The Love of Power vs. the Power of Love (part 2)

The Love of Power vs. the Power of Love (part 2)
By Lawrence W. Reed

Lawrence W. Reed is president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a research and educational institute headquartered in Midland, Mich. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is hereby granted, provided that the author and the Center are properly cited
But politics today provides a sad commentary on the ascendancy of the love of power over the power of love. We have granted command of 40 percent of our incomes to federal, state and local governments, compared to 6 or 7 percent a century ago. And more than a few Americans seem to think that 40 percent still isn’t enough.
We don’t trust the choices parents might make in a free educational marketplace, so we force those who prefer private options to pay twice — once in tuition for the alternatives they choose, and then again in taxes for a system they seek to escape.
Millions of Americans think government should impose an endless array of programs and expenses on their fellow citizens, from nationalized health plans to child day care to subsidized art and recreation. We’ve burdened our children and grandchildren, whom we claim to love, with trillions in national debt — all so that the leaders we elected and re-elected could spend more than we were willing to pay for. We claim to love our fellow citizens while we hand government ever more power over their lives, hopes and pocketbooks.
If you think these trends can go on indefinitely, or if you think power is the answer to our problems, or if you think loving others means diminishing their liberties, you’re part of the problem. If you want to be part of the solution, then consider adopting the following resolutions:
• I resolve to keep my hands in my own pockets, to leave others alone unless they threaten me harm, to take responsibility for my own actions and decisions, and to impose no burdens on others that stem from my own poor judgments.
• I resolve to strengthen my own character so I can be the model of integrity that friends, family and acquaintances will want to respect and emulate.
• If I have a “good idea,” I resolve to elicit support for it through peaceful persuasion, not force. I will not ask politicians to foist it on others just because I might think it’s good for them.
• I resolve to offer help to others who genuinely need it by involving myself directly or by supporting those who are providing assistance through charitable institutions. I will not complain about a problem and then insist that government fix it at twice the cost and half the effectiveness.
• I resolve to learn more about the principles of love and liberty so that I can convincingly defend them against the encroachments of power. And I resolve to do whatever I can to replace the love of power with the power of love.
A tall order, to be sure. Let’s get started.
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Lawrence W. Reed is president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a research and educational institute headquartered in Midland, Mich. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is hereby granted, provided that the author and the Center are properly cited

Author: maxbinkley

Creator of Leadership to the Max My experience in the military helped set the career path for me in human resources. After the military I worked for The Dow Chemical Company and left there in 1993 to venture out on my own. I purchased a small business, then a franchise then started another business in semi-retirement.

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