Andrew Napolitano - November 10, 2009
We Can't Sit Back and Allow the Loss
of Our Freedoms
We elect the government. It works for us. As we watch
the Democrats' plans for health care take shape, we
can only ask how did our government get so removed,
so unbridled, so arrogant that it can tell us how to
live our personal lives?
Last Saturday, at 11 o’clock in
the evening, the House of Representatives voted by a
five vote margin to have the federal government manage
the health care of every American at a cost of $1 trillion
dollars over the next ten years.
For the first time in American history,
if this bill becomes law, the Feds will force you to
buy insurance you might not want, or may not need, or
cannot afford. If you don’t purchase what the
government tells you to buy, if you don’t do so
when they tell you to do it, and if you don’t
buy just what they say is right for you, the government
may fine you, prosecute you, and even put you in jail.
Freedom of choice and control over your own body will
be lost. The privacy of your communications and medical
decision making with your physician will be gone. More
of your hard earned dollars will be at the disposal
of federal bureaucrats.
It was not supposed to be this way.
We elect the government. It works for us. How did it
get so removed, so unbridled, so arrogant that it can
tell us how to live our personal lives? Evil rarely
comes upon us all at once, and liberty is rarely lost
in one stroke. It happens gradually, over the years
and decades and even centuries. A little stretch here,
a cave in there, powers are slowly taken from the states
and the people and before you know it, we have one big
monster government that recognizes no restraint on its
ability to tell us how to live. It claims the power
to regulate any activity, tax any behavior, and demand
conformity to any standard it chooses.
The Founders did not give us a government
like the one we have today. The government they gave
us was strictly limited in its scope, guaranteed individual
liberty, preserved the free market, and on matters that
pertain to our private behavior was supposed to leave
In the Constitution, the Founders built
in checks and balances. If the Congress got out of hand,
the states would restrain it. If the states stole liberty
or property, the Congress would cure it. If the President
tried to become a king, the courts would prevent it.
In the next few weeks, I will be giving
a public class on Constitutional Law here on the Fox
News Channel, on the Fox Business Network, on Foxnews.com,
and on Fox Nation. In anticipation of that, many of
you have asked: What can we do now about the loss of
freedom? For starters, we can vote the bums out of their
cushy federal offices! We can persuade our state governments
to defy the Feds in areas like health care -- where
the Constitution gives the Feds zero authority. We can
petition our state legislatures to threaten to amend
the Constitution to abolish the income tax, return the
selection of U.S. senators to state legislatures and
nullify all the laws the Congress has written that are
not based in the Constitution.
One thing we can’t do is just
sit back and take it.
Judge Andrew Napolitano is Fox News'
senior judicial analyst.