In Defense of Government
Published in the Daily Herald
Ronald Reagan was famous for saying that, "Government isn't the solution; government is the problem." I prefer to rephrase that as, "Representative government isn't the solution, representative government is the problem." Down with representative government?
For as long as I can remember Republicans have been bad mouthing our government. In a representative democracy government isn't "they", government is "we". If there is something wrong with our government it is the fault of we the people. We need to take ownership of our government. We should not refer to "the government" as though it were some third party both incompetent and malicious. We should refer to "my government" or "our government". The policies followed and actions taken by government, at all levels, the federal state or local, are done by people we have elected, if we have bothered to vote at all.
It is up to the citizens of a country to decide what functions are to be done by government, business, or non-profits or charities. On the governmental level we need to decide what should be done by federal, state and local governments. Problems should be handled by the lowest level of government that can handle them. To declare that every action performed by federal, state or local government is "socialism" detracts from rational discussion.
Many call for “less government”. Less compared to what? They oppose “big government”. Again, big compared to what? Governments, like businesses, need to be “right sized.” They need to be of the size needed to perform successfully the functions that we the citizens have decided to have them perform. Programs we want should be fully funded. Fully fund them or drop them.
Most governmental functions aren't performed poorly, they're done very well. But government isn't perfect. Nothing is.