Dr. Eugene Paslov proposed in his recent column that we become more like France. But behind the hedonistic daily lives in most European capitals is a modern aimlessness where the traditions that have defined civilization " marriage, family, religious faith " are becoming irrelevant relics. The ideas of our Founders are being discredited by some as anachronisms of a bygone era.
The Founders understood the historical significance and uniqueness of the constitutional republic they established. They gave us a system of limited government, separation of powers, federalism, the rule of law, and basic rights endowed by God, not man; a nation where self-determination, property rights, freedom of speech and worship, individualism, self-reliance and, above all, liberty would define the lives of the people and the actions of the government.
The Constitution was not drafted for the purpose of guaranteeing low-interest home loans, universal health care, a college education, or six weeks of paid vacation a year for each citizen, or to provide the government with the means to forcibly redistribute the wealth of individuals. To imply so is to trivialize this inspired document.
But the Constitutional restraints on government power are being peeled away before our eyes, and we've gone astray from the founding principles of proper government. Is a Eugene Paslov, or a Barack Obama, or a George Bush in the slightest measure able to conceive of a better system of governance than James Madison, Thomas Jefferson or George Washington? I think not.
Our Founders established a nation where people are equal before the law; where each person has the opportunity to prosper according to their ability and willingness to work toward attaining the benefits available in a free society. That does not mean equality of outcome. It could never be so in a nation were liberty is to have any meaning.
Equality of outcome, economic and social uniformity, universal entitlements that have not been earned " these are the vain promises of all collectivists, socialists, Marxists, fascists, dictators and tyrants in all places and in all ages.
The defining characteristic of all such ideologies is that the will of a small minority is imposed upon the whole nation. Misery, servitude, suffering and death are historically the result.
We must not yield to the central planning aspirations of the collectivists or emulate other nations who would follow that road to serfdom, as F.A. Hayek so eloquently warned us more than a half century ago.
If we continue down the current path of statism, then the exceptional character of our nation will be lost and our inspired and unique Constitution will become a faded parchment with no efficacy in the lives of "We the People."
We will have squandered the best system of government ever conceived. We will have traded liberty for false promises and utopian deceptions. We will, in short, become like " France.
- Craig DeFriez is a structural engineer and a 20-year resident of Carson City.