I’ve previously discussed ways in which we can begin to change our government through individual involvement and the abandonment of the political parties. Now it is time to move on to the more specific problems facing us today and apply the principals of Common Sense to finding some solutions.

One of the first tasks of government is to provide security to its citizens. A society without security is nothing more than a loose confederation of people, fighting to maintain a sense of purpose in the face of danger. But there are many levels of security that a government must provide in order to achieve a state of freedom. To maintain geographical sovereignty, a country must secure its borders with its neighbors. To assure the physical security of its citizens, government must enact and enforce laws. To create social stability and promote human advancement, security in the form of health and welfare are established. And to prevent attacks from others and advance the creed of human dignity and freedom, government exports security through military might and alliances, economic bribery and favoritism.

This security blanket, which we rightly expect from our government, is actually more like a patch work quilt, except that too many of the pieces are over-lapping, several squares are missing, and nearly all the rest are frayed from abuse and wear. Once we succumbed to the mindlessness that is Political Correctness, we might as well have opened our doors and welcomed our enemies in to come and steal all of our good silver. In our desire to avoid all risks, including the risk of hurting someone’s feelings or the risk of being unfair, we have essentially lost a sense of purpose in maintaining our security, both inside our country and beyond our borders. We have created laws that favor poor public behavior and tolerate lawlessness. We have created other laws that make criminals out of people who really aren’t criminals in the dangerous sense. We have encouraged, through our legal system, the widespread practice of bending the laws. We have abandoned our borders both on land and at sea.

To hear me tell it like this, it would seem that we are but a step away from anarchy, and of course that’s not really the case. There are many laws on the books that are necessary, mutually agreed upon, and somewhat consistently enforced. Our military, whether actively fighting or in an advisory role, is generally considered the best in the world. And our society seems to continue progressing through the days and years just fine. So then it would seem that we are pretty secure after all, despite the inconsistent patchwork quilt of programs and wasted resources. At least, on the surface anyway.

In order to really understand whether or not we have achieved a real form of security, we first need to know what it is we are trying to secure. This may seem like a foregone conclusion, but unless you acknowledge the things you want to protect, you can’t possibly create a plan to protect them. From the Common Sense standpoint, on a personal level, security means you aren’t afraid of being robbed, killed, starved, homeless, beaten, cheated, or abused by your government. It means peace of mind in day-to-day life. It does not mean that nothing bad will ever happen to you, your friends, or your family. It also does not mean that you will be rich or famous or even happy. But this level of security, when properly designed and deployed, assures a level playing field for all citizens to achieve their goals, provides recourse from wrongs done to you, and bestows punishment to those who would seek to do harm.

Again, using Common Sense on a national level, security is the ability of the government to protect its citizens from attacks by other nations or groups. Through the establishment of a military, we are able to defend ourselves from any enemies at home or abroad. National security also is responsible for maintaining our borders and knowing who and what crosses over them. It is with national security in mind, that relations with other countries occur. Whether those relationships are economic, political, or military in nature, they seek to promote more stability in the world, thus increasing our security. This type of national security does not require that America agree with other countries all of the time. This type of security does not require that America open its doors to the rest of the world either. What it does require is a common sense approach to reforming and then enforcing our border laws, a common sense approach to the resolution of conflicts, and a resolute expectation of the same from other countries in the world.

The men who wrote our Constitution endeavored to create a compact that would establish a system of law and justice to provide these levels of security. They sought to construct a protective shield around the citizen so that the government could not intrude but for the most egregious of crimes. And they required the government to provide proof of guilt before a citizen could be punished. The created the Congress to make laws. The created the Executive branch to enforce the laws. They created the Judiciary to make sure the laws conformed to the ideals set forth in the Constitution. They allowed for an electorate that would control the Congress and Executive branch through direct election and accountable representation. They granted the power to create a national military, but funded it only for two years at a time, to prevent its leaders from trying a hostile take-over. They put everything they could think of in that document to both ensure the common man a level of freedom and security never before known and allow the government to protect and defend the citizens from foreign malevolence. But the world in 1776 was a different place than it is now. For while in their time it was probably taken as a given that Common Sense would prevail in matters of public discourse, in our time it is a rare thing indeed. Had they only known the grave need for its inclusion, I’m sure they would have written a section requiring Common Sense in Politics. As it is, they did the next best thing in leaving us with a Constitution that has evolved through the years, flexible enough to allow some new patches here and there, strong enough to hold together at the seams.

Still, our domestic legal system no longer serves the average citizen. It is rife with corruption and waste. Many of our laws are simply bad laws, creating criminals out of otherwise ordinary, albeit non-conformist people. Some of these laws pertain to drugs and sex. Others concern property use, product liability, tax loopholes, family law. Many more of our laws are written in a way so as to obscure their true purpose or favor certain individuals. Our legal code is as complex as our tax code, and just as full of holes, exceptions, and strange consequences. To further complicate matters, our legal system does not fairly enforce the laws, does not consistently punish offenders, is not readily accessible for civil complaints, and is expensive. These barriers virtually prevent non-criminal or non-wealthy individuals from having their day in court in a timely manner. The complexity of the law, as created by lawyers, precludes people from presenting their own cases in a straight forward manner and getting an honest, common sense judgment.

It is well beyond the time for an overhaul of these systems, both domestically and nationally. They are duplicitous, arbitrary, and very expensive. Our tax dollars are being thrown hand over fist into the purses of lawyers, both in the legislatures and in the courtrooms. Domestically, we should demand a streamlining of the legal code, removing redundancy between federal, local, and state governments and dividing jurisdiction by act rather than location. We must remove those laws that do not infringe upon second parties. We must make the laws simple to understand and know the penalties. We must enforce all the laws, all the time, and apply them fairly regardless of race, religion, sex or status. We must demand strict and appropriate penalties for those who break the law, and reduce the revolving door that is our prison system. We must remold our judiciary system in such a way that provides timely mediation of non-criminal matters, and fair but not eternal appeals provisions for all matters. We must seek out and destroy corruption of the system whenever and wherever it appears. Nationally, we must defend our borders, reformulate our military postures, amend our foreign policies, and foster better relations in the world.

How can we do this? It is simple. Elect politicians who are committed to reform and then write letters to your lawmakers and judges demanding reform. Support common sense initiatives and demand better services. Be informed and involved. To advance freedom and security, we must recognize when change is necessary, we must embrace change when it is for the common good. We must be willing to realign the ways of our forefathers in order to better reflect today’s realities. We must be willing to endure the pains of change, knowing that our struggle is no different than that of our ancestors and our goal is just as noble- to leave the world a better place than we got here. Our country is not living in the same world as it was 230 years ago. Our world has changed and with it so have we. We were born with the capacity to change our environment and to influence our destinies for the betterment of mankind. So far, we haven’t done too well. It’s time to do a lot better.