Category Archives: Politics, Law, & Government

The American Deficit of Victory

(This post originally appeared at Pocket Full of Liberty on May 25, 2014. As that site is no longer active, I have relocated it here, as this is something I don’t want to lose)

Memorial Day is the holiday on which we recognize the sacrifice of life by the American warrior in combat, regardless of who they were, where they were slain, and why they were sent to fight, and remember the debt owed to all of them by the rest of us. Continue reading The American Deficit of Victory


Raisin A Whole Lotta Trouble

“Being the little guy against the government can feel like a David and Goliath thing and the idea we could win is tremendous.”

These are the words of a small raisin grower in the Central Valley of California whose livelihood now rests in the hands of the United States Supreme Court.

Continue reading Raisin A Whole Lotta Trouble


Bridges Too Far

Anybody who drives – I’m guessing most of the people reading this – is probably receptive to the meme of “our nation’s infrastructure is crumbling”. Yet, though billions of dollars are spent annually between all levels of government as soon as one thing gets fixed or improved, another starts falling apart. What’s the real story of America’s infrastructure? Frankly it’s us, the taxpayers, getting screwed.

Continue reading Bridges Too Far


I Am a Conservatarian, Volume I: The Basics

A few weeks ago, I was tossed a “Follow Friday” on Twitter by Kevin Boyd. Kevin graciously tagged me as “Mr. Conservatarian”, and when I’ve gotten in a rant-ish kind of mood over on Twitter recently, I’ve been shooting out pearls of wisdom with the heading and hashtag “I am a #Conservatarian”.

The whole concept of “Conservatarian” probably could use some explanation, and I’m all too happy to oblige. And yes, I’m rather pretentiously labeling this “Volume I”, as this is a topic area that I can drop dozens of posts into, and hope to do so. Continue reading I Am a Conservatarian, Volume I: The Basics


Pig(ford)s at the trough

(Important blogger’s note: the title of this post is in no means to be interpreted as disparaging or demeaning to Mr. Timothy Pigford, the original named lead plaintiff in the class action suit that led to this travesty.)

“I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.”
“With respect to the two words ‘general welfare’, I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.”

Those two quotes are by James Madison, and on those topics, he’d be an authority as one of the principle authors of both the Constitution of the United States and the Federalist Papers written in support of the Constitution’s ratification.

Last week, The New York Times came across a story of incredible fraud, waste, and graft coming out of the United States Department of Agriculture, generically known as “Pigford”. Naturally, the Times was somewhat late to the game as the late Andrew Breitbart was on the story over two years before, and it has also been reported on by writer Lee Stranahan, as well as numerous other new media sources.

Today is “Blog about Pigford Day”, and rather than rehash all the details of the scandal in total, I’m choosing instead to comment on the root cause of how we got there. Naturally, it all comes back to the Constitution, and willful departure from the limited enumerated powers of our government.

To summarize, Pigford v. Glickman was a 1997 lawsuit started by Mr. Timothy Pigford, an African-American farmer, who was joined by about 400 co-plaintiffs in a class action, alleging that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), between 1981 and 1996, willfully discriminated against African-Americans who “farmed or attempted to farm” (my emphasis) and who were denied funding under various USDA loan programs because of racial prejudice. The lawsuit was settled in 1999, and it was thought that up to 2,000 affected farmers would be eligible for $50,000 compensatory awards, totaling some $100 million in outlays.

Over 22,000 claims were filed under the judgement. Well over 13,000 were approved. The amount disbursed to Pigford “victims” was nearly $1 billion. Legislative language in the 2008 Farm Bill opened up the spigots again to the tune of another $1.2 billion.

Why do I say “victims”? Well to quote The New York Times article by Sharon LaFraniere:

In 16 ZIP codes in Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi and North Carolina, the number of successful claimants exceeded the total number of farms operated by people of any race in 1997, the year the lawsuit was filed. Those applicants received nearly $100 million.

In Maple Hill, a struggling town in southeastern North Carolina, the number of people paid was nearly four times the total number of farms. More than one in nine African-American adults there received checks. In Little Rock, Ark., a confidential list of payments shows, 10 members of one extended family collected a total of $500,000, and dozens of other successful claimants shared addresses, phone numbers or close family connections.

The allegations of fraud go up and down the line, including hundreds of claims from urban areas that defenders of the payments say reflect the migration of farmers to cities…really?!?! Yes, my dear readers, you are thought to be that stupid and gullible.

