There have always been prophets of doom. Thomas Malthus predicted that over-population would exhaust our resources by the end of the century. And that was two centuries ago. Mankind steadily progresses, building on our learning, our methods of production and our technology. The doomsayers are quietly left behind.
But in politics it’s different. A little bit of doomsaying makes sense. Expect the worst and try to prevent it. Our Founders wanted to contain political power. They believed unchecked power would destroy the freedom they had fought for and won. This wasn’t pessimism; it was realism. They had seen the destructive nature of power throughout history. George Washington said, “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master.” This is why the Founders took such great pains to limit the power of government.
And they knew we were fighting against the odds. As Thomas Jefferson said, “The natural tendency is for government to gain ground and liberty to yield.” Today, we’ve only reconfirmed the lessons taught by the Founders. Even in America, we’ve seen the federal government take more and more of our freedoms and the fruits of our labor. As those in Congress became career politicians, the size and power of the federal government exploded.
We must fight to protect our freedom against those who monopolize political power. According to Jefferson, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” That’s why he didn’t want eternal politicians.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.