It seems like every generation looks at the next one and complains they are not doing anything right, or that their generation was better at everything. Yet that is all the newer generations hear from their predecessors and it becomes static because we never hear details on what they did right or constructive criticism on how to do better. You never really hear any answers from the prior generations and that is the problem. No prior generations were perfect, but some of the originals didn’t just yell at the newer ones, they provided detailed opinions, gave thought to ideas to help solve our problems, provided good warnings and other valuable information. That all seemed to have stopped with the “Greatest Generation”. It’s like the “Baby Boomers” didn’t care to pass on wisdom to the next in line and just like they say Millennials are the “Me! Me! Me” generation, they were just as bad.
What I would like to do, is provide some lessons we Millennials can learn from a lot of the prior generations and the most recent prior generations can learn from too. Like the quote attributed to James Baldwin an African-American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic, “Know from whence you came. If you know whence you came, there are absolutely no limitations to where you can go.”
The first generation we can learn from is probably the most obvious one. We Millennials see that where things are going, the status quo is no longer good, that the prior generations still in power only care about themselves and continue to make things worse for us and the future generations. We want better, we want improvements and we want equal representation of not only what is happening currently but how our actions will impact the future.
The Founding Generation is where I’ll start. This generation provided the world with two documents that are considered to be the greatest pieces of writing to bless this planet of ours. The Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. With the Declaration of Independence the Founding Generation’s first lesson was to have courage. This generation was experiencing some of the exact same things we as Millennials are facing today. A government run by people that are not their generation that is overpowering, corrupt, abusive and ignorant. They knew the only way to be able to live life to the fullest was to be free, to be their own country. Yet at first, they wanted to work with the established government, they just wanted equality and equal representation. Those pleas and demands fell on deaf ears, just like our pleas of today.
The Declaration of Independence was aimed at the time toward the King of England, yet if we just change the mention of King and the use of ‘He’ and replace it with Federal Government and Them, there are a lot of statements that fit our exact situations today. Pretty much toward the start of the declaration it is written, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
Our federal and state governments get their power and abilities from us the people, yet they have crossed countless lines in obtaining power beyond what they should have and honestly rub it in our faces all the time. Our governments, especially the federal government have become destructive, impede our abilities to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They abuse the American people left and right, they usurp our unalienable rights and care not for what is best for the people. They only care about what is best for their status, their power, their wealth and security. Let me swap out some words in the declaration and see how connected our current time is with the founding generation;
1.) They have forbidden our Governors/State Legislatures, to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till their Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, they have utterly neglected to attend to them.
In the 1960s there was not a national minimum drinking age, some states were at 18 and others were set at 21. How 21 became the minimum drinking age nationwide was, our wonderful federal government decided to hold federal highway funds hostage unless the those states set the legal age to 21. In New Federalism, the federal government would always apply many strings to the federal aid money given to states. Meaning if a state were to pass a law, voted on by the people and signed by the state legislatures, but the federal government did not approve or like it, it would take the money away from the state. It doesn’t matter if the new law was a good thing, For example if the state of Georgia decided that due to the age of drinking having to be 21, the age to gamble is 21, the age to smoke is 21, the age to rent a car is 21 and so many other things you need to be 21 to do, because the belief of the lack of maturity if below 21, the state of Georgia passes a state wide law stating no one under the age of 21 is allowed to enlist in the US Military. The recruiters cannot sign individuals under the age of 21. You bet your happy rear end that the federal government would immediately take them to court, and if need to hold any federal aid money hostage.
2.) They have made Judges dependent on his their alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
We see this with every new president that comes in. They immediately start appointing federal judges that align with their party and beliefs, and it doesn’t matter both parties do it. Now the argument against this statement is that some of these judges have to be approved by congress. Yes, they are correct, however if the sitting president has enough votes in the Senate, they will 9 out of 10 times approve this appointed federal judge. What this means is that, these judges are usually going to stay loyal to the party and its ideals till the day they retire or pass of old age. This means that both parties in the federal government are always fighting to put their people in so they can dictate the laws in the country meant to govern us normal people.
3.) They have erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.
Oh boy this is a good one. Instead of making a list of every government agency, department and whatever else this monstrosity of a federal government has created, it’s just easier to lean back and think of all the aspects in our lives that we deal with and truly know there is some government agency that monitors that. Internal Revenue Service anyone? An agency set to take our substance that is being unconstitutionally taken from us through taxes. Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agency or the Drug Enforcement Agency, or Homeland Security or how about the FBI? These kind of agencies literally have the ability to come to your front door, bust it down and take your belongings of take you off to jail.
How about the Boston Bombing a few years ago? When the Homeland Security in their armored vehicles drove down streets, with armed to the teeth agents and just searched any house they felt like without a warrant and the most depressing thing about it was our very own Americans applauded them when they drove down the streets and searched people’s private homes. Or how about the DEA using tax payer money for funding, literally taking drug lord’s property and selling it for themselves, or using it for pleasure rides while still billing the tax payer for more money.
4.) They have effectively rendered the Military independent of and superior to the civil power.
New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit during the Baby Bush Administration anyone? The military yes was there to help, but they were unconstitutionally confiscating the firearms of citizens. The British did this to the founding generation before the war started and during the war. An unarmed populace is easy to take over. These kind of actions are nothing but tests for our government. They want to see how far they can push, how much they get can get away with before we start standing up to them. They are hoping that there will come a day where they have crossed so many lines, that we won’t stop them at all. That we’ll welcome their complete takeover of our lives.
5.) The last one of my top five comparisons. For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent.
We the people back in 1913 did not give our consent to have the Federal Income Tax Act and the Federal Reserve Act passed on us to forever make us the cash cow of the federal government and the banks. Even the president at the time, the spineless wonder Woodrow Wilson stated, "I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men." -Woodrow Wilson, after signing the Federal Reserve into existence.
This man and the politicians involved with this grand scheme literally signed the American people to be financial slaves for them and the banks. Yet it doesn’t stop there, go look at your most recent cellphone bill and/or your cable bill. Notice how there are so many different little taxes in there. Shouldn’t the American people be made aware of taxes that are being placed on us and shouldn’t we have a say in them? We should, but we don’t and will never have a say as long as we keep electing these vile people into office. The Founding Generation, had the courage to shed a very similar government for a handful of reasons, and yet here we are today with a list of grievances pages longer then what they had with the crown of England.
In the end the main lesson to be learned from the Founding Generation is again courage. They had courage to break from their oppressors and start a new country that would be a beacon for the world generations later. Was this generation perfect? Far from it, but they started something that has held for over 200 years and all it needs is a little tender love and care. They stand watching to see if we have taken notice of this lesson and wonder will we do the same as them? Will we make a change that will bring forth another new beginning for this nation? I am not preaching taking up arms and starting a war, I am saying the pen is mightier than the sword. The pen at the ballot, the pen to submit your name to run for office at any level, the pen to start a movement with our generation to unite and take over our government, the pen to support our fellow Millennials, future generations and supporters from past ones. The pen to revitalize our capitalist ways not for greed but for the benefit of all in our nation. An economy that is not socialist but can take care of its people, provide wealth to untold numbers while more untold numbers are brought out of poverty and hardships and given a fair change at the pursuit of happiness.