This post goes with my post explaining why the government cannot make end-around runs against your Natural Rights. Hopefully, these two posts, along with all the rest of the posts in this series, will help you understand just how much of your liberty you have allowed the government to take from you. So, we start with a story about an issue many ‘law-and-order’ types have accepted as ‘reasonable’ when – in truth – it is open tyranny:
So, what should we make of the government’s claim that traffic stops are ‘constitutional?’ Well, first, let’s look at their arguments. First, they claim that they own public property and, therefore, they control it. According to this line of reasoning, you ‘willingly’ surrender your rights when you willingly use the public roads they claim to own and control. Next, the government claims that driving is a ‘privilege,’ not a right. And because it is a privilege granted by government, you not only need a license, you must also submit to whatever demands the government makes in relation to your driving ‘privilege.’ Finally, in direct connection to traffic stops, the Supreme Court has actually ruled that the government can ‘legally’ infringe on your rights so long as it doesn’t present an ‘inconvenience.’ The Supreme Court’s reasoning was that, since traffic stops do not take much time, you don’t really suffer any appreciable loss of your rights when you are forced to submit to one.
First, let’s deal with the claim that the government owns public property. You will find a total refutation of this claim in my post on my other blog, The OYL: PIECES OF THE PUZZLE: The Role of ‘Self-Protection’ in the Process of Indoctrination.
Next, let’s deal with the government’s claim that driving is not a right. This can be refuted rather easily by asking a simple question: do you have a right to breath? The answer should be self-evident: yes! You have a Natural Right to your life, and that means you have a right to pursue those things you need to survive. No one ‘owns’ the atmosphere. No person can claim any part of the earth because no one can claim to have used their labor to create it. But neither can the government claim to own or control any part of the earth. This is because the government is an artificial creation that you and I create through our Natural Right to contract. And because we do not have a claim on the earth, we cannot impart that claim to the government, nor can we create it by forming a government. This is part of the limitations of the Social Contract. This line of reasoning extends to the government’s claim that driving is not a right but a government granted privilege – only in reverse. Because the government is not real, it has no rights. Therefore, it cannot grant them to us. So, the government is claiming something it does not have the authority to claim.
But there is more to this claim that driving is a privilege. Thomas Jefferson explained it this way:
“The right to use a thing comprehends a right to the means necessary to its use, and without which it would be useless.”
We have a Natural Right to own personal property. A car or motorized vehicle is personal property. We impart our claim to it when we use our labor to build or earn the money to pay for it. Inherent in our right of ownership is the right to use it (so long as we do not harm another person or their property). Since we also have an equal claim on public property, we then have a right to use our vehicle on that public property. Nothing in the relationships between these principles requires or grants authority to the government. The only purpose for the government is to mediate conflicts which may arise from negligent use of vehicles on the public streets and/or what we call ‘acts of God.’ That is where the rule of law comes in: not to control use, but to justly determine liability between claimants as a result of traffic-related injury.
However, even if we grant that the government has a role in controlling the public roads, this does not and cannot give the government a right to set aside the fourth Amendment protection against unwarranted searches. Simply driving on a public road is not sufficient reason to claim ‘probably cause.’ Even if the police see a driver turn around before reaching a traffic stop, that is still not probable cause to chase that driver down. We have allowed the government to so stretch the meaning of probable cause that the term no longer has meaning. And, even if there is probable cause, the Constitution – which, on these issues, applies to every citizen in every State – the Constitution requires that a warrant be signed describing what the police expect to find and where they expect to find it. This clause in the fourth Amendment seems to have been totally ignored by all aspects of our government today – and we have allowed it.
Finally, let’s apply a little common sense to what the Supreme Court said. They ruled that it is not a violation of your rights so long as it there is no real ‘inconvenience’ involved. Well, what if the search reveals something that places you in legal jeopardy? Does that now constitute a real inconvenience? And before you say that it isn’t a problem unless you are doing something wrong, understand that you break at least three to five federal laws every day! This means they can arrest you and put you in jail any time they want. If you don’t believe me, go do some searches on this issue for yourself. This way, you will be more likely to believe what you find than if I just ask you to trust me. But understand, the cliché, “You don’t have to worry if you’re not doing anything wrong,” is ridiculous. All of us are doing something wrong every day, we just don’t realize it. This is what the fourth Amendment was all about: placing a barrier between people who are otherwise seeking no harm to others from being victimized by a tyrannical government.
Are you starting to see that gilded cage in which we all live yet?