Government Is Not Our Friend

As I was driving home from the gym today I saw an Obama sticker on someone’s car that “Marlified” Obama’s face (you know – the red, yellow, and green colors associated with Reggae music). For some reason it struck me as odd… and wrong.

Over the past few months we have seen a lot of “flag waving” for Obama. People are excited. They are pumped up to see change. They hope that he will not be a “standard politician.” People have Obama stickers all over their cars and all sorts of people have waved Obama signs in support. When Obama won there were parties in the street and people were toasting (and buying shots) in honor of him.

Now don’t get me wrong, but I am glad that people are excited about politics and they are involved in politics. I think one of the greatest tragedies is that so many are not involved and don’t vote and never do vote. However, how should our interaction with our government be? What did the Founding Fathers want our – The People – relationship be with the government?

I grew up and I think that I had a pretty good relationship with my parents. Of course we traded words and made accusations like any parent does with their teenager. One thing was always clear in our home though – you mess up and you will pay the consequences. We are not your homies or your friends – we are here to make sure you stay safe, stay out of trouble, do well in school, and do well in sports. We know your standard and if we know if you are not performing to your standard (as in school) or acting a fool and getting in trouble (with the law or in school) then you are going to answer to those consequences (failed grades, detention, jail, etc.) AND you are going to pay for your wrong doing with US. That is just how it was. I will never forget my father felling me, “If you do right, we will be there to support you and give you praise. You mess up and we will have NO problem letting you face the consequences and then some.”

I hated that kind of philosophy growing up. While other kids got to go home and watch TV all night and go outside and play my mother would sit there and make me do my homework and then she would verify it. If I rushed it or did it incorrectly, I did it again. In other words, she was my boss. I also decided to do a few stupid things as a kid too – one of them going down the street and tearing up my neighbors property. While the other kids that helped me sat at home and watched TV, I went down to my neighbor’s house, apologized, and then cleaned up the mess. In other words, my parents made sure that rules (of courtesy and what is right and wrong in this case) were enforced. I never was friends with my parents and I hated it that I didn’t have “cool” parents like everyone else.

Now that I’ve grown I look back at that and I am more than glad that they were not my friends. I am good friends with them today because of what they were to me back then.

I feel kind of the same way about government. I think that our government was made to not be friends with us. Their job was to hold office and represent us. If they didn’t do that, then we ran them out of town (literally or via impeachment or special election, etc.). Furthermore, they gave us the First Amendment so that we could speak out against them and tell them that they were doing wrong. They gave us the Second Amendment so that if they didn’t want to listen, then we could defend ourselves against them. They gave us the Third Amendment so that the government couldn’t quarter in your home. They gave us the Fourth Amendment so that they couldn’t just come in our homes at will. And so on… Point is, they gave the power to the people, not the government.

Today with this Obama-fevor, I am scared that we are not providing society with our role in government – the watch-dog. You see, when we are friends it is easy to forgive-and-forget their misdoings. We have an emotional bond with them that allows us to overlook their blemishes. This simply is not the kind of relationship we want with our government, especially today.

I do not know about many of you out there but I am getting tired of our representatives having free reign. I want them to represent me. If they cannot do that, then they should be afraid of losing their job. Yet, that is not how it is. We continue to vote them in and never speak up against them. And now we have elected a President that we seem to have a very strong “friendship” bond with.

Look, I don’t care if you love every policy that he has put forth and hope he does more – you still cannot let him be your friend. You still have to be his watchdog. The second you don’t and they realize this, they will quit representing you and do their own thing. If we have no checks on our government, if we just trust that they will do right and act in our interests, then we give them unbridled power. Never good. And history can vouch for this.

Think about it.

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"We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth... For my part, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst; and to provide for it." - Patrick Henry

"Politicians and diapers both need to be changed, and for the same reason." - Anonymous

"Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it." - William Penn

"Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country" - Hermann Goering

"I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do this I keep on doing." - Romans 7:18-19

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain



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