A lot of understanding how the Constitution works and how to protect our liberty from the government comes down to common sense and a basic knowledge of human nature. In most situations in life, we naturally apply what we know about human nature to protect ourselves from someone taking advantage of us or harming us in some way.
Think about it. When you walk into a car dealership, do you take everything the salesman says at face value and blindly accept that he only wants to do what’s best for you? Of course not. You are skeptical of everything he says because you know that he is primarily working for his own best interests, not yours. That’s just human nature. Regardless of how nice the salesman might be, the ultimate goal is to sell you a car for the highest price possible.
But for some reason, a lot of us completely abandon this basic knowledge of human nature when it comes to government and our politicians. Whenever there is a politician or a party that we like, we desperately cling to this “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”-style belief that our representatives sincerely want to do what’s best for us.
For example, last week the Senate narrowly defeated a proposal to change the First Amendment in a way that would give Congress the power to regulate political speech. As I explained this weekend on TheBlaze Radio’s Chris Salcedo Show, this move has absolutely nothing to do with what’s best for the American people (cue to 1:14):
Whenever our politicians come out with a proposal like this, we have to apply the same knowledge of human nature that we use when we are dealing with a car salesman. We always have to ask ourselves the same question: Why? Why would they do this?
The Democrats proposing this change to the First Amendment claim that they are nobly trying to get the money out of politics so that regular Americans can have a voice in the political process. But why would they do that? Why would career politicians voluntarily give you and me a tool that we can use to challenge their power?
Common sense tells us that they wouldn’t.
The obvious reason why these career politicians support this idea is because it protects them. When we give Congress the authority to regulate political speech, we are effectively giving them the power to decide who gets to speak out and who doesn’t. As soon as any groups start to gain popularity by criticizing the current political establishment, Congress is going to do everything they can to silence those groups.
I know there are some good-hearted Americans who don’t want to believe our politicians would actually do that. But it’s not a hypothetical anymore.
The IRS scandal proves that our politicians are willing to go to extraordinary lengths to silence their political opponents. There are a lot of people inside the Washington, D.C. beltway that would salivate over what they could do with the power to regulate political speech. And if we are ever foolish enough to give them that authority, there’s no doubt that they will make the most of it.
Despite the obvious dangers of giving members of Congress the power to decide who is allowed to criticize them, a lot of Americans still support that idea. For some reason, we love to believe that the politician or party that we like is the one that is truly looking out for the regular people.
But human nature tells us that people will almost always do what’s best for themselves before they do what’s best for others. Politicians are no different. We have to remember that just like the car salesman, politicians are working primarily for their own interests, not yours.
The positive side to all of this is that a lot of Americans actually have a very good understanding of exactly how human nature works. If we can ever get them to apply that knowledge to their views on government, we’ll finally be able to start earning some of our freedom back.
Chad Kent is an author and speaker with a unique style that makes the Constitution simple and fun. Listen to Chad every Saturday during The Chris Salcedo Show on TheBlaze Radio and visit his web site at www.ChadKentSpeaks.com.
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