Understanding the Purpose of Government

(StraightNews.org) – When it comes to the government, people know it serves in a managerial role for the entire country. But many don’t truly understand what its exact purpose really is. People who look for a quick definition, say from a dictionary, will usually find no more of an explanation than “a group or people, or system, which governs a nation, state, or community.” Let’s dig deeper into what the purpose of the government really is.

Establishing Laws

The government is responsible for establishing laws. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean it creates the laws of the land — that’s a job for individual representatives, such as members of Congress. Instead, the government’s role is to embrace or enact the rule of law. They make sure all citizens and institutions, including policemen, judges, attorneys, abide by all the same overarching set of rules. This ensures that no one person is ever above the law.

Order and Security

Through the recognition of the rule of law, the government gains the means to maintain order and provide security to its population. Institutions such as the criminal justice system are put forth to protect citizens from physical harm and/or destruction of personal property. Civil justice system maintains order and security by allowing citizens a way to settle disputes. Individual liberties, which are protected by the Bill of Rights, are handled by the Department of Justice.

External Threats

Though some may believe the government’s only responsibility to citizens falls within its borders, this is an incorrect assumption. The government also protects individuals from external threats, such as terrorist attacks and invisible attacks (e.g., cyber attacks).

It also maintains a military force for defense purposes. If needed, it can declare war, support international security, or sign international agreements. The government can even send ambassadors abroad in support of US interests.

General Welfare

Government also aids the population in its ability to be happy and maintain well-being through various services. These range from healthcare to programs that provide food to the less fortunate to simple services, such as maintaining roadways. Clean water, clean air, and public education are all important necessities that play a key role in everyday life for Americans.

The government’s purpose is to serve the American people. It establishes laws but supports order, justice, and national security while taking into consideration the general welfare of those it governs. Though not always perfect, when successful, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are adequately sustained.

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