This is an interesting take on current social and political trends from David Harsanyi: America Isn’t Destined To Be More Liberal. Excerpt:
Marijuana legalization or support for same-sex marriage is far more likely caused by a growing “live and let live” mindset than it is any burst of leftist idealism. And if the “live and let live” mindset starts bleeding into other areas of American life — say, education, health care and religious freedom — the left is in trouble.
In the end, the progressive agenda demands that you trust the state to control economic outcomes — an idea that is yet to be proved especially popular among Americans. Will it be? Who knows? But right now, what does seem to be growing is skepticism toward government, especially among the young. When Gallup asks about what people “think the most important problem facing this country today is,” it doesn’t bode well for the left that a plurality of people — independents, Republicans and Democrats — say it’s government. Fifty-three percent of Americans claim to believe government does “too many things.”
It probably doesn’t speak well for the current state of affairs that, when you mention “government” to most people, they don’t think of their county commissioners, their city council or even their state legislature; they think immediately of that colossus in Washington, the Imperial Federal government. Why is that? Because for decades, it has grown ever larger, ever more intrusive, and far, far beyond its Constitutional boundaries.
The national government has only a few legitimate purposes: To protect its citizens from foreign attack or invasion, to ensure the security of our borders and deal with international trade. That’s really about it. And, for that matter, government at all levels only has a few legitimate purposes; to protect the lives and property of citizens, and to provide a few essential distributed services, such as police, fire protection and basic infrastructure. And, in terms of accountability, those services are most efficiently provided by levels of government as close as possible to the voters.
By way of illustration, look at the Imperial Federal government’s latest major project, the ill-named “Affordable Care Act,” better known as Obamacare. It is a debacle of the worst sort, rammed through by a parliamentary trick, passed without any of the people who voted on it having read it (remember Nancy Pelosi’s notorious “we have to pass it to find out what’s in it” comment?) Now the Obamacare chickens have come home to roost. Employers are cutting hours, businesses are maintaining headcount below the magic thirty, and the less said about the healthcare.gov website, the better.
If this is what it takes to turn the country in a more libertarian direction, though, then it may have been worth it.