10A049 Tea Leaves by Jim Davies, 10/21/2010

The Gallup polling firm produced some encouraging figures on October 13th: as many as 59% of Americans say that "the Federal Government today has too much power." Their report cautions that everyone polled still wants it to do some things - that majority just feels things are out of balance, in need of adjustment. So while the result is pleasing, we still have a very long way to go.

It also says, though, that as many as 46% think the FedGov "poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens" and that reveals far more awareness than I had perceived. Splendid!

Perhaps the Gallup folk didn't intend it this way, but their use of the word "citizen" does skew the results. It connotes a member of a political collective, not a sovereign individual. Again, those who think the collective - voters - has any business existing are just saying it needs a tweak. So it's far from time to hang out the victory flags, just an indication that slowly, public opinion is moving in a rational direction. If the new Congress to be elected a couple of weeks hence reads those signals and takes some action at the margin, a year from now a comparable poll could give opposite results; the rumblings could be quelled.

The problem is, I think, that by seven generations of government schooling Americans' minds have been trained to disconnect opinion from action. When we get a sore throat, we suck a tablet, or gargle; when an arm is broken, we rush to get the bone re-set. That's rational. But when, as here, we think the feds have "too much power" we don't ensure that a logical remedy - to remove some - is put in place. We (they, the voters) just elect a new bunch, who make fine promises like the Republicans did in 1994, which will be forgotten before the next election. "If thy hand offends thee, cut it off" is a piece of advice to which people no longer relate. 170 years of youth indoctrination suggest that was no accident.

Two questions pertain: (a) ought government to disappear altogether and (b) if so, how can it be done?

Here, the first of those is answered emphatically "yes", and if any reader is so far unconvinced, please keep visiting these Blogs and re-read some in its archive. For clues about the second of them, check the leads in Zeroizing It.

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