Growing up in Chad, I thought the government was the president, his ministers, and the local administrators. In general, the ministers and local administrators, who were nominated agents, were either directly related to the president or those who were connected to the president’s entourage. They were called ‘les gens qui ont les bras long,’ meaning ‘people with long arms.’
The president was all powerful. During the weekly meeting, each one of his ministers briefed him and took orders. As he was the most powerful man, people who were related to him and his entourage had the ability to reach levels of uncommon success. This was and is normal in most African countries where connections with government officials are necessary for individual success.
In the United States of America, the Constitution clearly indicates that the government is a balance of power between the Executive, the Legislative, and the Judiciary branches. This means that not one branch or person in either branch has power over the other branches and the people they serve. The roles of the three branches are ‘to protect and to serve’ as explicitly expressed on most police cars.
During the last four years, with the Democratic Party ruling, we can clearly understand that the government is presented as if it were the Executive branch, represented by President Obama, and assisted by the Senate. There was no surprise when a veteran senator Chuck Schumer (D, NY) wasn’t able to name the three branches of the government. Government is no longer an institution that serves and protects, but one that provides for people according to well designed criteria. Government transformed into fatherhood.
Columnist Charles Krauthammer described it well when he stated that ‘Obama’s Vision Places Government, Not the People, first.’
The fundamental question one asks is where does the government get the means to provide when it is a public institution? The government collects taxes in order to function. As such, We The People provide for the government to work on our behalf. But this fact seems to be forgotten by President Obama and most Democrats.
As a reminder of the importance of the government, President Obama bashed entrepreneurs and successful individuals, insinuating that their success cannot be exclusive of the government’s contribution. He clearly stated that “Look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own.” This can be possible only if the government doesn’t collect taxes. But as long as it does, it is still working for the taxpayers, who should be the ones taking credit for any governmental accomplishment. We paid for the exploration of the moon, building roads, the internet, the national defense, and public education, etc. As Mark Steyn recently said, “we paid for those roads.’ We also pay for the consequences, positives and negatives.
When I heard the president saying ‘the private sector is doing just fine’ and that ‘you didn’t get there on your own,’ it reminded me of politicians and leaders from my native country and other developing nations. Senator Mark Rubio (R, FL) characterized it as ‘Left wing third world leader.’ Economist Thomas Sowell characterized it as ‘trashing achievements.’
America is known to be the land of the free, the land of opportunity, and the land of big dreams. The sky is the limit. Yet, daily, the current president and Democrat leaders constantly remind people that they are worthless without the government. In my opinion, the government can contribute to hindering success through excessive rules and regulations. Former President Ronald Reagan clearly indicated that ‘government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.’
I love freedom and limited government ever since I discovered America. I had thirsted for freedom I didn’t know it existed anywhere. Most people in America never experienced an all powerful government. I wonder why so many people clap their hands when collectivism has failed everywhere.
Let’s stand up and encourage freedom to succeed instead of promoting government dependency.
Justus Lotade-Manje was born in Moundou, Chad, the second of nine children. He has a PhD in Agricultural Economics from Texas A&M University and we welcome him as a new contributor to The George Jarkesy Show Webpage.