11/1/2021 1 Comment
By: Mindy McAlindon, RPA National Committeewoman
Limited Government is a calling card of every Republican candidate. But why? What are the virtues of a Limited Government? The real virtue of a Limited Government is that it promotes and supports economic and personal freedom – a free society.
As a government grows, the influence of institutions integral to the fabric of our society, like churches, other religious institutions, and family, are forced to shrink. Alexis de Tocqueville recognized these voluntary institutions as the bedrock of American liberty and self-reliance. These institutions are where we teach and learn our value system, our morals, and our beliefs. It is what binds families and communities together, caring and supporting one another. Having liberty allows us to dream and reach for those dreams. It drives creativity and innovation. It is what has made this American Experiment the most successful in the history of the world.
Even so, we must always remember our Rights are given to us from God; they are endowed from our Creator not granted by government. The Bill of Rights, those first ten amendments, were specifically added to the Constitution to protect against governmental infringement and abuse of power. They are a list of limitations for the federal government. Our Founders had seen and understood that for personal freedom to be expansive, governmental power must be restricted.
George Washington warned, “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, —it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant, and a fearful master; never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.” Meaning, government is dangerous and must always be watched!
Well, if Covid-19 has taught us anything, it is that government, when left unchecked, becomes totalitarian or authoritarian, imposing the will of some at the expense of liberty for all. Liberal politicians at all levels have taken advantage of freedom-loving, self-reliant individuals. God-fearing Americans who willingly gave up rights to “flatten the curve” for two weeks witnessed their rights constrained for the last 18 months with little end in sight. Free speech has been squashed on-line, freedom of religion was impinged as churches were closed (while liquor stores remained open), right to assemble became stay at home orders, and even the right to a speedy trial was significantly slowed. And now, independent, free citizens are being questioned as to their vaccination status before boarding an airplane, requesting a table in a restaurant, attending public events, or simply going to work.
Recently, our Democrat President dictatorially signed an executive order forcing business with 100+ employees to become the enforcement arm of the government. Not only does such a mandate pry into the personal medical decisions of employees far beyond working hours, but it also effectively cripples the profitability of businesses that cannot or simply will not comply. A government that controls the market, picks winners and losers, and strips personal freedoms is not only unconstitutional but borders on communism.
Still, we must remain vigilant, fighting to keep the balance between freedom and responsibility, between governance and over-reaching government. In Federalist 48, James Madison declared, “It will not be denied that power is of an encroaching nature and that it ought to be effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it.” We must be heedful of that limit.
Arkansas is blessed to have a Republican supermajority in the 93rd General Assembly who reflect principles of the Founders - and the Republican Party platform. In the most recent session of the legislature, Republican members have drafted bills which defend employers from unfair government intervention into business practices and preserve efforts to increase state economic progress. It is clear that Arkansas leadership values the consent of the governed and understands the limits and sources of their own power. As citizens, we too have a duty to remain watchful.