A Shutdown Is Just What Conservatives Want, And It Sucks
In the ideal conservative world, there is no government. Maybe just the military, but really not much more. Everything else is a pay-for service, with prices and such magically set by the invisible hand of the free market. It is a utopian ideal, as unrealistic as the far left dream of communal living without monetary greed tainting human interaction.
While the Republican-engineered shutdown of the federal government isn’t quite the conservative wet dream, it is a big step in that direction and the delicious thing is how much people hate it.
If you’ve ever studied American history, you’ll understand that for a long time we lived much closer to the conservative ideal. It was terrible. Old, young and poor people suffered. Life was only tolerable for the gilded elite and while there was some upward mobility, the conditions for those at or near the bottom rungs would be abhorrent to those we consider “poor” by today’s standards.
It was in this atmosphere of neglect and tragedy that we decided to do better. An activist government intervened and the modern safety net got started.
We liked it, it worked out and America prospered.
Shutting down the government hacks away at that, and exposes the fallacy of the deluded fantasies of the right. It’s a big motivator behind the repeated attacks on Obamacare. As President Obama pointed out, the big Republican fear is that America will come to like the Affordable Care Act, and as we have seen with programs like Social Security and Medicare, conservatives will be forced to grit their teeth, defend the safety net and accuse Democrats of attacking it.
We’ve got a country with 316 million people and 3.7 million square miles. We elected our government to manage the logistics of keeping all of that running at as smooth a clip as possible. We are never going to ever get near the conservative ideal, not for a million years. The American people don’t want it, and episodes like this put the right on their heels in defending the ideal they insist we’d like if we just gave it a try.
They got what they want, and it sucks.