Are Americans realizing government isn’t necessary?

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A new survey from Gallup proclaims “Americans Name Government as No. 1 U.S. Problem.” This headline alone brought a smile to my face, until I clicked on the article and read the results, and began to think about what the results meant.

Many conservatives like to quote Ronald Reagan who, during his first inaugural address, said, “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” These are the same people who then look for government solutions to what they perceive as problems: immigration, drugs, same-sex marriage, terrorism, and a myriad of other issues whereby they want government to find a solution.

On the flip-side, you have many liberals/progressives who think that government is not doing enough to solve a myriad of what they perceive as problems: campaign financing, unfair taxation, guns, drugs, terrorism, and a myriad of other issues whereby they want government to find a solution.

So, right off the bat you have two seemingly opposing sides who want government to find solutions to their perceived problems, and both sides – which are really different feathers on the same bird – agreeing on some of the problems. The difference between them is they disagree on the solutions, which may explain why only 31% of respondents stated they were “satisfied with the way things are going in the United States at this time,” whereas 67% were dissatisfied.

But what about the survey title? Good question. Respondents were asked the open ended question: “What do you think is the most important problem facing this country today?” And nearly 1 in 5 (18%) gave some variant of the answer “dissatisfaction with government/Congress/politicians; poor leadership/corruption/abuse of power.” The next highest answer was some variant of “economy in general.” However, when specific economic issues are added to “economy in general,” economic problems account for 41% of what is viewed as the most important problem in the country, not government, but I digress.

I realize that some people will look at these results, and think that people are coming around to the realization that governments aren’t necessary, I’ve heard people make this claim in the past. However, I find it to be quite a stretch for a few reasons. We don’t know the breakdown of the responses that were combined under the “government” label. Simply because someone is dissatisfied with Congress or politicians in general, doesn’t mean they believe that Congress should be abolished. Because someone is dissatisfied with what they view as an abuse of power doesn’t mean they would feel the same way if their preferred politician were carrying out the same policies. Dissatisfaction with corruption, poor leadership, or “the way things are going,” again does not mean dissatisfaction with the very existence of government.

Maybe I’m being overly skeptical about what these results mean. Maybe I’m being realistic, and realize that it will take time to get people to realize that the reason government is the problem has nothing to do with the wrong people being in office, and everything to do with government being based on violence and forced consent!

9 thoughts on “Are Americans realizing government isn’t necessary?

  1. So now even former NSA chief Gen. Michael Hayden is a Libertarian? Hayden has good company of course. Glenn Beck, and Rand Paul just to name a few. Wasn’t Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld Libertarians as well? The Libertarians in New Hampshire need to realize that their ideas are being reviewed and some are co-opted as soon as they post them to the internet. Let us never forget how they did that to your original Tea Party movement as well? Y’all need to get a bit more savvy about things, as there is big, big, big money that can be put behind someone who will copy your ideas in a blink of an eye. Imagine Jeb Bush running in 2016 with all the window dressings borrowed from this website. Think it can’t happen? Yes, you can claim that your ideas were ripped off, but you won’t find a sympathetic voice in the controlled media Suggestion, please get a bit more radical. The Israel Lobby is always open to new ideas to use. As you know, multitude of socialist-communist third parties have been agitating for a Marxist revolution for what now seems to be forever. I think you guys can come up with something even more creative!!! And we don’t need the CIA to lace your marijuana with mind control drugs to make it happen (chuckle, chuckle).

    1. “Suggestion, please get a bit more radical.”
      Care to expand on this suggestion?

      “Imagine Jeb Bush running in 2016 with all the window dressings borrowed from this website.”
      I seriously doubt Jeb Bush (or any other candidate in the two party duopoly) would run on a platform of abolishing all coercive forms of taxation, bringing all of the troops home, making all substances as legal as tomatoes, and allowing secession. Though I would certainly like to see the public debate shifted in a direction to where those topics were being seriously discussed on a national level!

  2. Well, the Libertarians could start en masse all ditching the Republican Party. Those with big money have access to the inside tract of “big data”. Then one can outperform opponents by doing something known as “predictive programming”. Example: Wow! what a shocker! look who has just taken the first step to launch a major third political party:
    “Glenn Beck ‘done’ with Republican Party”

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2015/03/glenn-beck-done-with-republican-party-204175.html

    1. I have no use for the Republican Party, have never been a member of the Republican Party, and advice my friends and colleagues not to get involved with either the Republican or Democratic Parties.
      I’ve been a member of the Libertarian Party since 1999, and a Life Member since 2008. Is the LP perfect? No, but I don’t know a party that is. That said, I don’t want the conservatives who “lean” libertarian trying to take over the LP.

  3. The LP party (and any third party) needs to accept that our elections are rigged and have been for a long, long time. With that being said, what are the effective counter-measures? Nothing- and I mean nothing really happens in this country without big money behind it. And even then, there is no guarantee. So if you don’t have access to the Federal Reserve printing press who can add extra zeroes to the bank account, what’s one to do? In the Capitalistic system, the big fish always eat the little fish (or at least steal their best ideas). Once they steal your ideas, then you can be ridiculed on talk shows like Steve Colbert. However, there are certain ideas they are forbidden. In other words, if you promote them, they won’t be outright co-opted. Will y’all dare to be different? There’s no doubt the winds of change are favorable to the Libertarian mindset. Best to plan many steps ahead of your competition.

    1. “if you promote them, they won’t be outright co-opted. Will y’all dare to be different?”
      Care to explain what you’re referring to?

    1. I’ve said before that TSA is security theater.
      I’m now trying to figure out if you’re just an internet troll, a xenophobe, a conspiracy theorist, or all of the above.

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