October 10, 2007

Whose News to Trust, or The Dangers of Too Big a Government

A reply often given to concerns raised about current political issues is that the news source cited can't be trusted. Yet in this day and age it is nearly impossible to find an even remotely unbiased man, let alone a trustworthy man who has the facts firsthand. Not that some aren't more trustable than others, but the level of bias, the complexity of information and the number of different people through whom information passes to get to anyone is immense. The fact simply is that I have no choice but to ask once in a while, "Well then who is a trustworthy source?"

This problem, or at least a good part of it, was foreseen but never protected against.

When the Anti-Federalists were arguing that the Constitution should not be adopted without severe fixing up, one of their concerns was that such a centralized government would be less answerable to the people.

If one sees a possible problem with the local city's actions, it is much easier to track down what is actually going on. News reporters can in many cases be bypassed if necessary, and in any case would be more personally known to their audiences. Thus the only danger left to knowing what goes on is bureaucratic messiness and lawyer-speak. The closer government will also be easier to redirect than that which is only vaguely influenced from afar. This principle makes it easier for people to push for cleaning up the bureaucratic messiness. Thus lawyer-speak itself is the only obstacle left to keeping the government in union with its subjects when the government is as local as possible.

At least one step further must be taken, of course. That is why the States exist. There are numerous issues faced by government that simply cannot be as local as a city because they by their nature defy such locality. The law of the road between cities is one good example. Another step must be taken further where there are matters of national unity beyond any individual State. When I used the city as an extreme and thus obvious example of the way more local government is answerable to its people, I was not saying it is the only way government may validly be done. My point is that the closer to the people a government is, the closer it is to being directly answerable to them.

So it was that the Anti-Federalists were very concerned that the power of the Federal government be such that it would remain in check and minimized: in order, among other things, to keep as much power as possible answerable to the people and keep that which was further off more easily answerable through there being less of it to complicate.

The modern near-impossibility of actually determining to a reasonable degree of certainty what the Federal government is really doing proves the Anti-Federalists' point on the matter of the powerful government being too far removed from the people.

Hopefully now you can see why I favor Ron Paul, someone who (while also not supporting anything I believe my vote must not support, I should say lest any fear I would ever give up the non-negotiable issues) strikes a strong cord with the Anti-Federalist concerns I see validated today. I am not deceived by some rhetoric or modern take on things. I have seen proof today that the concerns of yesterday are real concerns. Having seen this, and seeing that these are concerns that pertain to the whole issue of government (and thus any and all issues brought before government), I share the concern. It is thus from the mouths of those who spoke yesterday, through the reliability of untrustworthiness today in accord with yesterday's speeches, that I believe someone like Ron Paul is necessary to secure the future.

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Blogger ~Ambrose said...

A wonderful last sentence, and a shameless plug for RP. :P

Well, I agreed with everything in the first paragraphs. Libertarian principles must be used to combat the dangerous Federalism we are seeing today.

My only concern is that Ron Paul doesn't seem quite sincere enough to me. I would not be surprised if a politician in these days would run on one platform and govern on another.

October 11, 2007 9:57 AM  
Blogger Shakespeare's Cobbler said...

Well, I trust him mainly because the guys at The Wanderer seem to trust him and from what I hear he has a record of practicing what he preaches. As for seeming sincere, I don't know what's much more sincere than putting your positions on the line in the face of the kind of opposition he gets.

October 11, 2007 11:07 AM  
Blogger ~Ambrose said...

I don't know, I'm not looking into this election with much scrutiny, as I'll be (a month) below voting age when it comes around.

October 11, 2007 12:53 PM  
Blogger Kyle R. Cupp said...

Were Paul to become President, do you think he would have the power to bring accountability to government? What is the best one can hope for from one man?

October 11, 2007 10:37 PM  
Blogger Shakespeare's Cobbler said...

He'd help anyway, and we wouldn't have a president who'd make it worse. Plus he'd have his opinions and actions in the national spotlight for four years, which would hopefully bring about some mentality change. That's certainly better than what I can expect from the rest.

October 11, 2007 11:27 PM  
Blogger Kyle R. Cupp said...

Yes. The President can and does shape public philosophy through his speeches and actions. His philosophy should therefore be of much concern for voters.

October 12, 2007 7:50 AM  
Blogger Arkanabar T'verrick Ilarsadin said...

You might also wish to consult Harry Browne's 1996 / 2000 election polemic, Why Government Doesn't Work to see concrete suggestions as to what the President can do, without any cooperation from Congress, to fight the Leviathan.

October 13, 2007 8:17 AM  

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