The Founding Fathers were rightfully fearful. The colonies had been under the thumb of an autocrat, the king of England, for over 150 years. In setting up a new government, what they feared most was creating a government that concentrated too much power in the hands of just a few. In their brilliance and their fear, they designed a system of separation of powers, and checks and balances. Two houses of Congress (each individually weak), a weak presidency and a Supreme Court to referee conflicts were set up to deliberately divide power. The Bill of Rights was also devised to protect against a government with too-concentrated power. The First Amendment guaranteed a free press, to oversee and call out the potential abuses of power. The Second Amendment guaranteed the right to keep weapons, again to guard against a government that might try to oppress the citizens. The Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Amendments established the firm rule of law to protect citizens from government abuse of power. It was a brilliant plan, and it has maintained the strength of our country for 230 years.

That grand design, to make us a nation of laws and to diffuse and spread government power over many institutions and many people, is now facing its greatest threat. We are witnessing the concentration and consolidation of power in our government. In a lust for power, one group now has control over the executive branch, both houses of the legislative branch, and soon the judicial branch. This group daily attacks our free press, undermines the independence of our law enforcement agencies, mocks adherence to the laws of our country, makes claims that some individuals are above our laws, demands personal fealty, and uses personal attacks to browbeat anyone who disagrees with them. This is the tyranny that the Founding Fathers were trying to prevent. There is one power left to the people who are to vote. Please consider the immediate real risks to our form of government (of, by and for the people) when you decide your vote. I will cast my vote to break up this concentration of power. I hope that you choose freedom over power. Please vote against this junta of rich oligarchs, this new autocracy. We must work to protect and restore our democracy, a government for all people, not just for the moneyed class.

Bill Cosgrove, Cottonwood Heights