You are here:

The Real Purpose Of Government By Geraldine Godfrey

Before you join in with the chant of government FOR the people, BY the people and OF the people, I feel we need to delve a bit deeper. Within the last two decades or so, the real purpose of government has gotten lost. The word ‘government’ itself by definition is three distinct things. It refers to a Group of people who control and make decisions for a country, state or any other body of individuals. Government is also referred to that particular System used for controlling a country, state, etc. Lastly Government refers to that Process or manner of controlling a country, state, etc.

Our American government has some basic core principles which were established by the founding fathers and those principles are embedded in the Constitution of the United States. Those core principles are popular sovereignty, limited government, separation of powers, checks and balances and federalism.

Popular Sovereignty means that the government is to operate only with the people’s consent and authority. We, the People, are the source of the government and its power, not vice versa. Popular Sovereignty is designed to prevent the government from overstepping its boundaries and becoming a dictatorship. It is the opinion of some that the aftermath our last presidential election, is beginning to slightly ‘resemble’ some form of dictatorship opposite of what the founding fathers wished. Again, We, the People, must hold elected individuals accountable. American is still a nation of laws, irrespective of the opinions social media. Popular Sovereignty also helps leaders understand their roles as public servants rather than tyrants who think that they don’t have to answer to the people that they govern. This has been on full display the last week with many town hall meetings where some representatives were too afraid to show up and hence some were canceled or the venue changed at the last-minute where the People could not attend. It is ironic where some people are calling for smaller government but with over 320 million people in this country-what do you expect?

Separation of Powers divides the government into three branches: Legislative, Judicial and Executive with three distinct roles. It was not the intent of the founding Fathers for a few people to have all of the power. Checks and Balances reinforce the separation of powers. One example is that the President has the Veto power against congressional legislation and Congress can impeach the President.

However it was the federal government which stepped in and ruled that blacks no longer had to sit in the back of the bus; had the right to be served at public lunch counters and restaurants; enjoy city parks, live anywhere you want to live, and the list goes on and on. However it was never the role of government to Forever clothe me, feed my kids, parent my children, pay my rent and coddle me to the point where I don’t want to do anything for myself. It is We the people.