Home > Perspective > Our Position
Our Position on the Role of Government
Conservativity hereby tenders its position paper on the role of Government in our lives. This issue is perhaps the most fundamental one that divides conservatives from liberals. This article, however, is not here to excoriate liberals; weíll get right into the issue.
"All government derives its powers solely from the consent of the governed -- the People. This is a fundamental tenet of natural law. It is the founding principle of our government, as set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States."
The Source of the Government and its Power
All government derives its powers solely from the consent of the governed -- the People. This is a fundamental tenet of natural law. It is the founding principle of our government, as set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. The people have all the power; they delegate some of that power to the Government. The people enact laws to define and constrain government, not the people. The governmental power must be constrained, lest a massive promulgation of statutes, even from freely elected lawmakers, choke out liberty.
Our Constitution is the instrument that was designed not merely to define government, but to keep it from running amok. The system of checks and balances, from advice/consent on presidential appointments, to the veto power, to the power of the judiciary to strike down laws counter to the Constitution, all exists to constrain government from outgrowing its britches. Even the electoral college and the Senate, both excoriated in liberal press as anti-Democratic (again I emphasize that we live in a Republic, not a democracy), are designed to enforce liberty by keeping the states, a class of membership in the United States of America, influential over government, and moreover, keeping the residents of small states from being disenfranchised, their voices squelched (this malady is referred to as "tyranny of the majority").
The People are rightly the source of Government and the regulator of its power. The ninth and tenth amendments protect the people from the government usurping from the people (ninth and tenth) or states (tenth) their rights, and in doing so protect their superior and ultimate right to control their destinies.
The Purpose of Government
"The government has, as its sole purpose, the protection of the people from Tyranny. Any extension beyond that is, to Conservativity, an unthinkable usurpation of the rights of the people."
The government has, as its sole purpose, the protection of the people from Tyranny. Any extension beyond that is, to Conservativity, an unthinkable usurpation of the rights of the people. The best way to ensure liberty is to define the government as narrowly as possible. The Founders made it abundantly clear in the Constitutionís design that this was their intent. We believe that the governmentís purpose is to do the following, and no more:
- Control Chaos: This means enacting laws designed to protect the rights and liberty of the people, while at the same time avoiding the temptation to legislate away rights in the name of "security." This includes what minimal regulation is needed to keep commerce from running amok and in that way oppressing the people.
- Protect the Citizenry: This means raising and maintaining the armed forces necessary to protect the People from foreign and domestic armed attacks, and, with the consent of the people through their representatives, to undertake any military action necessary to secure the People from future attack.
- Provide Redress: This means to provide an impartial, non-political judiciary system whereby the People and the government may request redress of greivances, and obtain justice for crimes, torts and breaches of the law. The judiciary also strikes down laws that attempt to countermand the Constitution.
- Operate the Economy: This means to print and or strike money for use by the People and to run the economy in such a manner as to maximize the rights of the people to do business lawfully as they see fit.
- Pay to Do the Above: This means to assess and collect those taxes minimally necessary to give effect to the Constitutional requirement of liberty for the people.
We do note that we have not placed into this list anything to do with the "general welfare," as set forth in the Preamble and Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. This concept has been hijacked by the "living document" liberals to, in essence, infiltrate government influence (and control) into every part of every personís life. To elaborate is not appropriate in this document, although the temptation to recite a vertiable litany of abuse of this clause runs quite strong.
The government is not an insurance company, a retirement fund, a pharmacy, a vehicle to engineer social change, the enforcer of personal responsibility (aside from the criminal laws) nor the administrator of charity. All of these things impose upon the liberty of some people to benefit others, and thus to Conservativity are inherently unconstitutional.
The Rule of Law
"The laws of this country are to be used to give effect to the liberty of the people. They enshrine the rights of the minority while simultaneously implementing the desires of the people"
The laws of this country are to be used to give effect to the liberty of the people. They enshrine the rights of the minority while simultaneously implementing the desires of the people. In the event of tension, the rights of the minority cannot be taken to be greater than the rights of the majority, nor can they be made to be lesser. Equality under the law is the touchstone of the United States Constitution.
However, equality under the law does not mean that the government must engage in charity in the name of equality. For example there is no right to be wealthy, wealth is something that can be achieved through hard work and perserverance. Equally true is there is no right for someone to be provided for by the government. That involves taxing one group of productive citizens to pay another group of (usually non-productive) citizens. This discourages the hard work and perserverance needed to make a go of liberty. One cannot use legislative fiat to enforce charity among the people. It is far better to enable the people to do charity out of their own hearts; they will invariably do a better and more effective job.
The Rule of Law must also be constrained to prevent liberty violations. An example of an overextension of law is the registration and control of guns, in direct contravention of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. The idea behind these laws is to make it harder for criminals to get guns. In the end, it simply makes a ready-made list of legitimate gun owners for a despotic leader to use to disarm the people. The Government cannot use the concept of security as a reason to infringe liberty, in any way.
This summarizes our position on the role of government.