"Small government" may be a catchphrase of conservatism, but it is only one side of the coin that buys a healthy society. Limited government is not an indisputable good, but rather a means to an important end. This end involves keeping space in public life for the institutions that promote human flourishing, and the maintainance of those institutions is a grand American tradition. As Tocqueville wrote:
Americans use associations to give fêtes, to found seminaries, to build inns, to raise churches, to distribute books, to send missionaries to the antipodes; in this manner they create hospitals, prisons, schools…Everywhere that, at the head of a new undertaking, you see the government in France and a great lord in England, count on it that you will perceive an association in the United States.