It’s counterproductive to say that less government is needed as soon as times are tough. It makes no sense. It’s like saying, “I don’t like where this country is going, I’m going to move to Canada.” Because the fantasy that so many neo-conservative, anti-government protesters are operating under is basically a sweeping away of all the institutions that have defined this country for almost a century. 70 year old teabagger, you don’t want Medicare anymore? Really? Well good luck paying for that respirator then or going to the hospital for a routine checkup.
When the economy was flourishing and we actually had the greatest surplus in US history at the end of the Clinton years, no one was shouting for the downfall of big government except the crazies. Now this recession has made everyone crazy, and people just want something to blame. Why not the government? The politicians? It’s so, so easy to point fingers and blame all ills on an external force. The truth is, there’s no other place to dump our shit. The chickens have come home to roost, all the arrogance we’ve thrown around in the past 300 years, and this is our mess. We must work together to salvage and make better what we have, as broken as it is, and help each other rather than turn against each other.
Furthermore, the reality is that this country is multicultural, people would continue to immigrate here, and that is a wonderful thing, that people would still choose to leave their homes to remake themselves here, and contribute to the democratic process.
The world isn’t ending. Not yet, anyway, and there are still so many small measures of hope. I believe in good and in the decency of human beings. Why not? It’s like choosing to be a deist vs. an atheist. There’s no way we can prove or disprove the existence of a higher power or a connectedness to the universe. So why not choose to believe in that which is more hopeful, all things being equal (and ultimately unknowable)?