According to a new poll released from Gallup, nearly 1 out of 2 Americans believe the government has become so big that it is an "immediate threat" to freedom. This feeling has increased by 19 percent, to 49 percent of Americans, in the last eight years, indicating that both Republicans and Democrats have attributed to this sentiment.
Read the full results here.
And, outside of civil liberties, the survey says, “Americans believe, on average, that the federal government wastes 51 cents of every tax dollar.”
Talk about a lack of faith in government. Oh, wait...they have that statistic, too. “57% have little or no confidence in the federal government to solve domestic problems, exceeding the previous high of 53% recorded in 2010 and well exceeding the 43% who have little or no confidence in the government to solve international problems,” says Gallup.
When neither Democrats, nor Republicans, govern by the Constitution, results such as those from Gallup’s poll should come as no surprise. As discussed in the free e-pamphlet, “The Law That Governs Government” (which, you can -- and, should -- download here), the Constitution is what restrains government power. When those elected to office ignore the Constitution, it follows that government grows, and grows, and grows.
And, when government is not governed by the law (that law being the Constitution), it grows big enough to arrogantly trample on the rights of citizens (warrantless wire-tapping, TSA searches at airports, and frequent violations to Fourth Amendment rights, just to name a few examples). It also gives birth to unconstitutional zombie bureaucracies that are next to impossible to kill.
Remember Fannie Mae, one of the lending institutions at the center of the economic collapse? It was founded in 1938 during the Great Depression as a part of the New Deal, and it has been supported by the federal government ever since. And, even after its abominable role in sub-prime mortgage crisis, Republicans and Democrats did nothing to dump Fannie Mae from the taxpayer’s financial responsibility.
Governing by the Constitution means governing responsibly, and when the Constitution is ignored, it is impossible to do that. Thus, 49 percent of Americans believe government is an enemy of freedom, 57 percent have no faith in its ability to solve problems, and 81 percent are dissatisfied with the way the country is being led.
So, what do we do?
Make current candidates for office responsible for more than broad generalizations when they’re campaigning. There is an article on ConservativeHQ.com that argues how the media script for debates is killing the discussion that needs to happen in order to get America back on track.
Further than that is the typical formula for getting elected. Politicians have learned they can speak in smooth, deliberate generalizations, and still get elected. Concrete policy statements have become toxic because they make you beholden to…well, one’s own words.
That is why it is so rare hearing politicians make definitive statements. For proof, look at the last GOP presidential debate in Orlando. Some of the only real, specific statements made by candidates about their plans for office came from Herman Cain, touting his “9-9-9” plan, and former two-term New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, who said he would slash the budget by 43 percent -- namely by eliminating the Department of Education (whoa, when’s the last time you’ve heard a Republican say that?).
It’s time we start holding candidates for office responsible for more than just rhetoric, especially during the primaries. We should demand to know where they stand, what plans they have, and most importantly, how the Constitution will play a role in their plans for governing.
And, if current candidates for office can’t answer these questions, it’s time to replace them (actually, let’s just go ahead and replace them).
But, the first step is educating yourself. The only reason just 49 percent of Americans believe government is an enemy to freedom is because the other 51 percent probably has no idea what freedom is supposed to be. A good start to furthering your constitutional education is downloading a copy of “The Law That Governs Government.” As you’ll find, the Constitution is the basis of every political problem -- and, solution. Therefore, it pays (literally, by reducing the tax burden on citizens) to know more about it.