As in past presidential elections, the role of government is at center stage in the debate between Republican and Democratic candidates John McCain and Barack Obama. Historically, the Republican Party has attempted to diminish the size and influence of government while the Democratic Party has espoused a more pervasive role. In truth, both parties want more government in some areas and less in others. For instance, Republicans want less government intervention in financial matters but more in matters of security and conscience. Democrats on the other hand want less supervision in matters of conscience but more regulation in economic issues. Whatever the particular sentiment of each political organization and/or candidate the question of the role of government is worth exploring.
One definition of government could be: Government is the official authoritative body of a locality, state, or country given the task of protecting its citizenry and regulating their activities in order to facilitate an atmosphere in which each member has the freedom and opportunity to thrive at their optimum level.
In the United States as well as most other developed nations the various levels of governing bodies are elected by the citizens within their respective jurisdiction. In other countries of the world the ruling authorities govern by their own will or military alliance. In either case, candidates should be chosen according to their abilities to fairly represent the people's best interests within the confines of fair laws and regulations. Whether those in power are elected or not, the essential role of government should be the same.
Essentially, the role of government is to ensure an atmosphere in which each member of its citizenry has the opportunity to thrive at their optimum potential. This is not to say government exists to make everyone equal in every way; this would be impossible and would stifle creativity amongst its members. No, the government only has to provide the framework that affords every man, woman, and child the chance to pursue their dreams without unnecessary hindrance.