Claims were paid with little or no verification. Forget proving “farming”, “attempts to farm” didn’t require documentation. (Aside: I tried to grow tomatoes a few years ago and failed. Does that count as a “farming attempt”?)

Whatever you want to call the Pigford payments, this was a wholesale swindle of the American taxpayer.

The bottom line is, none of this should ever have happened in the first place. Pigford should never have happened because there is no enumerated power of the Federal Government to do any of this.

The USDA has a current budget (FY2013) of $156 billion, of which $129 billion is “mandatory” spending on subsidies and programs (including food stamps) required by law.

Here is the web site for the USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) page about agricultural loans. Want a “microloan” of up to $35,000 (again, really? $35K is “micro”?!?) to jump start your farming? USDA will get you the money! Want to buy a farm? They’ll see you’re approved regardless of your own credit. Just need money to get your failing, near bankrupt farm out of the gutter? They’ll back that too. And so on. Oh, and if you can’t pay the loans back, yep, the rest of us eat it.

Are you an “organic farmer” who’s been certified as such so you can charge inflated prices for your produce at a supermarket? USDA will reimburse you for part of the costs of certification, courtesy of Mr. & Mrs. John Q. Taxpayer.

And hey, let’s look at some of the highlights of the FY2014 USDA budget submission (PDF):

Provides $4 billion in guaranteed loans to support clean and renewable energy generation, transmission and distribution activities across rural America. This level of funding will provide 3.7 million rural residents with new or improved electric service.

Wait…$4 billion in energy loans from the USDA? Shouldn’t that be done by the Department of Energy?!?

Provides $24 billion for guaranteed single family housing loans and $360 million for single family housing direct loan program to provide almost 175,000 new home ownership opportunities including to purchase a home or refinance a loan in 2014.

Uh…Department of Housing and Urban Development, anyone?!?!

How much do you want to bet that there are duplicate programs within DOE and HUD respectively?

How much do you want to bet that there will be recipients of duplicate financial benefits from multiple departments or agencies’ overlapping programs?

None of this is provided for by the Constitution. Zip. Zero. Nada.

I remember well growing up in New Jersey that there was a large plot of land next to one of my friends’ houses that was “farmed” every year. By “farmed”, I mean that corn was planted in the spring, grown, and then plowed under in the fall without a single ear ever being harvested. Why? Because the land owner got a gigantic farm loss tax write-off. It wouldn’t shock me at all either if the USDA subsidized growing the never-intended to be used crops, and then paid to destroy them too as part of an artificial price control to benefit others.

Protected classes, as I like to call them, are evil and anti-liberty – even when they carve out benefits and exceptions for people we all rely on like farmers.

Want to know why we’re driven $100+ billion further into national debt every month? These cases must stop. “Unsustainable” doesn’t even begin to describe nearly every program our government executes.

We are so completely disconnected from the Constitution and how the United States Government is supposed to be limited by it that it’s probably impossible to ever get back to where we should be. If we expect to have a free republic for our children and grandchildren to grow up in, we’ve got to fight for it regardless.

Pigford is just a symptom of the general disgrace that has become our federal government. There should never have been a discrimination lawsuit because the USDA shouldn’t have been handing out loans and grants in the first place, as Congress has no enumerated power to spend monies in that way.

These problems of rampant expenditure with no regard or concern for the value received are found throughout the government, even in areas that are completely within Constitutionally-enumerated authority.

Want to stop the Pigfords of the future? Demand that we follow the Constitution. Demand that the Congress only acts within the powers that we, the people have ceded to it. Our Constitution, as amended, if followed exactly, will never lead us wrong. It never has.

Go back to Madison’s words I opened with, take them to heart, get your noses out of the public dollar feeding trough, get to work, and let’s save America from its own government.


Margaret Thatcher, 1925-2013

The debt the free peoples of Europe owe to [the United States], generous with its bounty, willing to share its strength, seeking to protect the week, is incalculable. We thank and salute you! …
We do not aim at domination, at hegemony, in any part of the world. Even against those who oppose and who would destroy our ideas, we plot no aggression. Of course, we are ready to fight the battle of ideas with all the vigour at our command, but we do not try to impose our system on others. We do not believe that force should be the final arbiter in human affairs. We threaten no-one. Indeed, the Alliance has given a solemn assurance to the world—none of our weapons will be used except in response to attack…
Distinguished Members of Congress, our two countries have a common heritage as well as a common language. It is no mere figure of speech to say that many of your most enduring traditions—representative government, habeas corpus, trial by jury, a system of constitutional checks and balances—stem from our own small islands. But they are as much your lawful inheritance as ours. You did not borrow these traditions—you took them with you, because they were already your own.
Human progress is not automatic. Civilisation has its ebbs and flows, but if we look at the history of the last five hundred years, whether in the field of art, science, technology, religious tolerance or in the practise of politics, the conscious inspiration of it all has been the belief and practise of freedom under law; freedom disciplined by morality, under the law perceived to be just.
 — Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, to a joint session of the United States Congress, February 20, 1985.

