Fighting for their Constitution; Why America Should Support the Efforts to Oust President Zelaya

By Sarah Beth Costello
July 1, 2009

If international leaders had responded negatively to the actions of patriotic

Americans in 1775, and had intervened to restore lasting “peace,” interrupting plans to annihilate tyranny, America would still be in bondage.

America was founded on the principles that governments cannot succeed when controlled by one sovereign power; nations will not prosper when capitalism is not allowed growth; and all men and women deserve to experience freedom without the limited bonds set by tyrannical forces.

Oppression, taxes and restrictive laws were motives that encouraged American patriots to risk conducting illegal activities, even with the underlying threat of prison or worse.

In the 300 years since the birth of this nation, Americans seem to have forgotten that sacrifice. The freedoms we enjoy are taken for granted, with many demanding ridiculous rights our forefathers never considered because of the preposterous natures.

THE HONDURAS SITUATION

Honduras, a small nation in Central America, is in the midst of serious upheaval due to the removal of President Manuel Zelaya. President Barrack Obama has been quick to befriend enemies, including Islamists and dictators, but has refused support for a people group striving to protect their constitution.

The media have painted a not-quite-accurate picture of the recent events in Honduras. Networks have described the actions of opposing forces as a coup; however, the ousting of President Manuel Zelaya was conducted peaceably and with good reason.

“Manuel Zelaya trampled the Honduran constitution by pushing for his illegal referendum to allow him to rule indefinitely, and by firing the top military official, Gen. Romeo Vasquez Velasquez, when he refused to comply with Zelaya’s unconstitutional orders,” said Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fla. in a Fox News article.

A president, though elected democratically, has no right to carry out his term in office if he refuses to abide by a set code of conduct. Zelaya gave his “capturers” no choice but to remove him from office.

We are a nation comprised of hypocrites. America should sympathize more than any other country, but instead we are siding with Castro and Chavez (men not so different from King George III).

A large majority of Hondurans believed a coup was the only method to ensure the

Ousted president, Manuel Zelaya. Image Courtesy of: http://tiny.cc/71yRa

Ousted president, Manuel Zelaya. Image Courtesy of: http://tiny.cc/71yRa

protection of their constitution. Their actions may result in harsh punishment, but these brave men and women acted no differently than the early patriots did. They acted within their rights and duty to the constitution of Honduras.

The sad truth is, many Americans do not even know what their rights or duties are.

OUR RIGHTS, DUTIES AS AMERICANS

Thomas Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence for a specific purpose; not only to declare our independence, but also to reinforce the importance of our participation in government through voting and keeping leaders accountable.

We should never be content to sit back and let government run things. America is a democracy, which means we have a role to play.

“… Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,” says Jefferson in his Declaration. Men created government; government is fallible and easily susceptible to corruption, as we have seen in the actions of Zelaya.

“… Whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends,” continues Jefferson, “it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Jefferson also says we not only have the right to combat unconstitutional government actions, but it is also our duty to do so.

Americans have become slack and lazy, listening naively to every report from the media, which is, in essence, a giant Obama P.R. firm.

Few challenge the Obama administration. Most praise him. Utter dependence and trust in government is an unhealthy and dangerous mindset. Obama is not God. His administration is comprised of humans, which are known for making mistakes. Beware of the nice words, petty smiles and shallow promises. Outward appearances are deceptive.

As Americans, we need to do everything in our power to ensure the government acts within the confines of the Constitution

Too much power can lead to rewriting the constitution, as we have seen in Honduras. It can lead to an entirely new type of government (i.e. Socialism or Marxism). Too much power and not enough accountability could mean the end to freedom.

It is easy to judge other nations and declare their actions as abominable and unconstitutional. But if Obama, or any U.S. president, insisted on making changes to our Constitution, our duty as citizens is not to sit idly by and let it happen.

If we fail to act, if we continue to allow government free reign, if we refuse to take the initiative and fight for our Constitution and freedoms guaranteed, then who are we to complain when things go from the frying pan to the fire?

Why does the president of the freest nation in the world side with dictators, rather than support a nation attempting to uphold their constitution? Maybe because Obama sympathizes with Zelaya. Maybe it’s just me, but I think a lot of changes are about to take place in Washington. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Barrack Obama decided to pull a similar stunt. Unfortunately, most Americans probably wouldn’t even notice.

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3 comments
  1. JD said:

    A military takeover of a democratically elected president sounds like a terrible event, but Latin America has a long history of military government. For better or worse, the military often acts as the system of checks and balances in Latin America.

    I would not envy having to choose sides, though. The two options are: 1. Support a democratically elected president, thereby supporting Democracy in an unstable region. 2. Support an undemocratic military dictatorship that may actually serve the nation better.

    Obama chose option #1, at least publicly. I would assume his hundreds of advisers have made him aware that it’s not a black or white issue, and he would act accordingly when it comes to taking any action. In the end, though, I still prefer that our leaders talk the talk of supporting democracy in the black or white sense, even if walking the walk means straying from the message into the gray. I suspect that will be the reality of Obama’s actions.

  2. Had a legal course been open to them the Congress of Honduras would have obviously impeached their president. But their Constitution does not permit this. It does however require obedience to it like ours. Given the legal problems of their own making in that they did not design a constitution to allow for impeachment, the Supreme Court of that country took the only action it legally could: it issued a writ against the action of the president.

    That writ was backed up by the Congress of that country who actually voted to remove the president. The military, sworn to uphold the constitution of their country, which the president obviously did not support, obeyed the orders of the two remaining branches of government who did obey their constitution. In short, the world got an instruction on balance of power and checks and balances.

    There was no coup despite what anyone says. The congress and court of Honduras simply obeyed their constitution. No doubt quietly they will create a way to impeach in the future so they don’t have to remove someone by this method. Anyone who says this is routine in central America simply doesn’t know their history. There has never been a removal of any president in south or central America carried out by the military under a court order by that nation’s sitting government and backed by a vote of that nation’s sitting legislature.

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