Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Patriot's Lament 7/28/09

Just a few rambling thoughts.

As I experience things here I have come to more fully understand why the men who drafted the American Constitution insisted on fragmenting the center of power. As has been said many times by many people, "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." As I often do, I researched the quote and found what might be the origin of this thought from Lord Action:
"This arose as a quotation by John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, first Baron Acton (1834–1902). The historian and moralist, who was otherwise known simply as Lord Acton, expressed this opinion in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton in 1887: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."

The Doctrine and Covenants section 121:39 says it this way, "We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion."

God counseled the children of Israel not to have a king. Nephi counseled the people not to have a king. The founding fathers in America agreed not only to not have a king, but hobbled the executive of their new government model to the extent that he could do very little without the consent of congress and vice versa. Why?

Precisely because they had experienced the tyranny that almost always accompanies monarchy or any other government where power is concentrated in one place. They feared power, they distrusted power, and they knew the world's history related to power. Normal men, natural man, cannot wield absolute power unless they are governed by a higher, more absolute power. The only exception to that axiom is when the absolute monarch is a perfect person; God.

As a perfected man, God cannot misuse his power or He will cease to be God. Isn't it silly to even imagine that a being who can create anything, have anything, be anything would want more of something? That is why Satan became the devil. He still wants more of something. On the other hand, Jesus is the perfect servant of the Father, wanting only what the Father wants and desiring nothing for himself.

That is the key to America's former, and still potential, greatness. Normal men, men of means it is true, but normal men took on a period of public service and then returned to their farms and businesses to continue to be normal men. Undeniably some sought for power, but the majority sought only what the country wanted, or what they thought was best for the country; the public good. It was a SERVICE, not a career, not a vocation, not a personal fiefdom. It was a sacrifice and they made that sacrifice for the public good. At every level of public service there are people doing just that, serving, with no expectation of gaining anything personally from it.

In the whole world, you will not find a more generous, giving people than the American public. They give their money and their sons and daughters for a cause they believe in without regret and without expecting something in return. It is called duty, loyalty, honor, and it is a part of the American heritage; the American soul.

That is what is so troubling about watching the blatant abuse of power. Every country with a long history of monarchy or some other centralized point of power will struggle unsuccessfully to fragment that power base to protect themselves from tyranny. Those people have no model for the righteous use of power. In their history, power was, and still is, an opportunity to gather all you can before the next revolution, or assassination, or invasion. Power was and still is a door to personal wealth and more power. Everyone expected that the leader would do just that. It came with the territory. There was no shame in it because it was part of the job, and everyone down the food chain acted just that same way with whatever little power he/she had.

Only in America, with our history of divided power, is there hope of freedom from tyranny, but when we give one branch, one party, one man too much power we will suffer like every other country. The difference is that WE KNOW THE DIFFERENCE! We know what happens when one entity gains too much power and it will be tyranny; the tyranny of the poor, the tyranny of the protected classes, the tyranny of the intellectuals, the tyranny of the media, the tyranny of the godless, even the tyranny of the religious. That is why there is no state church in America. It is to prevent just such tyranny, but it has nothing to do with God himself, it has to do with power.

I am angry, I am hurt, and I am deeply saddened about what has happened to my country while we have been in Russia. It didn't start in 2008, but it has come into full bloom. At first I thought that this new president was just an empty suit, but now I'm not so sure. If this is all his personal plan, he should be put out of office. If he is just a front for someone or something else, there is someone behind the curtain pulling the strings and we need to know who that is. We are in a well-orchestrated process of demolishing the America in which I grew up and the America that led the world in righteousness. In either case, you should all be burying your political leaders in protest letters. Don't let them do this to you; please, don't let them do this. You will not be happy living in what Cindy and I are living in and that's where you-we are headed. This is not utopia.

God bless you and God bless America


Trisha said...

I am right there with you. I am very angry and yet I don't know what my little voice can do. I am going to write my leaders and let them hear my thoughts, but when it is 60 dems to 40 repubs and none of my leaders are the dems I am just a wisper in a sea of noise.

Mom/Cindy said...

I don't know what is happening to my country. I didn't like what I felt before we left and I like it even less now. But most of all, I'm sad and scared that we as a people have allowed this to happen. We must wake up America. God bless America and God bless us all to wake up and take back our country. Me

Rosa Lee said...

Right on, Elder Doug. Your dialog on power is clear and true. Too many people in America are believing what they want to hear... only hearing government will make everything better for them....not hearing the truth that the leaders in charge wants all control and power over the people.... to take our freedoms which we hold so dear. God bless America and God bless you for your service.