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Why Liberty Needs Morality to Survive

Written By: Adam Graham  |  Posted: Monday, September 27th, 2010

"We will never have a limited government until we have a culture that allows for one."

Can all of America's political problems be solved by returning to constitutional, limited government? The answer given by many conservatives and libertarians is a resounding yes. Reading the Founding Fathers, the answer would generate a more complex answer. In the Federalist Papers, the authors dedicate considerable space to history's failed experiments in self-government. John Adams wrote in 1798, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." What Adams suggests is the people's character impacts our government's character. The early generations of Americans were independent minded folks. Help for those in need came from the church, the family, or the community. Citizens expected only a few limited functions to be performed by the state. In 21st century America, we expect the government to provide Social Security retirement and disability, unemployment insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, student loans, and Pell Grants. Parents expect their children to have a free public education through thirteen years of school.

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