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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

“The Government”- with Scare Quotes


I’m often confused by some of my more politically conservative friends who believe “The Government” isn’t to be trusted with anything. When they speak of “The Government” you can almost hear the scare quotes and capital letters in their voice. They view anything it does with a deep and hostile suspicion. “The Government,” in their view is, if not evil then at the very least, wasteful and dangerous, filled with crooks and liars, and should have as much funding as is possible cut from its budgets…

…That is, until you begin talking about the military and the police (which these days seem all but indistinguishable.)  Then “The Government” should be loyally supported without question and given as much money as it requests.  Nothing “The Government” – the military or police – does should be doubted or examined; they are honorable men and women dutifully serving their country.

And many of my more politically conservative friends seem to be completely unaware of this inconsistency. 

“The Government” does need watched and questioned; fraud and injustice need to be constantly rooted out.  Yes, we should Question Authority. But the military and police cannot be given a free pass. If anything, they should be examined with an even greater scrutiny considering the power and authority they wield and the resources they consume. 

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