Balancing the Size and Scope of Government

I remember sitting with my great grandfather, James Willis Hinson, and listening intently to his stories when I was a young boy. Grampa Hinson was born in Franklin County, Tennessee in 1863 at the height of the American Civil War. Like me, he was an infant when his father was drawn into combat. Thankfully, he wrote a personal memoir when he was in his nineties, which my Aunt Estellee promptly edited and self-published as a small book entitled "From the Summit of My Years" for distribution to family members across the United States.

His father, my great great grandfather William Jackson Hinson, joined up with the Army of the Confederacy at the age of nineteen and fought against his older brothers, Leroy and Merrill, who fought for the Federalists. Poor sharecroppers who never owned a slave and didn't know any, they laid their lives on the line over principles of governing, like their free darker skinned sharecropper neighbors did.

Although he subscribed to the notion free people need to be governed by a common understanding, ruled by a fair and just authority, and protected by a shared volunteer militia, Grampa Hinson rejected abusive taxation, saying, "No government can give anything to anyone without first taking it from someone else. What one person gets without working for, someone else has to work for without enjoying. When somebody gets the idea they don't have to work because someone else is going to provide for them, and those who are working realize what they are working for is being taken to give to someone else, you should expect a fight."

Having no government creates a breeding ground for anarchy and chaos. A little government is vital to the stable prosperity, security, and well-being of free people. Too much government creates a breeding ground for anarchy and chaos.

Eric ScottComment