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We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us


We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us
by Peter Koch

John F. Kennedy "Ask What You Can Do For Your Country" 1961 Speech
Ask What You Can Do For Your Country

When I retired from the Navy in 1976, I thought I had done what my oath called for by protecting and defending the Constitution from all enemies, both “foreign and domestic”.  Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would have to protect and defend it against “domestic” enemies. It brings to mind something the great Walt Kelly’s Pogo once said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

Here we sit with 14 Trillion dollars of debt, passive to the abuses of the federal government for the past 100 years and wondering if there is anything we can do about it. How many problems, foreign and domestic, would be solved if our leaders would measure their actions against the Supreme Law of the Land (The U.S. Constitution) instead of feeding their addiction to the redistribution of wealth in order to get reelected? It would stand to reason that solutions to our numerous domestic problems would lie in the study and application of what has long been considered the most inspired form of government ever devised. In order to assess the abuses of Government, it is necessary to study the Constitution and the intent of the Founding Fathers.

“We the People” all agree that our debt is unsustainable. “We the People” do not agree on how to address the problem because “We the People” are used to the entitlement programs and cannot see a world without them.  If more than 46% of Americans receive some sort of federal money who will be brave enough to point out the obvious fact that we can no longer afford to borrow money so politicians can buy the votes of their constituents with these entitlement programs and government pork barrel spending? “We the People” need only to recall the wisdom of our Founding Fathers who, although members of an agrarian society, could still anticipate the consequences of entitlement behavior.   "A government big enough to give you everything you need, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have...." Thomas Jefferson  .  “They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

Our Representatives, with our silent complacency, have ignored the limits imposed on government by our Constitution in order to invest themselves in all aspects of our lives. Candidly, some will even confess that they think the Constitution was written by a bunch of old men that had no idea of what today’s world would be like and how it needed to be run. This self congratulating elitism ignores the Founding Father intent to address human nature, which does not change, no matter what level of technology it has attained. This type of elitism has led us to a point in history of unprecedented debt, creeping socialism, and an insatiable appetite for pork.  

Our Executive, Legislative, Judiciary, and Military each swear a sacred oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. This inspired and unique document is the foundation for our government and basis for our civil society.  Logic dictates that the best way to find any solution to our seemingly insurmountable problems would be to study the Supreme Law of the Land and the intent of our Founding Fathers. “We the People” must not abdicate our heritage to “We the Government.”

Peter Koch     
Executive Director
Constitution Education Foundation
Master Chief Petty Officer (E-9) Retired


Visit the Constitution Education Foundation Website


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