PROF. RICHARD G. BENEFIELD
NOTE: This article was published shortly after Newt Gingrich began serving as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, before he became unpopular.
Some professors in political science are offering researched evidence which indicates that American governments (plural) are evoling into a police state system. Indeed, Professor William Gangi, professor of government and politics at St. John’s University in New York, in a book soon to be released by the University of Oklahoma Press, as the title shows Saving the Constitution From the Courts, sets forth findings which illustrate that various U.S. Supreme Court interpretations, resulting from judicial review, have changed ideas about some basic constitutional rights.
First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and freedom of religion are not exempted. The Second Amendment right for citizens to own guns is being severely challenged at the present time although the intent of the Constitutional framers was clear in the Federalist papers.
The freedom of association (First and Fourteenth Amendments) is also losing ground.
However, one major threat to basic American liberties is currently the results of problems in the economy. The amount of the money supply, and who gets it, is a vicious struggle. Before it is over, the whole nation will have undergone unbelievable changes.
The new speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, who is in the succession to the presidency after the vice-president, appears to think that being poor is a crime. He strongly advocated that if poor women cannot financially support their children, then the state should seize their children and confine them in orphanages.
Indeed, anyone who must ever depend on social services is being tabbed an economic deadbeat in the emerging heartless order. But services can be interpreted to include social security retirement, medicare, veterans’ benefits, and student financial aid. The new political evolution, not so much a revolution, is in the process of creating more economic dilemmas for the poor, for wage working people, for the agriculture community, for small businesses, and for education in general.
Newtism, as part of the new political evolution is being dubbed, was tried before in American history, and miserably failed. As a former professor of history, Newt should know that forcefully taking children from some poor people is being called part of a holocaust by some scholars. Although it caused much heartache and suffering, it did not work -- bad pragmatism!
Newt’s opponents are now backlashing against his rhetoric, perhaps some of the strongest bull blowing rhetoric since prior to the fall of Vice-President Spiro Agnew. Opponents are claiming that Newt dodged the draft during the Vietnam War, and that puts him in the company of President Clinton. The millions of us who didn’t run from military service must reflect on “heroic” leaders who refused to serve our constitutional democracy, and now advocate new evolutionary policies which literally, and criminally, rob constitutional liberties.
I have taught political science courses, among many others, in the state university system, and just now completed teaching three more courses in “politic science.” I think it is a fact that our governments (plural) are in the most danger they have ever been in. The worse part is that many American people want to give away basic rights and freedoms without a shot being fired.
We can only wonder if Thomas Jefferson’s warning will again be heeded.
He stated, “The people themselves are the only safe repositories of government.”
But “we the people” must demand our freedoms and refuse to give up. The
creeping political and economic evolution must be expected to continue
on and on especially with the gains which it is making. Participation in
governments includes opposing the tyranny of evolving police state tactics
regardless of the labels they wear.
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