You have to hand it to Harry Reid: he doesn’t do anything by halves.

This time it’s this statement, which he made on the Senate floor:

“Madame President, we have a situation where this country has been driven by the tea party for the last number of years.  When I was in school, I studied government, and I learned about the anarchists.  Now they were different than the tea party, because they were violent.  But they were anarchists because they did not believe in government at any level, and they acknowledged it.  The tea party kind of hides that.  They don’t say: “we’re against government” but that’s what it all amounts to.  They’re not doing physically destructive things to buildings and people, directly.  But they are doing everything they can to throw a monkey wrench into any form of government, whether it’s local, whether it’s state or federal government.  That’s what it’s all about.  And so anything they can do to throw a monkey wrench in the wheels of government, they’re happy doing that.  And I’m sorry to say my friend from Oklahoma is helping them, maybe not directly, but indirectly, and that’s wrong.  Government is not inherently bad, government is inherently good.  That’s why we have a Constitution.”

I’m not sure I even know where to start.

Well, there’s this – did you notice that Harry Reid is admitting that the tea party isn’t violent?  Well, he says they hide it, so I had better say “openly violent.”  I suppose that’s something, especially after a full week of conservatives being barraged with insinuation that “right wing extremists” were responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing.  But that’s about all that Reid got right.

The notion that government is inherently good is ridiculous.  Just a few examples from recent news:

If your terrorists might also be on welfare,… your government might not be inherently good.

If your government locks down a city and violates the Fourth Amendment,… your government might not be inherently good.

If it’s trying to pass an internet security bill that kills privacy,… your government might not be inherently good.

If it’s attempting to pass an internet sales tax that would kill small business,… your government might not be inherently good.

If it’s demonizing people for exercising a fundamental right,… your government might not be inherently good.

If it’s inventing new “rights” while attempting to repeal the ones actually codified in the founding documents,.. your government might not be inherently good.

This was a no-brainer for the Founding Fathers.

“Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.” – George Washington

“The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.” – James Madison 

“In questions of power then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.” – Thomas Jefferson

“There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.” – John Adams

Even the Declaration of Independence makes this clear:

…That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…

It’s quite clear that the Founding Fathers had a great understanding of human nature, and the ease with which ambitious men can twist the machinery of government to their own purposes.  It’s why the Declaration states that we are ENDOWED with rights, and that they do not come from government.  Government’s only role is to secure those rights which already exist.  If a government gave us our rights, then how easily they would think they could remove them when said rights became inconvenient to those in power.  The Constitution was written specifically to bind the government, to keep it within its proper borders, not to bind the people.

But somehow these heinous ideas, that government is good (and more government is better) and that rights come from government, have taken hold in our culture.  We can chalk some of that up to the abysmal state of public education in many places in the country.  But in truth, the Left has been pushing these ideas for a very long time, and many people are just now feeling the effects of that mentality.  They aren’t good.  And they’re only going to get worse if we allow that mindset to go unchallenged.

As Andrew Breitbart said: “If you can’t sell freedom and liberty, you suck.  Profoundly.  Irrationally.”

It’s time to polish up the wares and work on our pitch.  Go find some great videos at Learn Liberty, or Bailey Connell, or GoRemy, or Sunny TV, and start speaking in the language of liberty.  If we have to be liberty salesmen, even if we have to go door-to-door, we’d better steel ourselves for it, and get busy.  It would be a damned shame if our rights went up in smoke because we were too afraid to learn how to sell our ideas.  It would be a tragedy if the Constitution was shredded, a clause at a time, because we were afraid to speak up and engage people in conversations in our everyday lives.