Paul Jacob

The flag and the Great Seal of my home state, Virginia, feature the Roman goddess Virtus holding a spear and a sword, standing tall with her foot on the neck of a fallen tyrant. Below this is inscribed the commonwealth’s motto, the Latin phrase “Sic Semper Tyrannis.”

Sic semper tyrannis is precisely translated “thus always with tyrants.” But “death to all tyrants” is what was commonly meant by the phrase.

Mealy-mouthed, our founders were not.

Indeed, Thomas Jefferson suggested that “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Our revolutionary beginnings are inspiring and all, but most sane members of today’s body politic have no desire to bleed or even to make “tyrants” bleed. We’re totally copacetic replacing peaceful vote for spear and sword.

Perhaps that explains why those wishing to rule us (as opposed to represent us) have backed off on their various “gun-grabbing” gambits, while ramping up their attacks on the petition process of initiative and referendum.

Legitimate government is anchored on the consent of the governed. Yet, ours not only lacks popular approval, the men and women pulling the levers are actively trying to cut “We the People” out of the picture.

Except, of course, to shut up and pay our taxes.

From Washington, D.C., to Sacramento, California, to little towns like Boulder City, Nevada, and Monroe, Washington, elected representatives of the people conspire to remove those people’s most effective means of oversight. They block the opportunity for those whom they should serve and to whom they must answer to decide issues at the ballot box.

Why protest Washington, D.C., chapter and verse? Everyone knows that Congress doesn’t represent us, regularly passing laws that a majority of folks oppose. Voters have booted majority parties three times in the last two decades. No change ensued. Today, Congress has set another all-time mark: the lowest public approval. Ever. Twelve percent.

Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.