Basic differing philosophies
1)That which is not forbidden is permitted
2)That which is not permitted is forbidden
My reading of the Constitution and Founding Fathers writings leads me to believe that they wanted #1 for the people and #2 for the government.
Obviously a lot of people in our history haven't looked on this the way I do. And a lot have.
So what is the "right" way to look at it? Isn't that the basic difference between the right and the left in our politics? Can it be that simple? Or do we absolutely have to complicate it? and if we have to , do we have to complicate it as much as we do?
"Our lives are nasty, brutish and short..." (Hobbs, I think) This idea implies that we must be controlled, ruled for our own good, and is an underlying principle of elitists, who protect us from ourselves (and them from us).
I believe the Founding Fathers had something else in mind.
We gave, and continue to give the Fed gov the power and the authority, and men in govt are using it in our name. Today, many of us feel that power is not being used wisely or prudently in our best interest in a great number of areas. We can ask, beg, wheedle, cajole, pressure, and threaten, but the plain fact is that the only time we can actually force those we have hired (elected) to be responsive to our will is through elections every 2 and 4 years, and even then, we can only dismiss those who have broken faith with us, if enough of us vote our concience and not just our pocketbooks.
We are running full tilt down a narrow path with a deep drop on either side. I suppose in some ways we always have been, but today it seems particularly clear the danger of straying too much one way or the other. What is unclear is where the path turns and the rocks in it that will cause us to stumble and perhaps fall.
I suggest that we remember Franklin, and hang together. If nothing else, we will be in good company.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.