Andy von Sonn: Empower Yourself!
Being that we are in Hawaii, I would be remiss not to begin this piece about Independence Day without honoring The Hawaiian Nation which was overthrown by the United States government a little over a century ago.
Talking about Independence Day, while standing on stolen soil is awkward.
Be that as it may, this day to me, is about honoring, reading and remembering a document which applies to all of us regardless of nationhood – the Declaration of Independence – a document which defines who we are as individuals, the purpose of our coming together as a nation, and the principles which our government must honor if it is to remain authentic, legal and legitimate.
It is in fact the basic contract between the people and the Nation in which we dwell. It precedes the Constitution. From my point of view, we are living in a nation which has violated this contract for decades.
Today is about igniting a thirst for liberty.
We the People have the legitimate power to take our country back, which is precisely what we need to do. The Power inherent in the words expressed by the Declaration of Independence gives us that authority (Read it!). The government is nothing more than some of us getting paid to operate a governmental system whose foremost function is to secure our Rights.
All of us, whether in or out of government, are “created equal - - - [we] are endowed by [our] Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among them are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
These Rights are intrinsic to our very being; they cannot be transferred – they are unalienable. It is “to secure these Rights, governments are instituted among Men.” If the government violates our trust, we have the Right to “alter or abolish” it and to create a system “In such form as to [us] shall seem the most likely to affect [our] safety and Happiness.”
This is powerful stuff which you can use to analyze every aspect of how we function.
Look at our economic system. We are created equal. Do you see a level playing field? Is our money/tax system fundamentally fair? Your personal liberty is not separate from your economic liberty.
We the People have the Right to an economic system which, as best possible, sets rules that do not benefit any particular sector, but rather keep the game fair. That we are created equal and have unalienable Rights has obvious consequences in the realm of personal choice.
William Bennett, our first Drug Czar, stated that marijuana is no worse than alcohol, but we have enough trouble with alcohol, so marijuana will remain illegal. Wait a minute. Sounds like a violation of our right to due process and equal protection of the law.
Governmental action which is inconsistent with its obligation to respect our equality and to secure our Rights is illegitimate. There are many examples but only 500 words.
We the People retain the power! We have never transferred it away. Empower yourself! Read the Declaration of Independence!
If America has a religion, this is it!
DISCUSSION: Share your thoughts about this essay and the meaning of independence 234 years after the drafting of the Declaration of Independence.
I am a candidate for Congress in Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District. I was born in Hollywood in 1940. My parents were Russian immigrants. I was an Eagle Scout. I have four children. Went to UCLA, majoring in Political Science. Senior year I was Captain of the football team, a Scholastic All American, Cadet Commander of the ROTC, and President of my fraternity.
1964: Starting linebacker for the Los Angeles Rams.
1967-1970: UCLA Law School.
1989 I moved to Hawaii. I’m a member of California and Hawaii State Bar with 35 plus years Private Practice.
Written and published three books.
Maintain two websites: MayflowerUnlimited.com and BadTasteTShirts.com.