When I was a Junior in High School I began to really pay attention to how politics have changed in this country. I would sit in my American History class, learn the Bill of Rights, the Founding Fathers, and how our government was formed. I would wonder what George Washington or Thomas Jefferson would think if they were here today. Would they recognize the country they fought for?

I left this alone for a few years. I went on with my life, only set to wonder again when elections would come up. Even then, though it would quickly fizz away as I saw whoever my Dad voted for win. Then one day, when I was 21 or so, on no more than a whim, I began to read more on our Founding Fathers and what they wanted our country to be.

I know that our founding fathers were not gods, and that they made mistakes. The Articles of Confederation are proof that they did not have all of the right answers all of the time; this nearly anarchic government was later revised and the principles of it were turned to our Constitution. What I was never taught about men like Washington, Jefferson, and John Locke was that these men were Philosophers and Scientists.

Jamestown, VA (well not VA yet obviously) was almost lost just as the Roanoke colony when Sir Thomas Dale changed their system from a state where people were ascribed positions to work to a system of property ownership. This change inspired the colonists to profit from their land and work to make the colony so successful. This was seen by Adam Smith, and inspired his book The Wealth of Nations, which in turn inspired the free market principles our Country was founded on.

It was in colonies like these that the “experiments” took place. This was when people under a tyrant had their first look at freedom, and saw their potential to flourish.

So the People who shaped our country saw what potential we had if we left people alone to prosper without their Government present to tax away their profits and dictate their god.

This is what makes our constitution so phenomenal; There was a perfect combination of men who were perfect to make this work. There were thinkers like John Locke who would read Adam Smith’s works and see how people acted in a free market economy and so far away from their King. This could almost be considered a freak accident, having so many educated, inspired, and brave people all united for a cause. It would seem that there were never a more ready people to start a new country.

Thomas Paine wrote a pamphlet labeled “Common Sense” in 1776, which he used to reason with the Colonists to join in the change, and see the potential that these people could have as a unified country. He explained that “Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness”. Paine proceeds to Show the flaw in having a King, and what a greater benefit our country would have were we to be self-governed.

The beauty of it all was that in this society, there were few rules laid by the government, and the purpose of it all was that we would all be self-governed. If something immoral or dangerous, then it is our fault to fall into something that would harm us. To oversimplify, it was perfectly legal to yell “fire” in a theater, but who really wants to cause a panic when Transformers is on?

This pamphlet seemed to push the Americans sitting on the fence into supporting the soon coming revolution. Just months later Our independence was declared, and our country would know how to operate independent of a monarch.

The idea was to have as little government as possible. To let these oppressed people be free to live their lives as they pleased, and for them to be free to accept the outcome. The government was to only have as little power as possible over its own people. Besides the Post Office, the military was the only service that was offered from the federal Government.

This is what I have shaped my political ideology around. I think that having this perspective on the United States is what we need to start when shaping our political ideals.

Heres how Walt Whitman put it, and I’ll leave it like this:

To the States or any one of them, or any city of the States, Resist
much, obey little,
Once unquestioning obedience, once fully enslaved,
Once fully enslaved, no nation, state, city of this earth, ever
afterward resumes its liberty.

Advertisements