“The People Get The Government They Deserve”

Ramon Arias | May 24, 2016

“When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” This quote is attributed to Benjamin Franklin, even though it is questionable whether Franklin said it.  The statement is undeniable due to the devastation people create when they vote only to keep benefits “given” by the state. When all the people care about is their pocketbook, they overlook or ignore those who are forced to pay for these so-called “benefits”, thus demonstrating total disregard for the ones who are overtaxed (pickpocketed by the government) to make the coveted provisions possible.   

Many think that only people who are the beneficiaries of the government’s “generosity,” those who get provided with food, clothing, shelter, and healthcare, are the only ones most interested in voting into office those who promise to give them more of the same. Let us not forget the “other welfare” beneficiaries, the millionaires and billionaires, who look out for their benefits as well by a term better known as crony capitalism.

Corporate welfare and big government were a marriage consummated from the beginning in the new American form of government; the father of such a merger was one of the Founding Fathers named Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1755, or 1757 – July 12, 1804). Thomas DiLorenzo, Ph.D. in economics, is a professor at Loyola University Maryland Sellinger School of Business. He is also a respected historian/author whose books are well documented with facts and is the author of Hamilton’s Curse. DiLorenzo gives the reason for his book:

It is the legacy of Alexander Hamilton and his political, economic, and constitutional philosophy. As George Will once wrote, Americans are fond of quoting Jefferson, but we live in Hamilton’s country.

The great debate between Hamilton and Jefferson over the purpose of government, which animates American politics to this day, was very much about economic policy. Hamilton was a compulsive statist who wanted to bring the corrupt British mercantilist system — the very system the American Revolution was fought to escape from — to America. He fought fiercely for his program of corporate welfare, protectionist tariffs, public debt, pervasive taxation, and a central bank run by politicians and their appointees out of the nation’s capital.

Jefferson and his followers opposed him every step of the way because they understood that Hamilton’s agenda was totally destructive of liberty. And unlike Hamilton, they took Adam Smith’s warnings against economic interventionism seriously.

While I don’t think Hamilton foresaw the damaging legacy he left, nor that his ideas would lead the new nation into socialism and back to a tyrannical government; I have no doubt he should have recognized that his departure from the biblical form of government, in time, was going to be chaotic. 

In spite of all this damage created by Hamilton, we should not blame him for the problems we have. It is always easier to blame politicians, wealthy people and those in leadership as the sole culprits. Let us not forget that We the People accepted the responsibility to be the guardians of the new nation and its civil servants. In our form of government, the people are ultimately responsible for keeping the federal, state, county and city governments in check.  So, who dropped the ball?

The first generation that fought for independence shed their blood and died for their liberty. They made the transition from colonists into a nation with a common goal, which was to gain freedom at all cost, even willing to pay the ultimate price for themselves and future generations. Never in their wildest imagination did they think that the freedoms they gained were going to transform and introduce such decadence from one generation to the next. The Independence generation received biblical teachings from the Christian pulpits of the knowledge of God’s sovereignty, righteousness, and judgments. Such knowledge brought into perspective the legality of God’s ownership of the nations and the world. They knew only too well that ultimately people are accountable to Him. These teachings led people to understand that of utmost importance is self-government, which is where all forms of government originate in society. This kind of mindset was dominant, and they knew better than to leave anyone appointed to public service unchecked. James Madison wrote in Federalist no. 51: "If men were angels, no government would be necessary.  If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary."

The citizenry’s vigilance over their government should become as vital as that of breathing; it’s the price to pay for real liberty, progress, and social stability.  The moment one generation forgets the price paid for freedom they begin to set their eyes and affections in the wrong direction. Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821) in 1811 stated: “Toute nation a le gouvernement qu’elle merite.” ("Every nation has the government it deserves.") Another favorite version is: “In a democracy, the people get the government they deserve.” The saying I am most familiar with since my childhood is that “The people get the government they deserve.”

Contrary to popular opinion, America’s problems are far from political. Losing site of the biblical worldview is the leading cause of all the instability and moral madness generated by the twisted view of the promoters of pluralism in the market of ideas. When the majority of Christians accept reality and acknowledge the profound impact apostasy has on this nation and the outcome of its future, then they will be able to look back at this country’s foundation, take up the unadulterated banner of God’s revealed truth once again, and reclaim what past generations neglected to do.

During Colonial times, Christians faced a period of moral and spiritual decadence as they embraced what was afflicting Europe—spiritual apostasy. The Enlightenment hit the European lukewarm Christians hard. It was the result of a decadent Protestant church, the acceptance of false gods like logic, reason, and scientific laws, which replaced faith in biblical absolutes. The biblical principles were set aside, which were the only principles that for centuries had given real meaning to life and the world. Christians in colonial America were finally able to respond differently to the Enlightenment's fallacies when they accepted the reality of the pathetic spiritual and moral condition and that the Christian complacency of the institutionalized church was the main culprit. They decided to do something about it.  

Then came the Great Awakening that swept the colonies in the 1730s and lasted into the 1770s. This spiritual awakening in North America also spread to the European continent. What was this spiritual move all about?  It was about a return to a personal relationship with the God of the Bible and the application of His Word to the incorrect church doctrines and the fallacies of the clergy’s teachings that were finally exposed. It was a move that returned the colonies to a greater Christian unity never experienced before as the Puritan teachings were embraced anew. 

Without the First Great Awakening, there would be no United States of America. Can Christian America return to her original American dream and move the nation to the next level of greatness from God? It is entirely up to Christians; they will determine which way the country will go; they will define this if they stop the pluralistic, multiculturalism irrationality and their acceptance of a political correctness agenda and surrender and come under God’s order once again.

Every time old Israel forsook God’s moral law they fell into apostasy. One of the symptoms they manifested was their dislike of being self-governed, not knowing that ultimately this would lead to being governed by tyranny. Before Israel collapsed and destruction came by the Babylonians, Israel received warnings from the prophet Jeremiah:

“Your evil will chastise you, and your apostasy will reprove you. Know and see that it is evil and bitter for you to forsake the Lord your God; the fear of me is not in you, declares the Lord God of hosts. Jeremiah 2:19

In 1682, William Penn (1644 - 1718), founded the Christian government of the colony of Pennsylvania and stated the following:  “If thou wouldst rule well, thou must rule for God, and to do that, thou must be ruled by him....those who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants.”

The Founding Fathers were the product of the First Great Awakening. When they fought against Britain, they were not in rebellion against God, only against the oppression of tyranny. In August 1776, they proposed the first national motto, Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.” 1

The Manifesto of the Continental Congress clearly expressed obedience to God: 

“We, therefore, the Congress of the United States of America, do solemnly declare and proclaim that. . . . [w]e appeal to the God Who searcheth the hearts of men for the rectitude of our intentions; and in His holy presence declare that, as we are not moved by any light or hasty suggestions of anger or revenge, so through every possible change of fortune we will adhere to this our determination.” 2

What then is our only efficient and proven option? If “The people get the government they deserve” then people better elect and supervise their elected officials knowing that no individual is above God’s law. Most of all, there must be a return to the governing biblical principles; there is no other positive and more promising alternative.