“When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When governments fear the people, there is liberty.”
Whether it was Thomas Jefferson who actually said it, does not matter. The sentiment expressed is so strongly American and Founding-Father-ish in flavor that the exact source is not worth arguing about; the very essence of the statement remains American to its heart. And as Americans, we have always, unthinkingly, unhesitatingly believed that the government–our government–feared We the People enough so that liberty, not tyranny, has always our watchword.
But the times, they are a-changing. A CNN poll released late last month reports that a majority of people believe that the federal government threatens the rights of Americans. That’s right. A majority of citizens of this nation fear that the government represents a threat to our freedom:
“Fifty-six percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday say they think the federal government’s become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens.”
What was that again, Mr. Jefferson? When the people fear the government, there is tyranny? But then again:
“Americans overwhelmingly think that the U.S. government is broken – though the public overwhelmingly holds out hope that what’s broken can be fixed.”
“The public overwhelmingly holds out hope that what’s broken can be fixed.” That too, is so uniquely American–the expectation that we can fix what’s broken; the can-do attitude; the eternal optimism that flashes out as the very best of the American spirit. As Sissy Willis describes it, the Shining City on the Hill.
We didn’t need to vote in “Hope” and “Change” in 2008. They are, as they have always been, an integral part of the American character. The pale imitations represented by Obama, Pelosi, and their ilk, are no more than faint and slightly sinister simulacra of the real things.
We have elections coming up in November. It’s time to take back our government, toss the tyranny, and let freedom ring.
H/T: Classical Liberal