Government is simply a tool. The power for good or bad in society rests with the people. When properly crafted, that tool supports man’s options, which advance what is good and discourages lower nature choices that harm individuals, communities, and nations. Washington aptly wrote, Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.
The law for government has been defined as a set of rules for conduct prescribed by a controlling authority and having binding legal force. The overriding concern is: What are the beliefs of the controlling authority? Sadly, some public servants do not respect the fact that government gets its power from the sovereigns—the taxpayers who created the government and pay their salaries.
What sets the American Constitution form of government apart from those of so many other nations, is that its use is rooted in the Higher Authority Judeo-Christian tradition for civil order. The Constitution as a tool is composed of directives, checks, and obstacles. When the principles of the Creator-based Declaration articulated in the Bill of Rights are upheld, the obstacles built into the Constitution become morally effective. It then becomes difficult for government employees to empower a partisan political agenda and line their pockets with taxpayers’ money.
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, [meaning common needs that do NOT conflict with the development of the work ethic and personal self-reliance] and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
As citizens, it is important to see American government in the context of the big picture. The Federal and State Republics share sovereignty, all of which is subordinate to the people. It is the exclusive right of the citizens, as sovereigns under God, to determine the functions of the separate departments and the limit of the use of government power.
“On every question of construction, carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed” (June 12, 1823, Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography Notes on the State of Virginia, Public and Private Papers, Addresses and Letters, New York: The Library of America, 1984).
~ D. Norris