Monday, December 5, 2011

Whose Responsibility is it? by Lynn Costello

As we ponder the many problems facing America today it is easy to get lost in the maze of out of control spending, lack of leadership and accountability, intrusive and oppressive regulatory agencies, failing schools and a culture lacking moral authority.   If we delve deeper searching for the root of these problems I believe the answer will be found not in the centralized and expanding federal government, not in incompetent or leaderless politicians, but with the people themselves.  The Constitution provided for the balance of power between the federal government, the states and the people; the ultimate power, responsibility and authority residing with the people.  It is, therefore, the people who have failed to see that this perfect balance was maintained and it is the people who will have to rise to the occasion and accept responsibility, the responsibility that accompanies citizenship.

It must begin with a concerted effort to redistribute responsibilities by reducing the size, scope and functions of the federal government to those powers enumerated in the Constitution.  At the same time, the States must become sovereigns governing according to their unique geographies and particulars of their citizens.  Local governments being closest to the people are the ones first to hear from the people and should be the most open and responsive.  The people must become citizen leaders who are responsible first for themselves and their families, then to their neighborhoods and communities and finally as overseers of all levels of government that serve them.

Tolstoy’s question:  What is man’s responsibility to society which results from freedom?  Or, what responsibilities does a free man have that a non-free man does not?