Why We Need Constitutional, Limited Government

Phil Jensen


government_fThrasymachus was right.

Not exactly the beginning that causes people to read on or generate mouse clicks, but keep going, I think it will be worth it.

Who was Thrasymachus?

Rick Kriebel 2016


He is a Sophist protagonist in Plato’s Republic and he posed a statement to Socrates, “I say that justice is nothing other than the advantage of the stronger.”

In the following excruciating pages, Plato attempts to have Socrates prove this precept to be untrue by getting Thrasymachus to admit he could teach a ruler to be wise, yet, he inadvertently proved that Thrasymachus was right in describing the world as it is. In his seeming unending screed, Plato eventually constructed a governing body of “philosopher kings” who he presumed would rule wisely and avert Thrasymachus’ prescription of might makes right. And those unlucky folks who went to the wrong philosopher school could just kick rocks and take what they get.

Plato disproved himself by requiring there be wise philosopher kings to impose morality as they see it. If people were virtuous on their own, why would the force of government be necessary to impose rules? That was still might makes right.

Woodrow Wilcox


Why does this matter?

America is witnessing the transition from a Judeo-Christian based culture and government where rights are conferred by God and just government is instituted to secure those rights, to a government and society which rejects this notion, preferring to merely have privileges allowed by government — which can be transferred or rescinded on a whim.

We now have become a society that wishes to be kept safe from alternative points of view, which wants to remove religious symbols from non-believer’s eyesight, and where chalked letters T-R-U-M-P cause entire college campuses to go into therapy.

The post-modern governance is best summed up by two separate incidents involving Harvard Law School.

The first revolves around a Harvard Professor, Mark Tushnet, who is advocating that Christians, traditionalists and constitutionalists, the presumed losers in the culture war be treated like the Nazis in post-World War II Germany, writing, “The culture wars are over; they lost, we won… My own judgment is that taking a hard line (‘You lost, live with it’) is better than trying to accommodate the losers, who — remember — defended, and are defending, positions that liberals regard as having no normative pull at all… [T]aking a hard line seemed to work reasonably well in Germany and Japan after 1945.”

In short, might makes right. This astounding piece effectively eviscerates any notion of minority rights in our culture in this new post-modern America, even though it is this very constitutional protection that allowed the atheist, non-traditionalist movement to grow unshackled.

Of course the First Amendment freedom of religious expression is not even a relevant point when it comes to imposing the will of the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender community on the church and other Bible believers. It’s not enough to agree to disagree. In Tushnet’s view, those who follow Biblical teachings should actually be compelled to abandon God in order to be part of the public place, no longer free to express or even conduct themselves according to their religious beliefs — just as the Nazi party was banned in Germany after 1945.

It is this imposition of the left’s cultural values on the entire nation that threatens the very heart of constitutional protections of rights. We’re no longer allowed to disagree.

Anyone familiar with various cases around the nation where Christian businesses have been forced by state governments to either go out of business or cater to gay marriage mandates can see where this leads.  Might makes right in the brave new world that Thrasymachus argued for, and little things like the Bill of Rights are not even speed bumps in the way of the new governing class.

Either join their revolution willingly, or the state will ensure compliance as mandatory.  Even though the Bill of Rights was constructed to stop those who would impose their will via government upon others. So much for the Enlightenment.

The second involves the Harvard Law School crest which has come under attack because it is the crest of the family that founded the law school in 1817 – a family of wealthy Massachusetts slave holders.  After some Harvard law students protested the shield of the school they chose to attend, Harvard Law School has decided to wipe it away along with the history – good and bad – that it represents.

The irony is the former crest of Harvard Law School contains a single word – veritas – the Latin word for truth.  A tidy metaphor for the new age in America where truth must be erased at all costs to avoid hurting feelings.  But also truth is the exact word that Jesus used to describe himself in front of Pontius Pilate and that Pilate scoffed at saying, “Que es veritas” or what is truth?

Thrasymachus was right. That is, once the restraints on government are let loose, the powerful will seek to impose their will on the rest of us. And America’s Ivy League philosopher kings know it, which is why they are hell-bent on imposing their new morality that doesn’t have room for dissent or discussion.  And it is why we need a Constitution, Bill of Rights, and the primacy of the rule of law — to stop them.



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Rick Manning is the President of Americans for Limited Government and the former Public Affairs Chief of Staff for the U.S. Department of Labor. Americans for Limited Government is dedicated to putting the principles of limited government into action. They work with local groups across the nation to promote freedom, limited government, and the principles of the U.S. Constitution. Their goal is to harness the power of American citizens and grassroots groups in order to put the people back in charge in states across the country.
Rick Manning
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