A couple of weeks ago I wrote a column reflecting on former IJ editor Bill Collins in the wake of his death Nov. 9. I ended the piece with this: “While I knew Bill’s health had been in decline lately, I certainly wasn’t expecting the news I got this past week. And it did not occur to me that his final guest column in the Index-Journal would be the one published Oct. 26. Or was it? Remember, writers don’t just quit.” Sure enough, his widow, Betsy, found a few he had on his computer, ready to share. I picked one and share it with readers today as a nod to the lifetime writer and dedicated newspaperman, and as a last gift from him to you, his readers. — Richard Whiting, executive editor

Right from the git-go of the United States George Washington warned against something that could have been aimed at Americans in 2021. He saw trouble ahead and it wasn’t about foreign enemies. It was about party politics.

Washington’s clairvoyance was incredible. Consider what he said: “However (political parties) may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to subvert for themselves the reigns of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”

Look at what’s going on today. Are there cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men and women in the federal government? Are they doing what the first president predicted? It doesn’t take anyone with a smidgen of common sense to see that’s true.

Without doubt, anyone that challenges the deceitful behavior of the cunning usurpers of power will become targets of unimaginable language. They will use what has become the standard accusation of these power-hungry charlatans. It may have no relevance to the subject in question, but it will be labeled racist by the guilty and their allies, not to mention other name-calling.

The intent, to be sure, is obvious. It is to intimidate anyone that dares to take a stand to define things as they really are. Those that seek power seek to eliminate any loyal

opposition and the first step is to silence and sideline anyone that won’t give up without a fight ... a pull no punches fight. Silencing opponents opens doors to power.

The American people and some lawmakers now see what’s up. They have become more and more determined to open government for all to see how the nation is being hoodwinked. They know that is, perhaps, the only way to hold elected lawmakers and non-elected bureaucrats accountable.

Too many of those in D.C. have long-since forgotten or ignored the fact that it is government of the people, by the people, and for the people. In other words, government belongs to the people, period. President Gerald Ford made it easy to understand: “A government big enough to give us everything we want is big enough to take everything we have.”

That’s a thought every American should heed, especially in these days when government pays people not to work. When those in power do that it destroys the historical will of the American people that worked hard and built the greatest nation in history.

It’s like raising children. If you give them everything without teaching them the importance of earning things, what kind of character will they develop? Considering that, it is not hard to think of what kind of characters are controlling the federal government. To them socialism is the answer despite the fact it has failed everywhere it has been tried.

Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of Great Britain said it best: “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” In our case, at this moment in time, the government has run out of much of taxpayers’ money ... and now wants the rest. We must remember three words that start the Constitution: “We the people.” It is for the people, not the President, the Senate, Congress or the “deep state” bureaucrats that wield far too much power. The Founding Fathers must be turning over in their graves.

Collins lives in Greenwood and is retired from the Index-Journal where he served in several capacities, to include as the paper’s executive editorial editor.