It Ain’t About Health Care – Part 1

Is It Un-patriotic to Mistrust Our Government?

As we have watched the debate upon health care unfold and have seen what is in the Democrat health care bill, we have come to wonder if it’s really about health care at all, and the likely answer to that question is chilling.

In order, though, to understand what the real motive may be, you have to allow yourself to mistrust your government. Now, that doesn’t come naturally to most Americans, so let’s first ask ourselves the following:

“Is it un-patriotic to mistrust our government?”

That’s a very good question, and, in order to arrive at a reasonable answer, perhaps we should rely upon the opinions and words of the people who gave us this great country. They, if anyone, should know better than we.

Thankfully, the founders were highly educated men who were competent and prolific writers. They wanted us to know just what was in their minds when they wrote and then adopted the Constitution which created the federal government — something their writings clearly show that they greatly feared. And they wanted to warn us about the consequences of faulty diligence and apathy. So, let’s take a look at some of what they had to say:

Thomas Paine, author of the pamphlet, Common Sense:

“We still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping at the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised to furnish new pretenses for revenue and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without a tribute.”

“Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.”
James Madison, principal author of the United States Constitution and the fourth president of the United States:

“The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.”

“There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”

“All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree.”

“Wherever the real power in a Government lies, there is the danger of oppression.”

“It will not be denied that power is of an encroaching nature and that it ought to be effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it.”

“Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions.”
Thomas Jefferson, principal author of the Declaration of Independence and the third president of the United States:

“The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.”

“When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty.”

“A government big enough to supply you with everything you need, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have”

“Whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.”

“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”

“I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive.”

“The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the atmosphere.”

“The tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
John Adams, second president of the United States:

“But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”
And others of note:

“We must confine ourselves to the powers described in the Constitution, and the moment we pass it, we take an arbitrary stride towards a despotic Government.”
— James Jackson, First Congress, 1st Annals of Congress, 489

“Freedom is not something to be secured in any one moment in time. We must struggle to preserve it every day. And freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.”
— Ronald Reagan

“The only good bureaucrat is one with a pistol at his head. Put it in his hand and it’s good-by to the Bill of Rights.”
— H.L. Mencken

“No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.”
— Mark Twain, 1866

“It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.”
— Mark Twain, 1894
If mistrusting your government is unpatriotic, then none of the above could be called patriots, and the absurdity of that is obvious. This country was founded upon the principle of maximum liberty, not the principle of maximum government. And it might accurately be said that government is the exact opposite of liberty.

So, let us all agree, then, that a healthy mistrust of government is the essence of patriotism and not the other way around.

Jere Moore
Jere Moore has been blogging about political matters since 2008. His posts include commentary about current news items, conservative opinion pieces, satirical articles, stories that illustrate conservative principles, and posts about history, rights, and economics.