Principle 21: Strong Local Self-Government
The importance of local self-government has been diminished in our own minds, I think. I know I tend to focus on what the federal government is doing instead of taking action in local concerns. No more. If we can't manage what's right around us, how will we ever manage it on a national level. Also, not recognizing the importance of local self-government causes us to give too much power to federal government...something which the Framers never intended. We thus "lose the will to solve (our) own problems." (p.169)
I love that the intent is that problems be solved at the level which they originate. Why climb the government ladder when things can be settled quietly and on our own? We expect too much from federal government and we have, as a result, made it far bigger than its original purpose. We are become increasingly more regulated and really don't have to think for ourselves. But we should (think for ourselves).
"Let the national government be entrusted with the defense of the nation, and its foreign and feral relations; the State governments with the civil rights, laws, police, and administration of what concerns the State generally; the counties with the local concerns of the counties, and each (township) direct the interests within itself. ...the administration of every man's farm by himself..."p.171 (Well, farmers sure don't have that kind of sovereign power anymore. Heck! We can't even cut down a tree on our own property without paying out the ear and getting special permission for it.)The Constitution meant for the States to have far more power than the federal government. My, how things have changed.
The federal govt was meant to be "small and cohesive and...inexpensive." Err, uh, what happened? As I watch our debt clock count upward of $14 TRILLION!!!
"Let the general government be reduced to foreign concerns only, and let our affairs be disentangled from those of all other nations, except as to commerce, which merchants will manage the better... ...a few plain duties to be performed by a few servants." (Thomas Jefferson)
Principle 22: Government by Law, Not by Men
"To be governed by the whims of men is to be subject to the ever-changing capriciousness of those in power." Translate: Dictator, Tyrant, Slave driver. ...where "nothing is dependable. No rights are secure. Things...are in a constant state of flux." (p.173)
"Even the best of men in authority are liable to be corrupted by passion. ...the law is reason without passion..." (p.175)
"The American Founding Fathers... Instead of treating law as merely a code of negative restraints and prohibitions, they considered law to be a system of positive results by which they could be assured of enjoying their rights and the protection of themselves, their families, and their property." (p.175)Obama views the Constitution as a "charter of negative liberties." Dude! The cup is half full because of the Constitution, not half empty! Of course, as I've mentioned in a previous post- they would be negative liberties to him since it reigns in his ability to be the tyrant he so desperately desires to be. Thank God for the Constitution! Let us hold it with both hands and defend it with our very lives. Our freedom is at stake if we turn a blind eye and remain "neutral."
Laws protect us and protect our stuff. We need laws. That being said, we have gone slightly (okay maybe more than just "slightly") overboard. For goodness sake! Who can possibly keep track of the innumerable laws that have been created out of thin air? Legislators. ugh. Can't they just solve problems that actually occur instead of dreaming up problems that don't exist so they can make laws for the sake of having something to do? In California particularly, we have regulated everything under the sun. I just found out today that I am REQUIRED to vaccinate my child with a certain immunization whether my kid ever steps foot in a public school or not. Who gave the government permission to tell ME what's best for MY child ...in my own home?! Why am I mandated to do ANYTHING!? This is a free country, right? But the government is sliding its slimy hand into my home and demanding that I bow to their wishes for my child. Kiss my butt! Protect me and my stuff. Don't tell me what to do in my own home and family.
It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; ...Law is defined by rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known and less fixed?"Most of our laws are incomprehensible. What a mess.
(For the next post in this series, click here.)