The Power Lies in the Engage and Paying Attention Electoral

The Power Lies in the Engage and Paying Attention Electoral

Published April 20, 2024

Welcome to South Carolina, where our legislators, in their infinite wisdom, are tirelessly passing laws that categorically expand the so-called “police power” of the state. It’s a stark truth we can't deny or escape: police power is essentially the government’s license to dictate how we should live our lives under the guise of public welfare. And when this power spirals out of control, it devours our freedoms in its wake.

Now, let’s take a closer look through the lens of a completely hypothetical, totally made-up (wink, wink) new law on school choice vouchers. Picture this: South Carolina decides to throw a bone to parents in the form of school choice vouchers. It’s a golden ticket, they say. Use this voucher at any private school of your choosing. Freedom of education, right? Not so fast. What they don’t tell you is hidden in the murky depths of the legislation’s fine print. To qualify for these vouchers, private schools must bow to a series of governmental standards and curricula. Essentially, Uncle Sam becomes the headmaster of your child’s private school.

Suddenly, this so-called freedom to choose looks a lot like a freedom to conform. The state, in a grand gesture of benevolence, isn’t just influencing public education now; it’s puppeteering private institutions as well. It’s akin to offering a new, shiny leash to someone who thought they were about to be set free. This clever move stifles the much needed variety of traditional educational approaches but blatantly tramples the rights of private schools and the true choices of parents and students.

By extending its tentacles into the private sector, the government effectively monopolizes even the supposed sanctuaries of educational choice. It’s a classic bait-and-switch, wrapped up in the guise of empowerment. And if these private schools dare to think independently and reject the strings attached to these vouchers? Well, they're suddenly on the wrong side of the law.

Oh, and by the way, our SC Republican General Assembly, in a stroke of what they must imagine as genius, passed a similar law last session and is already rubbing their hands in glee at the thought of expanding it. This law chokes the variety of educational options and also strangles the autonomy of private schools and the genuine choices available to parents and students. (Read all about here.)

So, what’s the real job of our legislators? Spoiler: it’s not to keep churning out more laws. Their duty is to protect our constitutional rights. Less is indeed more when it comes to government intervention. Each new law is another slice off our freedom pie, and while our lawmakers might be patting themselves on the back for their 'hard work,' they’re actually just making it easier for Big Brother to tighten the screws.

Breaking this cycle starts with us—yes, you and me. No more excuses about not having time or the process being too complicated. Engaging in our political environment turns the once daunting task of oversight into something quite manageable. It’s time to begin showing up, becoming and staying informed, and calling out the nonsense when we see it. We must be the vigilant watchdogs that our government fears and respects. Let's take ownership of our roles in a democratic republic where citizens are empowered to participate and where laws are crafted to ensure strict compliance with the constitution that protects the rights of the minority against the will of the majority.

Let’s not be lulled into complacency by the false security of a Republican majority. Party affiliation is no guarantee of constitutional fidelity. We need to keep our eyes wide open and our lawmakers on a short leash.

In plain terms, stacking up more laws isn't going to fix our issues—it'll only tangle us deeper in government red tape. If we want South Carolina to really be the land of the free, we've got to slam the brakes on cranking out new legislation and steer back to the basics of minimal government interference and maximum personal freedom. Let's get real about holding our lawmakers accountable. Remember, the true power lies with us, the voters, staying alert and involved.

Key Takeaways:

Expansion of Laws Increases Police Power: Each new law, extends the government's reach into personal choices, effectively growing the state's police power.

Active Participation Is Essential for Democratic Republic: It’s vital for citizens to stay informed and involved in the legislative process. By doing so, we can ensure that our rights are protected and that our representatives truly represent our interests.

Legislative Responsibility Should Focus on Protection, Not Expansion: The primary role of our legislators should be to protect constitutional rights, not to continuously create more restrictive laws.

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