on Liberty!

Guardians of Freedom-Unpacking Non-Partisan Solutions for American Governance in the 21st Century


In the grand tapestry of American history, justice, opportunity, and freedom have been the vibrant threads interwoven into our national ethos. From the cobblestone streets where our Founding Fathers debated the principles that would shape our nation, to the classrooms of today where eager students learn about the architecture of our government, these principles have steadfastly guided us. Yet, there exist two starkly contrasting perceptions of American governance: the pristine, idealistic version we imbibe in our classrooms, and the more convoluted reality that unfurls in the corridors of power.

The lessons of our grade-school civics are imbued with a sense of profound admiration for a system designed to balance power and ensure the liberties of the governed. This system, as eloquently encapsulated in our Constitution, paints a triptych of coequal branches of government: a legislature to pass laws, an executive to implement them, and a judiciary to interpret them. It is a system conceived with the intent to act as the guardian of our freedoms, to forestall government overreach, and to maintain a robust accountability to the citizenry.

However, in the lived reality of American governance, we find a portrait that diverges from this hallowed ideal. Power, in practice, has often been funneled towards the executive branch, administered by career bureaucrats whose actions seldom face the scrutiny they warrant. The notion of a “deep state” is no longer a fringe conspiracy theory; it has taken form as a palpable political reality.

This dissonance between our idealistic understanding and the complex reality warrants our earnest attention. It compels us to revisit our founding principles, to realign our system with the vision of justice, opportunity, and freedom for all that our Founding Fathers championed. As we embark on this exploration, let us do so with a spirit of non-partisan camaraderie, for the issues at hand transcend party lines. They are fundamentally American issues that beckon us to stand united in pursuit of a more perfect union.

II. The Problem

As we cast our gaze upon the current state of American governance, we find a landscape that has subtly shifted from the vision conceived by our Founding Fathers. Our cherished idea of freedom, an ideal that was meant to be safeguarded by the intricate balance of power, appears to be under strain. The issue at hand? The slow but steady consolidation of power in the executive branch and within the confines of unaccountable bureaucracies.

Our founding documents brilliantly choreographed a delicate dance of power, a ballet performed by the legislature, executive, and judiciary, each with their distinct yet harmonious roles. This was not simply an intellectual exercise, but a profound commitment to freedom — a check against any one arm of our government exerting unchecked influence and potentially suffocating the rights and liberties of the American people.

Yet, the dance seems to have faltered. The once vibrant ballet of power has devolved into a solo performance, with the executive branch increasingly taking the center stage. Under the auspices of the executive, career bureaucrats — unelected and largely unaccountable — now exercise a significant sway over the policy-making process. A stark departure from the democratic accountability our forebears envisioned.

This trend does more than simply distort the distribution of power; it has profound implications on the ideal of freedom. When policy-making becomes the purview of a select group, we encounter a dilution of representative democracy. Decisions that should reflect the collective will of the people, instead echo the preferences of the few. The potential for abuses of power, the very thing our Founding Fathers sought to prevent, becomes an unsettling reality.

Our federal workforce, the lifeblood of our government operations, is not immune to this skew. The scenario where Democrats outnumber Republicans nearly two to one among career federal employees presents a partisan imbalance. This further complicates the ability to advance policies that may be opposed by the majority within these bureaucratic structures, threatening the diversity of thought and action that is vital to a healthy democracy.

This is the conundrum we face: a system that on paper promises the equitable sharing of power and protection of freedoms, but in reality, struggles to uphold these noble ideals. It is an issue that challenges our commitment to justice, opportunity, and freedom — a challenge that we, as patriots, must rise to meet.

III. The Impact on Freedom

Freedom – the word resonates with an unrivaled power in the hearts of Americans. It is the cornerstone upon which our great nation was built, a beacon that guided our Founding Fathers as they painstakingly crafted the blueprint of our governance. A close reading of our founding documents — the Constitution, the Bill of Rights — uncovers an enduring dedication to this principle. They sought to ensure that every American had the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, unfettered by the overbearing hand of a tyrannical government.

Our forefathers understood the inherent dangers of concentrated power. They were survivors of monarchical rule, witnesses to the oppression that ensued when authority was vested in the few. Their experiences informed the design of our government – a system of checks and balances meant to distribute power and keep it from consolidating in any single entity. They believed that this framework would safeguard our freedoms, allowing democracy to flourish in the fertile soil of justice and equality.

Yet, as we look at our contemporary governance structure, we must confront the unsettling reality that our system seems to be veering off its intended course. The concentration of power in the executive branch and the influence of unaccountable bureaucrats pose a genuine threat to the freedoms our Founding Fathers held dear.

When agencies issue regulations that carry the force of law, when administrative judges preside over trials without juries, we see an erosion of the principles etched into our Constitution. These developments chip away at our freedoms, transforming the government from a servant of the people to a potential master.

Unchecked power can breed abuses, and unaccountable actions can foster injustices. Each time we allow the encroachment of executive power, each time we turn a blind eye to bureaucratic overreach, we risk compromising the very freedoms that our Founding Fathers fought to protect. We undermine the spirit of representative democracy and the very essence of our nation’s vision.

