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Quick: Name the advantages of being an American citizen.

That might have been an easy task 20 years ago.

Today, not so much.

Think about it. Take your time. I’ll wait.

While you’re thinking, consider this: As a citizen, you are under an incomprehensively massive number of laws no human being could ever familiarize himself with in a lifetime of trying. The government tells you what services you must buy and at what cost. The harder you work to succeed, the more money the government will take from you. Meanwhile, you don’t need to be a U.S. citizen to get food stamps, medical care, free schooling – sometimes even reduced college tuition because you are not a citizen.

In recent years, the federal government, which is supposed to serve the citizens at their will, has learned it can do just as well – even better, perhaps – by forgoing accountability to citizens and borrowing money from foreigners and the Federal Reserve at their will.

I suppose you can say that as a citizen you have the right to vote. But what are your choices? In 2006 American citizens worked hard to pass legislation in the House and Senate to seal the southern border of the U.S. because of concerns too many non-citizens were coming into the country with no accountability. The bill was even signed into law by the president. But what happened? A new Congress refused to fund the law.

In 2009, Congress passed Obamacare over broad objections by the majority of U.S. citizens. In 2010, U.S. citizens had had enough. They threw the bums out. But the new Congress they elected did not refuse to fund Obamacare as their predecessors refused to fund the building of the border fence. Instead, they claimed they needed more votes and control of the Senate to get anything done. Not surprisingly, in 2012, they lost seats in both houses.

If you as a U.S. citizen decide to live outside the country, Washington will tax you anyway. Record numbers of Americans are now renouncing their citizenship to try to escape the taxes and regulations.

Often these days the U.S. doesn’t put a high priority even on protecting U.S. citizens abroad.

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So, I ask again: Name the advantages of being a U.S. citizen.

Don’t get me wrong. I love America. I love its history. I love its founding principles. I love its Constitution. But is the Constitution still the law of the land? Or has it been utterly perverted by high priests in black robes explaining how this simple document, designed to be read and understood by farmers and ranchers in the 18th century, doesn’t really mean what it says?

The foundation of the American republic is constitutionally limited government. But is government limited today by the Constitution? Why is the government spying on U.S. citizens and non-citizens alike? With all the wars America has fought in over the last 60 years, why has it been that long since one was declared by Congress as the Constitution requires? Why are laws permitted to be rewritten after passage by the executive branch of government? Why is the president permitted to legislate and govern by executive action decrees?

Another pillar of the American republic has been the concept of self-governance. Do most Americans even know what self-governance means? It means that citizens largely govern themselves. Are today’s citizens even capable of self-governance today? Government’s idea of education has left U.S. citizens less equipped to take care of themselves than at any time in history. Was this an accident or the result of a carefully devised series of policies?

Back in October of last year, a U.S. citizen named Miriam Carey, a black single mother, apparently made a wrong turn near the White House. When she tried to extricate herself from the situation, she was surrounded by Capitol police and Secret Service agents. They pointed guns at Carey and her infant daughter who was riding in her car. Carey did what might be instinctive in such situations – she fled as fast as she could. The cops fired at the fleeing car. They caught up to her soon after, forced her car to stop and executed her in a hail of bullets. Her attorney and family are still trying to figure out what law she violated that warranted a firing squad with no charges and no trial by a jury of her peers.

So, I will ask one more time: Name the advantages of being a U.S. citizen.

Just asking.

Maybe you can tell me. I really want to know.

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