Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Ethos of Large Government and Smaller Citizen

     There is an ethos of political thought that postulates our politics has become so consuming in American modernity because government has become so large, thus becoming more intrusive in the lives of its citizens. An ever-increasing federal authority is at least partially responsible for the political season going from occupying the space just before elections, as was the case for much of our history, to gobbling up most of the oxygen in media and elsewhere. It is this ethos of the relationship between a growing government and the importance of politics to the average American that I see as a major reason for the appeal of Donald Trump by some Republican primary voters.
     First some facts. The latest polling data shows that only seventeen percent of eligible voters have voted in the Republican primaries. Of those seventeen percent, only a third have supported Mr. Trump. So in other words the claim by some of his zealots that "America loves Trump," is simply not borne out by the math, which shows he has about six percent support among the total number of eligible voters. Still there is substantial support for part time businessman-part time reality TV star-part time politician.
     When asked why they support The Donald, his votaries can only grasp at the straw of his bombastic invectives as proof of his strength. They see him as some kind of protector, as the simple peasants would have seen a king in a time long ago. It is not important to Trump supporters what he believes (if anything) or what form his policies might take if he is elected president. They are mired in the base instinct of supporting the man they see as the strong horse. This emotional response is a result of the ethos of expanding government, and the corresponding growth in the importance of politics in the lives of the citizens.
     My theory is supported by the fact that those who support Mr. Trump are not concerned with the traditional tenet of conservatism, i.e. limiting the size and scope of the federal government. In fact, Donald Trump's stated policies would actually increase the size of government, not shrink it. His vacuous campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again," is a harbinger of that expansion under a President Trump. Those who think America is not great unless Mr. Trump is president, and only the federal government under his guidance can make it great, have shown a limited understanding of what made America great to begin with.
     The support for Donald Trump as president is not surprising in this Leftist infected culture where the weakening of self reliance has become an epidemic. It is just surprising to me that it seems to have metastasized in what was once the conservative movement. And those calling themselves conservatives, then looking for a father figure as president, is a disgusting development that I find abhorrent. It was not that long ago that a celebrity referred to Barack Obama as a father figure for the country and these same conservatives pilloried him for it. Now it seems they are supporting a man for president whose only apparent qualification for the job is the perceived strength that his followers have lost in themselves. 


  1. I agree entirely with you. Most people do not know enough of the Constitution and it's tenets to make a decision as to weather or not they are Conservative. Trump is neither a conservative or looking for smaller Govt. So sad, too bad.

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