The federal government, on the other hand, is guilty of the very thing with which it charges its people. Over time it has become so vast and so disconnected from the people, and therefore morality, that it has developed its own culture of death — a culture that permeates our everyday lives. The six notches on Loughner’s gun pale in comparison to those on Uncle Sam’s.
The highest-profile display of this can be found in this country's ongoing wars in U.S.-occupied Afghanistan and Iraq. In both cases, Congress abandoned its constitutional duties to the nation by refraining from declaring these wars. Instead, it allowed the executive branch, unchecked, to pull the U.S. into war despite the concerns and best interests of the people. Casting aside all reason and well-defined legality, the U.S. military was deployed upon Middle Eastern soils in search of weapons of mass destruction that were known never to have existed (Iraq) and a small terror cell once no more than 1,000 and now, according to CIA director Leon Panetta, less than 100 (Afghanistan).
To make its point –— whatever that point may be — the federal government has had a staggering impact on human life. To date, 5,894 American soldiers have lost their lives fighting these unjust wars. Documented civilian deaths in Iraq that occurred as a result of the U.S. occupation range from 99,000 to 108,000 according to the website Iraq Body Count, while other organizations such as Just Foreign Policy report a civilian death toll in excess of 1,000,000. In Afghanistan the numbers are not yet as high; nevertheless, Unknown News reports that the war there has been responsible for the deaths of 9,000 non-soldiers.
War is but a piece of the federal government’s culture of death. It is also complicit in countless deaths on its own soil by prohibiting the states from restricting abortion. The most recent report provided by the Guttmacher Institute notes a total of 1.21 million abortions in 2008. There is horrific irony in the deserved public outpouring of support and prayer for the family of Jared Loughner’s youngest victim, 9-year-old Christina Green, and the undeserved relative silence at the taking of millions of lives of unborn children — who if given a chance, could have grown up to be as precious as was Christina Green. It's disturbing.
Another example of the government's culture of death is the United Nations having suspended for nearly 30 years the use of DDT at the United States’ urging, based on its own experience and its concerns for the environment (which always trump humanity). Because there was no DDT to kill the tse-tse fly, this, in turn, resulted in the deaths of 50 million people worldwide from malaria. Since 2006, the UN has allowed the use of DDT again but sadly, is under pressure to phase it out by 2020.
All of this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are countless more cases where our government has willingly allowed human existence to be snuffed out. Yet, that same government bemoans an alleged mindset of hatred and disregard for fellow man. It paints the people who comprise its population as an evil sort to justify government control of actions and thought. It cares not that six people died in a vicious attack in Tucson, initiated by one man (not the collective) — an allegedly sick man who obviously sees the world through the same eyes as our government. No, it cares more for its own power and dominance than it does for life.
So, how do we go about eliminating this culture of death?
Our federal government has become so vast that it has far outstripped its constitutional limits and, therefore, the limits of man. It once was us and accountable to us. Now, it is no longer us — and we are accountable to it. Systems are now in place lacking connectedness to the masses through appropriate congressional control and public oversight. These systems and the corruption that comes to the few who oversee them take the human element out of the equation, and therefore the value out of the human element.
Morality is completely lost in that vastness of Big Government, for voices of reason and logic are either ignored or dismissed as inconsequential. But, we can see a return of morality, and a victory over evil, by returning to our roots. Were our nation to revert to its constitutional principles and become a republic with a much smaller federal government and a greater emphasis on state and local rule, a land with direct control by – rather than of – the people, we could right the ship. Allow Mankind to govern itself just as the Constitution and nature itself intended. Then, Mankind will actually matter again and so will the American Way as it was intended. Our government’s culture of death will be a thing of the past and we — as well as millions worldwide affected by the consequences of our just actions — will be allowed to pursue our interests and live life to its full potential.
Bob Confer is the vice-president of Confer Plastics, Inc. in North Tonawanda, N.Y., and a weekly opinion columnist for the Greater Niagara Newspapers.