reply to post by TheWalkingFox
Actually, what it seems to me is that Liberals tend to want smarter government; that is, the old adage about how size doesn't matter, it's
how you use it. A huge government that performs well is preferable to a small government that does not.
Liberals tend to want a large government that is hyper-reactive. Their lack of functional intellectual capacity desires to see all of the power and
control expressed in the highest form of government with the lowest forms being subjugate enforcers of higher policy.
I would also contend that you lack proper distinction between "large" and "small" government. More on that in a minute.
On the other side of the spectrum, conservatives seem hell-bent on a smaller government that is made smaller by cutting away every ounce of
responsiveness to the people. They don't want to cut the military (generally, I know some Paulians do) and are less concerned with government
efficiency or productiveness than with size.
This is incorrect. Conservatives want to see a smaller national government with the most powerful and reactive forms of government being closer to
the people - city, county, and state governments, for example. The military is part of the express purpose of the national government - providing for
common defense. Governments are, inherently, not efficient or productive - particularly at the national level, as all of those policies affect such a
diverse range of people and interests. You're trying to get representatives for thirty million different people spread across a hundred degrees of
longitude and eighty degrees of latitude (not just spanning a whole continent, but regions from arctic to tropical, desert to swamp, concrete
metropolis to nearly impenetrable forest, land values at less than a thousand dollars an acre to millions of dollars an acre, and cost of living
expenses from less than ten thousand a year to nearly thirty thousand a year) - all to agree policies that will have a direct impact on all of those
That's not going to be 'efficient' no matter how hard you try.
What happens when you empower a corrupt government to shrink, is that it cuts away all the portions that are not corrupt, leaving a useless
financial and political black hole, usually heavily authoritarian, and backed by an all-powerful military; in other words, a dictatorial police state,
similar to Saddam's Iraq.
This would not happen in the U.S.
Here is what "small" government is: The U.S. National government exists to handle issues between states and issues of states denying Nationally
protected rights. For example - when California got upset over a law that Arizona wrote and declared a boycott; Arizona then turned around and
offered to shut off California's power. That issue is a perfect recent example of what the National government is for. When various states
attempted to try and instate a 'toll booth' for voting and thereby restricting and inhibiting the right and responsibility to voting - the National
government stepped in and said that wasn't going to fly - as it should have, because a clearly stated right within the Constitution was being
The National government, under the "small government" model, would involve itself minimally in the personal affairs of people. Its focus would be
on the states. It should not be a highly reactive tier of government - what it does do, however, it should be done deliberately and carefully as it
The State government would be the smallest recognized form of government by the nation as the states are given individual authority and responsibility
to distribute power (they can, theoretically, be a dictatorship or communist state, so long as representatives are provided in accordance with the
Constitution as well as rights guaranteed to the people). It would, therefor, be meaningless for conservative models of the national government to
look beyond the states, as each state is going to have different sub-architectures that meet their own demands.
The states would hold most of the power, and have the authority to be the most reactive tier of government. Considering states can delegate these
powers to even smaller divisions - this doesn't necessarily mean the most reactive tier will be the state, but more local forms of government
(cities, county). As each smaller geographical region tends to have a more homogeneous demographic composition by comparison to a larger - giving
those smaller divisions of government the most reactive and individual-influencing powers inherently leads to a more efficient and effective
government structure that can respond to the needs of the people it serves without forsaking others.
"But states will argue and fight each other!"
That's what the national government is there to settle and prevent. To do that, it doesn't need to be managing Social "Security," Medicare, and
billions of dollars in discretionary spending to build sidewalks in Podunk, Kansas, among other places.
"But we have the right to healthcare."
Go to Massachusetts, or any other state that has decided to turn itself into a communist haven. They'll probably have some requirements to keep
people from "border hoping" to get treatment - but you can see how well they do versus how well other states do.
And many other nations that have performed this experiment of "smaller government," often through the influence of American right-wing
economists (Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia, and Tajikistan come to mind)
Completely different political cultures, and, honestly, examples of rather impotent governments that will probably never be able to put much of any
policies into effective practice. The people in those countries don't understand the concepts of self-governance, and the existing governments
don't have much of any authority to delegate.
And, quite honestly, that's the difference between a conservative and a liberal. A liberal wants to be governed. A conservative wants to govern
him/her self. I don't really care to govern your life unless you're being completely obstructive about things - then you need to be taken aside and
told to be responsible or go find some other people to annoy with your existence. I also do not feel like I need to have all that big of a say in
what goes on in Texas, New York, etc. If they want to make laws I disagree with - it doesn't affect me. If it works for them - great; if not, then
they are more than capable of changing it provided their rights are still intact.
And that is why many of the countries out there cannot function as a "small" government - all of the people want to be the big government and call
all of the shots. And it is exactly that mentality that has taken hold within the liberal demographic within our own country.