Will Edwinson

Author & Storyteller






Greeting fellow blog followers.  I’ve been absent from this blog for a couple of months, and decided it was time to get back to it.  I recently received a copy of the Iprimis newsletter published by Hillsdale college that featured an article written by Dr. Laryy P. Arnn, president of Hillsdale College.  I thought I’d share some of his thoughts with you, and I’ve interjected some thoughts of my own as well..  So without further ado, here is my latest post.  ENJOY.


Dr. Larry Arnn, President of Hillsdale College, wrote an interesting piece in the IMPRIMIS newsletter defining the difference between American conservatism and modern day liberalism. (Side note: Our Founding Fathers were classic liberals. There is a difference between classic liberals and the liberals of today.) The Progressives have completely bastardized the word progressive from one of progress to one of regress. Dr. Arrn, in his article defines conservatism as something that conserves tried and true principles, and standards or traditions that have stood the test of time.  Progressives would regress us back to the monarchy we broke away from with the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

Classic liberalism places power of government into the hands of the people; modern liberalism places that power in the hands of government bureaucrats and agencies. Dr. Arnn, as I understand him, contends that we have evolved from a culture of law abidingness where people abided by the law because it was the right thing to do, to one of bureaucratic compliance. Bureaucratic compliance removes the power from the people and places it in the hands of bureaucrats who take on the powers of judge, jury, and executioner; making every institution in our society, including every employer, school, many clubs, and family life itself, subject to rules too complex for the lay person to understand or grasp. Even though these regulations may not always be enforced(yet)they are ever present to every American as a warning to be careful of what they do and what they say.

We haven’t quite reached the point of the three o’clock in the morning knock on the door of Stalin’s Russia, or Hitler’s Germany, but we are dangerously close. We have reached the point in our society where we comply, rather than abide, not because it’s the right thing to do, but rather we comply out of fear of what will happen to us if we don’t comply. In the words of Dr Arnn, “This has changed the way we live. ….Laws, the Founders held, must be simple, few, and constant. Then, we may all know what they are, live under them, and help to enforce them. This makes us equal, ruler and ruled.”

Dr. Arnn goes on to say that in the original government there were only four presidential cabinet members; The Secretary of State to handle our relations with other nations; the Secretary of War to look after matters  pertaining to  national defense; the Secretary of the Treasury to manage the nation’s budget and the money of the federal government; and last, the Attorney General in charge of enforcing the nations laws. That’s it, only four. Since then, twelve more cabinet positions with their bloated bureaucracies have been added.

These original four cabinet offices were necessary to the function of the government, while later cabinet offices are not that necessary, such as the Departments of Education and Energy, to name a couple. In the years prior to 1979 when the Department of Education was formed, many high school educations were more advanced than those with Bachelor degrees of today. Most of the other cabinets are superfluous as well. People had houses prior the the Department of Housing and Development; people traveled before the Department of Transportation (and perhaps if it hadn’t existed, money that has gone into that government rat hole over the years would have gone into our infra-structure). And, people traded before the advent of the Department of Commerce. The list goes on, but I think by now the picture is clear.

Will President-elect Trump be able to halt this erosion of the people’s power? I don’t know. I’ll close with a paragraph that he (President-elect Trump) allegedly wrote almost one year ago.

The United States is a land of laws, and Americans value the rule of law above all. Why then, has our Congress allowed the president and the executive branch to take on near dictatorial power?  ….What is needed in Washington is a president who will rein in the executive branch and work with Congress to make sure the legislative branch does its job.

I would expand on Mr. Trump’s words and hope that the legislative branch would do its job by reining in the over-zealous power-hungry bureaucracies as well. Congress could pull their teeth simply by cutting their budgets substantially.


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