Good Government for a Good People

By Rodney Dodsworth – March 6, 2016

Conservatives must get beyond their heartfelt belief that electing fellow conservatives is sufficient to restore republican free government.

Electing only Godly, virtuous people to office is of course the ideal. While no republic can survive a government of crooks, it is unreasonable to expect all angelic politicians any more than our society at large was ever composed entirely of angels either. Our constitutional Framers knew this, that men at large were neither entirely good nor bad.

Family, society, churches, and even government institutions of the founding era openly promoted the Christian ideal. Still, society had its share of criminals and dishonest men.

Since un-virtuous people will always be among us, yet the foundation of our republic is the people, the great question in 1787 was how to form a government strong enough to defend the nation, yet designed so that it would not eventually usurp our unalienable rights?

Not entirely virtuous men gathered in Philadelphia to create a government that allowed for a significant proportion of un-virtuous men. The new plan divided necessary powers. First and foremost, it provided a vertical separation of authority, between the near plenary powers of the states, and enumerated powers in the federal government. State participation in one half of the legislative branch was a guarantee that all powers could not drift upward into a national, consolidated government.

The long-term beneficial effect was enormous. The freedom enhancing structure of the constitution set the stage for the transformation of a non-angelic, largely subsistence farming people of 1787 into a wildly prosperous, second tier industrial powerhouse only a hundred years later.

As experience and history have shown, we never have and never will elect 100% good and pure, altruistic men and women to govern us. Our governmental structure must once again provide for this.

Just as the desperate people of 1787 recognized that the structure of government under the Articles of Confederation was not conducive to freedom, and they boldly took the risk of reorganizing their government into one that did, we must acknowledge that we face similar circumstances.

Absent a senate appointed by state legislatures, all powers were certain to eventually flow upward. It is way beyond time for us to acknowledge a mistake, the 17th Amendment.

As America did in 1787, we must once again return to transcendent truths, that sending some virtuous men and women to political office is an insufficient safeguard, that undivided power inevitably results in undivided tyranny. To possibly save what remains of free government, power must once again be divided. The 17th Amendment must go.

Article V.

Article V Blog