The fabric of American empire ought to rest on the solid basis of the consent of the people. The streams of national power ought to flow immediately from that pure, original fountain of all legislative authority. – Alexander Hamilton
The consent of the people is not consent if it is uneducated or uninformed. I fear for this grand experiment in federal republicanism, the mighty United States of America, and I feel that we must take immediate and specific steps to educate ourselves and our children on the principles of freedom.
What does it mean to “give your consent?” Simply put, it means to agree in mind and will. Consenting to be governed, then, requires that you know what and to whom you are yielding.
The federal republic of the United States of America exists because you and the society of which you are a part have given your consent to be governed. If you do not know what you have yielded, you are wise to learn, as you are yielding what you have the power, right or disposition to withhold.
You must see yourself as a protector of liberty and your informed consent as the primary means of its preservation.
The most effectual means of preventing [the perversion of power into tyranny are] to illuminate, as far as practicable, the minds of the people at large, and more especially to give them knowledge of those facts which history exhibits, that possessed thereby of the experience of other ages and countries, they may be enabled to know ambition under all its shapes, and prompt to exert their natural powers to defeat its purposes. – Thomas Jefferson