I’m in my seventh decade and for five of them have been a political conservative animated by libertarian ethics. And I’ve grown moreso with each passing year. In brief, that means I advocate for core principles of unfettered personal liberties and constitutionally limited government. From my now mature vantage point, I reckon that, during my lifetime alone, we the people have measurably, regrettably, lost vast ground on both counts.
Daily Post asks where the line should be drawn between government action and personal infringement. The question itself reveals the very plight of our current “state of the state.” The line was painted, ever so brightly and sharply, by the founders, specifically the framers of the constitution. And it was painted exquisitely, with remarkable genius for envisioning a most ideal system for governing a thriving free citizenry. Its unprecedented generous swath of guaranteed personal freedom, fitted against its wisely severe curtailment of government power, gave a beacon for all of civilization.
Alas, that exquisite line has been all but erased under decades of stampede by politicians and ideologues of both parties. That indictment includes jurists, too. The scope of individual liberty has been so shrunken, and the scope of governmental authority so inflated, that no one can reasonably articulate where the line is today. Nor can they predict where it will be tomorrow. The line has moved countless times, with arbitrary direction, and often with specious motive. That it cannot be reliably located gives a disturbing poignancy to DP’s question.
The only certainty, to my mind, is that wherever the line now stands, it’s beyond even the remotest precincts of the constitution. And that should scare the hell out of every American.