Friday, March 21, 2008

The Government of the Founding Fathers

“Grandpa, why is voting so important for our government?”

Gramps just chuckled in a way that showed his approval of my question, ruffled my hair then said;

“Boy, learn this first of all. Government is not an establishment that is separate from the people who hold office as is most commonly thought. The government is the people who hold their respective office just as a dictator is or just as a king is. We are just a nation that has chosen to select our leaders rather than have our leaders imposed upon us by some means. We select those who we approve of to rule over us, the common people. Since we select those who rule over us, we abide by rules. Whoever possesses that power and authority is only allowed a limited time of rule before he needs to ask to be selected again or another is to be selected in his place. We must remember that government is not just something. It is people given the authority to rule over other people.

So, when we use the word government when speaking, we’re speaking of those persons that were selected to rule over us. That means that we speak of 545 people: 435 representatives, 100 senators, 9 judges and 1 president with varied and limited powers and authority of rule. Each of these persons plays a very important part in the rule of this nation. And that be only on the federal level of government. We then must include state and local governments who also have the power and authority to rule over the people. And that is what makes government so dangerous, the recognition that it is people that rule.

Governments can be good or bad regardless of what form of government a nation uses to rule over a people. Even a dictatorship can be a good form of government if the man understands and abides by the purpose of government. The primary difference between what we consider good government and bad government is how they rule.

What is considered as a good government is one that recognizes that those who govern exists for the benefit of the governed rather than govern for their own benefit. A good government will govern in a manner to uphold the principles that allow them to hold the position they have over the people. A good government knows that they only have the power and authority of men not the power and authority of God. As Clint Eastwood would say 'A good government must know their limitations'

Another element of good government can be seen in terms of its creation. Now what do I mean here? Well think of it this way. We see God as our creator therefore he has sovereignty over man and over all he created. And we recognize that relationship and abide it. And anyone who was to say or believe that he is above God would not be looked on with any respect. In fact we would actually accuse that person or persons as being contemptuous and be righteous in that accusation. For, as our creator, man is to be subordinate unto the will of God.

Well, the federal government was a creation also. And it was the states that were its creator. Now, by creation, that would mean that the states, as its creator, would enjoy a status that was above the status of the federal government. And in studying the history of our nation we can see that at one time they did enjoy that status. It could actually be declared that we were a nation where the central government was subordinate unto the will of the states. It could be called the first and foremost of states rights.

Would we be inclined to say that today or would it be said that today it is the states that are subordinate unto the will of our central government? If so, when did that status change? And can we say it was justified? Would this be a case study of the Constitution being interpreted as a living document or a case of interpreting it by what it says and its meaning?

Our nation was known as the great experiment. To be an experimental government would require that it be unique among governments. The only thing that I can see that made our government unique as no other government was is the fact that the central government was subordinate unto what would be considered as the lesser governments. Every other nation throughout history, as far as I know, was governed where the central government was the dominant government. That was the evolution of governments. Was the experiment of our founding fathers a failure? Men died so as to give us a government as formed by the states. Were their lives given for naught?”

I could only scratch my head as I said very slowly, “ Gosh, grandpa, I ask a question and you come back with an even harder question for me. That isn’t fair.”

4 comments:

Average American said...

Although it is certainly true that the states (at least the ones in existence at the time) created the federal government, I sadly have to acknowledge that those in federal government have forgotten all about that and in no way now see themselves to be subservient to states. The federal government controls states every time they add strings to federal monies going to states. They conveniently forget that those dollars came from the pockets of states residents. A few examples include mandated 65 mph speed limits, no child left behind, pollution (many circumstances here), "real id", and so many other areas of our lives.

Joe

The Griper said...

yes, it was created by the original states but as other states joined the union they joined as a state of equal power and authority. they enjoyed the same rights as the original thirteen. what happens is that the power of each single state is diluted with the entry of a new state. but the power of the central government remains as it was. it is not diluted.

dcat said...

Yeah well I refuse to give up my guns! The candy ass state that bans the right...can kiss my arse!

Karen said...

Excellent post, as usual, Griper. The states don't have nearly the power they were supposed to. Federal gov't wasn't supposed to have anything to do with education, for example, but look at the situation now...

Happy Easter!

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