At the time of this writing, the Kelo versus New London ruling by the US Supreme Court is still fresh. The implications of this ruling are staggering. And while the five anti-liberty justices who ruled against the Constitution are certainly evil people, they're not the real problem. The true tyrants in this land are the your neighbors on the local city councils, the ones who were rooting for this decision.
The Kelo vs. New London ruling eviscerated the "public use" clause in the US Constitution. I've been chewing nails over the decison for a week now, and have finally come to a decision. While five Supreme Court justices have proved themselves to be complete nincompoops, they're not the biggest problem.
It's not the few big tyrants we need to worry about, it's the thousands of petty tyrants across the nation who are the biggest enemies of freedom. I'm talking about your neighbors in your local city government. New London Connecticut is not alone in having a city council overflowing with despots. If you read your local newspaper, you know the system. Your neighbor is mad at you because your dog barks. So he runs for city council or selectman, and once installed into the seat of autocracy, he proceeds to deny your permit to build a backyard shed.
But the tyranny of city government goes beyond the indulgences of building permits or the taking of private land for private use. Most people in local governments sincerely believe that they can run your life better than you can yourself. Regardless if these politicians are on the left or the right or are moderate, are Republican or Green or Democrat, they all have certain traits in common. Chief among these is that they really do believe they have a right to rule over you. They believe they can manage your property better than you can. Some of these people can't even balance their own checkbooks, but won't even think twice at voting for a byzantine finance scheme to erect a baseball stadium or hotel. After all, it's not their checkbook, it's yours! It's all the petty bickering of a homeowners' assocation, but with the addition of a police force to write you a ticket if your hedge is too high (and the power to throw you in jail if you refuse to trim it).
It's sort of like road rage. There are a some people who are very polite, gentle and nice, but who undergo a complete personality change when they get behind the wheel of an automobile, and become raving maniacs and a danger to other drivers. The same phenomena happens with your friends and neighbors when they get elected to public office. Those who would otherwise never dream of cheating or stealing will find no hesitation in committing those acts behind council doors. It is in fact impossible to be a real estate developer in this nation without unethical collusion with a member of city government.
It is now clear to me that the real enemy to freedom are the thousands of councilman and selectmen across this nation. Not only because of the damage they can cause on the local level, but because they are the pool from which the big national tyrants are drawn from. They are the very ones who will be using the Kelo decision to steal private property from you.
I therefore make the following pledge. I invite you to join me.
I hereby pledge that I will not vote for any candidate for any local public office who has already previously served in public office.
That's right. Term limits of one term! Even if I fully agree with their policies. Even if it's my best friend. I may have to write in "none of the above," but I won't vote for an incumbent local politician. I may change my decision later, but not until the onerous situation with eminent domain is fixed. Our votes may not make much of a difference in national elections, but they do for local races.
This is our country, not the poltician's. It's time we took it back. Let's start at the bottom and work our way up.
Update: I had to modify my pledge. There are state and national candidates who are actively working to reverse the damages of the Kelo decision. Congressman Ron Paul is one of them. Vote for the good guys who have proven they are the good guys.