As we grapple with these shifts in the landscape of American governance, we must hold fast to our founding principles. Freedom, that precious right, must not be squandered. We must vigilantly protect it, for it is the lifeblood of our nation, the promise of our past, and the hope of our future.

IV. The Ah-Ha Moments – Light Bulbs of Realization

Ah-Ha Moment 1: The Call to Action

As we gaze at the tapestry of American governance, it becomes increasingly clear that we have strayed from the original vision of our Founding Fathers. Power has slipped from the hands of the many to the hands of the few, and in the process, the freedom we hold so dear has come under threat. This realization, while disconcerting, is not a call to despair but a summons to action.

This is our first ‘Ah-Ha’ moment: the recognition that the current state of governance, though a departure from our founding ideals, is not an insurmountable problem. It is, instead, a formidable challenge calling for our attention, our courage, and our collective action.

It would be easy, perhaps even comforting, to view the concentration of power and the rise of unaccountable bureaucracies as partisan issues, to point fingers and place blame. But this moment demands more from us. It requires us to step beyond the boundaries of party lines and to view this challenge through the lens of our shared American identity.

Our nation was born of the belief that power should rest with the people. It was nurtured by the dedication of leaders who believed in the principle of freedom for all. It has grown under the shadow of the Constitution, a document that enshrines the values of equality, justice, and liberty. This shared history, this collective commitment to freedom, must now guide us as we seek to restore balance to our system of governance.

We have the tools to face this challenge. Our Constitution provides the blueprint. Our shared love for freedom offers the motivation. And our belief in the power of democratic action gives us the means. We can implement thoughtful, non-partisan reforms that realign our system of governance with the principles our Founding Fathers envisioned. This is not just an ‘Ah-Ha’ moment – it’s an opportunity for change, for growth, and for the reaffirmation of our commitment to the ideal of freedom.

V. Unpacking the Solutions

1. Rebalance Delegation of Authority

The concept of delegating authority dates back to ancient Greece where philosophers such as Aristotle and Plato discussed the distribution of power among the polity. In the modern context, this involves restoring the legislative branch’s rightful place in law-making and reducing the undue influence of the executive branch. The Founding Fathers, drawing from the wisdom of these philosophers, ensured that no single branch of the government would hold all the power. Today, we see a concerning tilt towards the executive branch. To address this, we need to revisit the laws and regulations which have expanded the executive power beyond its original remit. By doing so, we can restore a balance where legislative, executive, and judiciary act as effective checks on each other, as originally envisioned in the Constitution.

2. Revise Civil Service Protections

Civil service protections were designed to prevent political interference and promote fairness within the public sector. However, they can sometimes impede accountability and efficiency. By revising these protections to balance both rights of employees and the need for accountable public service, we can uphold the virtues of justice and efficiency that were highly valued by our Founding Fathers. This revision could involve creating clearer metrics for performance evaluations and making the process for dismissing underperforming employees more straightforward, thereby ensuring that the public sector is driven by meritocracy and accountability.

3. Transparency Measures

Transparency is a fundamental tenet of a democratic society, tracing back to John Locke’s philosophy of government’s obligation to its citizens. By implementing measures to ensure transparency, we not only hold our bureaucrats accountable but also rekindle the public’s faith in governance. This could include mandatory public disclosures of decision-making processes and lobbying efforts, bolstering the Freedom of Information Act, and harnessing technology to make government workings more visible to the public.

4. Checks and Balances within the Executive

The idea of checks and balances is deeply rooted in the Constitution. Instituting checks within the executive branch would curtail the potential for overreach and abuse of power, which aligns with the principle of freedom as our Founding Fathers envisioned. This could be achieved by strengthening internal oversight bodies, and ensuring their independence from political pressures. This would serve as an internal check within the executive, helping to keep the power of bureaucracy in check.

5. Civic Education

Knowledge is power, as Francis Bacon famously said. A citizenry educated about their governance system is less likely to let it stray from its foundational ideals. A renewed emphasis on civic education, particularly regarding the Constitution and the principles of checks and balances, would help Americans understand the importance of maintaining these pillars of our democratic system.

6. Merit-Based Hiring and Promotion

The principles of meritocracy date back to Confucian philosophy and are central to the functioning of an efficient and effective bureaucracy. Implementing a merit-based system for hiring and promotion within the civil service would ensure that positions are filled by qualified individuals, reducing the risk of unaccountable or inefficient bureaucracy.

7. Legislative Review of Regulations

To ensure that regulations align with legislative intent and public interest, a stronger role for the legislative branch in reviewing regulations is needed. This could take the form of a requirement for Congressional approval of significant regulations, enhancing the democratic oversight of bureaucratic actions.

8. Term Limits for Bureaucrats

Term limits, a concept championed by political philosophers like Montesquieu, can prevent the entrenchment of unaccountable power structures within the bureaucracy. By rotating civil servants through positions regularly, fresh perspectives can be brought to bear on policy issues, reducing the risk of stagnant or self-serving decision-making.

