Sep 13, 2011

It's not about size

Juxtaposing two moments of audience participation from the last two Republican primary debates shows pretty clearly that the struggles of contemporary American politics are not about the size of government. The political scene can't be accurately described as small government supporters arrayed against in big government supporters. It's nonsense to talk about less government vs. more, and think that explains anything about the choices faced.

I, for example, would like the government to be big enough to help keep alive someone who made a bad decision. In contrast to those in Florida last night who would rather someone die that get "welfarism."

I would also, though, like the government to be so small that it can't kill people. A position not shared by the "small government" supporters at last week's Republican debate at the Reagan library.

So do I believe in big or little government?

Well, I support people not dying through the omissions or commissions of the state, and would like government to be that size.


  1. Slightly off topic, but still interesting, is the issue conservatives seem to be grappling with when it comes to the states rights vs. 'good' principles. I'm not sure if this is because the tea party has been infused into this election or not (I lack the perspective), but I thought the boos Rick Perry got last night for his stance on illegal immigration and offering higher education credits for the undocumented were telling.

    He pleaded with the crowd that his stance was a reflection of his strong states rights position, that Texas' decision was based on a Texas-specific problem. But the audience had none of it, and instead whooped as the other candidates dogpiled Perry to the tune that the federal government should do more to lessen the number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

  2. States' rights arguments have always been very situational.