The VU Forum, Vanguard’s political awareness club, held a faculty debate on how much power the government should have, on Wednesday, April 3.
Political science professor Dr. Kevin Walker and history professor Dr. John Wilson participated in the debate. Walker advocated for less government intervention and more economic freedom, while Wilson supported more federal regulation and light individual dependency.
“There’s story after story of the government attempting to do good and just messing it up again and again,” Walker said during the debate. “At the end of the day, does the government really know how to run your life? No, you know how to run your life.”
According to Walker, freedom is what Americans truly crave. Though mistakes will be made, it cannot be assumed that the federal government will act as a guide. Walker explained that though the American Dream may be hard to achieve, it remains consistent throughout American history as an incentive to work hard.
Wilson presented a counterargument that the government was set in place to save people from themselves.
According to Wilson, the election of the president is an example that shows that the purpose of government power, such as the Electoral College, is to prevent the masses from selecting an unfit president. Wilson went further to say that the establishment of check and balances, along with the branches of government, aim to protect us from the dark side of human nature.
“The big threat to people’s independence is no longer the government but corporate America. We need the government to represent all of us in protection from exploitation,” Wilson said.
In classic Vanguard tradition, the debate was concluded by each professor switching roles and speaking for two to three minutes from the opposing point of view. This helps both the opponent and the audience to gain further perspective.
The professors held a Q&A section after the debate that gave students a chance to voice their opinions.
On April 8, the History and Political Science Department and the VU Forum will be partnering with the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) to hold a Q&A panel with author of “The Human Advantage” Jay Richards.
To keep up with the VU Forum, follow their Instagram @thevuforum for updates of upcoming events.