There are among the political class constant complaints about the inefficiency of grid-locked government. The complaints come from left and right, depending upon the agenda of the complainer. They must want to do more and better things, huh? They must have the “general welfare” in mind when they plead for more power that they’ll use to do good things for you and your neighbor, right?
I beg to differ, but first some background. A just government is not supposed to be efficacious, as it should not be doing anything that is measured in such terms. Government is not meant to be powerful or decisive in matters other than basic questions of law (See F Bastiat- The Law). In all other matters – religion, commerce, culture, social customs and life in general – the federal government was designed and constituted to be silent, powerless and irrelevant. The government, the republic bequeathed us by the founders was meant to be an impartial enforcer of laws that are limited to the sole purpose of protecting every man’s natural right to sovereignty over his life – his right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Pretty basic.
Any federal action that breaches that principle is an unconstitutional act of tyranny and is properly met with staunch opposition. Resistance to the ever-increasing role the government is arrogating unto itself is the essence of the conservative opposition to the Obama administration in particular and the federal government in general. That resistance is rational, moral, just and very well-grounded and supported in the philosophical teachings of many of the greatest thinkers in Western history.
Yet, the statists – Democrats and Republicans alike – constantly express shock and dismay over any and all political opposition based on the principal that more government necessarily means less freedom. They scoff at the idea that protection of individual liberties is the singular role of government and that state welfare – taking from one man for the sake of another – is tantamount to theft and is antithetical to the concept of freedom. They laugh at a defense of a man’s right to protect himself and his property with a gun. They shriek at the mere mention of the concept that a free man will perform heroic acts of benevolence even when there is no gun to his head. They can not grasp the idea that production, the very purpose of life, is benevolent in and of itself and that trade and commerce are the only sustainable (indeed, they are self-sustaining) means of minimizing human suffering. They demean and demonize any one who refuses to roll over and play dead in the wake of their attempts to make the government increasingly intrusive in our lives, as if their agenda is sacrosanct and beyond reproach, because they can point to a poll or survey that says a majority wants more ‘free’ stuff to be given away by Uncle Sam. No explanation needed – ‘We won the election!’
So, what is behind the political class’s stated objective to give us better government, more bang for our tax buck? They mock liberty, they dismiss rational defense of freedom and small government. That leads to the conclusion that this tendency of theirs is explained by one character trait – a lust for the power to control outcomes, an unquenchable desire to own the lives of other men. Armed with that truth, no amount of disdain and bile-filled rhetoric shall ever deter your opposition to their attempts to own and control the lives of people.
Damn the torpedoes. Stay the course.