I've been in lots of places this week. Early in the week, I spoke to a large nonprofit group in Kearney, Nebraska; then I met with some people in my own home church -- they are part of the group who's going to go with me to Israel in the coming weeks; I participated in a national conference call of some political activists; I spoke to the annual meeting of the Salina, Kansas Chamber of Commerce; then addressed several hundred spiritual leaders in Charlotte, North Carolina.
I've also had personal conversations with some prominent public figures who have been harassed by the government in ways that are nothing short of political persecution. I've met several thousand people this week in person throughout the country. And I've come to the conclusion that something is troubling to people wherever they live. A lot of Americans are genuinely concerned about their country, and many expressed an outright fear of their own government.
Now in a government of the people, by the people and for the people, there should never be a time when those people are afraid of their government. No, the government needs to be afraid of them.
When people talk about the dangers of "big government," most fail to explain why it's a problem. So, let me try. When government is so big that it strikes fear in the people, then it's simply too big. It means that too much power has been concentrated in too few, and a government that can frighten its citizens into a desired behavior or worse a deafening silence is already corrupt.
Our founders feared a government that might centralize its power at the national level, so what they did was intentionally construct it to be limited and largely local in nature. And to insure that there was no misunderstanding that the federal government was to be kept limited to just a few matters such as protecting our borders, and defending against military invasions, and facilitating free commerce. They even amended the Constitution to include the 10th Amendment, and that solidified that anything that was not specifically spelled out in the Constitution -- well it was supposed to be left to the states to decide.
By the way, Democrats and Republicans alike have acted with reckless disregard to this doctrine. And the result is a government so big that people really are afraid of it.
A government that can destroy a person's livelihood by regulations so expensive to keep that staying in business isn't practical; a government that can and does spy on its citizens and monitor e-mails, and phone calls, and our whereabouts.
A government that will use military like force and battering rams to swoop in with weapons drawn on the unarmed workers at a guitar company, because they suspected them of using the wrong kind of wood for the guitars.
A government that can target a public official and ruin his or her life with indictments, accusations, and then leaked evidence to the media -- and even if the charges are later dropped, that official is ruined, not only politically, but sometimes financially.
A government so big it can openly lie to us about how or why four Americans were murdered in a State Department compound.
A government that can attempt to crush a group of nuns whose sole purpose is to help poor elderly people.
And, a government that will use the power of its non-elected bureaucracies like the IRS to crush political opponents.
We must boldly declare as citizens, we've had enough. We will systematically begin the process to dismantle this gargantuan monster of federal power and return it to the states, the counties, the cities, and ultimately to the families of America.
The abuse of power must stop. We the people should not be afraid of our government. My friend, the government needs to be afraid of us.