Throughout history dictatorships are the conditions under which most people have lived. Pick any time in history, then make a mental estimate of what percentage of humanity lived under dictatorships of one kind or another at that time. There have even been times when everyone on the planet lived under a dictatorship of one sort or another, and, as if we cant stand freedom, it seems as if every place men have won freedoms, the generations that followed them gave them away. Always. Theres evidence that thats what were doing now. The Constitution will still be there and not a word of it will be changed nor will it have been amended. It will remain in place, a showcase to the world, but it will mean nothing. Were putting all the mechanisms in place that will make one possible. Two hundred years ago, our Founding Fathers had put as many obstacles as possible in the way of a dictatorship because they feared that unless there were obstacles, specifically, the safeguards in our Constitution, a dictatorship was inevitable, but even then, many of them werent optimistic about our chances. When Benjamin Franklin was leaving the Constitutional Convention, a Mrs. Powell of Philadelphia asked, "Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" Franklin replied, "A republic if you can keep it." He expressed the sentiment of many of the delegates. Today, as if were bent on proving the cynicism in Franklins reply was deserved, were ignoringno, were actually throwing awaythe safeguards hammered out among the delegates to that Convention. Were not changing the wording or the intent of the Constitution, were just ignoring it. Theres not just one thing we have to worry about; theres a whole bunch of things that are undermining our freedoms, but Im not going to say theres a conspiracy, like some people do, though there may be. I really dont know. Id have to say that if theres a concerted attack on our liberties, whoevers doing it is a lot smarter than we are and heor theyhave my grudging admiration because these changes arent being forced on us, were just going along with them. There are six things that Id say are sure signs that were in trouble. First theres the steady erosion of our basic rights, the ones a lot of people call our constitutional rights, though thats not a good name for them. Its better to think of them as natural rights, the way our Founding Fathers didor think of them as God-given rights if you want. Thinking of them as constitutional rights is part of what is getting us in trouble. You have to realize that our Founding Fathers didnt think of them as constitutional rights because they knew that if our rights are provided by either the Constitution or the government, what the government gives, it can also take away. As natural or God-given rights, theyre absolute. Thats the way they were intended. The next problem we have is related to this erosion of our rights, but Id treat it as a whole separate category. Its the unintended consequences of having created new rightslegal rights created by Congress and which Congress and bureaucrats have decided supercede or nullify our natural rights. These include the new rights that have come about as a result of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Environmental Protection Act, and the American Disabilities Act. Unlike our natural rights, which come to us at the expense of no one else, the new rights have to be provided by someone else. Its in having to provide them that our government has found ways to erode our natural rights. Third theres the unconstitutional bypassing of our legislative process by the Presidentnot just this one in office now, but by all of the recent presidents. Using what are called Executive Orders, they create laws that are not only illegal and unconstitutional, but are created without the consent of the Congress or the people of the United States. Some of these edicts, believe it or not, explicitly suspend the Constitution for an indeterminate amount of time on the whim of the President. Fourth, theres the new rules and regulations imposed on businesses by our federal government by which the government circumvents our Fifth Amendment rights by insisting businesses spy on us. This includes banks, airlines, and even manufacturers of things like light bulbs and paper. Fifth is the creation of a professional, standing army. The Founding Fathers feared a professional army. They believed this country should depend on the militiaand Im using the word militia in the way they used it in the Second Amendment, meaning the body of citizen, not the National Guard or some other professional organization. Professional armies lose their allegiance to the citizenry and have a history of becoming the accomplices of tyrants. Its highly unlikely there would have been any protests to the illegal war we fought in Vietnam if wed had a professional army then. Last of all, but not least, our economy is no longer a true free market economy. It is now one of the socialist economies. Were now a fascist economy. For all of our posturing about how bad fascism is, we have created a fascist economy as a compromise between capitalism and communism. All of these changes are milestones on the road to tyranny. If they had all been invoked at once, wed have seen them for what they are, an attempt to subvert what had once been the freest society history has ever seen. Thered have been a revolution in this country; blood would have run in the streets. But theyve come over generations, and the American people, whose collective attention span is brief and whose memory is even shorter, have come to believe that the way things are in this country today is the way theyve always been. Maybe, even though we are putting all mechanisms for a dictatorship into place...maybe it wont happen. Though why wed want to tempt fate by putting all the machinery for a dictatorship in place, I dont know. But if I had to bet, Id say that sometime in the not too distant future we will live under tyranny. Sometime after that historians are going to look back to where the United States stood on the dawn of the new millennium and wonder if wed gone mad or if we were just idiots. History is not going to treat us well; I can almost assure you of that.