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Stop Using Government as a Weapon

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Perhaps the greatest document ever written is the Declaration of Independence. Overly patriotic and self-serving to say so, no doubt. But read it. A handful of meager farmers took pen to paper in order to tell the monarch of the greatest power on Earth, not only are we done with you, but here are the reasons why.  

The Declaration of Independence actually takes the time, deliberately, to list the colonists’ grievances with the king. From the quartering of soldiers in peacetime to excessive taxation, plus the absence of little things like a trial by jury, Thomas Jefferson succinctly and eloquently itemized how the Crown was destructive to individual liberty. And all of the signers, quite literally, bet their lives on it. The Founders had seen, firsthand, the true price of government overreach. And they decided to do something about it, no matter what it may cost them.

Two hundred and forty-three years later, some have forgotten the lessons of the fight for independence, the fight for freedom, for liberty. Some have taken, by divine right no doubt, a mandate to use the instrumentalities of our personal freedom for their own political power. In short, some have begun to use the mechanisms meant as a shield to our liberty as a sword for our destruction.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, an ever-expanding cabal of nay-sayers have been out for the destruction of his presidency. At any cost. This week, it takes the form of a hunt for Trump’s tax returns. The IRS was created for a simple, practical purpose. To provide for the common good. To levy taxes upon the people to provide for national defense, infrastructure, national parks and the like. Now, some in government want to use plenary power to seize Trump’s tax returns.  To what end?  Where is the original crime? They want Trump’s tax returns because they hope there will be some skeleton in the closet. Some nefarious demon that they can use to undo an election. To that end, it is the weaponization of the IRS.

From FDR to LBJ right up to the Obama Administration’s targeting of right-leaning groups, presidents have, from the inception of the IRS, used it as a means to destroy their political opponents. They have weaponized it.

Since the beginning of the Trump presidency, bad actors in the federal government have been working overtime to take him down. Not simply the smirking Peter Strzok, but high-level members of our national defense force. James Comey, James Clapper, John Brennan, all high-ranking members of the intelligence community, have collectively gone on the offensive to undo an election. What is the net result? A distrust of all government officials, an overarching belief that government actors act in their own interest despite the will of the people. A weaponization of U.S. national intelligence.

From the moment Trump announced his candidacy, his political and ideological opponents have sought to thwart his every move. After the colossal sky-fall of his election, they turned their attention to the courts. Once arbiters of Constitutional principles, the 9th Circuit, among others, joined the fray. Liberal justices around the country decided that they could no longer simply call balls and strikes, but would have to act. Nationwide injunctions backed up by no more legal reasoning than “Because I said so!” took the place of measured jurisprudence. A single judge, politically appointed, would freely act as a super-legislature. The court system, our greatest guard against tyranny, had become weaponized.

The aforementioned are nothing without the acknowledgment of the greatest threat of government weaponization the left could throw. Impeachment. For two long years, every corner of the left called for the impeachment of the president. And for what? Because the left doesn’t like him? We are less than seventeen months away from a new presidential election. Are the heart and soul members of the Democratic Party so afraid of such an election that they would resort to hyper-Constitutional means of getting rid of Trump, rather than simply beating him at the polls? After a brief perusal of the slate of candidates for the nomination, one can understand why.

But the means to remove a president from office, one of the ultimate safeguards we have against tyrannical usurpation, being tossed around like a cliché party compliment? This weaponization cannot stand.

Democrats will continue to take the power we have given them and run amok. It’s simple human nature. They will subpoena tax records and every member of the Trump family right down to thirteen-year-old Barron. They will deploy an army of left-wing attorneys to attack each and every policy directive they disagree with. They will flaunt their Constitutional powers of impeachment until blue(r) in the face.

Still, the power they have to do such things is a power given to them by the people. If every American can simply recall the principles so eloquently set forth in the Declaration of Independence, then perhaps the weaponization of government can finally cease.

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