Benjamin Franklin once said, “In free governments, the rulers are the servants, and the people their superiors and sovereigns.”
Our country’s founders believed in the people and our ability to govern ourselves. While the rest of the world denied the rights of the individual, America affirmed them. We put our faith not in kings or experts, but in the common sense and decency of the average person. And in doing so, we moved from a poor backwater nation to become the richest, most powerful country in the world.
But what about today? Do you really think today’s Washington power elite see the people as their superiors? Do they view us as capable of self-government?
A recent Pew Research Center poll asked government officials this question: “Do Americans know enough about issues to form wise opinions about what should be done?” The response from our so-called servants in government, if not surprising, is certainly troubling. Thirty-one percent of congressmen said yes, but 47 percent said no, the public is uninformed.
Of Washington bureaucrats, 14 percent said yes but 81 percent said no. Frankly, the government in Washington doesn’t think you or I know very much. Little wonder then that Washington doesn’t listen to us or think we can govern ourselves.
But Washington is wrong. Self-government made our country great. Let’s remind them we’re the boss.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.