This week, I'm exploring our own American Revolution, largely due to the Iranian Revolution that's unfolding as we speak. I want to address the ideals that the founding father's laid out and determine whether they actually fit with the current state of affairs in our country.
* * *
The first argument I've head launched against Representative Democracy and Limited Central Government is that our country has outgrown a viable "small representative government" model. The idea is presented in a fashion such as this: "Limited government may have worked well when our country was a mere 13 colonies and a million people, but today it's just not feasible given the amount of people who live in the country. 300-400 million people cannot be governed the same way that a few million would have been governed 200 years ago."
The biggest problem I have with the "Too Big" argument is that it ignores the primary thrust of what the founding fathers were getting at when they set up a limited central/federal government in the first place. The original idea was that people are governed best at the most local and personal levels- primarily the home but also the community, the city, and the state. IF this is true, then it would follow that no matter how big a country grows in size and citizens, the best place for government is still within the smallest common denominator.
One of the real dangers of perpetual growth within the central/federal government is that centralized systems tend to legislate "one size fits none" mandates that don't generally meet the needs of the people they represent. When we couple these rather narrow set of laws with the growing population, eventually we find that more and more people are left either unprotected or overprotected (depending on the law that's passed).
For instance, our friends out West have very different needs that what we see here in Florida. So if policies heralding from Florida were passed carte blanch (perhaps regarding how people should react in a Natural Disaster) the fact that our primary concern is Hurricanes may mean that those in California who are dealing with wildfires and earthquakes would be required to abide by policies that were ineffective or harmful to their own situation.
That said, I wonder if those who argue that we've grown too big for our current system of government are mistaken in the route we should take to remedy the situation. They think it takes MORE Federal Government to control more people, while the reality is it takes more community efforts. It takes local rights and State rights to accurately govern to the needs of the people.
This is the reason that the 10th amendment exists (although it's ignored completely by our Federal Government). It was intended to keep power closest to the people. It was intended to keep government and regulation relevant to the people. It was a check and balance that was intended to limit the size and scope of the Central Government so that "one size fits none" legislation would be cut down before it had a chance to ruin the country.
I'm with you on this, Nathan.
I'd agree with you Jeff. Technology really has made the world a smaller place in regard to communication. Other technologies have made the world a bit more dangerous- but I'll discuss that on Friday! Feel free to add any comments about that here and I'll work them in!
Comments are closed.
Nathan Key likes to think about faith and philosophy and talk about it with others. He lives with his family in New Hampshire. He doesn't always refer to himself in the third person.