The founding fathers, of course, would have found this attitude puzzling, to say the least. First of all, they would have considered it ridiculous to simply assume good intentions on the part of anyone in power, and they would have deeply distrusted the idea that even well-intended expansions of power wouldn’t be dangerous. The only sane form of government, in their view, would be a greatly limited government with powers constrained to those absolutely necessary to protect our natural rights. And those rights, we can safely say, don’t include a right to unobstructed miniature golf.
Americans are becoming more and more accustomed to the idea that government should have power to do “good” things, not just those things necessary to defend our lives and liberty. And as a consequence of this gradual shift in attitude our freedoms are more at risk every day.
Again, consider these new rules being proposed by the Bush Administration: in order to achieve the well-intended goals of making the lives of the disabled a bit easier they will be requiring, on pain of federal fines or prosecution, millions of private individuals and businesses to spend billions of dollars to comply. Because when it comes to federal regulations, the simple rule is comply—or else.
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