It is one of those peculiarities of history: At exactly the same time of the year the Founders were declaring independence from Great Britain over the sovereign's attempts to coerce Americans into paying an abusive, but legal, tax, the Supreme Court of the United States should find a similarly abusive tax to be constitutional.
The arguments that President Obama and his liberal supporters used to justify the Obamacare mandate are remarkably similar to the arguments used by the British to justify the Stamp Act, the Intolerable Acts and the other taxes that led the Patriots of Boston to dump tea into Boston Harbor.
As was the case in 1776, some Americans appeared to be "freeloading" and weren't contributing their fair share to the common good. Providing all of the benefits of royal rule was expensive and everyone must contribute. Most importantly, the Sovereign in far-away Great Britain knew best. Whether Americans wanted those benefits or not, Americans would be charged for the privilege of living under beneficent British rule . . . or receiving the benefits of Obamacare.
Americans objected to being taxed for these purposes, especially without their consent, and eventually the Continental Congress met in Philadelphia to set into motion the revolution that was already stirring in the hearts of people from one end of the country to the other.
But it wasn’t just abusive taxes that kindled the American Revolution. Whether through acts that turned lawyer James Otis from a loyalist subject into an American hero for challenging the King’s searches and seizures, or by ignoring the pleas and petitions of Americans, the Sovereign had shown contempt for Americans and the “Laws of Nature and of Nature's God.”
So it seems that we have now come full circle. The Constitution that Americans created to perfect the noble sentiments of the Declaration of Independence is now being used to legalize the same sort of abuses that led to the Declaration of Independence in the first place.
If your head is spinning a bit trying to follow this strange evolution of history, join the club.
As the Fourth of July, 2012 approaches many, if not most, Americans are undoubtedly puzzled by the notion that the Constitution could be interpreted to allow exactly the same kind of arrogant governance that led to the American Revolution.
The Declaration of Independence sets forth the principles of our nation. The Constitution is a direct outgrowth of the Declaration, for it is by the Constitution that the Founders set forth the law that governs government to ensure those principles remained for our posterity.
The Constitution is not the facilitator of the growth of government, and that remains the most troubling part of the Roberts decision.
Conservatives understand and appreciate the concept of judicial restraint. What remains troubling is the notion that the power of Congress to tax somehow trumps the protections of individual freedom that are at the very heart of the Declaration of Independence. Nowhere in the Declaration, the greatest of our founding documents, did the Founders envision a government of handouts and bailouts. The crony capitalism of the mercantile empire of Great Britain was at the core of American objections to pre-revolutionary British rule in way that matches remarkably conservative criticism of Solyndra and Government Motors.
So where does that leave us today? Exactly where our ancestors were in 1776, with what Madison desribed in Federalist 44 as “a remedy obtained from the people.”
The Patriots who met in Philadelphia in 1776 to approve the Declaration of Independence understood that to obtain the remedy they were seeking, they would have to fight a lengthy war of revolution that would shake the world's greatest empire to its core.
Today's remedy obtained from the people may be no less revolutionary. The repeal of Obamacare would mark the first time in our history that voters peacefully stepped forward to elect a majority of representatives who reject the unlimited growth of government, and instead will be faithful to the ideals of the American founding.
We need representatives who will say "no thank you" to more government however beneficent it may appear to be, and who will work to create a truly revolutionary government -- one that limits its role to protecting life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That will fulfill the vision of our revolutionary forebearers.
But -- and this is a big “but” -- we cannot expect this to happen on its own, or overnight. It is up to each of us -- you and I, our friends, family members, church brethren and pastors, co-workers, etc. -- to take action. We can no longer afford to be “armchair” or “laptop” patiots.
Stayed tuned for more on what you can do to join the revolution.