A Government that Can’t Control Itself
I made it to page 5 of Liberty and Tyranny when I came across the passage I knew I would use for this weeks “book notes”. The quote is Mark Levin quoting James Madison from “Federalist 51″:
But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.
I have read this quote a number of times. It often causes me to reflect on exactly what our founders thought of the nature of man. However, when I read it here, this week the last statement really jumped out at me: and in the next place oblige it to control itself. I believe that is the root of the problem of our government today, and the reason the Tea Party movement has taken off. Our government no longer knows how to control itself.
The government today believes it can solve every problem, right every wrong, and provide everything to everyone through it’s mighty power. Spend enough money, pass enough laws, and nirvana will ensue. Our founders recognize that we are governed by men. Men can never create a perfect world. There will always be those who want more. And whose perfect world would it be?
Scott Brown’s election was about a number of things. One of them was that the voters in Massachusetts want the government to control itself. I wonder how many in government will take that lesson to heart.