Here’s the question that puzzles me: why do so many people who view politics as a dismal parade, and hold such a low opinion of politicians, seem so willing to entertain massive expansions of the government? What do they think is going to happen to the amount of politics infusing their lives, if the government nationalizes a few more industries, and racks up a couple trillion more in deficit spending?

If you complain about bitter, ugly politics seeping into too many corners of American life now, just wait until the government runs the health-care system. In the kind of limited government envisioned by America’s founders, an average citizen could afford to be disengaged from national politics, and would primarily concern himself with local affairs he understood, paid for by comprehensible amounts of tax money. In the belly of the super-State, your livelihood – and, with health care on the table, your very survival – demand you vote wisely for national candidates with hundreds of positions on issues you might not understand, or even care about. When you voted in 2008, did you understand every detail of John McCain’s position on toxic asset bailouts, or Barack Obama’s stand on immigration reform? For that matter, did they understand those details, or relate them to you with complete honesty?…

I am fascinated by the study of politics and culture, but I dearly wish their wars could be fought with all-volunteer armies. America isn’t like that now. Everyone has been conscripted, and years of vicious battles lie ahead before anyone can dream of mustering out. We’re all on duty, every waking hour, because a comprehensive State is also inescapable. Nearly every aspect of our lives is hungrily eyed by groups that would like the government to invade it.