What is politics? Merriam-Webster definition: 1a: the art or science of government; b: the art or science concerned with guiding or influencing governmental policy; c: the art or science concerned with winning and holding control over a government. Then what is government? What is it’s purpose? What is the authority behind governing? By what standards are we to govern and be governed? What uncomfortable questions, what am I, a government nerd?
When a really, really fast car, like a Koenigsegg Jesko, is designed to run on a racetrack and capable of speeds over 200 mph, but is “street-legal”, and almost any yahoo (there’s quite a waiting list) with millions of $$ to spend can purchase one, an important consideration is “how do we keep our buyers from killing themselves and others by running too fast?” Such cars have governors, which are components LIMITING the power that can be delivered by the engine. Governors can be disabled if someone really wants to kill themselves. The point is, the purpose of governing is to limit. Limit what? “What is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.” James Madison.
The founders of our nation understood that there are jurisdictions of government, and that each jurisdiction has it’s own responsibilities. The smallest and most important jurisdiction is self-government. Madison’s quote shows he understood that. Our Constitution was designed for, and by, those folks who can govern themselves. Madison, John Adams, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and others all agreed, our government is “intended for a moral people, it will work for no other.” Oops, I slipped that dirty, judgmental word “moral” in. Moral can simply mean, “self governing according to a set of precepts or principles.” Moving on to larger jurisdictions, once a person is mature, capable of self-governing, and finds a spouse and gets married, they form a family, even more so once they have children, and the family is the next jurisdiction of government. Biblically, which is the basis of almost all my understandings, the father is the “head” of the family, the “chief executive officer”, and the wife is the “chief operating officer,” but they are collaborators. When I say the husband or father is the head, I mean that he is the protector who is ready and willing to sacrifice himself for his wife and children. I do not mean he’s the boss or tyrant, but he does need to be the visionary. A family in trouble often starts with a husband who has no vision, thus self-disqualifying himself for true leadership. Women can be visionary in a different way, but in terms of “natural inclination”, men in general are more “big picture” than women, or at least are more comfortable with ideas while women are more comfortable with relationships. Yes, I am generalizing, and it’s my blog, so go write your own if you don’t agree!
The next level jurisdiction is ecclesiastical government, meaning the governing structure of your worship, whether it’s church, or synagogue, or mosque, or whatever, if there’s more than one person involved, it has some kind of governing structure. Then there is civil government, what most people think of as Government. Even within civil government, there are jurisdictions—city, county, state and national. The best government in a republic is delivered at the smallest jurisdictional level. By definition, that’s closest to the voters, those who are actually affected by decisions of government. If voters actually understood our constitution, and the idea of jurisdictions, and the crucial importance of self governing, they would realize that civil government’s purpose is to protect the other jurisdictions—individuals, families, churches—from the encroachments of power hungry politicians and bureaucrats. Until the voters come to their senses, politics will remain the realm of psychopathology. Why do I say this?
If governing were limited to protecting the other jurisdictions, as our founders and our constitution intended, the civil government would attract true patriots, motivated by duty, love of freedom, and respect for the principles of limited government, like George Washington, the only U.S. President who didn’t want the job. He was almost forced into the job, while wanting nothing more than to retire to his farm and relax from the call of duty. The central government, what we misname the Federal government (federal is more accurately the name of our system of national government and state governments, and the fact that the powers of the national government are enumerated while all other powers fall to the states), was responsible for protection of our currency, international trade, and border security. There were three federal crimes: counterfeiting, piracy and treason, reflecting the responsibilities of the national government. In 2009, according to USAToday, there were over 300,000 federal crimes in the US Code. This is evidence of psychopathology. Those crimes are primarily regulatory, many of them propounded by unelected bureaucrats and passed into laws by politicians more concerned with “buying” votes and bribing various constituencies. Look at the result. Donald Trump is President, and I consider him the lesser evil of all Democrat candidates. Yes voters, we are getting what we deserve, we have only ourselves to blame. Our national Koenigsegg Jesko is hurtling at over 200 mph, governor disabled, to where?