Glenn Reynolds wrote A revolution in the works? in the 2/4/13 USA Today


There was a time when there was enough freedom that it hardly mattered which brand of crooks ran government. That has not been true for a long time — not during most of your lifetimes, and for much of mine — and it will probably never be true again.”

That captures an important point. The more powerful the government becomes, the more people are willing to do in order to seize the prize, and the more afraid they become when someone else has control. So it was after the 2004 election when liberals talked revolution, and so again after 2012, when secession petitions flooded the White House.

There are two possible ways to address this problem. One is to elect people that everyone trusts. The problem with that is that there aren’t any politicians that everyone trusts — and, alas, if there were, the odds are good that such trust would turn out to be misplaced.

The other option is to place less power within the political sphere. The less power the government has, the less incentive for corruption, and the less that can go wrong when the government misbehaves. The problem with this approach is that the political class likes a powerful government — it’s one of the reasons that the Washington, DC, area, where much of the political class lives, is beginning to resemble the Capital City in The Hunger Games, prospering while the rest of the country suffers.

The political class usually gets its way, because it thinks about politics — and its own position — every waking moment, while the rest of America thinks about these things only in fits and starts, in between living everyday life. But if there’s an upside to the increasing unhappiness that most Americans feel toward the political class, it’s that maybe it means people are paying closer attention.


Those who get drunk with their own power usually go too far and one way or the other lose their power.  Hopefully we get a great leader who can cut through the political futility we are now mired in and return us to the principles of federalism.  For many liberals federalism is synonymous with states rights and slavery. This may have been true 150 years ago, but it is ridiculous today.  We have moved the pendulum too far toward centralized problem solving and it clearly is not working.

But the great danger in a government that increasingly frustrates the citizens is that they will fall for a charismatic populist  demagogue. With a media and an education institution that has vested itself into a strong central government it may be hard for a principled leader to get the citizenry to comprehend that they are better off with less central government largess.