Thursday, April 28, 2016


In conjunction with the post below, what is the purpose of Amercan government?  This general statement is from 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, . . .

As 44 reminded me in a comment on the post directly below, the Preamble to the Constitution states:
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

Government per se is not the problem.  The main problems are the quality of leadership,  shortage of accountability of employees and leaders, catering to special interests, violation of rights and the obsession of empire-building which infects many bureaucrats.  In addition, we need broad-based public support for all constitutional rights, not those that suit one's ideology.

The basic problem/paradox is that governments are created and run by human beings with all their faults.  The faults make government necessary to protect other people and their interests. Madison in Federalist # 51 put it eloquently:

"If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions." [Thus the Constitution contains separation of powers, an independent judicial branch, limits on powers, etc.]

Thus, quality leadership and accountability of all government personnel is essential. Unfortunately, we seem to have a shortage of this at the federal level.  Most state governments are no better, and the problem at all levels, is not the existence of government but how it is run. Too many people want to throw 'the baby out with the bath water,' but that will just make things worse.  Anarchy is not an answer it is a whole new set of problems that will just make things worse.  Arguably, Congress has sometimes stretched its powers too far, but we have a Supreme Court that hopefully will remedy it.
If not, legislative repeal or constitutional amendment are the remedies.

No comments:

Post a Comment