Many of us classify ideas, groups, and people, especially politicians, as being on the Left or on the Right, but are we basing our classifications on principles such as those held by America’s Founders? Let’s find out.
The Political Spectrum widely held during America’s Founding Era is shown above. The principles, or criteria, used to establish Left or Right is government power. On the far right is Anarchy– no government power at all. On the far left side is Total Government– tyrannical government power. Right of center, we find Limited Government and Liberty. Left of center, we find Excessive Government, also known as “Big Government.”
America’s Founders fashioned the State Constitutions and the U.S. Constitution to fit in the Limited Government portion of the spectrum, right of center. The Confederate States Constitution fits there, too. Limited governments are most protective of an individual’s God-given rights. Tyrannies are most destructive of our rights, and anarchies protect nothing at all– people must fend for themselves
When God created man, He gave him certain inalienable rights. Because men create government (and not vice versa), the rights of government are based on the God-given rights of the individual. An individual has the right to defend his life, liberty and property. Individuals can join forces to create government, but they cannot bestow powers to government that they themselves lack. Since one individual does not have a legitimate power to violate the rights of another individual, government does not have a legitimate power to violate them, either. When it does, we say that the violation is “tyrannical.” A long train of excessive abuses of power is the essence of a tyranny. A government that continually operates as a tyranny is illegitimate in the eyes of God and all men who truly subscribe to Christian principles.
Government should be powerful enough to protect our God-given rights but not powerful enough to violate them. Such a government is what America’s Founders originally established. One reason that the federal government now operates in or near the Total Government portion of the spectrum is that too many Americans have forgotten, or have never known, the Political Spectrum that made America great, and too many have little or no understanding of the principles of Limited Government and Liberty.
Note that on the Left we find Fascism, Nazism, Socialism, and Communism, all of which are examples of excessive or total government. Remember, Nazis were members of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, and Communists insist that Socialism leads to Communism. U.S.S.R. stood for Union of Soviet Socialist Republics! Communism and Nazism are not on opposite ends of the Political Spectrum as many people believe. They are very similar in the things that really matter. They give the government, and those who run it, excessive or total control of everything.
God-given rights can only be secure under a limited government. Thus, true Liberty is a way station between Anarchy (no government) on one end of the spectrum and Totalitarianism (total government) on the other end.
Preserving Liberty is no easy task. George Washington said, “Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” Like no other can, the Political Spectrum shown above makes clear what Washington meant.
So, which Political Spectrum have you been using in your political classifications and discussions? If you will start using the spectrum that prevailed during America’s Founding Era, today’s political problems will make sense, and you will understand why most modern politicians and bureaucrats are willing to negotiate the details of their excessive, un-Constitutional programs and might even scale them back a little or make a minor change, but they will only reduce their life and death power over you and our republic if we force them.
Our course is clear: Force government to reduce its power. Stop supporting candidates who refuse to do so. Work against them with all your might!