The preservation of property rights will be one of the major issues facing Americans, South Carolinians and county governments in 2011. The battle lines are already drawn. The forces endangering the rights of citizens to buy, sell, own and do as they please with private property are organized, well funded and have a number of unconstitutional laws and government funding sources on their side. Tragically, property owners are not organized and many are not well-informed and lack the truth that can set them free from the assault on their constitutional rights.

Fortunately the Tea Party movement, and locally the RINO Hunt organization and Taxpayer’s Association are acutely aware of the assault on private property rights and have begun a campaign to inform the public of the situation. The Times Examiner will play a key role in disseminating information.

The Upstate Conservative Coalition, RINO Hunt, The Times Examiner, and others are sponsoring an event for mid January to alert property owners of the dangers ahead. The event will provide them with the information and tools necessary to resist the coordinated assault on one of their more important basic guarantees under the Constitution of the United States.

One of the Principles that became the basis for the Constitution of the United States was that, “Life and Liberty are secure only so long as the right to property is secure.”

John Locke pointed out that Earth is a gift from God to man along with a commandment to “subdue” the earth and “have dominion” over it. Locke maintained that all property is an extension of a person’s life, energy and ingenuity. Therefore, to destroy or confiscate such property is, in reality, an attack on the essence of life itself. Locke believed that the primary purpose of government is to protect the property rights of citizens.

Justice George Sutherland of the US Supreme Court said:

“It is not the right of property which is protected, but the right to property. Property has no rights; but the individual – the man – has three great rights, sacred from arbitrary interference: The right to his LIFE, the right to his LIBERTY, the right to his PROPERTY….. The three rights are so bound together as to be essentially one right. To give a man his life but deny him his liberty, is to take from him all that makes his life worth living. To give him his liberty but take from him his property which is the fruit and badge of his liberty, is to still leave him a slave.”

John Adams saw private property rights essential to liberty and the most important single foundation stone undergirding human liberty and human happiness.

“The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist.”

Redistribution of wealth was unconstitutional until 1936 when the Supreme Court began “distorting the meaning of the ‘general welfare’ clause to permit the distribution of federal bounties as a demonstration of ‘concern’ for the poor and the needy. Before that time the practice was prohibited.” (The 5,000 Year Leap).

James Madison stated that, “The happy union of these states is a wonder; their Constitution is a miracle; their example the hope of liberty throughout the world. Woe to the ambition that would meditate the destruction of either!”

Systematic destruction of the Constitution by enemies foreign and domestic is underway. The rights of property owners are in Greenville, Pickens, Anderson and other counties in the Upstate. It is the duty of each of us to protect and defend the protections of this miraculous document. Without its provisions, current and future generations face certain tyranny. Our efforts will be most effective at the local level.

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Mike Scruggs