Forget conservatives vs. liberals. Forget Left vs. Right. Forget Democrats vs. Republicans. The real fight is a fight between big government and small government. As Thomas Jefferson said, “The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others.”
In other words, legitimate government should only interfere in a case where one citizen hurts another. This statement is the simplest explanation of small government philosophy.
In our experiences today; arguing back and forth with our liberal friends, we sometimes find ourselves defending the merits of G.W. Bush vs. President Obama. In this scenario we immediately find ourselves at a disadvantage. The disadvantage? Defending a position we don’t actually believe in.
As I’ve said above, “Forget Republican vs. Democrat.” To take the side of the Republican in this argument is to take the side of liberalism-lite vs. true liberalism. However, if we take the position of small government, (rather than Republican) we don’t find ourselves in the uncomfortable position of having to defend things like spending increases, or more government surveillance.
The mind of much of the youth and others in our country today is focused on socialism. They’ve been convinced of a utopia that doesn’t exist. If they can be convinced of a truth that isn’t truth at all, they can be swayed to believe actual truth when it is presented to them.
Think of this. Almost everyone in America has a natural distrust of government. But somehow, the left has been able to promote government as a kind and gentle sort of benevolent mother figure.
I believe our duty as conservatives is to simply show government for what it is. No matter who is in charge, a large government will fail at almost every turn.
Here’s my advice: Start small. Condition yourself to pick out government waste wherever you see it. Make it a family game. I remember as a teenager growing up in Pennsylvania, driving down the highway and seeing the mile marker signs. “How much,” I would wonder, “did it cost the taxpayer to pay for the mining and manufacturing of the steel and aluminum for these signs? And to pay someone prevailing state wages for the installation of them? Years later, I noticed that they were no longer every mile, but every two tenths of a mile! That’s 5 signs per mile! Ron Young, a Penndot spokesman says that the signs cost about $65/pc to install in my home state. Here’s a little math for you nerds out there: ($65per sign)x(5 times the miles of interstate in PA. (1953mi.)) That’s a grand total of $634,725 for initial installation. This does not include sign replacement cost if a bus runs one over or if mile markers 420 and 69 are routinely stolen. (Google it. This really happens)
Conditioning yourself to spot things like this will not only solidify your confidence in the strong position of small government philosophy, it will build your arsenal of simple questions to be used the next time you’re in a friendly conversation with a liberal (big government) friend.
If you stop and spend the time to contemplate, you can put your big government friend in the uncomfortable position of having to defend all sorts of things that they don’t truly believe in. But remember, the only way to do that is to frame your conversation as a “big government vs. small government” argument. Never R vs. D or con vs. lib argument.