Taxation without representation is the key.
That’s the to key to knowing when to stand up to and stand up against government. That’s the key to knowing when it is right to fight, if necessary with force. In this simple phrase lies the key.
Before unpacking “taxation without representation” we have to first be resolved about good and evil. Is there right and wrong? Is there good and evil? Am I personally responsible for confronting evil? Am I qualified to judge what is good and evil. Or, is evil just relative? Evil will always be with us, do we just accept it?
We better get right about good and evil. I better get clear about that. Am I qualified to judge what’s good and evil? Of course I am. We all are. God gave us the gift of reason, in the likeness of His image. He also gave us common sense and a conscience. We have everything we need to discern right from wrong. There is no shirking this responsibility.
Relativist philosophers deny our God-give reason, our common sense, our conscience. They would have us think “everything is relative.” Relativists thinking is grounded in the assumption man is the “alpha and the omega” not God. This kind of thinking perpetuates the first of all sins, pride and vanity. As a consequence, we doubt. Doubt God. Where there is doubt there is self-reliance, not God reliance.
Doubt leads to helplessness.
Doubt leads to hesitation.
Doubt leads to confusion and worry and fear.
Doubt leads to inaction. And isn’t that what evil hopes to accomplish? Inaction? So that evil may direct you to its ends, not God’s.
To quote Edmund Burke: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
To that I will add: If I stand for nothing, I’ll fall for anything.
So, first I must know God has already armed me with the faculties to know good from evil. Will I stand firm in the face of evil? Ah, now that’s the question isn’t it? How firmly? At what point does “firmly” become lethal force? And that’s where the key “taxation without representation” opens the door.
When I consider the meaning of “taxation without representation” I consider its broader meaning—the meaning for which the phrase has lived in our collective conscience as a nation. It means: an unresponsive government. It means government that is unresponsive to the people’s will. Is there a reliable means by which public policy change can be effected? Are there for example free, fair, and regularly scheduled elections? To this I think we can all agree we have, still, in America today. Because if this was blatantly not true, I should think we’d be having a different conversation today.
But to the broader issue of responsive government, there is a great deal wanting in our system of government today. The politician today says, “We’re just giving the people what they want. They want more government handouts. They want the EPA. They want government to give them “free” healthcare services.” I see, Mr. Politician. But what you don’t seem to understand is that the government has nothing to give, nor is it authorized to do so in our Constitution.
The government cannot give what it is not entitled to take from others. The government cannot give what it does not own. The government does not make money like a business “makes” money. The money the government has is taken from the people by taxation. The government is only a conduit for tax money.
Other problems create a non-responsive government: corruption in the halls of D.C., election campaign contribution abuses, bloated bureaucracies, bias media.
We the people, the electorate, are to blame too: apathy, cynicism, willful ignorance, and being misinformed.
Sounds like we’re back at square one: vote for change. We still have taxation with representation, right? If that is so, then how in the world did we ever get so far removed from the founding principles of our nation?
I think we need to consider the proposition the federal government has grown so large in scope and authority that it is not only unresponsive to the will of the people, but that it is unresponsive to change via the election process. If that is true, then we’ve reached the rubicon of taxation without representation.
I think that’s what America is asking itself today, “Does my vote even count anymore?” I think this is what happened in the 2012 election. Conservative voters gave it one last try in 2010, electing representatives to end ObamaCare. The voters waited two years for their newly elected representatives to end ObamaCare. When ObamaCare wasn’t ended as promised, the voters stayed home on election night 2012. They’ve given up. We may still have elections, but there is so much corruption afoot in Washington that change via the ballot box seems futile. They decided we have taxation without representation.
It’s hard indeed on the one hand to see we have the mechanism of elections, yet on the other hand it is not producing the results promised. Can there be free and fair elections happening, and yet no coming policy changes? Can these two conditions co-exist? Has evil triumphed?
I think that’s what will be unfolding in the coming years—America’s realization elections and a non-responsive government can exist at the same time. Our Founders knew this was possible and sounded the warning: the only hope this nation has of surviving is a virtuous and moral people.
Moral: Of or pertaining to the principles of right and wrong.
Is a peaceful path to change still available us? Yes. I’ll be writing about this. A peaceful path is my preference. It is not however the last path; and for this too our Founders provided us the means for taking this path, the path of last resort. The last option. That’s the option our Founders were left with after many many years of intolerable abuses by an unresponsive government.
Here’s to peaceful change. Yet, who among us believes evil will go quietly? Where there is evil let it tremble under the thunder of virtue, faith, and humility of good men of action.