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The Government is not at fault–it’s the People

October 19, 2009

You hear statements along that line all the time from elites on the left.  Frankly, they have a point.  But it’s not because the people are stupid and Big Brother government knows best.

The rules of our Constitutional Republic are pretty clear: the government does what the Constitution says it can do and nothing more.  But over time we’ve had two related problems:

  1. Government can’t say no to special interests of all kinds.  The current government is nothing more than a coalition of left-wing special interest groups that replaced the special interest groups of the last government.
  2. We the People have become lazy and expect the government to do more and more for us–which the politicians are only too happy to do.

Beginning with the Progressives of the early 20th century, the federal government was seen as the only entity potentially large enough to solve big problems.  This idea was shared by TR and Hoover as well as Wilson and FDR.  Roosevelt gathered his “Brain Trust” and made real the potentiality of a large federal government.  Why could he do this?  Because, quite frankly, we the people asked him to.

That’s why I say we’re the real problem.  Without each of us lobbying for our own special interest government wouldn’t have a reason to do much of what they do.   In Colorado Springs this election, there’s a city ballot initiative called 4C which essentially gives city government a slush fund.  Without that money, City Government threatens, they will have to close parks, neighborhood recreation centers and lay off police and firefighters.

What’s the response of the people?  One special interest group bussed in a group of children to plead with City Council not to close their rec center.  We are indeed our own worst enemy.

We the people are at fault because we are complicit with the politicians we profess to despise.  In our democracy sovereignty rests with the people.  The buck stops with us.  We are the problem.

But we are also the solution.


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