The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Opinion: Government has purpose: ensure liberty for us all


May 24, 2020

With Election Day scheduled June 2, it’s time to ask candidates a favorite question:

What’s the purpose of government?

Many are stumped and need a little time to think about it, apparently having never before considered the issue.

The correct answer, as established by the authors of The Declaration of Independence, is short and sweet:

The purpose of government is to secure the rights bestowed upon us by the Creator — life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

We can appreciate additional details, but that’s the gist of it, which usually gets lost in the noise of policy making and morality debating.

This year’s question went to the three Republican candidates for New Mexico’s Congressional District 3.

That’s the district, historically held by Democrats, that represents most of our region.

The candidates are Karen Bedonie, Alexis Johnson and Harry Montoya.

• Bedonie did not respond to the question. From her website we learn she loves God, guns, jobs and babies.

She makes multiple references about honoring the Constitution, and she’s a good quote:

“I’m not going to follow the political recipe or word vomit half-cocked promises to win as many votes,” she writes. “I am simply going to bootstrap this 2020 election, put forth a good genuine patriotic effort and put a boot heel up Socialistic/Communistic rear.”

Montoya and Johnson did reply and, from a freedom perspective, both ended up with the right answer. Because they’re both politicians, it took them a while — 828 words for Johnson, 378 words for Montoya.

• Some snippets from Johnson, a native of Portales:

“Government must ‘get out of the way’ and enable a free-market to exist which allows humanity to reach our highest ideals. We are not nor should we ever be a society that does away with our freedom, democratic republic, or capitalism.

“We should never give up our constitutional rights such has been placed on us in New Mexico: the closure of gun storefronts, the closure of small-businesses, the mandatory wearing of masks, and the inhibiting of the right to practice religion all in a safe manner.

“Government should work for the people, by instituting a low tax-burden and creating a safe place to raise a family and do business, and must be limited at all times from reducing our inalienable rights which come, not from the government, but from God.”

• And from Montoya:

“This country was founded with the Thesis Statement of the most important document of the most powerful nation that ever existed — The Declaration of Independence — which uses the most important word — Creator — that all human beings are made in the image and likeness of God. The rights of every human being are grounded in God.

“Government did not give the right to life, government cannot take it away.

“Government did not give the right to liberty, government cannot take it away.

“Government did not give the right to pursue happiness, government cannot take it away.

“Rights come from the hand of the Creator, God, not the hand of Government.

“It is difficult to pursue happiness if one is not Free.

“... The foundational right of all rights is the right to LIFE!”

Our newspaper does not endorse political candidates, but since 1929 this space has been devoted to promoting less government and more individual responsibility.

For those who lean toward liberty, “What is the purpose of government” seems a good question to ask every candidate as we try to identify a candidate’s foundation for his/her political beliefs.

— David Stevens



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