What has destroyed liberty and the rights of man in every government which has ever existed under the sun? The generalizing and concentrating of all cares and power into one body, no matter whether of the autocrats of Russia or France, or the aristocrats of a Venetian senate.”
It’s just a fact that concentrating power in one area will lead to the destruction of liberty. Government power is a lot like radiation. In small amounts, radiation can cure cancer. But if you concentrate too much of it in one area – like a nuclear bomb – it will destroy everything in its path.
This is why the Founders were so careful about widely distributing power when this nation was formed. Power in this country was divided up not only among the three branches of the federal government, but also throughout many state and local governments.
But over the last 100 years, we have continually transferred more and more power to Washington D.C. – and more specifically, to the executive branch. We’ve gotten to the point where our federal government now has control over our health care and – in some cases – what we eat. As Jefferson points out, history tells us this won’t end well for us.
This isn’t a theory – we know that concentrated power destroys liberty. We can’t continue to disregard the experience of history and expect to keep our freedom. That would be like continually increasing the dose of radiation for a cancer patient and assuming that it wasn’t going to kill him at some point.
So we can either continue on our path of giving more and more power to Washington D.C. or move in the direction of more evenly distributed government. Either way we know what the result will be – it’s up to us to choose freedom or tyranny.