Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. Let’s see, it was only back in January that Piers Morgan, Brit and obnoxious CNN talking head, pooh-poohed the idea that America could ever have a tyrannical government. Go here to read my comment at that time. In the above video, in which he is talking to my favorite atheist, go here to see why I give Penn Jillette that title, he confesses that what was done with the IRS “borders” on tyranny.
Of course the IRS Scandal would not have surprised the Founding Fathers. They realized that govenment is necessary among men. As James Madison noted in Federalist 51: But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. However, the Founding Fathers also realized that government was no abstraction, but also an institution made up of men and not angels. That is why Madison in Federalist 51 went on to write: If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. And so the Founding Fathers framed a Constitution designed to minimize the possibility of government tyranny. They built wisely, but they did not delude themselves. The ultimate safeguard for American liberty had to rest in the American people.
That is why Benjamin Franklin, after a lady asked him as he left Independence Hall at the close of the Constitutional Convention what form of government the country was to have, told her, “A Republic madam, if you can keep it.”, placing the responsibility for the preservation of the Republic on each individual American.