Saturday, August 8, 2015

Rightful Role of Government Part 2

This is Part 2 of a two-part article on what I believe is the rightful role of government.

I wrote this in response to a couple of different groups that have been agitating for the scrapping of the US Constitution.

Before you go throwing the Constitution under the bus because of how it is being subverted today by an immoral people in favor of an anarchist view that has NEVER operated successfully, you should consider that our foundation is built on the notion that "we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."  To me, that sounds a lot like the rallying cry of Libertarians and anarchists.  So what are they fighting against except the notion "that  to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,..."

Libertarians and anarchists seem to want to throw out the baby along with the bath water.  The bath water is dirty (our government has become corrupted) so get rid of the baby since it made the water dirty (abolish the Constitution because it frame the government which others have corrupted).  This is a foolhardy approach to solving the problem, and one which, if followed will result in much less individual freedom, not more.

For more than 100 years, the US Constitution stood as a bulwark, generally doing a good job of protecting the majority of people from the predations of a minority (the minority being those who want to exercise unrestricted power over others - call them "king-men" (and women) if you will).
And protecting the minorities (minorities of race, religion or creed) from the predations of a majority.  There are notable big exceptions such as slavery and when the US Government declared war on the Mormons before the Civil War.  And there are notable smaller exceptions such as when local governments were corrupted and turned a blind eye to the operations of groups like the KKK who operated according to their own views of right and wrong (lawful and unlawful).

The Rule of Law has ushered in an unprecedented era in world history.  Today, the rule of law is being supplanted by the rule of regulatory fiat (monarchy or Executive Orders) posing as the rule of law.  Regulatory fiat (monarchy) allowed both the creation of the Ma Bell Monopoly and its later dissolution.  Regulatory fiat allowed the creation and later dissolution of the railroad monopolies.  Regulatory fiat (monarchy) has allowed the creation of the postal service monopoly and allowed the partial dissolution of that monopoly into its present pathetic state.  In this country the supplanting of the Rule of Law began when the ideas of Marx and Engels were embraced by powerful and weak Americans who wanted power and embraced the notion that the State should embody the will of the people instead of serving as a bulwark against the usurpation of their individual freedoms.  Inasmuch as people adopt the view that the state is to embody the will of the people, rather than serving the people to protect their individual freedoms, then they are embracing the notion that the state and the strengthening of the government of the state is the starting point for the solution to all of society's ills. 

The obverse view, that the state exists solely to preserve individual freedom, puts the burden for righting societal injustices or inequities on the shoulders of each individual and requires them to act on their own or to persuade others to join their cause with their time, energy and money given freely to act to improve the lot of the poor or other downcast or disadvantaged peoples. 

Too many people would rather abdicate their individual responsibility, along with their individual freedom, to government, thereby giving the government the ability to coerce folks who are not like-minded to support the "noble" causes adopted by the masses (or presented by demagogues to attract the attention and pity, or concupiscence of the masses).

I believe that government has no business getting into the business of charity.  And the federal government and Supreme Court have no business trying to legislate or adjudicate moral issues.

When government gets into the business of charity - providing economic help to disadvantage sectors of society, several bad things happen:

  1. Government robs individuals of the responsibility to account to God for their treatment of the poor and needy by making the individual contributions both compulsory and utterly without connection to the individual contributor.
  2. Government sets up programs which always have the unintended consequence of increasing the number of people in disadvantaged group.
  3. Government always put most of the money (consistently around 80%) devoted to the issue into the hands of facilitators and government employees and a fraction (consistently around 20%) into form of actual benefits delivered to the needy.

When the Federal Government and the Supreme Court get into the business of legislating or adjudicating moral issues, several bad things invariably happen:

  1. The democratic process is short circuited.  Instead of allowing for lively public debate to be held in each state and locality and allow local people to decide with their votes or vote with their feet by moving to localities that favor their views, a decision is forced upon major sectors of the society which is in direct conflict with their moral views.  This does not settle the matter, rather it drives lasting wedges between different segments of society.
  2. When the Federal Government or Supreme Court try to settle a moral issue with laws or rulings, they ride roughshod over the right of every citizen to the free exercise of conscience.  They make it illegal to be on the "wrong/losing" side of a moral decision. 
  3. This trampling of rights of conscience can only lead to what is, by definition, subversive behavior as people will violate the law, seek to thwart the enforcement of the law, or even violently oppose the government that is seeking to impose the law which they find morally reprehensible.
The decision of the Supreme Court to create a right to abortion, the decision of the Supreme Court to create a right to gay-marriage are high profile examples of situations where the imposition of a decision, instead of settling the matter, has provided a club for one group to attempt to rob the opposition of their rights to dissent on grounds of freedom of conscience.

What is needed today is not an abandonment of the US Constitution.  Rather what is needed is individual and mass commitment to adherence to the principles of individual responsibility and individual rights.  Along with acknowledgement that the exercise of individual rights requires the acceptance of the consequences of those exercises, including failure, unhappiness, ill-health, poverty, incarceration, disability, or even death.

The Constitution was designed to give us the opportunity to succeed and the opportunity to fail.  And, as every successful person knows, failure is always a necessary precursor to success.  What those who seek to cast aside the principles of our Constitution want is a framework that prohibits success and protects us from failure and from the negative consequences of our own choices.  That kind of institutionalized irresponsibility is what is largely wrong with our society today.

I believe that 90% of our current statutes and at least 50% of our Federal and State government infrastructures would evaporate if every regulation and every law passed or currently existing were forced to show 1) origination in the rights enumerated in the US Constitution and 2) adherence to the principles set forth in the Declaration of Independence.

The problem is not the baby in the bath, the problem is the bathwater getting dirtier every minute  because mom and dad are using dirt for soap.  The problem is being compounded by the fact that some are deliberately throwing dirt on the baby because they want the baby to be thrown out so they can install their own child and rule the roost.

The solution is to find and elect individuals who are willing to adhere to and support a return to the foundational principles of individual responsibility AND individual freedom, protected by limited government restrained within the boundaries of enumerated powers consciously, deliberately and thoughtfully yielded by the people and preserved by the individual rather than collective energies of the people.

It took 100 years of misguided statism to get where we are today.  It will take many years, decades or perhaps even a century of unremitting, unceasing, individual vigilance and individual effort to regain the individual freedoms and responsibilities which have been usurped by those who I called statists (variously known as progressives, liberals, communists, socialists, marxist, maoists, etc.).

Tom Sheppard is a business consultant and coach to small business owners and individuals. He is a recognized author with dozens of titles in business and fiction to his credit. One of his endeavors is to help those who want to see their own book in print. He does this through his trademarked Book Whispering Process (TM). The author is not an official spokesperson for any organization or person mentioned herein. 

The author is not an official spokesperson for any organization or person mentioned herein.

Visit Tom's Author's Page

(c) Copyright 2015 A+ Results LLC. All Rights Reserved. 

 Your comments are welcome... Please observe some ground rules. No profanity, vulgarity, or personal attacks. Profanity, vulgarity and personal attacks not only betray a lack of vocabulary and imagination, they also are the hallmarks of bigotry, and bigotry is the hallmark of someone who is fundamentally insecure in their views. Facts are always welcome.