May 21 2013

Supremacy in Government

Any component of government that is declared as supreme over the other parts of government is liable to produce tyranny and/or corruption in some form. It was obvious to our founders that no single individual should be vested with ultimate power or even any single group of people or branch of government. The debates at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787 centered around this issue. The arguments were about representation, elections, issues with the slave trade and how to choose judges. But in each of these issues, the underlying principles that drove the debate were how to prevent the new government from decaying into tyranny.

The drafters of the Constitution knew from their studies of history that the track record of governments throughout time was fairly constant. However well intentioned they began, eventually they would deteriorate by finding some flaw that allowed power to coalesce into corruption and abuse of the power and eventually complete tyranny.

The history of liberty is a history of limitations of governmental power, not the increase of it.
– Woodrow Wilson