“I am strongly impressed with the necessity of having a firm national Government, but I am decidedly against giving it the power of direct taxation; because I think it endangers our liberties…I would consent to give the General Government every power contained in that plan (the Constitution), except that of taxation.”
The guiding star of the American founders was human nature. They had a rather practical and realistic view of how humans behaved—not how humans should behave, but how they do behave. They had dreams of a new land of liberty and individual dignity and worth.
The human experience, especially where it concerned governments, was never far from their minds. Their goal was to have a government strong enough to protect liberty, yet not so strong as to be able to snuff it out. That is why our Constitution was designed as it is with its disjointed powers and duties.
Even with the Constitution’s design, men like Monroe saw dangers. They insisted on a Bill of Rights and almost stopped the Constitution from being ratified until they got it. They did win the promise of that list of protections. The last enumerated right—powers reserved to the States and the People was high on their list. They saw state governments as a shield between themselves and the federal government.
The power of the states was broken in 1865. Once that happened, it took just over a generation for the federal government to begin to transform itself. In 1913, it became Monroe’s monster.
There are people today who will tell you that advances in technology and science have resulted in us becoming better humans, “woke” to truth, and without the need of protection from a government designed by men who considered human nature a constant.
We have evolved, they tell us. We don’t need the protections of the Constitution anymore; in fact, it is just in the way. We now have government experts, men of science and learning, to formulate the best future and stand ready to protect us and supply all our needs for free—if we will only let them.
The last two years have seen great advances toward that goal. There are just a few deplorable chumps in the way, clingers to guns and that religion with a view of a human nature that, outside of divine intervention, is immutable. They are patriots to a dead document and a danger to the future with their attempts to infect the protected with ideas of personal liberty they refuse to surrender.
Men like Monroe thought that citizens should be able to keep and employ the fruits of their own labors as they wished. They believed we should be free to see a need, enter into the business of supplying that need, and thereby enrich themselves and others.
Men like our current President think you should be banned from such freedoms unless you comply with their whims and fears. They are dedicated to growing a government big enough to snuff out liberty while maintaining that it is for “the good of all”.
Sic Semper Tyrannis