By Rep. Dan Itse, R-Fremont
Following is a communication to some of my fellows in the General Court (Legislature) of the State of New Hampshire.
For those of you who don’t know me, I have spent the last eighteen years in the Legislature. Most of my time has been spent on the Committee on Children and Family Law, because I see it as the quintessential liberty Committee.
If you understand that the concept a man’s home is his castle is a fundamental doctrine of common law, realize that every issue that committee deals with broaches the castle walls.
The only term that I was not on Children and Family Law, I was Chairman of the Committee on Constitutional Review and Statutory Recodification.
In 2006, after my arguments were used to convince the Legislature to call itself into Session vis a vis defending its powers against encroachments by the Judiciary, I was convinced by my mentor in the Legislature to write a commentary on the Constitutions of the State of New Hampshire. I gained national attention for my Resolution, HCR6, “Affirming States Rights Based on Jeffersonian Principles.”
Today I find myself not running for office, in order to relocate and reorder our lives after the death of our youngest son. For the first time in 20 years there are no signs on the road side announcing my candidacy. So the question arises, what is my political activity for the next two years.
I have settled on a general plan. Over my time in the Legislature I have gained an ability to communicate complex political theory to the novice. I hope that some of you who have heard me will attest to this in response to this statement in the comment sections succeeding this article.
I will be writing weekly (sometimes less if life intervenes) columns to inform on the design and intent of our governments. I will not simply pontificate, but present the material discussed and include other period references so that you can see for yourself and not just take it on my word. I will also be available to speak before churches and other civic groups.
My hope is to see created the political awareness in the general public that we enjoyed before and after the war for independence and which resulted in the creation of our Republics and their governments. The end of this endeavor will be a restoration of true liberty, at least in New Hampshire.
You all know of my assertion that the governments of America are Lockean social compacts.
Locke in his second treatise of government discusses the dissolution of governments in the final chapter. Following are two paragraphs from that Chapter the spirit of which I hope you will recognize, signifying that our separation from Great Britain and the existence of the States and the United States is premised on Lockean theory.
Locke’s threshold for rebellion is when the government abdicates its authority by acting contrary to the purpose for which it was formed. These thoughts are summed up in our Constitution in Articles 1 and 10.
Article l. [Equality of Men; Origin and Object of Government.]. All men are born equally free and independent; Therefore, all government of right originates from the people, is founded in consent, and instituted for the general good.
[Art.] 10. [Right of Revolution.] Government being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.
Knowing, Locke’s definition of the common good: But though men, when they enter into society, give up the equality, liberty, and executive power they had in the state of nature, into the hands of the society, to be so far disposed of by the legislative, as the good of the society shall require; yet it being only with an intention in every one the better to preserve himself, his liberty and property; (for no rational creature can be supposed to change his condition with an intention to be worse) the power of the society, or legislative constituted by them, can never be supposed to extend farther, than the common good.
To put it simply: Each and every law must leave no member of the community in worse condition than their state of nature.
The law cannot be used to deprive any person of their right of conscience, nor the power to exercise their individual right to defend their life, liberty or property, per articles 2, 3 and 4 these items are non-negotiable.
[Art.] 2. [Natural Rights.] All men have certain natural, essential, and inherent rights – among which are, the enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing, and protecting, property; and, in a word, of seeking and obtaining happiness.
[Art.] 3. [Society, its Organization and Purposes.] When men enter into a state of society, they surrender up some of their natural rights to that society, in order to ensure the protection of others; and, without such an equivalent, the surrender is void.
[Art.] 4. [Rights of Conscience Unalienable.] Among the natural rights, some are, in their very nature unalienable, because no equivalent can be given or received for them. Of this kind are the Rights of Conscience.
By this analysis our State and General governments entered the Rubicon over the course of the 20th century. Whether or not they have completed the crossing is open to debate. But, seizing a persons’ property not for the protection of his life liberty or property, but to give it to another, is insightful. Denying a person the power to protect their castle and their family? Defining with whom a person must associate and denying them the right of conscience in abstaining?
Though I am sure there are some quarters in which this movement originates and is deliberate. I further believe that for the most part its success is out of ignorance. To that end, I intend to spend my time out of the Legislature educating people on the connection of Locke to Christ, and of our Governments to Locke.
I do see that the public liberty, the ability to speak ones conscience in public for fear of the government, is manifestly endangered, or nearly so. I also see that our government is used expressly for the private interest and emolument of many in government and their willing accomplices in the private sector, and the poor. Therefore, I hope to inspire a movement which will use the method of redress most immediately available (election) to reform the government, at least of New Hampshire.
Hon. Daniel C. Itse
New Hampshire State Representative,
Rockingham County, District 10, Fremont
There is no difference between tyranny at the point of a gun or a knife and tyranny at the point of a pen; especially when that pen is backed by the power of the sword.
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