Government. You may not want to pause and think about the word government, as it may conjure up only negative pictures in your mind such as—Taxes? Politicians? Washington, D.C.? A heavy hand looming over the people of the United States?
What is the true purpose of government?
To conservatives, the federal government has become an establishment ordering we the people about—when in truth, we the people should be in control of the government.
Flip through a dictionary to the “G” section, trace your finger down the pages, and you’ll find that the definition of the word govern is somewhat along these lines: “To rule by right of authority.” In 1788 the people gave our federal government the right of authority to rule. This is true because it was the people who ratified the U.S. Constitution into law. Think of it in this way. By setting up a government, the people merely gave up to representatives what they could not conveniently do themselves, such as making and enforcing laws and collecting taxes.
Believe it or not, government exists to preserve and protect our rights. We need government for this reason. When it does not protect our rights, it is no longer a help, but a hazard, to the people. A good government will preserve and protect our rights, and nothing more.
Today it can be disheartening to see how far the federal government has strayed from its original duties and overstepped its boundaries. But creating an awareness of this fact can be the first step toward putting the people back in charge. We need to wake up and see what is happening. So, in answer to the question, what is the true purpose of government, Thomas Jefferson has the best and simplest reply—“It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all.”