In the Dec. 12, 2012 issue of Cityview, in the ”Your View” column, the Rev. Vernon Naffier bemoaned that we are no longer a united nation. The Pledge of Allegiance, from which several parts of Rev. Naffier letter were taken, is a pledge of loyalty to the United States, not a pledge to agree on collective goals. I believe that we, the people of the United States, are united in our loyalty to the United States, and against any person or group who would try to harm our country. But, we are not united on domestic social goals, and there is no reason that we should be.
“Liberty and justice for all” means that our government should treat all of us equally, (no special political privileges for anyone), and that our government should mostly not interfere with the activities of honest and peaceful adults. The primary and proper role of our government is to protect our pre-existing natural rights and liberties against those who would use force or fraud against us. ”Equal opportunity for all” means that our government should not do anything to prevent or disadvantage any individual or group from exercising their rights and liberties to their own best advantage.
On the other hand, our government should not give special favors or preferences to politically favored groups or individuals. Unfortunately, throughout a large part of the history of our country, our government has used its force to provide political advantages to self-serving crony capitalists, (as opposed to free market capitalists), and well intentioned collectivists, all under the guise of “providing for the common good or promoting the general welfare.” We are facing the “fiscal cliff” and can’t agree how to fix it because so many people and groups are recipients of government largess and no one wants to give up their benefits.
We need to dramatically reduce the size and scope of our government. There are many proper roles for our government. But, what is considered immoral for an individual to do does not, somehow, become moral simply because it is done by our government and approved by a majority of the people. Taxes, which are taken by force, should be used only for things that truly are for the common good and promote the general welfare, not those things which benefit politically favored groups. Unfortunately, I think it will require a major financial crisis, like that being currently experienced by Greece, for us to make the changes necessary for us to have a stable, sustainable government.
Link to Cityview article: http://www.dmcityview.com/your-view/