Jim Geraghty on Smaller Government

Jim Geraghty’s “Morning Jolt” is one of my my many sources of news, but I thought yesterday he made a good point in a rant about why GOP primary voters weren’t looking to give Bobby Jindal much of a chance (personally, I thought Jindal cozied up to the religious right too early and too hard):

See, a lot of us conservatives walk around in a reassuring trance believing that people like and want small government. Most people don’t. At most, they like and want small government for other people. Farmers like farm subsidies, defense-contractor employees like big spending by the Pentagon, most senior citizens explode at the slightest mention of cuts to Social Security or Medicare. Most self-identified conservatives not only don’t fight for smaller government, they fight against it when it personally impacts them. And then they turn around and complain that lawmakers never manage to reduce the size of government.

That’s pretty much spot on, unfortunately.

4 Responses to “Jim Geraghty on Smaller Government”

  1. Aaron says:

    Exactly. This is the hypocrisy of the GOP – voters mostly included – and why I left them. I’m left wondering if any of them could really understand the meaning of Reagan’s words:

    “You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man’s age-old dream — the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order — or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism.

    Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path. Plutarch warned, “The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits.”
    – Ronald Reagan, October 27, 1964

  2. Joe_in_Pitt says:

    This is why I believe that both “law and order” Republicans and hardline religious conservatives are simply a different flavor of statist. They scream for “small government” but not for the police state, the prison system, war on drugs, watch lists and databases with no due process, religious encroachments on society, etc. Both groups may pull through on 2A rights but end up on the wrong side of their topic-of-the-month and under the bus you go.

    I know I won’t see a true libertarian-minded president in my lifetime, the principles of the platform piss off just too many segments of society. This is why I have to review the GOP candidates and choose the one that’s best on guns and not too nutty on other social issues.

    • Sebastian says:

      There aren’t enough principles libertarians out there to win elections without coalitioning with other people.

      • Joe_in_Pitt says:

        Agreed, and that’s why your post sums up why a true libertarian could never win: A lot of people are for small government until the time comes to start making the cuts. I knew a lot of “small government” types in Northern VA that I guarantee wouldn’t vote for someone advocating defense cuts, or cuts to a federal agency they work or contract for. People have a way of throwing their beliefs out of the window when a source of income may hang in the balance.

        That’s why if I was a registered Republican, I would vote for libertarian-leaning Republicans in primaries and then whoever had a better 2A record (nowadays never the Dem) in the general. I really thought this flavor of Republican would break out in the last couple of cycles, unfortunately for folks like Rand Paul with the way the world is today, his foreign policy platform doesn’t appeal to anyone.