Weekly Politikos



March 21

By David Beilstein

Yesterday, Bob Capehert interacted with Michael Tanner’s column about big government. Upon reading Tanner’s points, I found the following interesting:

This is why the fight over the size of government really matters. Big government leaves us poorer and less prosperous. And it fails to alleviate our social ills. But most significantly, big government denies the unique value and self-worth of every individual.

And that is why, on both the left and right, those who would try to harness big-government to their own ends will ultimately fail.

Tanner’s last paragraph is why big government “conservatism” is anything but conservative, and why ultimately, it’s unacceptable. And it is subsequently why those promoting it—regardless of how attractive they may appear (Rick Santorum comes to mind) need to be ridden out on a rail, seen as antipodes to anything respecting the conservative movement.

Political conservatism is not about moralism imposed on society. It’s not about the Federal government doing anything, other than being confined to constitutional parameters. It is always, and ever should be, about the limitation of government ruling over people’s lives.

The limitation of government will fix numerous dislocations American society currently faces. And the limitation of government will lead, ultimately, to a more prosperous, more equal society of individuals—where the state is the servant and the people, sovereign actors of their own life’s trajectory.


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