Anti-statists and the current regime
Bob Cheeks asks:
“Do you see yourself, in some degree, to be anti-statist? What is your opinion of the current regime?”
Well I suppose I do consider myself to be anti-statist, but I’m also a realist and I realize that it’s not always possible be simply anti-whatever, but that you need to work with what you’ve got to some degree. The state isn’t going anywhere any time soon.
What I would like to see is a real return to local government. I would like to see more competitive federalism, and more of the tax dollars which are currently sucked out of local communities to go back to those communities – even if it meant they were then sucked up by local governments instead. At least then we’d have some say in the matter – or a great deal more than we have now. I’m all for decentralization and autonomy, but I’m not instinctively anti-government by any means. I’m not fond of the term ‘statist’ either. It all strikes me as more complicated than that.
Furthermore, I support government in many forms on the local level from higher taxes to fund better schools, to supporting libraries and public transit and any number of other ‘statist’ ventures. I just don’t particularly trust or feel comfortable supporting our federal government in many of its endeavors – whether we’re speaking of waging murderous war on foreign soil or attempting to usurp the public school system with the Department of Education. We are a very big nation and I think we’d do better to leave as much as possible to private enterprise, local communities, and the states. (Though on that note I’m not much of a state’s rights advocate ether. I’m rather fond of the idea of many, many more states rather than only fifty. Perhaps then I could be more optimistic about state government.)
Regarding the ‘current regime’ I’m somewhere in between “Thank God they’re more competent than the last guys and dear God save us they’re more competent than the last guys!” In other words, I’m glad we have someone who at least seems intelligent and, if not honest, then at least more honest than his predecessor. In terms of decent governance (as opposed to messaging) the Democrats seem more on top of their game than their opponents. The Obama administration is not starting new overseas wars though they’re not doing nearly enough to scale back the worst abuses of the Bush administration either – and where is the surprise there? Power is poisonous and much more difficult to relinquish than to acquire.
I have – for reasons I have gone on at length over – mixed feelings about healthcare reform. I have become determined to remain optimistic regardless of my many doubts. I believe it is a moral good to provide more Americans with healthcare, though there are many other moral qualms I have over the fiscal sustainability of our entitlement system.
In the end, I don’t know what to think of Obama yet other than I would sure be happy if our country cared more about local elections than national ones. I’m hoping, personally, that Gary Johnson will run for president. I’d vote for him over Obama in a heartbeat.