EaglExit: Summary of local government options, citizenship, and American Republicanism

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By FORREST A. NABORS, PhD

Part I of a four-part series

A borough charter is a form of a constitution, or, an organic law of a people by which a government is framed and maintained. 

The purpose or end of a constitution is the kind of government and way of life that the framers of the constitution wish to have.

The general character of a people – their convictions, habits, customs – and the form of their government shape each other and depend upon each other.

Therefore, the framers of new constitutions of all types must consider what kind of government and way of life they wish to have and what kind of government the existing character of their people can support. 

That is, existing conditions – the existing character of a people – constrain what framers of constitutions can immediately do. The saying, “Rome cannot be built in a day,” captures this point. The constitution of a people and the character of a people must fit each other.

However, Rome was built and can be built, albeit over many days. A wisely constructed constitution can cement the pathway of a political society’s future development towards loftier achievements.

Let us assume that aim of the founding generation of the new borough is that the government will be frugal, fair and effective in securing the safety of the people. These are simpler, attainable ends, which can be achieved by drawing from common sense and experience. Prudent institutional devices can be framed that limit future opportunities for corruption, profligacy, injustice and inefficiency.

It is also within the range of local government to do more in securing the happiness of the people consistent with liberty. This is a harder task than say, inexpensive and sanitary garbage disposal, but today, is a necessary task, because liberty in our country is fading. As this paper will contend, one of the few, powerful resources left to renew liberty in America is local political societies.

A wisely-constituted and administered local government can re-animate those virtues from which American government in its original form sprang, and upon which all of our governments – local, state and federal – always depended: intelligence, honesty, industry, frugality, self-reliance, self-respect, courage, good will, modesty, charity, etc. 

At its origin, American republicanism was, in fact, the simple government and way of life of one local community. A tiny group of English settlers, far fewer than the population of Eagle River today, formed the nucleus of the colony of Massachusetts Bay beginning in 1620. Led by their faith, those settlers developed a way of life and a style of local government that grew, matured and then spread. Their small political society became a model, replicated by other townships and other colonies. The character of the New England people was such that when tyranny violently confronted them in 1775, they could not submit. It was easier for them to die than to surrender their liberty.

Admiring them, the other colonies joined them in rebellion. When the battle was won, the other colonies, now states, adopted New England’s system of government. New England republicanism became American republicanism, broadcast across the North American continent, superadding new states, also modeled on the image of the New England, and finally including Alaska in 1959. 

Is that character achievable today? Americans look around themselves in 2024 and are mortified. A sense of loss, as if a beloved member of the family had died, cuts into the souls of millions of us. We hear the “mystic chords of memory” within us, but when we look around, the song we hear is a sad dirge for the death of American principles and our old virtues. Many who understand and love what we once were, confess that they can barely recognize our country today.

Yet in reviewing the case of the first shipload of settlers on the Mayflower, we must admit that from little things, great things are born, and from fragile beginnings, strength and greatness. Hounded by relentless religious persecution, they crossed the dangerous North Atlantic, formed a political compact – a constitution – cut an embryonic republic out of the howling wilderness and entrusted their fate to God. Their only care was to build a “City on a Hill,” a model of Christian charity. Their “City on a Hill” became many such cities, and their systems of government and way of life became the basis for a great nation. 

The new borough may be but a small community, but great character is great achievement enough. The regeneration of liberty, even in a small area, is worth the striving. Perhaps a successful founding might one day produce sons and daughters who will spread out into Alaska and America as new apostles of freedom’s restoration. Perhaps a successful founding will inspire others in America to copy this one.

We cannot know. But we, like millions of fellow Americans, do know that something must be done, and since the people of Eagle River require a new constitution of government, they can do more. In any event, if we honor the character and deeds of our forebears, it is our duty to take substantial steps towards rebuilding a true home for freedom in our locality that rejects encroaching tyranny in our country and our world today, and to entrust the results to God. 

If we want to make the best effort we can to establish freedom anew in our small corner of the country, we must understand, especially in these times, so hostile to liberty, how freedom grew from a tender plant and thrived.

The Eaglexit Board would like to thank Forrest Nabors for his support and efforts. This is the first of a four-part series. Check back for Part II of this series this weekend. Please consider joining the cause and keeping up on our progress at Eaglexit.com. Our next public meeting is June 20 at 7pm at the Elks Lodge.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Eagle River is making smart decision here, separating from Anchorage.
    Anchorage, under current leadership, is in a perpetual “doom-loop.”
    Anchorage will not change course until the leadership changes.
    The smart choice – decision, will be to relocate from Anchorage to ER.

  2. After the latest installation at City Hall, EaglExit’s best option now would be to petition to join the MSB. MOA is never going to let them go independent now.

  3. Eagle River better get on the exit ball. Socialist Anchorage has elected a leftist dictator and she will fight you all. Good luck!

  4. MOA or the assembly have no control over the process. This decision lies solely with the residents of assembly district 2.

  5. If we remain a part of the M.O.A., we will soon be experiencing the effects of their emerging Utopia.

    Concerned, above all, “fairness”, ‘Diversity, Inclusion and Equity, Anchorage will look at E.R., Chugiak & Birchwood and notice we do not have our ‘fair share’ of filthy, disease infested, crime ridden camps of bums.

    We do not have our ‘fair share’ of shootings, rapes, murders, assaults, DUI’s, arsons, etc., etc., etc., and they will use our taxes to do everything they can to rectify those injustices.

  6. Did the candidates running for the Eagle River/Chugiak seat weigh in on the Eaglexit movement? Would be interesting to hear what the candidates from both sides say about this push to separate from Anchorage.

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