The System: A Broken Bicycle

Imagine you forgot your bicycle out in a dusty field for many years. When a friend asks if he can ride your bicycle, you tell him where to find it, but that it might need a “little” maintenance before he takes it out for a ride.


Your friend looks your bike over and sees that the whole thing is covered in dust and rust, and that the back tire is completely flat. Undaunted, he takes out his bicycle pump and begins to pump air into the already bloated front tire. He then jumps on the bicycle and starts trying to pedal with reckless abandon.

In this condition, how far do you think your friend will get on your bike? Do you think he would fare any better if he took the road a little to the left, or maybe a little to the right? Maybe a different, stronger rider would make a difference?

Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?

And yet, that’s exactly what’s happening with our unique governing system. And … still, we keep trying to find new riders, or go a little to the left or a little to the right. Not surprisingly, our rusty bicycle with the seriously imbalanced tires never seems to get out of the dusty field.

You see, the Founders designed our governing system like a bicycle, with two, separate governing spheres; state and national governments – just like two tires on a bicycle. The owner’s manual detailed the air pressure required for each tire – “few and defined” for the federal tire, and “numerous and indefinite” for the states’ tire. (James Madison, Federalist Papers #45). 

This system of governing is called federalism. In America, this detailed division and balance of the sovereign power of the people between these two governing spheres – American Federalism – is unique in all the world.

Today, however, the pressure in the federal tire is anything but “few and defined,” it’s more like bloated and about to explode! The States’ tire is not any better. Rather than having air pressure that is “numerous and indefinite,” the States’ tire seems almost entirely flat. 

That's what we aim to fix. We at the 3 Great Rights Institute believe that man has three great rights - life, liberty, and property. In an effort to preserve these rights and great leaders out of all Americans, we established this institute. 

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