Op-Ed: Locke’s Foundation Is at Risk this Election
by Dan Eichenberger M.D., M.B.A.
Never in our lifetime have we witnessed, first-hand, how easy it has been to manipulate and control the minds and thoughts of a populace. The Coronavirus pandemic enabled media and political entities to create and perpetuate a meta-narrative leading to entire countries’ mind-control. Allen Ginsbergstated, “Whoever controls the media, the images, controls the culture,“ and Jim Morrison quoted something similar when he said, “Whoever controls the media, controls the mind.” In a matter of six months, a significant portion of the American population has relinquished liberties based on a false narrative perpetuated by near 24-7 media brainwashing.
These past six months portrays a concerning future for some of the primary principles of liberty our country was founded upon. There are several examples in history where the concept of liberty has been brought to the forefront in light of some tyrannical rule or trend. We may be witnessing another, as local and state officials impinge on our foundational liberties espoused by Locke and eschewed by many of our Founding Fathers.
Locke proposed and wrote about governments being subservient to the people with a duty to protect life, liberty and property. Locke’s writings were radical ideas when most societies existed as monarchies or dictatorships where individuals were subservient to the leadership. Locke believed in limited but representative governments, the rule of law and the right for people to rebel if government violated individual rights. Locke expanded these ideas in his “Second Treatise Concerning Civil Government.” Locke originally published these first two treatises anonymously because of their radical propositions and direct opposition to the time’s established norms. Locke’s writings were inspirational to libertarian ideals, which facilitated many of the American Revolution’s precepts.
Locke’s writings inspired Thomas Jefferson and George Mason, James Madison and many people throughout Asia, Europe and Latin America. Thomas Paine’s ideas about revolution came from Locke’s writings, and Ben Franklin used his writings as part of self-education. Locke grounded his thinking and premises on ancient Jewish teaching that moral and natural laws applied to everyone. Jim Powell summarized many of these thoughts in his article published in the Foundation for Economic Education in which he quoted Locke’s writings: “Reason, which is that Law, teaches all Mankind, who would but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his Life, Health, Liberty or Possessions.” Locke believed that liberty is directly tied to private property rights and stated, “every Man has a Property in his own Person. This, no Body has any Right to but himself. The Labour of his Body, and the Work of his Hands, we may say, are properly his.” He continues: “The great and chief end therefore, of Mens uniting into Commonwealths, and putting themselves under Government, is the Preservation of their Property.”
Our Founding Fathers utilized Locke’s teachings and Christian principles to establish the foundation of the United States. The theological doctrines of the Bible are not explicitly woven into the fabric of government because the non-establishment clause of the First Amendment prohibits such a thing. However, the Biblical view of the world (the existence of God who remains active in the world and human history, the inherent sinfulness of Man, the authority of the Scripture, the existence of absolute objective morality and God-given transcendent rights) were the philosophical foundation of the Constitution and should remain protected and safeguarded at all costs.
The pandemic and other crises in the recent past demonstrate how overreaching governments will use the opportunity to establish new powers over economic and social affairs, limiting our liberties. History demonstrates the powers garnered during the crises are rarely relinquished. Our liberties are most important during a crisis, not in times of relative calm.
Placing constitutional originalist judges onto the Supreme Court and appellate courts are our best chance of limiting infringements on our Liberties and maintaining the Christian principles our nation was founded upon. The 2018 election gave the Republican party a clear majority in the Senate to support and advance these judicial appointees. The Senate should not relinquish this mandate from the electorate under the pressure from the opposition.
Dan Eichenberger, M.D., a physician executive and healthcare consultant, most recently guided the merger of Floyd Memorial Hospital and Health Services and Baptist Health. He is a recipient of Indiana University Southeast Chancellors’ Medallion.