EditorialsKevin King

The power of big government


By Kevin King –
Managing Editor

Proponents of increasing the scope of government do so under the pretense of good intentions. More government is necessary to better people’s lives, so they say. As with all decisions, there is the law of unintended consequences. Today, with the largest government in America’s history at the helm, those consequences are more prevalent than before.

What is ultimately forgotten is that when you give government more power, even in the most noblest of terms, it is nonetheless more power. That power is then in the hands of very fallible men. As the saying goes, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. More power in the hands of a few is a recipe for problems.

Look at the plethora of scandals that plague all levels of government. The IRS targets specific groups, the NSA uses your Facebook to spy on you, and the State Department allegedly covered up prostitution use. No one approves of these principles, but they believe it is simply par for the course. There will always be bad apples. Truly though, it is the symptom of larger government. They have more power to abuse.

Think locally, over the past few months and beyond. There are always scandals involving politicians and law enforcement. Deputies and Sheriffs are eventually found to be conducting some illegal activity. Politicians are found to be conducting back-room deals. The Asheville Tribune just recently reported on investigations involving the Asheville police chief and the Buncombe County Sheriff. One investigation which was closed after less than a day by the District Attorney. Power is concentrated into the hands of a few.

Few people will argue the existence of a “good ol’ boy” system. They know it’s alive and well and that corruptions goes hand in hand with government. That’s why there are always jokes about lawyers and politicians. Just imagine when a lawyer is a politician, and chairman of the County Commission.

As horrible as untrustworthy public servants are, it is partly the fault of the electorate. In the name of safety and welfare, people have given up their power as individuals to a government of a few. Instead of neighborhood watches and community responsibility, people have turned over their duties to a select few that make good speeches every two or four years.

Then once in office, they wield the power they were given. Sometimes for good, sometimes for evil. The problem is, they should have never had that power to begin with.

Limited government is a tool of the people. The U.S. Constitution was a tool to restrain government. The natural progression of humanity is towards tyranny. Since the beginning of civilization, power has always moved towards a smaller group who thrives on that power. When unconstrained, people will do evil things and amass any power they can. That is why limited government is an idea so powerful and important to American life. Freedom can only be preserved by restraining tyranny. Giving up your rights to an all powerful government is a dangerous recipe, with consequences visible daily.

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