Thank you, madam, for your service to humanity’s quest for freedom and liberty. The world in which my children are being raised is better for your iron presence having been such a stalwart feature of much of my growing up. As with the Lion who came before you at Downing Street, you will be greatly missed for the rest of days.

Defeat—I do not recognise the meaning of the word!
— during the Falklands crisis, 1982

State of the Union’s Laundry List

I didn’t watch President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address last night. Haven’t read the transcript either, and don’t plan to. Didn’t take in either of the responses by Senators Marco Rubio and Rand Paul, either. For the record, and in interests of full disclosure, if Mitt Romney had won the presidency last November, I probably wouldn’t have watched regardless. What’s the point? Was the “state of the union” really given last night, or did we just get another litany of governmental expansion wishes and executive lecture to the Congress and assembled others?

As Ed Morrissey wrote this morning at Hot Air (“The laundry list event”):

No, the problem with this and nearly every SOTU is that it reads like Congress is Santa Claus, the President is the greedy kid, and all the rest of us are the elves in the workshop.  Almost without exception for every President in memory, the SOTU is a dressed-up version of a campaign platform filled with “I wants” and “you’d better bring mes,”  interrupted only by mindless applause and standing ovations for the most mundane of rhetoric.  That didn’t start with Obama (we should only have been so lucky!) and it won’t end with him either.  The result is a themeless, pointless, and unmemorable ramble through the arcane fighting points of the day, and no coherence whatsoever other than “gimme.”

Seriously, if I wanted to watch things running around in circles, being preened, and soaking up adoring applause as politicians are so apt to do – rather than actually accomplishing anything – there was a much better option for that last night! (Actually, I watched the Monday part of that off the DVR, last night will be watched tonight).

Back last September on the day President Obama addressed the United Nations, I wrote up the speech I’d give were I the President of the United States standing before that body. So, in that spirit, here’s the address given by a hypothetical President Allan Bourdius, newly elected last November, on February 12, 2013 to a joint session of Congress.

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, distinguished guests, and my fellow citizens:

It is well that our Constitution spells out in Article II, Section 3 that “[The President] shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient” as a duty of the President because when I’m done with this speech, the Congress might not invite me back otherwise.

Today, the state of our union is troubled. It hangs on a precipice.

Right there, gasps have gone out across our great land and from political pundits throughout our news media, for when was the last time a President of the United States said anything in a state of the union address besides, “The state of our union strong, but oh, by the way, here’s a laundry list of programs we need to make us stronger!”?

Our union is on the precipice not because of our citizens, our families, our businesses, our individuality, or even changes in our culture. Those things, indeed, are very strong. We as Americans are the people who have innovated more, produced more, enriched more, and benefited humanity more than any other culture and society in human history.

Someone once said to me that American government started going downhill with the advent of air conditioning, because that’s when it became comfortable for legislators to remain in Washington, DC for an extra six months a year. I’m reasonably certain bureaucrats spend more time in cool offices than warm, humid ones as well.

No, my fellow Americans, we are on the precipice because of the several hundreds present here in the chamber of the House of Representatives from our three branches of government – legislative, executive, and judiciary – who by virtue of their offices embody the federal leviathan as it has evolved since our Constitutional republic began its governing work on March 4, 1789.

The threat to the strength of our union comes from all three:

From our Congress, who has a hard time understanding when that when the Constitution says things like “shall make no law” or “shall not be infringed” it’s a rule not a guideline, or that the concept of omnibus legislative power to enact legislation as Congress shall will is belied by the enumerated powers contained in the Constitution, as explicitly expanded by multiple amendments;

From our executive departments and agencies, who in the last ninety days alone, have promulgated 5,895 new regulatory impositions on our society and today execute, maintain, and expand a Code of Federal Regulations that spans well over 163,000 pages and 226 volumes;

From our judiciary, who from time to time has ruled in logic-defying twisted-ness, such as that not engaging in interstate commerce is, in fact, engaging in interstate commerce and that a financial imposition on citizens can simultaneously be a tax and not be a tax in the same ruling.

