The Idea of Limited Government

Because we are human beings, we have human rights. Those rights exist regardless of the government we live under. Each of those rights has an associated duty. For example, your right to own property creates a duty for me not to steal it, and my right to life creates a duty for you not to kill me. No government can grant rights, but all governments have a tendency to constrain rights. That tendency to erode rights is why the Constitution takes some of our human rights and places them outside of the reach of government.

The idea of a “living” constitution that could given new meanings by experts was an attempt by Progressives such as Woodrow Wilson to find a workaround to the barriers to whatever scheme they wanted to impose on society for our own good. Most of the past century saw a steady erosion of human rights through legislation, executive action, and judicial decisions with no basis in the actual text of the Constitution, but especially since 2000, there has been increasing pushback.

We now have a couple of cases before the Supreme Court that may help restore the wall between the government (even if it represents a majority point of view) and the right to life. We’ve already seen a leaked draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson that suggests the court will put the question of abortion per se back outside of the Constitution where it lay for almost 200 years. This will allow those states that wish to protect the unborn child’s right to life to do so.

We should see a decision in NY Rifle & Pistol v. Bruen soon. The oral argument suggests that the court will continue in the direction of the Heller and McDonald, and rule that the Second Amendment really means what it says. That would remove the barriers some states have placed in the way their residents’ ability to defend their right to life.

I hope I am not disappointed.

1 thought on “The Idea of Limited Government


  1. Self-serving politicians insist that government is the answer to people’s problems.

    Self-serving politicians use the resources of government to create dependency on government, using tax dollars to pay for that dependency.

    The idea of limit government can’t succeed until people un-convince themselves that government exists to take care of their problems.

    Government is just other people. The people who make up government are currently enriching themselves and expanding their personal control over the people they are supposed to represent.

    The primary tool we have to resist forced governmental control over our lives is a vote which may or may not exist.

    Have a nice weekend!

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