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The idea that the founding fathers believed in small government is just false. A lie. This idea is widely expressed by conservatives, Fox News, and right wing radio. It is parroted by the MSM. The Tea Party and many americans believe it is true. It is not.

If Grover Norquist was around when America was young we would be the 13 States of America. When Thomas Jefferson was president he presided over, probably the largest expansion of the U.S. government. While Napoleon was conducting his wars of aggression and needed cash, America thought that the Louisiana Purchase was a great real estate deal. It cost 15 million dollars, was 828,000 square miles of land and we paid 3 cents an acre for it. The land encompassed all or part of 15 states. When the government wanted to link American from coast to coast they gave large swaths of land to the railroads and paid them to build the Transcontinental Railroad. We wanted to encourage people to move west so we enacted the Homestead Act. Parts of the United States flooded each spring so we created the Army Corps of Engineers and the TVA. Some fool, William H. Seward, thought it would be a wise investment to purchase Alaska from the Russians for 2 cents an acre. President Eisenhower, after trying to drive across the United States believe it was in the national security interests of the United States to build the Interstate State Highways system. Since Republicans hate social programs I will not mention all the ways American has made peoples lives better through government's intrusive programs such as the Social Security, Medicare, the FDA, FAA, FEMA, NASA  to name a few. America did all of this because it was good for America and it paid off big time. None of these things would have happened if we shrank government to the size that we could drown it in a bathtub. There are things that only the government can do. The next big projects we should be investing in are; education, high speed rail, solar, and wind technologies. There shouldn't be a building owned by the Federal government that does not have a solar panel and or wind mill on it, even outhouses if we own any. These ideas are good for America and the planet.

When the right tries to tell us that we don't need government ask them which of these monumental programs that made America and Americans who we are should we not have attempted. Forget the social programs, they will never listen. Ask Rush if he would like to live in his big mansion without electricity.The government thought all of America should have electricity. Without government he would be sitting in a very hot house with no lights and his radio station would not be able to transmit his vile swill.  America must keep pushing the envelope and improve the lives of its citizens because that is who we are and that is our history. That is what the founding fathers would want.

This is my first diary, I woke up with this stuff buzzing in my head and had to get it out. Thanks for listening. I am an artist and except for graphics programs I am computer illiterate. If I made any mistakes tell me how to fix them and I will give it a shot. I'm not promising I will be able to fix but I will try.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Just to remind you (10+ / 0-)

    When someone advocates for small government and/or states rights tell them the Articles of Confederation did not work.

    Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 08:39:42 AM PST

    •  The Articles of Confederation proved (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      417els

      that the principle of "states' rights" is no way to run a government.

      Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning.

      by hestal on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 11:05:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Best job program idea yet! (7+ / 0-)
    There shouldn't be a building owned by the Federal government that does not have a solar panel and or wind mill on it

    Oh for crying out loud!

    by 4mygirls on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 08:42:40 AM PST

  •  Yeppers (8+ / 0-)

    that is why they scrapped a realtively small and weak federal system under the Articles of Confederacy and created a whole new federal system with wide ranging powers,  and started imposing things like postal road systems,  public education, etc.   About the only part of small government they were really for was a relatively small military.   Now today's small government republicans won't touch the overbloated military but god forbid we have public school systems and infrastructure development.  Some libertarians would greatly cut the military, but not republicans.

  •  You make some very valid points... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4mygirls, Catte Nappe, Orinoco, 417els

    the problem is, that while these points are valid, and based on facts, we're not fighting that kind of monster.  We can't defend against the Right with facts.  They don't operate on the same logic based system that we do.

    Everything to them is about feelings, they create talking points based on their feelings, which thru repetition become "facts" on their side.  While we try to fight these non-truths with actual factual statements, stats and logic, it never works, they reject actual facts because they either assume we made them up like their side does or just wholy reject the idea because it doesn't fit into with their pre-existing beliefs.

    It's like trying to fight a ghost or a unicorn by shooting it with a gun.  We can't fight fictional things with factual things.  They exist in two different realms.

    •  Unless a "fact" can be formatted as a sound bite, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SuzieQ4624

      it is too complex for the Right to understand.  I am not being snarky.  The Right consists of those who are of low intelligence or willfully ignorant.  Results are the same.

      "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

      by 417els on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 04:04:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Um, land expansion is not what people (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Orinoco, One Little Victory, VClib

    mean when they talk about big government or small government.  They mean instead government control over aspects of society, or people's lives - i.e. the scope of the power of the federal government, not land size.  For example, even people who think they were very good things recognize that SS and Medicare were huge expansions of the federal government, both in terms of involvement in the lives of seniors and in terms of the % of GDP that is spent by the federal government.

