Small Government, The Constitution And Other Crimson Herrings.

In response to loborncrazypants saying the following:

“The Conservative agenda is simply to have a small, constitutionally limited government.  Such an agenda ensures the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  The liberal agenda of building Big Government destroys life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as we are seeing first hand from the Obama Administration.”

I stated the following:

Read more of the constitution, not just the first amendment. The framers weren’t worried about “big” government as in spending, they were worried about a “big” government that tramples peoples’ rights, tells people who they can marry, whether they can have an abortion, what church they have to go to, decides what speech is free and what is restricted etc.

The FCC is an example of the kind of “big government” you should be worried about, not food stamps or medicare which are designed, to quote the constitution, to “promote the general welfare”, as stated in both the preamble and the text of the constitution.

This nonsense about constitutional government is propaganda designed by the wealthy few to convince the vast majority of americans to screw themselves so that bill gates has to pay less taxes.  Ever notice that virtually every single pundit, politician and major CEO is in the top tax bracket?  They are anti-welfare because it doesn’t benefit them specifically, and they rail against government restriction of unsafe corporate practices in the same way a mobster wouldn’t support law enforcement.


About agnophilo

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5 Responses to Small Government, The Constitution And Other Crimson Herrings.

  1. Eh, I think she’s half right. Limiting government is implicit even in the first amendment “congress shall make no law.” It doesn’t say anything about the states. At the time, state constitutions didn’t have to match the federal constitution (not until the 14th amendment) and that gave them power. The point of the constitution was to give the federal government just enough power to keep the country together. Nothing more. Of course farmers weren’t worried about spending, they were dealing with making a government from scratch. What kind of brand new government would have any kind of money to spend? They weren’t worried about abortions so much though. As for “what church to go to”, yeah they didn’t want to be told to go to one instead of the other, but most thought that people needed to go to some kind of church. The FCC can get away with what they do because the first amendment doesn’t say broadcast is speech.  (It really couldn’t since broadcast technology didn’t exist at the time, but it’s a loophole that has been exploited.) They would argue that they do promote the general welfare anyway. The Minerals Management Service sounds like it should promote the general welfare, but they share some responsibility for the oil in the gulf with BP. There’s not a “kind” of federal government bureaucracy to look out for, it’s all part of the same entity. There are for sure some greedy motivations behind the conservative movement, and a lot of misinformation. However there are legitimate concerns, when a government gets as big as ours is, with bureaucracy, accountability, and transparency. There is always a compromise. Get rid of big government and you do get rid of ineffective parts that don’t do much, but like you said, you also get rid of helpful things like welfare, and the security of knowing that if your bank defaults you aren’t shit out of luck. 

  2. agnophilo says:

    @MysticalInverseDrummer – I agree with the last paragraph, I don’t see how the MMS stuff is relevant, the constitution protects free speech and freedom of the press.  You could argue by the same token that it doesn’t protect the speech of people using sign language or that newspaper writers can say whatever they want, but the government is allowed to tell them what they can and can’t write because writing isn’t “speech”.  It’s a ridiculous interpretation that ought to be struck down.As far as the first paragraph, what has the founders’ personal opinions about religion have to do with anything?  Many thought churches were abhorrent, I don’t see how it matters.  They designed a system where the state stays out of the religion business.And the first ammendment doesn’t say “congress shall make no law” it says congress shall make no law that does a specific set of things, which means the exact opposite, the right of congress to make and pass laws, just not some kinds.The constitution, patriotism, communism, “big government” etc are slogans people campaign on rather than doing the difficult work of forming a coherent position on the issue at hand which is logical and defensible and good for the country.  Politicians know that if they shout “that’s unconstitutional” many will believe them out of ignorance no matter how wrong they are.

  3. grammarboy says:

    I agree a bit with both of you. I can’t really say what the intent of the constitutional framers was, but as for me, I just want a smaller, more limited government in general. This means less spending and less regulation, which go hand in hand.

  4. @agnophilo – What the founding fathers thought makes some difference to people who say we should think as they did. Not something I believe but something that’s important to know. But I agree I shouldn’t have left that in the comment. I really was going to just delete the whole thing but… I made my bed so now I’ll lie in it. The constitution specifying congress has been interpreted by the courts as meaning that it applies to the federal government. The 14th amendment specifies that states fall under the federal government. The importance is that from that point on, the federal government had more power, which included the power to expand. As for the FCC I will go as far as to say that I believe it is unconstitutional. Broadcast isn’t in the constitution because it literally couldn’t be. But to say that the FCC is something to worry about and that welfare isn’t because welfare promotes the “general welfare” doesn’t seem right to me. (that’s a dumb sentence). Government bureaucracy does things we like and things we don’t like. Being able to have intelligent conversations about it is what helps, not relying on the past notions of what government is. I was sorta agreeing with you I just did it poorly. And some of my conclusions were reached in slightly different ways is all. 

  5. helvetebrann says:

    You actually bothered responding to the crazy?You have far more patience than most of us.

Speak yer mind.

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