Boiled by government juices

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, November 11, 2004

My condolences to Mary Noble in her grief over the outcome of the recent election (letters to the editor, Nov. 7). As a student of national life with a libertarian point of view, I find that the outcome and Ms. Noble's response are both perfectly understandable.

The outcome was more or less assured when one candidate claimed to be a man of principles who would execute the duties of office based upon those principles. Another candidate claimed to be a man of the same principles who would execute the duties of office based upon the most compelling case last heard, damn the principles. The former candidate struck more people as a leader than did the latter.

Ms. Noble's response was typical of someone realizing for the first time that most other people may not share one's most dearly held views. "No, it can't be. It must be a conspiracy. The wrong zealots were elected."

Ms. Noble and I probably agree that the system should not allow one faction to hold all the strings of our national, state, community and personal lives. At least I hope she agrees. Maybe if the proper zealots had been elected, she'd disagree. Anyway, the original plan was for a much smaller and less dangerous national government. Over the decades, leaders, legislators and judges, whose common oath of office was to stick to the plan, decided that sticking to the plan was not in their best interests; sticking to the plan could cost them their positions or agendas. So definitions and understandings were subtly shifted to accommodate measures that were popular or agreeably progressive and which, if you squinted hard and put your thumb just so, conformed to the plan. The result is what you see today: huge money and power with all the attendant corruption's swirling about Washington; Congress, which alone was granted the power to declare war, shifting that responsibility (and blame, if any) to an individual; federal social programs spiraling out of control; a tax code too big to fit in a truck; educational theory du jour coming to your school (or else) from Washington; and so on.

I'm afraid that all of us, including Ms. Noble, are somewhat responsible for whatever insanity she perceives. She's being scalded not only by the boiling juices of one individual group but by the juices of everyone who ever asked more of government than it was empowered to give.

Paul Wescott


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