Wednesday, November 3

Mencken on Yesterday's Election

HL Mencken, from Wikipedia
"I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time."

At least we might have taken a fiscal step in the right direction. I'm not so wild about the temptation to regulate behavior more, whether that legislation comes from the left or the right. I'm not sure what's so difficult about the notion of SMALL government. Which brings up a SECOND Mencken quote tonight:

"Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right."


Khal said...

Excellent post, Steve. That is something we need to remember. Deligating responsibility for one's life is never a good idea. One leaves to government what government does best and what one cannot do otherwise. There are definitely tasks that fit that description. Definition of which is the political argument we thankfully have every two and four years.

Thank you.

PM Summer said...

"The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it."

- P.J. O'Rourke

Apertome said...

Well said, by both you and Mencken. I am also a proponent of small government. Like you, I'm frequently frustrated with attempts to regulate behavior. I'm amazed when people can talk about liberty with one breath and try to restrict behavior with the next.

Khal said...

Behavior or actions can be regulated when they directly endanger the common good. We prohibit drunk or reckless driving, for example. Or sighting in my old Mod. 70 Winchester in my urban backyard. Or pitching radioactive waste directly into the Rio Grande River. Some things ought to be self-evident.

But much of what has been subject to regulation, by both the left and right, is stuff that defies logic or which should be nobody else's business. Whether it is busting people for smoking pot in the privacy of their living room, putting a sin tax on Coca-Cola to combat obesity, or arresting Reed Bates because he rides a bicycle rather than drive a car, its overstepping. No one can agree on what is the proper level of regulation of business, either. So we end up shipping jobs to China.

The best argument for small government is that the Left and the Right can never agree on what should be regulated vs. left alone. If anything, they together make sure that no aspect of our lives or commerce should be left well enough alone. Can we agree on some basics before its too late?

Steve A said...

I will comment no further other than to note that Ron Paul is a cyclist, and to observe that cycling and government funding are not synonymous. (Rest of comment deleted by author)

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