Nor is this a phenomenon limited to the members of one political party or another. Imagine a mirror in front of each and every one of you: there’s the problem. 

All of the federal government is culpable: from a legislature that hasn’t produced a budget for almost four years in violation of the law, to an executive branch who gets appallingly little value out of the dollars they spend, to a judiciary who treats appellate law as if it’s legislation or executive action. 

Whatever strength we have in our union is in spite of actions taken here in Washington, DC, not because of it.

Our republic was framed “to form a more perfect union”, not establish utopia. Utopia is impossible. We’ll never get there. It’s time to stop trying to impose it via the federal government.

The first person recognized by Congress as an honorary citizen of the United States, nearly fifty years ago on April 9, 1963, Sir Winston Churchill, is said to have commented on the nation that bore his mother:

Americans can be counted on do to the right thing, after they have exhausted all other possibilities.

When the net legislative output of the Congress was codified in 1925 as the United States Code, it was printed in one volume. Today, it’s over thirty.

We’ve exhausted enough possibilities, and the American people are exhausted by their government’s actions and inactions. Don’t believe it? Look at Congress’ own approval ratings. Pick up the mirror, each and every one of you, and each and every employee of the federal government regardless of branch should do the same.

We have made the federal government complex when it should be simple.

Here is my simple legislative agenda for the Congress: stop.

Here is my simple regulatory order for all executive departments: don’t.

Our government is not our society. Every man, woman, and child in America going about their daily lives in their homes, neighborhoods, businesses, schools, and churches are society, regardless of what we decide to do here in the nation’s capital.

The American people deserve so much better than what their federal government has tried to give them. We have failed to trust them. We have supplanted government’s will and desires for their own. We have ignored some of the very words upon which this great nation was founded:

He has erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their Substance.

The federal government is going to go on a diet and eat less out of society.

The federal government will no longer measure its success by the actions it takes, or programs it establishes, or by the size of its spending.

We all are asking the wrong core question in our governmental processes and debate, and have been for decades. We ask, “What is the best way for government to act?” when we should be asking, “Should government be involved at all?”

Federal government action should be the last resort, not the first response, to every real or perceived societal ill.

We have a divided Congress. In some ways, this is a good thing. A government not doing more because of gridlock is preferable to a government doing more, and doing it badly.

Many commentators and politicians have highlighted the inability of the House and Senate being able to compromise on legislation. The will or agenda of either of the dominant political parties holds primacy over the concerns of the people. That’s a problem. Here’s a simple way that you, the Congress, can figure out if your legislation is actually among the people’s priorities and interests. Just ask yourself:

“Did the bill pass both houses of Congress with a margin able to override a Presidential veto? If not, we might just be executing our will and not that of all our constituents as a whole.”

I’m not making a promise or a threat, but be advised: I’m not afraid to use the veto pen.

Do not send me a bill that purportedly is for defense, but is loaded down with unrelated spending for non-defense items.

Do not send me a bill on immigration reform that includes provisions wholly unrelated to immigration.

Do not send me a bill that drives the United States deeper in debt by trillions immediately, but only cuts spending piecemeal over the next decade or longer.

Focus, ladies and gentlemen. Keep legislation succinct, and we’ll do the same on the executive rule and regulation-making side. Every one page of new government action probably produces at least one unintended consequence. Do not send me a bill that I can’t read in ten days, excepting Sundays. I won’t sign legislation I haven’t had the chance to finish reading, nor will I allow it to go automatically into force as law.

Forget about putting marketing gloss on bloated, “comprehensive” bills referred to by catchy acronyms, backronyms, or titles. Wit is not a substitute for substance to both PATRIOTs and DREAMers alike. If you have to market it, or give it a catchy name, chances are it’s something government should be doing less of, not more.

It probably comes as a shock to most in this chamber, but life in America will, in fact, go on if Congress ceases passing more and more legislation to insert the government into more and more aspects of life.

It probably comes as a shock to most bureaucrats that life in America will, in fact, go on without their bureaucracies dotting “i’s” and crossing “t’s” if they stopped doing it for more and more things. 

Life will even continue if the federal government involves itself in less than it already is, both legislatively and administratively.

The state of our union will be stronger if we take a scalpel to certain aspects of our federal government, and a wrecking ball to others.

The state of our union will be stronger if Americans have confidence in their federal government. We’ve tried government doing more, and that hasn’t worked. It’s time to do the reverse.