    And Thomas Jefferson was very much against "big government" in that sense. He very much argued for limits on the scope and power of the federal government.  There was a big divergence of opinions by the "Founding Fathers" -- some, like Hamilton, were in favor of more power given to the federal government, some, like Jefferson, very much for a limited federal government.  That's basic American history.  Expansion of land size -- like the Louisiana Purchase -- is not by any stretch of the imagination related to the kind of debate that went on between Hamilton and Jefferson over the power and scope of the federal government.  

    •  Baloney. "Big" government means whatever (5+ / 0-)

      the speaker's biases tell him it means. To a theocon, it isn't big government for the government to rule people's marls and bedrooms. To a neocon a gigantic military that intervenes overseas and tortures people is not big government. To a Wall Street tycoon, it is not a big government that gives them free reign to make profits while trampling workers and that bails them out from their mistakes.

      Big government is a meaningless term that is embraced by those who want the government to do everything that benefits them and nothing that benefits others.

      Further, affiant sayeth not.

      by Gary Norton on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 09:09:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You should read a little history (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Musial, VClib

        It's pretty clear what "the Founding Fathers" were debating -- and it's pretty clear what Jefferson was against, and Hamilton was for.  Google Jefferson v. Hamilton, or see summaries like  this or this.

        Really, no historian would say that Jefferson was in favor of "big government."  Jefferson's position on a limited federal government, and Hamilton's contrary position, was one of the hallmarks of the early years of this country.  

        •  Any dissuasion of Big Government as that term (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hestal, codairem

          is used today, that attempts to put it in the context of the debate between the Federalists and anti-Federalists, is silly. Frankly, the entire concept of limited government that is espoused by the radical wing of the Republican party today was discarded when the 1787 Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation and any remaining questions were resolved with the ratification of the Constitution.

          Further, affiant sayeth not.

          by Gary Norton on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 10:50:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  So, okay, point to the part where Jefferson said (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hestal, 417els

      "in 200 plus years, when the nation has 50 "states", is geographically gigantic, economically dominant and far beyond that militarily, and humans have built a world that is technologically more complex than any imagination at this point in time can possibly even speculate about, none of my thinking about what the federal government should be composed of would have evolved in any manner from what I think is approrpriate for our current circumstances". Because the wingnuts carry on as though that is exactly where everyone was coming from at The First American Constitutional Convention, and vehemently claim that some smattering of random comments made at that point in time were clearly meant to handcuff our people forever. In fact to even suggest otherwise will get you labeled as a Traitor in some circles.

      There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

      by oldpotsmuggler on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 10:49:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Jefferson tolerated government (0+ / 0-)

      support of slavery which was an imposed by force on millions of black Americans. Medicare and Medicaid do not interfere in people's lives, they help people live better lives.

      And expansion of land is definitely an act of government that made better lives for millions upon millions of Americans.

      Those who rail against "big government" usually mean that the government is not doing what they want it to do. They want to deny contraception to women...

      The list is long. Big government is a good thing. The lives of millions of Americans living today would be much worse without it.

      Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning.

      by hestal on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 11:11:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And Thomas Jefferson was wrong (0+ / 0-)

      At least some of the time where he and Hamilton disagreed.  I do think Jefferson would disagree with the more expansive definitions of the Elastic and Commerce clauses which are key to a constitutional justification of liberal government.

      I also believe that Jefferson chose pragmatism over principle in the Louisiana Purchase by committing an action that he described as "beyond the Constitution".  That can be interpreted as either hypocrisy or an ability to avoid rigidity and understand that the Constitution is not a complete document and there are cases where technical violations of the Constitution are acceptable.

    •  Title was a hook (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      417els

      Sorry if I deceived. My point was that every example I sited increased the size and the budget of the United States. The republicans and the tea party and Grover want get rid of all government. They also do not seem to have a vision that would consider any expansion of the government even if it would benefit the country and the people that dwell within

  •  Washington's point in the Farewell Address (0+ / 0-)

    was to be wary of attacks on the idea of government, or  national unity or the Constitution. Washington, on the very day of the federal holiday commemorating his birthday, is nowhere to be found in this diary or anywhere else in the U.S., totally eclipsed. The market has taken over as the paradigm, with government being just another market-conformed entity. The demise of consitutional government that afflicts us, Washington foresaw as a phenomenon of partisanship. Why money in politics is so destructive is because it puts partisanship on steroids.  Partisanship is free then to "dominate the rap, Jack." Actual concerns of the nation must defer to the needs of the party funders.  

  •  "We" had small govt before the Constitution, (0+ / 0-)

    but it didn't work. Not that things are working so great now. They are small govt hypocrites, like most of the evil rotten Rs & the people who vote  4 them.

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 10:39:18 AM PST

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