To the editor:

"There are more instances of abridgment of the freedoms of the people by silent gradual encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." James Madison, June 16, 1788

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Virginia was the 10th state to ratify the Constitution one year after Madison said these words in a speech to Virginia's Ratifying Convention. By 1790 New York, North Carolina and Rhode Island followed suit making ratification unanimous.

With this document we affirmed our separation from "the Crown" and proclaimed the primacy of individual liberty. Specifics of this liberty are found in the Third, Fourth and Tenth Amendments of the Bill of Rights.

But in the 229 years since we have fallen to embrace "a Crown" once again. This metaphorical crown is Interstate-495 encircling Washington, D.C.

The 535 congressmen and multiple judges and presidents who reside therein have given up any pretense of defending and protecting the Constitution much less adhering to the same.

Judges have been legislating from the bench, thus usurping the power of the House and Senate. Congress has written laws that force the people to purchase services (insurance) or face penalization.

In 2016 all that changed! Donald Trump initiated a new form governance, simply by keeping his campaign promises.

He lowered taxes, fattening take-home paychecks for the people. Foreign investment dollars were repatriated and invested here, in turn creating jobs. In foreign policy ,Trump renegotiated trade deals that had favored other nations at our expense.

With Americans' reacquired economic freedom, unemployment is at its lowest rate since 1969.

The wealth of this nation has always been the freedom of her people exercising their God-given right to self-determination. Further highlighting this, in January during the partial government shutdown, the private sector added 304,000 jobs. We the people can do just fine, particularly when government gets out of our way.

Trump's first offense was illustrating that the Founder's "first principles" are still applicable. His second was being a citizen elected to office as opposed to a careerist politician. His third was illustrating that so many in Congress, regardless of party, represent themselves first and constituents second.

A week ago we celebrated the 243 anniversary of the Declaration of Independence and the advent of limited government. It's high time we returned to the same.

George W. Snyder

Red Wing