In watching and reading the events of this political season, I’ve noticed a funny little trend going on that seems perhaps strangely related to the disdain to progressivism I’ve mentioned before…
See, the past year has been focused almost entirely on the GOP, since they’re the ones trying to break into the incumbency of President Barack Obama. So, of course, we hear a whole lot of rhetoric and statements from them. And one of the common threads I keep noticing is just how terrible the government is.
It’s weird. They talk like the government as a system is designed to ruin lives. Like citizens should fear the government, especially in its current form.
…by, you know, voting to let one of them be in control of that really terrible evil thing.
And I don’t get the rhetoric. Really, it makes no sense. Just like the Tea Party rhetoric makes no sense often times to me. Because it always seems to be this outcry against the government, the federal machine as a whole… except for all the wonderful things they’d like to keep around. Y’know, like roads, cops, Medicare… That stuff.
The GOP candidates, on the other hand, decry the federal government and how terrible it is… but they’re all running to, well, run it. And with exception of Mitt Romney, they’ve all been a part of it. Granted, I don’t recall Ron Paul ever saying the government is evil, but his stance is definitely anti-federalist.
Now, if every one of them were talking about shrinking the size and scope and power of the federal government to eliminate its direct effect on the lives of its citizens, I’d understand. But Paul is about the only one that thinks that. The other three are all about having the government make drastic changes, they just want it to be drastic sweeping changes in their political favor.
Mitt Romney wants to repeal “Obamacare,” which could just be seen as a reversal of a sweeping change, but really it’s the only thing I’ve found he’s said and stuck to mostly. Rick Santorum wants to reinstitute “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and federally, nationally ban gay marriage through a constitutional amendment, which flies in the face of state’s rights, something most conservatives are all about. And Newt Gingrich wants to build a moon base. I suppose that’s not really a great example, but it is a bit silly. Which Gingrich is.
If you listen to each of them, they demonize federal government. And if you listen closer, they want to use it to make drastic changes. The examples were perhaps more plentiful when Herman Cain, Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry were around to talk about things like immigration, but perhaps you see my point.
When did the federal government become something despised? Something people refuse to see as something potentially helpful? Granted, Congress certainly doesn’t help the image much, but the federal government is there for a reason. So many people talk about the Constitution and how awesome it is… well, that Constitution gave us the government we have. Now, I may be risking cries of treason being thrown at me, but our government isn’t perfect. Gasp. Shocking, I know. There are several issues with our government, often dealing with money being too easily bandied about and into the pockets of Congresspeople. But we can use the system to help. We can make things better with it.
But only if people stop talking about how evil it is. Until people start talking about how they will use the government to do things and not how they hate the government and we should protest everything they do always, nothing good will happen.