Five thousand five hundred and ninety-three (unread) pages. Businesses and churches locked down. Students struggling, stuck in a system that is not working. People isolated and alone. Questions are not allowed, opposing views are censored. And all the while government’s grip over our lives tightens. If you have not figured it out by now, this is not working. And, COVID-19 is not the reason, it’s the excuse.

Looking back over the past year, and truthfully much further back than that, it can be easy to get discouraged. But take heart. You are not alone. There are millions of Americans who are now engaged and are fed up with the misplaced priorities and dysfunction of government, the manipulation from big tech, and the active cooperation from much of mainstream media. We are not alone, and it may be enough, if we stand together on the ideas and principles that founded this country. The Declaration of Independence, our Constitution, and our Judeo-Christian values.

Still, too many simply shrug their shoulders and escape through sports or entertainment. Too many accept the narratives so effectively pushed by media and Hollywood. They ask, "What can we do?"

Well, we can start by removing our consent. Thomas Jefferson wrote of self-evident truths and said, “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...” Like it or not, we have the government we consented to. We consented either by actively participating in the political process or by apathy. But consent can be removed if the government no longer respects our God-given rights.

But, where to start? The Bill of Rights is a good place to start. Does our government today respect our freedoms under the Bill of Rights (and, of course, our Constitution)?

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Sadly, we cannot even get through the First Amendment before we see the failure of our current government.

Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. (emphasis mine)

The role of faith and the free exercise of religion has been undermined for generations and that has only accelerated in 2020. You can ask yourself if COVID-19 was the reason or the excuse.


And, while I am grateful to this paper for the opportunity to share my views, the freedom to freely write and speak is being restricted for too many in this country. And it is getting worse.

If we, as in "We the People," continue to accept whatever the “experts” of the day propose, regardless of the impacts on our lives, our livelihoods, our children, and our society we will continue to get the government we deserve. We can simply accept our $600 and shut our mouths. Move on. It may not sound like much, but it will buy a lot of cake.

But as for me and my household, we have put on our belts, breastplates, shoes, helmets, and taken up our shields and swords to stand.

Grande represented the 41st District in the N.D. Legislature from 1996 to 2014. She is CEO of the Roughrider Policy Center, an "innovation over regulation" think tank. She is a wife, mom, grandma, lover of life and Jesus. Opinions are solely her own.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.