Originally Published: July 13, 2000 7:15 p.m.
Last Monday fellow talk show host and columnist Justin Green related to federalism versus anti-federalism. Many citizens do not comprehend the difference in political philosophy between federalism and anti-federalism that influences politics and the direction of our government.
A careless proofreader at the Daily Courier misspelled Justin's reference to our being columnists, misspelling "columnist" as "communist." I am not now, never have been and never will be a communist. I have attacked communism throughout my life and will continue to do so. Atheism and communism are one and the same, the work of the devil.
Justin is a liberal Democrat, not a communist. Justin the liberal and Thom the conservative independent urge all Americans not to lose sight of our history, to read about our founders, the Declaration of Independence and the debate of the delegates to the first and only Constitutional convention. Revolutionary patriot Patrick Henry stated, "I know no way of judging the future but by the past."
Most of the founding fathers including Washington, Adams and Jefferson, unlike Hamilton and Madison, were anti-federalists, fearing big, all powerful, federal government. Jefferson said, "Wise and frugal government which shall restrain men from injuring one another shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. That government is the strongest of which every man feels himself a part. I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves, and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion by education." Even Federalist Hamilton later wrote, "If the government is in the hands of a few, they will tyrannize the many, if in the hands of the many, they will tyrannize the few." James Madison stated, "Knowledge will forever govern ignorance. A people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power that knowledge gives." Patriot Henry Clay said, "Self government is the natural government of man."
Justin is correct when he ways I berate the "republicrats" for not defending the anti-federalist position that I hold so dear. A majority of politicians of today are federalists because they want to secure their power and build their pensions for as long as possible. A majority of our citizens are not federalists. They are anti-federalists, anti-big government and do not trust many of our politicians. Sadly, they no longer vote believing their vote will not change anything. Some are predicting that 50 percent of registered voters and less than 25 percent of voting age Americans will vote next November.
The writings of the founding fathers indicate they did not intend for those elected to public office to make a lifetime career of any political office. If they were alive today they would advocate term limits.
Albert Einstein stated, "Any government is in itself an evil insofar as it carries within it the tendency to deteriorate into tyranny." Ralph Waldo Emerson: "The less government we have the better, the fewer laws and the less confided power." Barry Goldwater: "A government big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away." French scholar and politician Pinochet stated, "Nations of the world are divided into two classes, nations in which government fears the people and nations in which people fear the government."
Federal government is too big and is still growing. Clinton and Congress have not decreased the federal bureaucracy. We have far too much intervention in the lives of individual citizens with too many federal paper shufflers. Gerald Ford said in 1975, "You don't need a lot of bureaucrats looking over your shoulders telling you how to run your life or business. We are a people who declared our independence 200 years ago and we are not about to lose it now to paper shufflers and computers."
In 1964 Ronald Reagan said, "No government voluntarily reduces itself in size. Programs once launched never disappear. A government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life on this earth."
God save our Republic!
(Thom Strawn was a political activist for 30 years, and is now a prime-time TV and radio talk show host residing in Prescott.)