Ed Feulner

By choosing a republic, where the governed control the government -- not the other way around -- the Founding Fathers displayed faith in the individual’s ability to know better than any elected or appointed official what is best for himself and his family. That’s why they created a Constitution that protects our God-given rights from government. The government does not grant those rights to us as citizens.

If you believe we are granted our fundamental rights by the government, then you are more likely to seek additional favors from the government. If the government is the granter of all good things, what is to stop someone from thinking up more good things that could and should be granted by government?

Yet our government is not Santa Claus writ large, and our rights are not wish lists drawn up by eager tots on Christmas Eve. The Constitution does not grant us the wonderful rights we embrace; it handcuffs the government from infringing upon them. Or at least, it used to be that way.

Some might be tempted to conclude that the American experiment has failed. I take a different view. We’ve faced tougher problems in the past, yet our optimism has prevailed.

There’s no reason why we shouldn’t overcome our current difficulties as well -- provided we adhere to the virtues and values that constitute the American Spirit.

Ed Feulner

Dr. Edwin Feulner is Founder of The Heritage Foundation, a Townhall.com Gold Partner, and co-author of Getting America Right: The True Conservative Values Our Nation Needs Today .
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