Readers of this blog know I enjoy talking about the Constitution. Not as an attorney, I’m not one, nor in a scholastic manner. I like talking about it as a concept which I believe has set this country apart from any other country in terms of success for its citizens.
Last week President Obama made his now famous remark that successful people did not become successful because of their own actions, but because of the Government. It is a take-off on the “It takes a Village” concept from the sixties. I believe the President has a strong belief that people need help in order to be successful. His remarks come at a great time because we citizens are trying to decide who will lead us for the next four years. I would like to tie this to the discussion about the Constitution.
Our Founders were fearful of a large Federal Government. They spent time trying to limit any success the Government might have in assuming a large role in an individual citizen’s life. Over the last 200 years courts and politicians have moved away from this concept little by little. So, today we have a Federal Government that is large, intrusive, expensive and non-responsive to the individual. Because of this a divide has been created in this country. The political divide is between the big government people and the Capitalists.
The political divide has caused our political parties to place their own philosophies ahead of critical issues facing this country. Nothing is getting done because each side fears the other is dooming the country to failure. These issues are so varied that neither party is right 100% of the time. We the people have lost our common ground. The loser in each political disagreement is the people of this country.
So along comes President Obama and with clarity defines the problem so we can see the naked truth of what divides us.
Here is how I see it. President Obama and his supporters believe in the Government. They believe a large number of people have a limited chance of success and face starvation if not for the Government. They are people who truly want the best for everybody, but fear most people cannot make their way without help. They believe that the right leaders can save people. This is a very attractive thought process, were it not for history, a very defensible position.
People like me believe in people and their abilities. We believe in a small Government with limited powers. We believe in giving everybody an equal opportunity but cannot guarantee equal outcomes. We understand people have different abilities, work ethics and desires. We believe that some will fail; actually we understand that some people will fail a number of times. But we believe having a freedom to fail gives people the freedom to succeed.
So now we are presented a clear choice. History tells me we have faced similar decisions in the past and made good decisions. I believe the American people still understand we are special and this comes from having a great Constitution.