Former Colorado Sen. Gary Hart, the one-time serious presidential contender who destroyed his political career with a zipper problem, is 74 now and has a blog called “Matters of Principle.” The current post discusses the issue that seems to permanently define U.S. politics:
“One side sees the U.S. government as a barrier to economic opportunity and individual freedom, and the other side sees the same government as the instrument by which social justice is achieved. Since it is the same government, the difference must be in the preconceptions of the antagonistic sides,” Hart wrote. He continues:
“…Perhaps it’s in the American character always to want to re-litigate every question, to never accept a decision as final, to presume that every policy, even those agreed to by a large majority, ought to be challenged repeatedly.
“Central to this characteristic is the notion that conservative presidents and Congresses seriously intend to diminish the size of government. They never do. They never have. The common response to this truth is that “liberals won’t let them.” That is nonsense. Who won’t let them are the American people, the very people who vote for conservative candidates believing that the government they intend to shrink is a different government than the one that provides the services they want and demand.”
The whole post — titled “Which will it be; the I or the we?” — is here.
The title of the blog, “Matters of Principle,” derives from this Jeffersonian homily: “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.”
Hat tip to frequent Blackink commentator Ray Schoch, who called the Hart post to my attention.