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Fear is powerful. Improperly applied, fear can cause us to make irrational choices without thinking. Yet it can also, in the words of the Book of Proverbs, be the “beginning of wisdom.”

The difference is what we fear. Sticking with Proverbs 9:10 for a moment, “fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom”.

Scripture is replete with examples of the foolishness of man. Individuals, prophets, and even disciples often make the mistake of fearing men more than God.

A healthy fear is critical in all facets of life. And, frankly, it is very easy to fear the wrong things.

I have come to believe what underlies many of our problems in American politics is too little fear. That is, too little fear by the politicians of the voters and taxpayers. As evidenced by their performance during the course of the 140–day legislative session, most politicians in the Texas Legislature very clearly fear the retribution of lobbyists and bureaucrats more than the taxpayers.

(Were this not so, for example, they would have rushed to end the corporate welfare programs opposed by both parties and large majorities of citizens, rather than find new ways to get the taxpayers’ cash to their cronies.) 

The fault rests with us. As citizens, we have failed to inspire sufficient fear in our elected servants. We’ve allowed them to think they, rather than we, are the 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 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 expect that politicians seek our approval and our approval alone.