I’m no longer in full time politics. I had to get out of it primarily because I started to really not like the person I had become. I found that I had become an angry, resentful man and started losing hope. They say that anger is a derivative of fear. We get angry as a response to something that we are afraid of. That made a lot of sense as I am deeply fearful of what our government is doing to a country that was founded upon individual freedom, liberty and responsibility.
So I’m out of full time politics but still care very deeply about what is happening in politics and to our country so I can’t just ignore the things that are going on. Fairly frequently I’ll post links to my Facebook page of different governmental outrages. I particularly like when my friends engage me in debate about different points. The respectful exchange of ideas and principles is always invigorating to me. Folks that I respect very highly continue to defend the actions of the State by concentrating on the good that the state does. Let’s face it. There are families out there that would be in deep waters if it weren’t for food stamps, or TANF or any of the other social programs that our government maintains. And who can say anything bad about the highway system, railroads, rural electricity etc.? I also have several friends who have asked what the alternatives to big government are? Excellent question.
What it comes down to is what should be the role of government in our individual lives?
Let’s get one thing straight. In no way do I, or any thinking person really, advocate no government at all. That way lies anarchy and it’s really tough to have a civilization or any kind of culture really, if there is total anarchy. Government provides some sort of order for us as a community to live peaceably with one another. There is evil in the world and bad people who want to do harm to others. So we do need a central organization and authority to deal with folks like that.
Having said that, the only difference between government and any other organization is that we authorize government to use force to accomplish it’s goals. No other group of people have this authority. Without the ability and authorization to use force the “government” is just another committee of people.
Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one – Thomas Paine
Throughout history we have seen the best and worse of government. Hitler’s Nazi regime did do a whole lot of good in the beginning bringing Germany back from financial catastrophe resulting from WWI and bad government. They “made the trains run on time”. Of course with all the good he did, the evil that was perpetrated on humanity as whole vastly negates it. To the point that most people today don’t even realize what he did do for the German people.
Then there’s Idi Amin of Uganda, Kim Jong Il of North Korea, Josef Stalin and Vladmir Lenin of Russia and the list goes on of examples of brutal and bloody governments of history. But guess what? All the ones listed here are from the 20th Century. Every country on the planet in every century has examples of bad government. And they all have things in common. On many levels they all did great things for the country they served. And they have all also committed such atrocities that completely overshadow any possible good their policies enacted.
Fortunately our government in the United States has not reached the extreme of an Idi Amin or Stalin or Hitler. But our governments, on all levels HAVE and DO commit acts of extreme violence against its citizens. Not just physical violence either. Mental and physical acts of violence are committed everyday by representatives of all levels of government. And rarely is anyone held accountable. Why is that? Because the law has been written to allow it. And we the people act like sheep and no longer expect anyone in government to be held accountable.
Recently, I posted a quote from Frederic Bastiat about legal plunder on my Facebook page. Someone who I deeply respect commented that I was, or rather that Bastiat was“whining” about taxes. And this was by no means the first time I’ve heard it phrased that way either. Either personally or in main stream media.
I don’t know, I guess I do tend to whine a little bit when people are stealing from me.
It just baffles me how someone can believe that just because a bunch of folks vote on it, they then have the authority to come take more and more of our hard earned money without our permission With the use of force if need be. I was taught when I was just a little bitty one that taking something without their permission is stealing. Most of the time folks get really pissed off when they fall victim to people stealing from them. It seems for many, that definition applies everywhere but government. And we allow them to take as much as they want and spend it any way they want.
According to The Tax Foundation, is a nonpartisan tax research group based in Washington, D.C, 29.2% of our income will be spent in taxes alone.
30%!!! Almost a third of your income goes to government. This is okay with you? The Christian God only asks for 10%. Ain’t that a hoot. The government needs more than God. Well, okay he is God after all. Doesn’t need all that much eh?
No disrespect is intended towards anyone’s belief in spiritual matters.
And then there is the government attitude towards taxes. Rather than be honest and just say they are taking our money, they tell us that America has a “voluntary” tax system Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) House Majority Leader tells us “I don’t think we force…” people to pay taxes. He’s then questioned on this and even though he admits that the government will use force to collect taxes it is still a “voluntary system.” And will not say otherwise.
