Growing up, my stepmother was every evil cliche imaginable, and then some, but from her I learned how fault can be found with anything, and how things can be easily twisted and spun. I would be told to clean the bathroom, and with her that meant no speck of dirt, nor single hair or smudge could be found anywhere, on anything. I would spend hours cleaning it, and at the end she would ask me if I were done. Upon answering yes, she would hunt for any flaw, and inevitably she would find one. A hair would have settled from the air, or a speck would have been missed.Of course this took me immediately to one of my favorites quotes, from Daniel Webster:
And she would say “you lied to me, you were not done. You see? You can’t do anything right. Now, are you done?” And, invariably, I would clean the speck and nod and agree that I had missed the spot and was, in fact, not done. The routine of humiliation repeated for every task, and every thing I ever did. I soon learned that it was not about the cleanliness of the bathroom, it was about raw power, about breaking me down so that I would view myself as beneath her. The new nobility does that to Americans every day.
Our government is much like my stepmother in this. Take any freedom you now possess. The possibility exists that some will misuse it. Some will use their freedom to speak to spout ugly, nasty things. They are the speck in the bathroom. Then they are brought out and paraded before the populace as reasons freedom isn’t good. The bathroom is not clean, they will say, for this flaw was found in it. Then laws will be proposed to regulate the speck, and to combat it, and soon all freedom to speak is lost.
Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.This is why I am a conservative. This is why I want limited government which operates within enumerated powers.