W. James Antle, III, of American Spectator fame and celebrated editor of the Daily Caller News Foundation, was the star of the show at the Heritage Foundation’s Blogger’s Briefing earlier today.
“Can big government be stopped?” was the main focus of Antle’s remarks, and is the question asked (and answered) in his new book, Devouring Freedom. The short answer, Antle said, is, “Yes, but…”
Before beginning that discussion, Antle confronts the idea that big government is not an issue. Those of a mind that bigger is better, Antle said, view American exceptionalism as a concept which makes America an exception to the rules. “America is not an exception to math,” he said.
Does big government hurt freedom? Antle borrowed Ronald Reagan’s maxim and applied case studies to prove that, “As government expands, liberty contracts.” But what can be done about it? The best way, Antle posits, is to abolish programs completely, rather than make marginal percentage cuts here and there which can be reversed by the next administration.
“When Republicans make a serious attempt to do something about [big government], they have been pretty successful,” Antle said. With two big government parties dominating the electorate, little progress can be made. Yet small-government advocacy groups, Antle points out, have been increasingly effective in making opposing big government in the self-interest of candidates.
Obama’s second term election was demoralizing, Antle said, but in the end, “big government simply does not work.” His governance has been an “illustration of the folly of big government,” and may result in a wake-up call for the right, if it’s not too late.
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