When settlers came to America they had to struggle from the ground up. There was no existing government with which they had to contend. The only government they had, they brought with them in the form of mutual compacts. This was the miracle of self-governance into which most had been born and had become accustomed until the colonies began to create wealth that inflamed the greed of Britain.
As a means to enrich itself, Britain passed laws against the liberty of the settlers; choosing for itself a larger and larger share of the profits from their labor. It took more than a century for the laws to become so oppressive that the colonists began to resist, eventually throwing off that yoke. Ingrained in the American psyche, however, was the thought that they could govern themselves; that they needed no master from whom to beg privileges. All they needed was the liberty to create and the freedom to dare.
Now, as American sloth and apathy (encouraged by would-be masters) has replaced those noble instincts toward self-government and self-reliance the mechanism of strength and liberty is failing. Like a long neglected engine, it is starting to falter. It is a mixture of ingredients that make the American engine run smoothly, but that recipe is lost. Those entrusted with it have replaced self-reliance with dependency; liberty with compliance; duty with force and pride with shame.
The Constitution called for a small federal government designed to deal effectively with disputes among the states and with foreign powers, but little else. It called for the states to draft laws and provide for the needs of the population as the people saw fit. It called for defense of the borders and the rule of law. It called for individual liberty protected from the tyranny of mob rule.
As long as America followed that form it was able to grow into a powerful economic and industrial nation. It is this enormous power that the world has come to envy and subsequently detest. It is the peach that seems ripe for the picking, but it is all an illusion. It is not the shiny cars and big houses that made America wealthy; it was not the government treasury that created wealth; it was not the luck of being born in a rich and plentiful land that made it powerful; it was the simple combination of each individual having the liberty to create and laws to protect his success that produced the wealth from which everything else was possible.
The laws of the United States were designed to protect the individual so that he would be free to toil along in his shed building something that would make his life easier. Nothing more. It is as simple as that. They were designed to protect him from patent infringements; from over-taxation; from being forced to work for someone else; from the government taking his shed and his tools to be put to use elsewhere. Why? Because the founders knew that if he were free to pursue his dreams and to rise above the low station from where he began, that he would create a strong and vibrant nation. They knew this because they had just seen the proof of it unfold before them.
When the government of the United States began to see that one guy, not as something to be protected, but something to be burdened with taxes and regulations it authored its own destruction. The government now sees the rights of the individual as barriers to its own power and something to be destroyed, but the power of the government is in the rights of the individual. The government has begun a campaign of cannibalism and soon will be consumed.