Monday, August 20, 2007

Constitutional government's last stand

I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution or that have failed their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is 'needed' before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents 'interests', I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can.

— Barry Goldwater, The Conscience of a Conservative (PDF)
There's a reason why you no longer hear politicians pledging to subordinate themselves to articles of government that preclude sentimental maundering and flippantly simple make-it-up-as-you-go interpretation: "Broken promises are not the major causes of our trouble. Kept promises are."

[Quote sourced from Samizdata]


Leslie said...

Wow, what a clarifying read in that PDF. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Ron Paul is as good as Goldwater on domestic socialism, and he isn't a warmonger. He's a stay-at-home goalie for freedom.

He'll never get elected - the Warfare-Welfare complex wouldn't tolerate him. But the truth is inextinguishable.