Government is, as government does

-A A +A
By Bill Claiborne

There are some Liberals who mistakenly think that Conservatives are against all government.

 A recent LaFollette Press op-ed put forward this misrepresentation of Conservatism in a typical example of the straw man argument.  his is where you set-up a false position of your opponent so that you can easily knock it down. It may fool the unobservant, but it’s not an honest approach for those seeking truth in practical politics.

Conservatives, very simply, believe as Jefferson believed, “That government governs best that governs least.”  Conservatives, like our founders, adhere to the principle that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Government should be limited, therefore, because it is a necessary evil utilizing corporate force. In other words, government makes a pretty good sledge hammer but you can’t really play the piano with it. Government has its appropriate functions but it also has a tendency to oppress the innocent.

Another Liberal perspective I ran across lately attempted to champion the merits of government-run healthcare by saying that it would be accountable to the people through our democratically elected representatives. Yeah right, like they’re doing now with nearly two trillion dollars in annual deficits and a multitude of programs facing insolvency.  Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the post office are all in the red!

Then, there are the terrific examples of: the delta smelt, Cash For Clunkers, the housing market, ACORN, Afghanistan, etc.

The delta smelt is a tiny minnow in California being protected by the EPA at the cost of thousands of jobs and millions of dollars worth of produce. It’s estimated that 25- percent of America’s table food comes from this area. Many farmers are going out of business and facing starvation, but the Feds are not listening. The fish is an endangered species and must be protected by withholding water from this once fertile San Joaquin valley.  The irrigation has come to a stop creating a horrific dust bowl. Is that responsible government evoking immeasurable trust?

Cash For Clunkers is another example of misguided government. It has bankrupted many dealers by promising money for their trade-ins while delaying reimbursements. It has also decimated the used car market just like all government intervention does- remember the subprime mess? The housing bust was a government-induced market malfunction emanating from forced loans to unsecured risks.  Feel-good programs from Washington, despite their warm and fuzzy intentions, generally pervert market forces of supply and demand. It’s simple logic: set prices too high and they’ll be surpluses, set prices too low and they’ll be shortages.  

You can’t trick the market.

ACORN should serve as another warning to everyone. If you’ve been paying any attention at all, you know this taxpayer-funded organization is corrupt beyond repair.

Afghanistan presents a foreign policy example of irresponsibility. Gen. McChrystal, appointed by President Obama himself, asked for more troops in August but has thus far been denied. McChrystal, and other military leaders on the ground, are warning that the war could be lost if they don’t authorize a troop surge quickly.  Meanwhile, President Obama deliberates and delays action. However, he did act regarding the Rules of Engagement. This change of policy in Afghanistan has proved to be a mortal mistake.  While waiting for air support in Ganjgal last week, four U.S. marines were left to die in an ambush because of President Obama’s new NATO protocols.

The U.S. Constitution declares the main responsibility of the president is to be commander-in-chief of the military. Where is that constitutional accountability in an administration that is: losing the war in Afghanistan; mirandizing captured terrorists; prosecuting our own CIA interrogators; surrendering our missile shield in Europe; defunding the F-22 Raptor; and befriending dictators like Manuel Zelaya of Honduras while alienating democratic allies like Poland and Israel?  Hmm?

No, Conservatives are not anti-government, they are just wise enough to know that government must do a few, limited things in a framework of accountability.  So far, Team Obama is not showing the kind of performance that would make a reasonable person confident about placing 1/6th of our economy under his control.  So, instead of pounding your chest over empty-headed, straw men arguments, Liberals should face the facts that this is a failing administration showing no signs of improvement Send comments to WFC83197@aol.com, or mail to POB 114, Jacksboro, TN  37757.