Big government is not a bad thing

Published 4:30 pm Friday, November 1, 2013

If a stranger resembling Texan Ted Cruz sat down next to me on the Greyhound, I’d change seats. His look is somewhere between post-office pin-up and a Grecian Formula television ad.

The wonder is not that “normal” Republicans followed his asinine lead, but that a major national political party didn’t have a better plan than listening for 21 hours as Cruz postured, pontificated and read “Green Eggs and Ham.”

Shutting down the government is never as popular as the Radio Right would have you believe. It is a Pied Piper ploy every time.

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Democrats, meanwhile, are rising in the polls along with the numbers for approval of Obamacare and even President Barack Obama. All they had to do was act as eager eyewitness to the other party’s gleefully shooting its foot.

The dreaded Obamacare launch was a wild success or failure, depending, of course, on whom you asked. So many of our citizens wanted help from the new insurance exchanges that at its debut, the computer website crashed.

You could, as Republicans tried to do, say that constitutes an Obamacare failure. The glass-half-full contingent, however, insists that it shows the desperation the uninsured feel and their determination to be a part of this program. It’s as if — imagine — millions of people have been waiting for help.

One thing is certain. The government shutdown was once again the perfect illustration of why it is stupid to cuss Big Government in a Big Country.

The armed forces, the parks, the roads, the dams, the courts, the schools, the land grant colleges, the museums, the monuments, the bank insurance, the air-traffic controllers, the Social Security checks, veterans hospitals, environmental protection, disease control, meat inspection, Medicare and Medicaid, and, yes, welfare — all the clocklike workings that you don’t think about till there’s a glitch or abuse or a shutdown — constitute Big Government. They are Big Government.

It is an odd thing to oppose, when you think about it outside the context of Republican rants. Only the most simplistic mind could even imagine a huge, well-populated, diverse, industrialized and civilized nation not needing what must, by necessity, amount to a big and complex government.

The mantra of “less government” should be revisited while the government is, well, less.  How did you liking it?

It is amazing what people will oppose for fear that someone else might benefit or gain a foothold in our society. Some will do without themselves to prevent others from forging ahead.

The extreme and unfortunate way to show that there is a legitimate role for government is to shut it down. Perhaps the most bull-headed amongst us needs his own ox gored.

As for the Democrats, beware. This rise in popularity isn’t a fixed status. It may have changed by the time you read this. The shutdown should have been the perfect opportunity for Obama and his administrative folk to sally forth and sell their ideas with clear explanation and purpose from atop this galloping gift horse.