9. Political Balance

Our nation’s Founding Fathers were deeply aware of the dangers of factionalism. Ensuring a politically balanced bureaucracy can help to guard against partisan decision-making and maintain the civil service’s role as a neutral implementer of policy. This doesn’t mean imposing quotas or discriminating based on political beliefs, but promoting a culture of impartiality and ensuring a diversity of perspectives are represented within the civil service.

10. Enhance Judicial Review

The concept of judicial review, a cornerstone of our constitutional system, serves as a powerful check on the executive and legislative branches. Enhancing judicial review of bureaucratic decisions can provide a further check on unaccountable power within the bureaucracy. This could involve revisiting doctrines such as Chevron deference, which gives agencies considerable leeway in interpreting the laws they are tasked with enforcing.

Ah-Ha Moment 2: The realization that these solutions, while challenging, offer a feasible path towards restoring the balance of power and accountability envisioned by the Founding Fathers. These solutions represent a blend of old wisdom and new ideas, a testament to the enduring relevance of our founding principles and the adaptability of our democratic system. They remind us that the system can, and should, be continuously refined to better serve the American people.

VI. Call to Action

The path towards a more balanced, accountable, and freedom-centered governance starts with us, the citizens of this remarkable nation. It is our duty, just as it was the duty of our Founding Fathers, to safeguard the principles of justice, opportunity, and freedom that are the bedrock of our society.

Engage with your local and national representatives. Make it clear that you support these reforms, and you want them to do the same. The power of the people is strongest when our voices are united and our purpose clear.

Participate in public consultations. The Federal Register and the websites of various government agencies regularly post notices for proposed rulemakings and invitations for public comment. It’s a direct way for you to influence the rules being made and the way they are enforced.

Raise awareness in your communities. Speak to your friends, family, and neighbors about these issues. Post about it on social media. Write op-eds or letters to the editor in your local newspapers. The more people are aware of these issues, the more pressure there will be on politicians to act.

Consider joining or supporting organizations that are fighting for these reforms. The Federalist Public Committee (FPC) is one such group, dedicated to rethinking and reshaping the way our government operates, to better align with the principles laid out in our Constitution.

Remember, this nation was built on the belief that government is of the people, by the people, and for the people. It’s not just our right, but our responsibility to ensure it stays that way. Our Founding Fathers left us with a system capable of self-correction, and it’s up to us to activate it. Let us heed this call to action and work to restore the balance of power in our government, ensuring it serves us all, just as our Founding Fathers intended.

VII. Conclusion

As we navigate our way towards the concluding thoughts of this discourse, we must not lose sight of the urgency and necessity of our mission. The freedoms, the opportunities, and the justice that were envisioned by our Founding Fathers to be the bedrock of this great nation are at risk. We have mapped out the complexities of the current state of American governance, examining the prevalent problems and articulating potential solutions that promise a transformative reform. Although the road to such reform might be long and winding, it is an essential journey that we must undertake to protect the freedoms that we so deeply cherish.

The task is monumental, but we do not face it alone. There are esteemed organizations, like the Financial Policy Council (FPC), tirelessly working towards making significant strides in this area. By leveraging their expertise in financial policy and economic research, they provide a strong voice advocating for the kind of reforms that would foster transparency, balance, and accountability in our governance.

The power to change our governance, to ensure it reflects the ideals of our Founding Fathers, lies within our hands. We have the capacity to ignite this change by raising awareness, engaging in meaningful dialogue with our elected representatives, and actively supporting the vital work of organizations like the FPC.

In the spirit of our Founding Fathers, let’s invoke the wisdom of Thomas Jefferson, who declared, “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” Let this be our guiding principle as we strive to maintain a balanced and accountable governance, one that resonates with the vision of our founders and safeguards the freedoms we value.

Let’s remember that freedom, justice, and opportunity for all are not abstract ideals but the foundational pillars of our nation. It is incumbent upon us to ensure these principles are upheld and preserved for the generations to follow. The time to act is now, the cause is just, and the future of our American governance hangs in the balance.


  1. Plato. (2000). The Republic. Dover Publications. (Original work published 380 BC)
  2. Aristotle: The Complete Works of Aristotle (Original work published 350 BC)
  3. The Federalist Papers. (Original work published 1788)
  4. Epstein, R. A. (2014). The Classical Liberal Constitution: The Uncertain Quest for Limited Government. Harvard University Press.
  5. Posner, E. A., & Vermeule, A. (2002). Legislative Entrenchments: A Reappraisal. The Yale Law Journal, 111(7), 1665-1705.
  6. Fisher, L. (2010). The Law: Presidential Inherent Power: The ‘Sole Organ’ Doctrine. Presidential Studies Quarterly, 40(1), 139-152.
  7. Shane, P. M. (2009). Madison’s Nightmare: How Executive Power Threatens American Democracy. University of Chicago Press.
Author: Stanford Silverman
Date: May 10, 2023

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