One of my all-time favorite world leaders is former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. I am reluctant to use the term “politician” because it has such a negative connotation these days.
During a speech sometime before she left office, she made a statement that hit the nail on the head with reference to the success of the United States of America. She said the reason America is so great is that it stands for “freedom and opportunity for ordinary people.” Now, please give this some thought because she is right, and also because this was true for over 200 years. In recent times, however, it has become under assault and now we are in grave danger of losing it.
In times past, ordinary people came to America pursuing their dreams for themselves and their families. They created products and services that improved the lives of their fellow Americans and, in the process, built the greatest nation in the history of the world. Basically this is no longer true. Today the dream of the “little man” has evolved into a system of big government, where only the well connected to Washington get in on the action.
Our Founding Fathers warned us about this because they were highly suspicious of government. Living under the king’s heavy hand taught them that big government is tyrannical in nature. Whether it was being forced to pay heavier taxes, host the king’s soldiers, or writs of assistance, the founders realized that tyranny is always around the corner. Today we are truly a divided nation, and the primary reason Donald Trump got elected is because he was able to tap into the anger felt by millions of Americans who feel disenfranchised.
Now, let me pause here for a moment and give you a practical illustration so you will know what I am talking about. The nature of a politician is to want to stay in office, and in order to do that they are willing to promise anything and everything to as many people as possible to get reelected. Of course, this takes massive amounts of money that takes shape as the federal budget. If they don’t have enough money to do all they want to do, then they borrow it. Today we have a national debt of over $21 trillion, which means the politicians have borrowed that much money in addition to the massive taxes we all pay to run the government.
Human nature says that once we get something free, we want to keep on getting it, and our politicians are willing to keep borrowing to keep giving it. You should understand that I am not talking about political parties here. They both do it and then try to make it appear that it’s the other party’s fault. All the while, the well connected to Washington are making out like a bandit, and the ordinary people Margaret Thatcher was talking about are more and more content to take the handouts and give up their freedom and opportunity. The tool that the well-connected use is called “regulations,” where they can effectively shut out competition. This serves to widen the gap and adds to the anger so many in our nation are feeling today.
At this point we may ask the question: If big government is the problem and threatens our freedom and way of life, what can we do about it? Personally I will always support the candidates who advocate a smaller, leaner government and are willing to be held accountable. Make no mistake, our liberty and opportunity is at stake. Thomas Jefferson had it right when he said, “When the people fear the government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”