The founders established four unique principles when they had prevailed over the King and set up a nation unlike any government of the past. The founders said our nation should be a nation under rule of law; our nation should have limited government, our nation should have divided government; our nation should be under the rule of the people and not those who govern. The Constitution was drafted and then adopted based on those four principles. The Bill of Rights was added to emphasize these principles. We were told that the Constitution is an instrument, not for the government to restrain the people, but for the people to restrain the government, lest the government should come to dominate the lives and the interests of the people.
Today, we have a government that dominates every facet of our lives. There are laws, rulings, and regulations that control the life of an individual for 24 hours a day. Government is involved in what we wear, what we eat, it controls our health care, our birth, our death, our work, our leisure, and on and on. The saying of the typical American today when they wish something was different is “there should be a law.”
Our founders saw the role of government differently. “What more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow citizens -- a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned”
Today we have a government exactly the opposite of the above sentiment. We have a government that over regulates and a government that takes food from the mouth of one to redistribute to another. The founders were even more specific in this regard when they told us that a democracy cannot last if you take from those who would work and give to those who would not.
Today we have a government who does not debate if we should or should not take from those who would work to give to those who would not, but the debate is how much should be taken and how much should be given. Under any scenario this concept can only be defined as socialism. Income taxes with welfare programs can only be defined as socialism. Yet, we have Americans who would claim to be strong advocates of the Constitution, inside and outside of government, debating amount and not if.
Our founders understood the necessity of divided government. “An ELECTIVE DESPOTISM was not the government we fought for; but one which should not only be founded on free principles, but in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among several bodies of magistracy, as that no one could transcend their legal limits, without being effectually checked and restrained by the others.”
Today we have a judicial system that not only adjudicates but also legislates. Judges on all levels, including the Supreme Court, make law. Many of these judges act as if they were an official of a tyrannical regime flaunting their position by ignoring the justly passed laws and imposing their own political and social views. These judges have determined it is within their power to apply the law even where law does not exist. We have seen this in recent Supreme Court opinions as well as in lower court opinions.
We have an executive branch of government today who has extended the rights of the executive from faithfully executing the law to writing rules and regulations to change current law and to make new law. This regime has shredded the Constitution and acted as if they were the head of a totalitarian state.
The judicial and the executive branch have frankly taken advantage of a group of people in the congress who have determined that their proper role in government is to expand government, to protect their political domains, to increase their personal wealth, and to never stand on what is proper for the country but on what is best for themselves and their respective political parties. We were warned this would happen if we allowed political parties to gain more power than the congress itself.
There are so many more examples of how the people of the United States have ignored the warnings of our founders. Our government was intended to be a restrained government. We were told to elect upstanding and honest individuals but at the same time we were warned that those elected reflect the character of the populace.
This is truly a damming statement on the character of the American people. We can name individuals from both parties who reflect poor character. We have candidates who are high in the poles for president today who are liars, self-serving, and of very questionable character. They, according to our founders, reflect the citizens’ character.
In order to reverse the destructive course our nation is on, we must as a people reverse our own characteristics. We must understand and adopt those very principles our founders knew were necessary if we are to remain a free and an independent people. Each individual American has a responsibility to understand these principles and then to support only individuals of the highest character to fulfill the role of a government servant. The reversal also requires each individual citizen to strive to be a citizen with exemplary morality and character. The price of freedom is high, but it is worth it.