By, of, and for Whom?

The People and the Ruling Class

Who knows best how to run the country, the ruling class or the people? Well, it depends on who you ask.

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Chuck  Colson

How is it that the American people want smaller government and less government spending, but the government is growing and spending faster than ever?

That’s one of the questions pollster Scott Rasmussen is asking in his new book, The Peoples’ Money.

Or take health care. As a Weekly Standard review of Rasmussen’s book points out, Americans believe the solution to the health care problem “is to shift power away from politicians and bureaucrats so that individuals can have more control over their own lives.”

Yet Obamacare does just the opposite. It centralizes decision making in the hands of bureaucrats, who don’t have to answer to the people.

What is going on?  Rasmussen points out something I’ve been sensing and talking about for a while now: and that’s the growing gap between the ruling elites and the people.

For instance, a recent survey by the National Journal shows that 59 percent of our nation’s political insiders believe that the American people don’t “know enough about the issues facing Washington to form wise opinions about what should be done.”

Yet as Rasmussen notes, 73 percent of American voters “trust the American people more than America’s political leaders.”

This gap between the ruling elites and the people is shocking and dangerous.

It reminds me of what my friend William F. Buckley once famously quipped: “I'd rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University.”

His pithy observation reflects a very American sentiment: that the people have within them a certain wisdom, a sense that they know how to run their lives and manage their affairs better than anyone else — including the elites, and especially the government.

Now, of course, our founders built our Republic with checks and balances — restraining not only the authority of the central government, but also the fleeting whims of public opinion. They created a constitutional republic built on a principal called ordered liberty.

The very survival of our republic depends on the consent of the governed. Abraham Lincoln said it well; our government is a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

But look at where we are today. The ruling class, increasingly cut off from the daily lives of ordinary Americans, has become an elites governmental equivalent of the Pharisees: “they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.” That’s from Matthew 23:3-4.

And the American people are fed up — from the Tea Party to the Occupy movement. The people are not being heard. This is unsustainable.

As Christians, we must be engaged, we must raise our voices. Today, I want to invite you to join me in Lansdowne, Virginia, for our “Break the Spiral of Silence” conference, March 30-April 1. Join with me, Joni Eareckson Tada, Robby George, and other great speakers. We have details for you at ColsonCenter.org.

And while you are at ColsonCenter.org, be sure to see my “Two-Minute Warning” on why we must speak out — especially when it comes to the sanctity of life.

If we stay engaged and stick together, our voices will be heard.
Further Reading and Information

Polls Apart
Mark Hemingway | Weekly Standard | February 27, 2012

Six of Ten Political Insiders Believe Public Is Ill-Informed
James A. Barnes | National Journal | March 24, 2011

Every Life Is Worth Living
Chuck Colson | ColsonCenter.org | February 29, 2012

Wilberforce Weekend Conference: Break the Spiral of Silence

Ordered Liberty
Chuck Colson | BreakPoint.org | April 28, 2006

Renewing Our Experiment in Ordered Liberty
Michael S. Joyce | Religion & Liberty | September-October 1998 


"...instead of doing things for themselves."
William, we shouldn't assume that everyone who's down on his luck and in need of help is just a bum looking to have everything handed to him by the government. Christians especially shouldn't have that attitude.

If you had simply pointed out that Obamacare is an inefficient monstrosity and left it at that, I would agree.
Reply to Mark C.
Dear Mark,

I am glad that your friend was helped by the PPACA bill that was passed. It will help a few people. However when the full effect of the bill goes into place it will hurt a lot of people in this country. It will also cost a lot of money. There is a real good chance that it could damage our economy to a point where it could go bankrupt. If you want to see what could happen here in the future just look at Greece today.

At the end of your post you state "Please do not generalize" I am not sure what you meant by that. Any government program that is proposed will help some people but when you get so many programs getting bigger and bigger it can evenually kill an economy and this will hurt everyone in the society. Please study the end of the Roman Empire and see what happens when people rely on the government more and more to do things for them instead of doing things for themselves.
By, of, and for Whom?
the insurance companies will not even quote health insurance for my friends as they had a knee replacement before 60.

So the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) signed by Obama is very good for them.

My friends had no control over their health care and now they do.

Thanks You Obama for caring about the many citizens that were cast off by the insurance companies.

Please do not generalize.