View Poll Results: What is the main role of government?

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  • To uphold the constitution

    34 55.74%
  • To keep America safe

    7 11.48%
  • Other - please explain

    20 32.79%
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Thread: What do you believe is the chief role of government?

  1. #81
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    Re: What do you believe is the chief role of government?

    I do think it's important that our government upholds the Constitution. I also think that government should see to it that every American is provided an attainable path to success, regardless of sex, race, disability, orientation, or class.
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    Re: What do you believe is the chief role of government?

    Quote Originally Posted by lizzie View Post
    The constitution didn't ask what anyone could do for their country. It laid down the concepts for protection of the individual, and his liberties, from the government. It was about liberty, not governance (except in how it was to be limited), nor collectivism.
    Well you are entitle do your opinion. but many constitutional scholars and lawyers disagree.
    "Those who do not learn from history and condemned to relive it".

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    Re: What do you believe is the chief role of government?

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfman24 View Post
    Well you are entitle do your opinion. but many constitutional scholars and lawyers disagree.
    What evidence to you see in the founding documents, which implies that collectivism was a concept which the founders were concerned about? I hardly think that the federal government being given the responsibility of defense, or that the BOR is addressing collectivist concepts, but do indeed lay down what the rights of the individual are, in relation to the government.
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    Re: What do you believe is the chief role of government?

    Quote Originally Posted by samsmart View Post
    Actually, the constitutions of the states would also be considered null and void, as the current people of those states did not form their own social compact either.
    That's an interesting take. So because I didn't sign the constitution of my state it is null with respect to me?

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    Re: What do you believe is the chief role of government?

    Quote Originally Posted by BCR View Post
    I do think it's important that our government upholds the Constitution. I also think that government should see to it that every American is provided an attainable path to success, regardless of sex, race, disability, orientation, or class.
    Your second statement appears to contradict your first.

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    Re: What do you believe is the chief role of government?

    To deal with issues that affect all of society, i.e. the commons.

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    Re: What do you believe is the chief role of government?

    Ideally - to serve the people.

    In reality - to serve themselves.

  8. #88
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    Re: What do you believe is the chief role of government?

    Quote Originally Posted by Federalist View Post
    That's an interesting take. So because I didn't sign the constitution of my state it is null with respect to me?
    That is correct.

    The justification our Revolutionary Fathers found in breaking away from the British Empire was that the Englishmen of the American colonies had formed a social compact with the government of Great Britain. When Great Britain abused it's power against the rights and liberties of the Englishmen of the American colonies, the Revolutionary Fathers had a casus belli for independence.

    Thus, according to laws of natural rights, all people engage in a social compact with their government. In such a compact, people hand over a number of their rights and liberties to the government and in return the government provides any number of services to it's people, especially as a means to protect the rights and liberties their people still maintain.

    For example, without government, if a person is wronged he may use deadly force on his own in recompense for that wrong. Under a system of government, people hand over that ability to use deadly force as recompense to the government so that the government may institute a system of courts to ensure fairness when someone is wronged.

    However, the most radical thinkers who believe in a system of social compact believe that such a compact must be rewritten every so often. After all, how can one generation of people write a social compact and expect their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to abide by it. That's like saying that I sign a contract to work for a company, but that my son and grandson must also abide by too.

    Thomas Jefferson believed in this so much that he suggested that we have a new Constitution written every 19 years. He chose the number 19 years, essentially every time a new generation came about.

    But what this also means is that our federal Constitution is something of an illegitimate social compact as well. After all, women, African-American slaves, and Native Americans had no say at all in it's writing even though the U.S. government demanded that such people abide by it's laws.
    Also, we need to legalize recreational drugs and prostitution.

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    Re: What do you believe is the chief role of government?

    Quote Originally Posted by samsmart View Post
    However, the most radical thinkers who believe in a system of social compact believe that such a compact must be rewritten every so often. After all, how can one generation of people write a social compact and expect their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to abide by it. That's like saying that I sign a contract to work for a company, but that my son and grandson must also abide by too.
    Interesting thoughts. I wonder what would happen if the people in my state of Pennsylvania decided to rewrite their social contract and if one area (say Pittsburgh) chose not to sign on the dotted line but chose to form their own separate contract. The idea of local self-rule appeals to my de-centralist sensibilities. Or what if one single household decided not to sign on. Sounds like anarchy, frankly, but it certainly would allow maximum choice for people to sign up with the contract that was in their best interest.

    Interesting thoughts for a monday morning.

  10. #90
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    Re: What do you believe is the chief role of government?

    Quote Originally Posted by Federalist View Post
    Interesting thoughts. I wonder what would happen if the people in my state of Pennsylvania decided to rewrite their social contract and if one area (say Pittsburgh) chose not to sign on the dotted line but chose to form their own separate contract. The idea of local self-rule appeals to my de-centralist sensibilities. Or what if one single household decided not to sign on. Sounds like anarchy, frankly, but it certainly would allow maximum choice for people to sign up with the contract that was in their best interest.

    Interesting thoughts for a monday morning.
    Yes, but it is important to keep in mind that there are some benefits to centralization if authority.

    One is in regard to military defense. Militarized do better when there is a rigid hierarchy, even among various groups. This is why NATO has formalized the military ranks of its members so the enlisted of one country can serve under the officers of another country.

    Also, it's why the Continental Congress agreed to form a unified Continental Army. I believe it was John Adams of Boston, Massachusetts, who espoused this. But he had to recommend a Virginian, George Washington, to be the commander-in-chief if it. It was do the Southern colonies would not fear a sake over by the North.

    Also, one reason why the Hatfield/McCoy feud went on as bloody as it did was because if problems in extradition.

    There are other benefits as well, such as mutualuzation of government debt, and standardization of infrastructure.

    So the social compact is not necessarily an excuse for decentralization. After all, it is typically the federal government that protected civil rights and liberties of African-Americans and other minorities when state governments infringe upon them.

    Rather, it points out the need to write a divide compact on a national scale.
    Also, we need to legalize recreational drugs and prostitution.

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