Freedom versus limited government

To the Editor:

Limited government was ridiculed in a recent Smoky Mountain News article. Most Americans are strong believers in limited government because we believe in our individual rights. 

These rights (such as free speech) must be protected against a powerful and abusive government. Freedom of speech limits the government’s ability to prevent citizens from speaking their minds and opposing the government. Freedom of speech is not only for the press and journalists — it is for everyone. 

This is a powerful limit on the government. So limited government is a good thing. People around the globe have been arrested because they choose to speak out against their governments. 

In America, we are seldom arrested for excising our freedom of speech. But some of our other liberties are not so well guarded. 

That means that a powerful government can take away your freedom of speech … freedom of religion … freedom to bear arms … put us in jail without probable cause …  spy on our cell phone conversations and internet messages … use drones … and abuse the power of the IRS to intimidate us. Ordinary citizens must limit the power of the government or it will be abusive. 

In general, as our government over-reaches into all areas of our lives, Americans do not approve. As the original extremists (Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and Ben Franklin, etc.) remind us, “Any government powerful enough to give you anything you want, is powerful enough to take away everything that you have.” 

Our rights come from God; they are not given to us by our government. This is important. When the government is limited, it means that individual people have more power. So power to the people implies a limited government. Governments take freedoms from people in many ways. 

So it is our job as good citizens to fight back against the government’s desire for more power and to limit the abuses of the government.

Freedom is not free; it must be fought for everyday. Limiting government ensures freedom. I will even protect your freedom to disagree with me.

Lynda Bennett

Maggie Valley

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