Representative Paul Ryan, in his first speech as Mitt Romney’s running mate, declared that the source of our rights is not government but God and nature. We each may have our own conception of God. However, Ryan overlooks the fact that nature has many faces.
One face of nature spawns hurricanes and bacteria. We need the government’s National Weather Service to warn us to take shelter from hurricanes. We need government-sponsored medical research such as that at the National Institutes of Health to enable us to survive bacteria.
There are a host of such examples of government as a protector of our rights to life and happiness.
Ryan ignores the fact that in recent centuries government has been indispensable to human progress in coping with nature’s cruelties.