let alone a trial.

     We are indeed living in a police state. It is possible that this may yet be reversed if free elections are still available four years from now. Even then, the trend for more and more government interference in the lives of all of us must be reversed, lest another four years of such police methods create a population who never lived in a democracy, have no memory of freedom, and descend irrevocably into the abyss of a total dictatorship.

Shalom u’vracha.

Dr. Gerhard Falk is the author of numerous publications, including Assassination, Anarchy, & Terrorism (2012).

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