Back in the 80s, Nancy Reagan championed a "War on Drugs" campaign that featured as its slogan "Just Say NO!" From what I could determine, the only people who took the slogan seriously, who imagined it would do anything to stem the use of drugs, were the drug warriors themselves. Everyone else pretty much laughed at or ignored it. But Nancy was right. She was just right about the wrong thing.
The real target of her "Just Say NO!' campaign should have been the Federal government itself.
There are two ways a government can control its citizensby using guns or by using money. Money, of course, is the preferred method here in the USA. Congress passes some useless legislation designed to make themselves look good, or to address a manufactured or imagined problem, then threatens the states with loss of some type of federal funding if they do not comply. State legislatures and local officials, sheep that they are, scurry to comply lest their neighbor get more money to waste than they will.
And the people are slightly more oppressed.
If it only happened occasionally, we could almost live with it. But such laws are not occasional things. They make up the bulk of legislation passed by the self-serving professional busybodies we keep electing to "govern" us. It doesn't matter that most of the laws are blatantly unconstitutional. I've searched and searched through my copy of the Constitution, over and over again, looking for the clauses that give Congress any authority over education, drug use, health care, housing, disaster relief, firearms, or any of the myriad areas into which they seem to relish sticking their collective noses. But I can't find a single word enabling them to do what they do.
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What was that? The Supreme Court said they could? So what? I've also searched for the clause that gives the Supreme Court the authority to decide what is constitutional and what is not. I can't seem to find that one either. Does anyone really believe the Founding Fathers of this country wanted the government to pass judgement on itself? In fact, what they wanted, and what they designed, was a system whereby the people, through local government and through jury trials, were the ones who decided whether or not laws were constitutional.
Which is why it is time we American citizens get together, individually and on the local and state level, and Just Say NO!
We have to start saying NO! to the threats of withholding funds. Indeed, we have to start saying NO! to any funds not specifically intended for one of the very few powers the Constitution actually grants to the Federal Government.
We have to say NO! to the education reform that has dumbed down our children to the point where high school graduates need electronic cash registers with pictures on the keys to help them place the order and make change for a dollar, that hands diplomas to people who can't find France on a world map, and who, in many cases, can't read or write well enough to fill out a job application.
to say NO! to the insane War on Drugs that allows our Government to imprison a higher percentage of our citizens than does any other country in the world, that does nothing to discourage drug abuse, and that actually creates the atmosphere of profitability that makes the drug trade attractive and dangerous.
We have to say NO! to laws that seek to disarm Americans, that prevent us from defending ourselves against four-legged, two-legged, and bureaucratic predators.
We have to say NO! to the debilitating and divisive welfare and quota systems that have served only to create an underclass of dependents, that has tainted the accomplishments of minorities who have struggled so long and so hard for true equality, that has divided a once proud people into warring camps, each desperately seeking the ear and approval of their masters that they might be granted an ounce or two of the king's gold.
We have to say NO! to the controllers, NO! to the bureaucrats, NO! to everyone who wants to help us for our own good.
When we sit on juries, we have to say NO! to the prosecutors and judges who seek to fine and imprison us for actions that harmed no one, except, possibly, ourselves. And when they try to legislate juryless trials, we have to storm the seats of government and say NO! we will not accept the loss of our right to decide who is guilty and who should go free.
We have to say NO!, NO!, NO! over and over again, until they finally get the message that Americans want to be free, that we want to be left alone to live our lives as we see fit, as long as we do not harm others.
We have to start now, today, this very minute to take back the rights and the freedoms we have been letting slip away. For if we do not, if we continue to allow elected and unelected officials to castrate us, to neuter our rights, to dissolve our freedoms, it is our children and our grandchildren who will, in the end, pay the ultimate price. It is they who will live as slaves to the state. It is they who will look back, with tears in their eyes, and ask why we let it happen.
Just Say NO!
Oliver Del Signore is a freelance writer, proofreader, creative consultant, website designer, and the webmaster for Backwoods Home Magazine. He welcomes comments and inquiries via email to
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