Quote of the Day: Distrust of Government

 

“Distrust of government isn’t baseless cynicism. It’s realism.” – Ben Shapiro

We have seen the truth of this aphorism made clear many times over the past year. Lawlessness on the part of the national government is virtually institutionalized. The latest example occurred earlier this week as the Justice Department declared parents protesting the institution of Critical Racism Race Theory being taught to their children as “domestic terrorists.” It is a clear attempt to criminalize political dissent, a process that began with the treatment of the January 6 protestors.

But in the larger sense, it does not matter whether those in government are Republicans or Democrats, your friends or your foes, or whether we are talking about government on the federal, state, or local level. You should never trust your government. Even (or perhaps especially) when you agree with their actions, never blindly accept them. Always check what they are doing and verify that they are doing what they said they would do – and that it is actually what should be done. Certainly that is what I do on the local level, where I am politically active and several local politicians are friends. They may be friends, but because they are politicians, I still don’t trust them.

It was my initial mistrust of Donald Trump, watching what he did, checking his actions, that led to my concluding he was the real deal, worthy of my support, and despite his flaws, my respect. Despite this, even to this day I do not “trust” him. I still monitor, observe, and assess, even as I support him.

Note that distrust does not mean Ahab-like obsession with rooting out an individual’s fault and flaws. It means always maintaining a healthy skepticism of an individual’s or organization’s actions and motivations. It’s like another old saying: “Is he honest? Sure, he’s honest. You just have to keep an eye on him, that’s all.”

When people fail to maintain that attitude towards government it ultimately and always leads to authoritarianism and excesses.

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  1. Mark Alexander Coolidge
    Mark Alexander
    @MarkAlexander

    Excellent!

    • #1
  2. David Carroll Thatcher
    David Carroll
    @DavidCarroll

    When the government tells me something, anything, I apply a rebuttable presumption that it is either a lie or at least inaccurate.  Only when proven true, do I believe it.

    • #2
  3. Dbroussa Coolidge
    Dbroussa
    @Dbroussa

    Trust, but verify said a wise man once and I’ve tried to live by it. I tend to extend trust too easily, and get burned, but I prefer that at a personal level. 

    I was reading the post about the Federalist interview with Trump and there was a part about his relationship with Ted Cruz that was illustrative. I, like Cruz, did not trust Trump in 2016 to be conservative. I especially didn’t trust him in re abortion. Cruz was quoted in the article at the Susan B Anthony dinner about how much Trump actually did for the Pro-Life movement as opposed to other politicians that claimed to be Pro-Life but paid only lip service. That doesn’t mean I should trust everything about Trump, but it does give a significant data point that he was trustworthy on that point and deserves a but more trust in other areas. There aren’t a lot of politicians that deserve that respect, but Trump was never a politician. 

    • #3
  4. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Seawriter: But in the larger sense it does not matter whether those in government are Republicans or Democrats, your friends or your foes, or whether we are talking about government on the federal, state, or local level. You should never trust your government. Even (or perhaps especially) when you agree with their actions, never blindly accept them.

    Amen and amen! Preach it!

    • #4
  5. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    An absolutely accurate thesis. I cringe when you refer to our federal government as the national government, although this is exactly how the Biden Administration , or any Democrat regime, will play it,  so you could have done it purposely.

    • #5
  6. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Seawriter:

    It was my initial mistrust of Donald Trump, watching what he did, checking his actions, that led to my concluding he was the real deal, worthy of my support, and despite his flaws, my respect. Despite this, even to this day I do not “trust” him. I still monitor, observe, and assess, even as I support him. 

     

    Just so. “Watch what we do, not what we say” John Mitchell once said. What Mitchell and company did turned out to be felonies (a bad look for an attorney-general). What Trump did was largely things I wanted done, or thought were worth doing. The rest of the time, his mean tweets had all the right people running around like their hair was on fire.

    • #6
  7. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Someone once said, “Trust, but verify.” I wonder who that was………………

    It’s a practice that works with all of life’s endeavors.

    • #7
  8. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    As far as trust.  The only person you can trust is yourself, even then you will let yourself down from time to time.  

    everybody else you should not be surprised when they betray you.  I am sure they have their reasons.  As for government, it can’t betray your trust since it does not have your interest in mind,  only it’s own.  Or more precisely only the interest of those in positions to wield its power, in opposition of others in positions to wield its power.  So to trust it is foolish.

    • #8
  9. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    everybody else you should not be surprised when they betray you.

    I am blessed to have a family and company to which I do not apply this maxim.

    • #9
  10. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    “Distrust of government” is also one of two forces balanced in our Constitution.  
    it is our birthright, our heritage, and God-willing, our salvation.  

    • #10
  11. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    BDB (View Comment):

    “Distrust of government” is also one of two forces balanced in our Constitution.
    it is our birthright, our heritage, and God-willing, our salvation.

    As I understand it our rights come from God unless the Federal government wants them because of the supremacy clause or some such thing.  

    • #11
  12. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Seawriter: Note that distrust does not mean Ahab-like obsession with rooting out an individual’s fault and flaws. It means always maintaining a healthy skepticism of an individual’s or organization’s actions and motivations. It’s like another old saying: “Is he honest? Sure, he’s honest. You just have to keep an eye on him, that’s all.”

    More sage advice.

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    • #12