I’m sorry. I will not be forced to admit that up is down or vice versa. Or to put in in a more Trek type way: “There are four lights!” TNG fans will understand that line.
I want to give one other illustration of bad government. An example that most people don’t think is bad on it’s face. I’m a big Harry Potter fan. I’ve read all the books a few times and seen all the movies. In the fifth book of the series, The Order Of The Phoenix, character Dolores Umbridge is assigned by the Ministry of Magic as Hogwarts High Inquisitor. I already hear people saying, “Really Rick, Harry Potter in a serious article on politics?” Bear with me folks. In the book especially but also in the movie, there is a very serious part where Dolores Umbridge (a very nasty and toad like woman) is giving a speech talking about why the Ministry of Magic (read “government) has sent her to Hogwarts. At the end of her speech (which does not go over all that well) Hermione Granger tells Harry and Ron that “The Ministry is interfering at Hogwarts.) Here’s my point, this moment in the story is one of those plot points designed to heighten the tension. It’s a da-da-dum moment where the audience looks around and thinks “Uh oh. It’s getting bad.” Everyone I have ever watched this movie with has held their collected breaths at that scene and held a frown or scowl on their face. This was a bad thing happening right?
Yet here in the real world we have our schools actually run by government and not only does nobody seem to mind, they think it is a right for the government to educate the populace. Instinctively we know that government involvement in education is not the best idea but yet the thought of private education for our children is way too scary for the majority of Americans. And so it is no wonder that since government schools account for the vast majority of education in America, we now have several generations of folks that believe government is there to take care of us. To nurture us. Or as Mayor Bloomberg of New York City thinks “if government’s purpose isn’t to improve the health and longevity of its citizens, I don’t know what its purpose is.” Just Damn! He obviously doesn’t know what the purpose of government is.
Which is a good question in itself. What is the purpose of government? What should the role of government be in our individual and personal lives? I can go on and on about aspects of bad government. And this is a question that I’ve been asked repeatedly. What is the alternative to the monstrous and criminal government that we have now?
How about a government whose primary concern is for the prosecution of those who harm others through force or fraud? A government that rather than stealing from us actually works within their budgets like we the people are required to do or face the consequences. Their budgets coming from we the people voluntarily rather than by force. A government whose agents are held accountable for their actions rather than protected from prosecution by various loopholes. How about a government whose representatives don’t lie to us on a daily basis? A government that does not incarcerate their constituents for anything other than harming someone or their property through force or fraud.
The Constitution and our other founding documents are not perfect . Not by any means. Jefferson and the boys knew that when it was adopted which is why they put in the Constitution a process to change it as the Country changed. But the Constitution was the first time in human history where it was codified in law that its citizens were free and that we were free NOT because government allowed us to be but by the very fact that we exist.
It was stated best in the Declaration of Independence: 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.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
It goes on to tell us what we should do if government fails to secure our rights. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
They even included a warning for future generations to be careful when changing government. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. (emphasis mine)
Rather than change the Constitution to give them the authority rightly, governments on all levels use legal trickery, word play and dishonesty to assume authority to do anything they want to do. Up to and including violence. And only very rarely is any government agent ever prosecuted or in other ways held accountable for their actions.
There used to be a difference between government and community but today it seems that those words have become intermixed and that is a root to our problem. The vast majority of the things the things that government does now are the things that people would turn to their community for. If a community member got into trouble financially or physically or what have you, the rest of the community came together to help them. Especially if it were for a more respected member of the community. How many times have we heard the stories of a farmer being hurt and unable to gather his crops for the harvest? He recovers from his condition to find out that the rest of the town has gotten together and harvested his fields. People getting together voluntarily to achieve a goal. If this were a government program, government agents would be sent out to gather “volunteers” and force them to harvest the old farmer’s fields.
And that my friends is the difference between the two. In a community people voluntarily pool their resources to make society better. When government does it, people are forced to “do their best for their fellow man” even if they disagree that it would be best. Even if it would actually hurt that individual to give their time or money or any other resources.
To use force against an individual is wrong regardless if it is the government or other individuals doing it. And we all know that yet most people in this country think its right that government incarcerate or in other ways harass people for reasons other than harming someone through force or fraud.