Charlotte Hays

Obama administration. They are expected examples of what happens any time government gets too big for its britches. Lois Lerner, the IRS official who said she was taking the Fifth rather than divulging information to mere members of Congress, wasn't just the face of the Obama IRS. She was the face of big government: haughty, unresponsive, and utterly determined to play by a set of rules not available to us peons.

This is the sort of statement conservatives get in trouble for, but here goes: these scandals, awful and sickening as they are, are a godsend. This may be our last "teachable moment," as President Obama likes to say, to show people why government is to be distrusted--not just this government, but any government. Only if we are skeptical about government we will have a rationale for reining it in and curbing its abuses. We can't shrink government if half the country loves it.

So this is our fork-in-the-road moment. On one side is President Obama.

President Obama has no doubts about the goodness of government.

Government, in Mr. Obama’s universe, “is the only thing that we all belong to.” President Obama believes that government should grow and grow, intruding ever deeper into the nooks and crannies of our private lives. Are you overweight? Do you smoke? Uncle Sam thinks this is his business. This is not what was intended in 1787, when the Constitution was adopted with—allow me to note--no provisions whatsoever with regard to personal weight management.

On the other side, the Founding Fathers offer another path. A path with a government of limited power, a few, clear, critical responsibilities, and one that is held accountable to the people. I love my country. But I distrust my government. And, I believe that’s a healthy perspective to have.


Charlotte Hays

Director of Cultural Programs at the Independent Women's Forum.