In an interesting moment in the Republican debate there were the cheers from the crowd – before Brian Williams even finished a question to Rick Perry about the number of executions in Texas. My husband and I laughed out loud, knowing that would not go over well with the moderators from NBC and Politico. And predictably there has been a bit of outcry from the left over the “barbarians” on the right.

It’s not that execution itself is a laughing matter of course, or an applause line for that matter. It has to do with the role of government which, being the case, it’s no surprise that this causes confusion on the left. We in middle America consider our arrangement with the government as a contract, entered into by our ancestors, or ourselves if we’re a recent (legal) immigrant, and embodied in the Constitution. The purpose of government is to protect life, liberty, and property. The reason we, by consent, submit to legal authority and pay taxes is to ensure a world where we are safe to engage in our pursuit of happiness.

A little old lady I know, almost 80, tells me that as a teen she worked downtown and had to walk home 12 blocks  after midnight when her shift was over. She never felt the least bit worried or nervous, she never even thought about it. I used to walk several blocks to kindergarten alone.

Who among us would allow our daughters to walk home at midnight, or a kindergartener to walk to school alone these days? It isn’t just “the times” that have changed, it is that government has abdicated its fundamental responsibility to keep citizens safe. The southwest has entire areas that are off-limits to Americans due to drug cartels, and violence is spilling over the borders. And there have been reports of Hamas working with the drug lords. Soon it may not be only illegal aliens that are crossing our borders unchecked. It is not as if we do not have the resources to address these problems – Mr Obama just proposed another spend-a-thon last night – but we, or more appropriately our government, lacks the will, and our resources have been mis-directed.

The fundamental role of government is to punish crime, and thereby keep its law-abiding citizens safe. It isn’t supposed to be our national therapist. How often do criminals get “second chance”, after second chance, after second chance? The leftist motto seems to be “No war but class war, no justice but social justice.”

What we expect of government is to keep our streets and our borders safe. Building roads and bridges is pretty good too, but it’s been done. We don’t need bridges to nowhere. My job as an American is not to take care of others. It may be my responsibility as a Christian, but that is rightly a separate matter. As a citizen, I am paying a hefty price tag in taxes for services that aren’t being rendered. This is why you heard applause on Wednesday night.