I was in the midst of responding to Larry’s questions in depth but then realized I have to get to bed soon. But I gotta write something tonight, so here goes.
I’ve mentioned that I believe in the principle of I and that it’s the purpose of government to preserve individual rights. I want to keep government small and limited.
There are many justifications for this, but among them is the aspect of A is A (A) that applies to human nature.
For the government to be able to do what most folks on the left want it to do, the government needs a lot of power. It has to be able to enforce things, to make people do things. This is not a judgment call or statement of opinion, it’s how it is.
People like making other people do things. They like power. Furthermore, people who try to run our government (the seat of power) tend to have an even more pronounced power-lust than others. They deny this and claim that they’re running for office because they’re idealists who care, but who the hell goes through all that crap on the campaign trail and subjects themselves to private investigators digging up every affair they’ve had since 3rd grade purely for the sake of others? I’m not saying nobody, but I’m sure as hell not saying everybody, either.
As a rule, politicians are power hungry.
The more problems we have, the more issues the government needs to resolve, the more power we need to give to the government. This makes political office even more tempting for the power-hungry, for the more power the government has, the more people who like power are going to flock to it.
Furthermore, the more power Washington has, the less likely we’re going to have idealists who actually do care land positions of authority. Who’s more likely to illegally get somebody’s divorce records unsealed or smear the other guy with false accusations of child abuse, the SOB who likes being able to make people do stuff, or the dude who simply loves his country?
Finally, what happens if a problem actually gets *gasp* solved? What would happen if tomorrow everybody in America simply decided to stop using drugs? If schools in inner-city Cleveland all of a sudden provided a quality education without massive funding increases? If all our kids started looking like mini-Olympians instead of fat little turdballs? What if poverty simply went away? What would be the result?
A hell of a lot of people in Washington would lose their jobs, that’s what would be the result.
They need you to need them, because if you don’t need them, they have no power. And, like I’ve said, politicians like power.
Do they get re-elected for doing a good job? Sometimes. Do they get re-elected for not doing a good job as long as they can convince us that the other guy would do even worse? Even more times.
There’s a tangible disincentive for politicians and government agencies to actually do what we think they’re trying to do. Are there DEA agents who really want to keep drugs off our streets? YES. But what would happen to the DEA if we all just decided we don’t want any more coke?
And that’s why Washington will never solve our problems for us, and also why we should stop expecting or asking it to.