In every political “debate” going on these days in Washington, nearly every player is acting on the assumption that more government is worse government, echoing the quotation that Libertarians spring one over– “That government is best which governs least,” by Henry David Thoreau*– and if you can find a quotation by a guy like that, well then you’ve really proved something: it’s yesterday’s Fox News soundbite! The assumption, instead of less government is better, should be better government is better.
Here I have found a decent website by Douglas J. Amy, a professor of politics at Mount Holyoke College (ahem, a fellow Political Scientist) that gives us a primer for the argument that bigger government isn’t always worse government.
The real problem with American government is that it is not as democratic as it should be. Affluent special interests have too much power in our political system and the public has too little.
*I am a fan of HDT and want to clarify: his Civil Disobedience was written in 1849 during a time when slavery was still legal and we were engaged in the Mexican-American War– a time when I would be largely against my own government– and doesn’t necessarily reflect his objections to a true, well-run democracy that has evaded us only because the same breed of American caveman that he was concerned with still thrives today and has the resources to pull its weight disproportionately.