The Council Has Spoken! Our Watcher’s Council Results – 03/18/16

The Watcher’s Council


The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

You know, when Republicans were in charge, we doubled the debt. But, now, our concern is the Democrats are in charge and they’re tripling the debt. So, really, our concern is that we want smaller government. – Rand Paul

We believe, as our founders did, that ‘the pursuit of happiness’ depends upon individual liberty; and individual liberty requires limited government. – Paul Ryan, GOP Speaker of the House

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free. – Goethe

This week’s winning essay, Bookworm Room’s Because government is a force multiplier for evil, a vote for the small government candidate is a vote for good is her look at the virtues of limited government. Here’s a slice:

I was struggling to explain to a Bernie supporter why his “compassionate” politics will not stop the risks to Americans from further socializing and therefore growing American government. In military terminology, a force multiplier is a single capability that, when added to an enterprise, dramatically increases the effect.

The problem with government is that, as it grows, no matter the original good intentions behind it, it invariably becomes a force multiplier for evil. Thus, once government power passes a certain point, government becomes the equivalent of a bull in a china shop, with its every motion causing massive damage. Incidentally, the china in that shop is always you — the individual.

I defy any one of you reading this to identify a huge government that has not eventually done great damage to its citizens. This is true whether the government was an imperial monarchy (Rome or China), a theocracy (Iran), a military dictatorship (every tin pot tyrant in Latin America), a socialist government (Greece), a communist government (USSR or China), or a demagogic cult of personality (a la, say, Mugabe in Zimbabwe).

Individuals can be stupid and even unbelievably cruel. Every day the media is filled with stories from around the world of people killing or harming each other, whether through carelessness or deliberate action. Reading these stories, we may long for a strong hand from above to create order. If you’re an environmentalist, you want government to beat down the polluters and the deniers. If you’re devoutly religious, you want leadership that stops blasphemy, premarital sex, abortion, and pornography. If you’re a feminist, you want to bring to heel men who demean women. People with strong ideals believe that they are being good when they seek an equally strong government that will enforce those beliefs.

There’s actually nothing wrong with voters within a small community enacting regulations that allow government to enforce their beliefs. Small governments are close to and responsive to the voters, making them ideal laboratories of democracy. For example, Colorado is a perfect test case for marijuana legalization. Local voters asked for it, it’s being implemented, and an interested America can see whether legalizing pot is a good thing or a bad thing. Because the experiment’s scale is finite, the ensuing damage is limited, those who hate the law’s effects can move elsewhere without leaving their country, and a local law is more easily reversed than something enacted and enforced at a national level.

Likewise, if California voters elect legislators who think that green cars will save the world, and therefore give enormous subsidies to rich people for buying electric cars at a discount . . . well, go for it. Smart, wealthy Californians will buy the subsidized car and then head for a low-tax state. Those who can’t afford the cars and resent the subsidies can also move. Meanwhile, the rest of America can marvel at a state withthe highest poverty rate in America that subsidizes rich people’s toys.

When things happen at a national level, where governments are increasingly removed from their representatives (not to mention entirely removed from ideologically-driven Supreme Court justices) they rapidly become anti-democratic. This is most obvious when it comes to money because anything that involves the federal government involves money — incredibly vast sums of money. Where there’s money, there’s corruption. That’s how it came about that, during a painful recession, taxpayers across America find themselves funding Solyndra and related entities — not because doing so was good business, but because the government put its thumb on the scale. When those companies failed, there was nowhere for ripped-off Americans to go, short of emigrating.

More at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Garry Kasparov in the Daily Beast submitted by Bookworm Room. Chess champion Kasparov has a few things to say here to Bernie Sanders about socialism, having experienced it first hand…

Here are this week’s full results:

Council Winners:

Non-Council Winners:

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the weeks’ nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.

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