The Consent of the Governed – A Further Discussion

QuestionThe Virginia Declaration of Rights prefixed the Virginia Colony’s constitution and was written by a reluctant statesman and largest landowner, George Mason.  In sixteen statements on government and the rights of man, we find the consent of the governed and the need for controls on government pertinent to our day and time.  For this article, we are focused upon the first three articles in the Declaration of Rights and the fundamental principles of liberty that must be refreshed and revisited often to maintain a government of the people, by the people, for the people, and where the consent of the governed is respected.

      1. All men are by nature equally free and independent, have certain inherent rights, … namely the enjoyment of life and liberty, possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.”

This first declaration is important for several reasons. The first is that it places responsibility upon the individual made free to maintain their rights by exercising those rights responsibly and in a manner that the government expects.  How the government is expected to behave is modeled on how people in society behave.  Hence, freedom is a double-edged sword; want to keep your liberties, the way you act is how the government will act.The Duty of Americans

      1. All power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people; that magistrates are their trustees and servants and at all times amenable to them.”

Have you ever had a bureaucrat treat you like you are scum; well, maybe it is time we reminded them of this principle!  The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is regularly documented on this blog as abusing, killing, and harming veteran patients.  I use this principle as the backbone of logic to try and reprimand Congress and the VA into improving their behavior.  I document the behavior of the US Postal Service, the different state Departments of Motor Vehicles, and other government agencies for abusing the taxpayers and acting like feudal lords instead of public servants.

Amenable is described as agreeable, ready to consent, willing to accept a suggestion, or submit to authority.  How many times has a bureaucrat treated you in an amenable manner?  Heck, having worked with them as a fellow employee, I can affirm they are not amenable to their bosses, let alone the customers.  There is a cultural problem in the bureaucratic mind, rejecting all authority as they are protected by labor unions and a quagmire of laws!  Do you think this should be changed for the benefit of the public good?Plato 2

      1. Government is or ought to be instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the people. … A majority of the community hath an indubitable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to reform, alter, or abolish it, in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to the public weal.”

I realize the language here is a bit old-fashioned.  All right, a LOT old-fashioned.  Let’s break this down.

        • Indubitable: Anything that is so plain that doubt cannot be admitted is indubitable. For example, water is wet.  If I throw water on you, you will get wet.
        • Unalienable: Also known in legal documents as inalienable. Describing something that cannot be separated from a whole, given away, taken by another, or discharged without destroying the whole.
        • Indefeasible: Anything that cannot be voided, annulled, or defeated; something permanent. This is mostly a legal term.
        • Public Weal: A way of saying public good, the public well being, or the prosperity of the general public, not just the special interests, select citizens, etc., but all citizens.

Mr. Mason is declaring here in the third article that governments can be reigned in, changed, abolished, and remade if the majority of the citizens demand it and if the changes are beneficial for the public good and prosperity.  Consider this for a moment; since Jan/Feb 2020, America, and the world, has witnessed runaway totalitarian government hysteria over a viral infection with a 98%+ survival rate.  As a scientific fact, the annual flu is more dangerous than COVID-19 globally; yet, the flu does not shut down a business, close schools, and ruin economies.  Since the start of COVID, there has not been any Flu-related deaths or Flu-related illness at all.  Doesn’t this raise some serious concerns in the COVID-Mandates and measures?quote-mans-inhumanity

Using the pattern outlined by Mr. Mason, the people being represented can withhold their consent to be governed, reject the current government, or eliminate the current government and start a new government if the changes are more beneficial to the public good.  I find this pattern interesting both in a philosophical and academic sense and in a practical sense.  Long have I argued that the officers of government should have a fear of the ballot box and the people they are responsible for representing.  The insanity we are experiencing because the politicians have gerrymandered the congressional districts to protect their election results is not ethical or moral and is barely legal.

No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people, but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue, and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles” [emphasis mine].

          • Justice: Decency to all as a behavior of equality and commitment to moral rightness.
          • Moderation: This is all about not going to extremes, being restrained, knowing the boundaries and staying within limits, and being reasonable and approachable.
          • Temperance: While primarily used in drinking alcohol, this also applies to any behaviors where self-restraint, moderation, and expressions or observance of temperate behaviors are required.
          • Frugality: Besides being a good steward of other people’s resources, being frugal requires being sparing, prudent, economical, thrifty, and reserved.
          • Virtue: Requires moral excellence, modesty, personal dignity, goodness, and conformity to a standard of righteousness.

Knowledge Check!The Eagles sing a song called “Lyin’ Eyes,” in which truth is revealed:

There ain’t no way to hide your lyin’ eyes!”

Look to the politicians.  I do not care about your political affiliation.  Take an honest look at them, their deeds, and their faces; can you see their lying eyes?  Use the pattern discussed above; are the politicians in public office right now frugal with your hard-earned tax dollars?  Do they practice virtue in public and private?  What about moderation and temperance?  Do they perform their jobs with justice and moderation?  If so, do they deserve your vote to stay in office?  If not, do they earn your vote to remain in office?Scared Eyes!

Better, would you trust them to watch your children in your home while you went out to dinner with your significant other?  Your consent to be governed is expressed firstly in the ballot box, next in the actions you take, and then in your investment in trusting that person to continue under supervision.  Too many local politicians have set up permanent camps because Federal politics is so amazingly in-your-face atrocious and attention-grabbing.  But, your local school board wields considerable power that affects you more directly, and they get away with abysmal behavior while the focus is on State and Federal elections and politics.

Local judges have set up horrible empires of inefficiency, dastardly inefficient and unjust, almost criminal courtrooms, while the attention is focused elsewhere.  Mayors, County Supervisors, City Councils, and the list goes on and on of political empires designed to do serious and lasting harm, steal your consent to be governed, and ruin America, all because the focus is on the more noticed elections at the state and federal levels.Modesty

America, tell me, is the government you witness daily the government you deserve?  What about the other representative governments across the globe?  Australia, has your government overstepped its legal authority and demonstrated enough contempt for the consent of the governed?  China, has your government punished you sufficiently to consider a change of government?  Hong Kong, you are being punished for agreeing to a treaty that was full of pie-crust promises, and your productivity has been propping the unjust communist regime since you joined the mainland.  Have you had enough yet?

LookI weep for Venezuela, Cuba, Brazil, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and so many other countries where the people’s voice was twisted, distorted, stolen, or outright silenced to implant a government that does not represent the people.  But, the principles remain the same; your consent to be governed remains the tinder upon which your money is exchanged.  Your consent to be governed remains the trust used to keep unjust regimes and totalitarian officers in office.  Your consent to be governed is the straw that will break the camels back and force changes to government.  If the last century has taught us anything, when the people have had enough, collectively stand, and refuse their consent to be governed, blessed change will come, and governments crumble and blow away like dust in heavy winds!

Let us withhold our consent to be governed until the government starts listening to us, not the special interests, their own capacious egos, and monied influencers!

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

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msalis1

Dual service military veteran. Possess an MBA in Global Management and a Masters degree in Adult Education and Training. Pursuing a PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Business professional with depth of experience in logistics, supply chain management, and call centers.

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