Why we should stop bashing ‘government’

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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My latest column for The Week is a contrarian conservative defense of government.

Here’s an excerpt:

Certainly, the size and scope of government has increased over the years. But still, we shouldn’t conflate all government with bad government. We need a functioning state, and yes, there is such a thing as a government that is too weak.


This is a lesson that goes back to our founding. And it’s one conservatives should appreciate. Judging from their colonial garb and tri-cornered hats, tea party activists are fond of the Constitution and its founders. So you might expect that they, of all people, should appreciate the importance of having a government that isn’t laughably weak.


As Baylor professor and Patrick Henry author Thomas Kidd tells me, “most of the major Founders became convinced that Americans needed a stronger national government to coordinate trade policy and protect against domestic and foreign threats.”

My point, of course, isn’t that big government is good, but that conservatives should quit rhetorically attacking “government” when what we really mean is bad government.

Read the whole thing here.

Matt K. Lewis