By: Michael Boldin
Don’t trust government. And don’t trust politicians.
That can’t be repeated often enough.
Unfortunately, it seems that most people trust politicians – depending on the issue or depending on the political party they happen to be a part of.
This never has good results in the long run.
Patrick Henry put it this way in the Virginia ratifying convention:
“Show me that age and country where the rights and liberties of the people were placed on the sole chance of their rulers being good men, without a consequent loss of liberty! I say that the loss of that dearest privilege has ever followed, with absolute certainty, every such mad attempt.”
In short – every time people trust political leaders to do the right thing – the long-term result is a loss of liberty.
But it wasn’t just Henry. On the other end of the spectrum, John Adams gave almost the same warning in 1772:
“There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.”
We should all know that power corrupts. And, as the old saying goes, absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Samuel Adams knew this well when he warned us:
“Power is intoxicating; and Men legally vested with it, too often discover a Disposition to make an ill Use of it and an Unwillingness to part with it.”
This is pretty much the same warning from John Dickinson, the “Penman of the Revolution,” who wrote:
“All artful rulers, who strive to extend their power beyond its just limits, endeavor to give their attempts as much semblance of legality as possible.”
These are all timeless truths.
No one with power should be trusted. Not most. Not some. No one. And we should also recognize that those with power will try to make all kinds of arguments to make their unconstitutional acts look legal.
Living in the US of A – the largest government in the history of the world – we would do well to treat every politician with this kind of jealous eye.
As Thomas Jefferson put it in the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798:
“Free government is founded in jealousy, and not in confidence; it is jealousy, and not confidence, which prescribes limited constitutions to bind down those whom we are obliged to trust with power; that our Constitution has accordingly fixed the limits to which, and no farther, our confidence may go”
That’s why it’s so important for us to continue our stand – The Constitution. Every issue, every time. No exceptions, no excuses.
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