Fear is powerful. Improperly applied, fear can cause us to make irrational choices without thinking. Properly applied, as defined in Proverbs 9:10: “fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.”

A healthy fear is critical to success in all facets of life. Of course, it is very easy to fear the wrong things and that can lead to some very poor outcomes.

We need look no further than politics. I have come to believe that many of the foolish decisions in American government arise from the simple fact too many politicians have too little fear of the voters and taxpayers.

Looking specifically at the Texas Legislature, the politicians very clearly fear the lobbyists, bureaucrats, and even their colleagues more than they fear their voters and taxpayers at home.

Were this not so, for example, they would have rushed to end the corporate welfare programs opposed by both parties and an overwhelming majority of citizens. Instead, Republican and Democrat lawmakers have yet again fallen over each other in finding new ways to siphon cash from the taxpayers’ wallets into the pockets of corporate cronies.

And yet… those politicians, those lobbyists, those corporate cronies, they are all just taking advantage of the sycophantic culture we have allowed to fester. If politicians feared the voters more than the lobbyists and their corrupt colleagues, corporate welfare simply wouldn’t exist in Texas.

As citizens, we have failed to inspire sufficient fear in our elected servants. We fawn over “our party’s” politicians like royalty. We’ve allowed them to think they, rather than the citizens, are masters of this republic.

Too many citizens fail to even participate in elections. And even fewer bother to take the steps necessary to hold politicians truly accountable for their actions and inactions. The downward spiral of cause and effect blur, with the result being lawmakers who don’t sufficiently fear the citizenry.

It’s up to us, as citizens, to inspire in our elected servants greater fear than the lobby and the bureaucracy. Rather than accept table scraps, we as citizens must unwaveringly demand that politicians seek our approval and our approval alone.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and an Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, and think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, a son-in-law, and a dog. Michael is the author of three books, including "Reflections on Life and Liberty."


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