Dear Conservative South Carolinians and Legislators,
In our nation's journey, the majority of the founding fathers stood out as pillars of wisdom and vision. They weren't just political figures; they were guardians of an idea – an idea that government should be a platform for freedom, not a cage. They championed the values of limited government, individual freedoms, and a deep respect for the Constitution. They saw government as a servant to the people, not a master, with every law and decision measured against the yardstick of personal liberty and responsibility.
PAUSE: The Constitution is an amazing law of the land constructed to constrain government and not the people. Hence the reason it starts with “We The People.”
ANOTHER PAUSE: Thomas Jefferson, one of the most influential founding fathers, who famously said: "I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them."
Now, let's talk about the heart of conservatism – it's 100% about keeping the reins tight on government power. It's not some abstract theory. Its principles ooze ensuring that the government doesn't stick its nose where it doesn't belong. Think of this principle as a guardian, standing watch to ensure that the government stays out of our personal and business lives as much as possible, letting us, the people, figure things out and trusting that when left to our own devices, we're capable of making decisions that lead to growth and prosperity, not just for ourselves but for our community as a whole. To be blunt, conservatism is a shield to ensure government stops meddling in every decision a person makes.
However, it's disheartening to see a trend where the very folks who should be championing these values are the ones pushing for more and more laws. Since when did Conservatives advocate for more government infringement? It's as if we've forgotten that with every new law comes a new restriction, a new piece of our freedom chipped away. And with every new law, the Left is waiting on the sideline for the perfect opportunity to use it to advance their agenda. The other part about adding new laws is the inherent risk of legal plunder, which is running rampant due to the enactment of tons of government handout programs. Government programs lead to inefficiencies, dependency, and an unfair burden on taxpayers. Examples of “legal plunder” programs: welfare, food stamps, school choice vouchers, and forgiveness of college tuition debt.
PAUSE: The concept of “legal plunder” originates from the 19th-century French economist and writer Frédéric Bastiat, particularly from his work “The Law.” (Love this essay!) Bastiat used this term to describe the process by which the law is used to unjustly take property from one person or group and give it to another, essentially using the government’s legal framework to redistribute wealth in a manner that he deemed unethical or unjust.
The fix isn't a mountain of new laws; it's a return to common sense. What we need is getting back to the rule of law, where we enforce the laws we already have and get rid of the ones that don't work. We need to cut the red tape, making life simpler for everyone – from the small business owner to the parent deciding when and how to educate their child, the young entrepreneur starting her business to the family trying to make ends meet. We need to get back to empowering communities to come together, solve problems, and innovate without waiting for some distant bureaucrat to give the nod.
Yet, here in South Carolina, a so-called Red State (meaning a Republican majority), we're seeing something troubling. Despite our state being led by a majority that claims to uphold conservative values, each session of our General Assembly seems to bring a flood of new legislation that only serves to bloat the government further. This is just disappointing. It's a betrayal of the very principles we conservatives stand for. Bills that start with the best of intentions often get twisted into something unrecognizable, burdening us with more rules and less freedom. It's a sneaky process, and by the time we realize what's happened, it's too late.
PAUSE: The intention of a bill is irrelevant once it becomes law. It's the letter of the law that we live by, and if that letter spells out more control, less freedom, then it's a step in the wrong direction, no matter the original intent.
To our Conservative Legislators, I urge you to remember what this country stands for. We're not just a random collection of laws and regulations; we're a community, a family, bound together by a belief in freedom, responsibility, and the pursuit of happiness. Every time you consider a new law, ask yourself – is this truly in service of those values? Or is it just adding to the pile of constraints that chip away at our liberty?
We don't need more laws. We need better stewardship of the freedoms entrusted to us by our forebears. We need leaders who understand that their role is not to govern every aspect of our lives but to safeguard our ability to live those lives as we see fit. We need leaders who will stand against compromise legislation and vote no if such legislation contains even one sentence of governmental overreach. It is time to start protecting not just our right but our ability to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
In closing, remember that more laws mean more government, and more government means less freedom. That's not the path laid out by our founding fathers, and it's not the path that will lead South Carolina, or our nation, to its fullest potential. Let's choose a different road, one paved with respect for individual liberty and a deep-seated belief in the power of the human spirit.
Together, we can honor the legacy of those who came before us, ensuring that the flame of freedom they lit continues to burn brightly for generations to come.
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