The American electorate has become cynical, and justifiably so. With each election cycle candidates for public office promise us they will be different. Then, we cast our vote believing they will be true to their word, only to have our trust betrayed again.
The allure of political power and all the accoutrements that accompany it attract the kinds of individuals least qualified to govern according to the principles established at America’s beginning. Even those who enter the field of “public service” with the best of intentions often find themselves swept up in a sea of privilege and prestige they did not anticipate. After a term or two in office they become what they claimed they were running against – a career politician whose sole purpose in office is to remain in office.
Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to William Ludlow in 1824, said, “I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.” Now, if Jefferson thought the government in 1824 was bloated what would he think of our government today? Furthermore, the government “parasites” long ago discovered a key to maintaining their power was in sharing the wealth. Which is the kind of America in which we now find ourselves.
Politicians move money around like pieces on a giant chessboard. Essentially, they take money from one group of people and give it away to other groups in exchange for votes. Of course this redistribution of wealth (a hallmark of Marxist socialism) is always rationalized with some statement about “taking care of the people.”
“If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them,” Thomas Jefferson wrote to Thomas Cooper in 1802, “they must become happy.”
James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution,” in a letter to Edmund Pendleton in 1792 said, “If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions.”
For fear our government would become… well… what it has become, the founders established a separation of powers and committed to parchment the principles by which we should be governed. They knew too well that principled men would not always occupy the seat of power. They tried very, very hard to safeguard our liberty. As Madison put it in Federalist No. 10, “Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm.”
Tragically the safeguards they put in place were insufficient to prevent us from becoming what they feared – a bloated, centralized, all-powerful government where citizens have little or no recourse. With precious few exceptions, we are governed by unscrupulous and unprincipled men and women. Most of the people appearing on ballots across America are advocates of ever-growing government. Oh, they may disagree with one another on which aspects to grow fastest and which group of people should benefit first, but they all think a bigger government holds the answers to every problem.
Voters who recognize the genius of limited, federal (not national), government as established by our founders are left with only questions:
-- Who is the candidate to whom I can turn?
-- Who will fight to bring the federal government back within its Constitutional boundaries?
-- Who will actually respect the limitations of power placed on his office?
-- Who will respect the fact that government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed, and act accordingly?
The candidate to represent such voters is painfully obvious. So obvious, in fact, it is a wonder we haven’t recognized him before. Who is he?
Nobody will fight to bring the federal government back to within its Constitutional boundaries. Nobody will respect the limitations of power placed on his office. Nobody will respect the fact that government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed, and act accordingly. And, since Nobody cares deeply for these issues, those of us who are sick and tired of the monstrous, out-of-control government should make sure we vote for Nobody. Every time we go to the polls we need to ask ourselves, “Who on this ballot will work to reduce the size of government?” If the answer is Nobody then we need to pull the lever by his name. If his name doesn’t appear on the ballot we need to write it in.
With any luck Nobody will get elected.