The Colonel #39 Common Sense
"Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil in its worst state, an intolerable one." Thomas Paine
If Paine’s Common Sense is correct—and it is—why is this evil necessary? The men who wrote our Constitution thought the answer was—human nature. Madison said, if men were angels, governments would not be necessary. The Bible agrees saying that the law is not necessary for a righteous man. Men, sadly, are not angels neither are they righteous.
Given this premise, our government was basically designed to do one thing—to safeguard our right to be secure in our life, liberty, and property. The Constitution was written to this end. It provides for a government strong enough to protect us from foreign invasion and to enact/enforce laws that protect our persons and property at home.
Most of the second function was left to the states and local governments. They were considered as the closest and therefore best judges of community needs. The federal government was to provide cohesiveness on this domestic front.
The chief danger to the security of our natural rights is the government itself. The government is made up of people and who are still not angels. And they must be guarded against as closely, if not more so, as the masses they represent.
The Constitution is our protection from men with a pen and a phone who would trample on life, liberty, and property rights upon a whim. It is meant to be a bulwark against the tyranny of the majority. It was written to frustrate the seizure of power and the trampling of rights in the name of “these trying times”.
The goal is that our elected representatives must take time to deliberate—and incidentally give us time to do the same. Deliberation and debate are the best precursors to decision. The Constitution was designed to provide just that.
The law is good if a person uses it lawfully. The Constitution works today. The problem is that so many do not wish for it to work—they are too worried about getting their way.