I love my country. I hardly ever feel anything less than disdain for my government. It is because I love my country so much that I don’t like my government.
Pres. Obama was recently quoted at the Ohio State University graduation as saying “Still, you’ll hear voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s the root of all our problems, even as they do their best to gum up the works; or that tyranny always lurks just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave, creative, unique experiment in self-rule is just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.”
There is a lot more to that speech; if you like, you can listen to it or read it here.
He also said a lot of stuff that sounds really nice, fluff about using the government to accomplish good things by empowering individuals and getting everyone active in political decisions.
It might have been a little more convincing if he referred to our form of government as a republic instead of a democracy.
It might also be a little more convincing if we didn’t consistently see government abuses of power, small and large, all around us.
Or if the Founding Fathers hadn’t so unambiguously warned us about the dangers of too much government.
“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restraint he people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government.”
“Government is not reason; it is not eloquence. It is force. And force, like fire, is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”
“My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.”
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent and inalienable Rights; that among these, are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness; that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
That last one is from the Declaration of Independence. Apparently President Obama isn’t very familiar with it, or he would realize that the reason people need to right to abolish and institute a new government, is that tyranny is always just around the corner.
Or maybe he does know, but it suits his purposes to flatter a bunch of naive graduates and lull them into complacency.
Thomas Jefferson encouraged occasional revolution – there should be rebellion every twenty years or so, or the people would become lethargic, which is “the death of liberty.”
Believing that government is “nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s the root of all our problems” and that “tyranny always lurks just around the corner” is why we have this country at all. Our Founding Fathers fought against the British government because it was tyrannical and stomping on their liberties. They set up a republic with a government system of three branches of power specifically to prevent tyranny.
Not trusting the government is more American than baseball and apple pie.
Believing we can do better for ourselves than the government can is what makes us American.