The federal government must choose:

Will it put people first, not by continued grouping into protected classes and carving out exceptions or special grants, but by removing as many burdens imposed upon all of them as possible?

Will it stop substituting its own desires for those of the people?

The choice must be made: are you for the people, or are you for the government? 

My fellow Americans, I have made that choice. I choose the people. I hope and pray those here in the chamber of the House of Representatives tonight assembled have the courage to do the same.

Thank you, and may God continue to bless the United States of America.


Harvesting Apathy

Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA) gave one heck of a speech to the winter meeting of the Republican National Committee a week ago tonight. In fact, it was perhaps the best anti-statist speech given by an elected official in my recent memory. I encourage you to watch it if you haven’t, or at least read Governor Jindal’s remarks as prepared.

Just one of the great points he made spoke to building an electoral majority.

We must compete for every single vote. The 47 percent and the 53 percent. And any other combination of numbers that adds up to 100 percent. President Barack Obama and the Democrats can continue trying to divide America into groups of warring communities with competing interests, but we will have none of it. We are going after every vote as we work to unite all Americans.

He’s absolutely right. Back in my electoral post-mortem (subheading “On Widening the Map”) I noted the necessity of reaching voters, communities, and regions who are considered lost or not worth challenging for in the current political calculus. Libertarians and conservatives are doomed to defeat and extinction unless the map is widened.

There’s another crop of citizens to harvest as well: the forty to sixty percent of Americans who don’t politically engage or vote in biennial national elections. We’ve got to get past people’s apathy and get them involved. And on that, I’ve got a wild premise. Could it be that American apathy is actually an asset in disguise?

I’ve done it, you’ve done it, we’ve all done it: bemoaned those who don’t vote or don’t pay attention to the ever encroaching government leviathan on all of our daily lives. To those of us who are concerned and do pay attention, the lack of participation and attention from millions of Americans can indeed cause despair, because either:

  1. The uninvolved mass actually supports the general trend to statism and just lets it go ahead.
  2. The uninvolved mass thinks their voice doesn’t matter and doesn’t bother because intervention is futile.

Both could be true, and yes, both are discouraging, but I think there’s a third explanation that should be encouraging. What if Americans are disinclined to political engagement because they believe they shouldn’t have to pay attention?

Ponder that for a minute. What is the main thrust of anti-statists such as myself? Simply that government should have as little influence and impact as possible on us and our liberty. That is the American system. The texts of the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution show that the United States was born on anti-statism. A government-centric society would never have been founded with these words:

That to secure these [unalienable] Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Nor would it have been limited in scope and reach with these words:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

That’s our culture; that’s our society. Government is meant to be secondary to the people. I believe – and perhaps I’m just an optimist – that Americans intrinsically know it.

It’s an explanation for why large numbers of people, perhaps even a majority, don’t pay attention to electoral contests until the range of days between Labor Day and Election Day. Why bother to pay attention to political contests when they’re not supposed to rule your daily existence?

It’s an explanation for why millions of eligible Americans don’t bother to vote too. Again, from a traditional American, anti-statist perspective, government just isn’t supposed to have a huge impact on daily life, so it’s not essential to use whatever influence one has on the electoral/governmental process to influence it. We’re not supposed to be government-centric; we’re not supposed to have our lives hinge on what happens in Washington. As Governor Jindal said:

America is not the federal government. In fact, America is not much about government at all. In America, government is one of those things you have to have, but you sure don’t want too much of it…kind of like your in-laws. This is of course the polar opposite of the political debate in our country today. At present we have one party that wants to be in charge of the federal government so they can expand it, and one party that wants to be in charge of the federal government so they can get it under control. It’s a terrible debate, it’s a debate fought entirely on our opponents’ terms.

It’s easy to turn off a political discourse between two sides that are fighting for the same side of a societal coin. We are society; we are supposed to be government. The government isn’t supposed to dominate us or our society.

The electoral participation statistics from other western democracies – many of which have average voter turnouts upwards of 85 percent – back this up. Those societies don’t have the independent, no central authority tradition of the United States. When you’re in a society in which there always has been a centralized, powerful government, you’ll take whatever opportunity you get to have your voice as a subject heard in the hopes of becoming “the governed”.

For most of our history in the United States we’ve been governed, not ruled. We’re increasingly becoming subjects. The increasing push into our daily lives by statism hasn’t been met with increased involvement of the people. How to wake people up?

I don’t think we’re ever going to win masses of voters over to an anti-statist position, nor will we get the 40 to 60 percent who don’t participate involved, so long as the core message is couched in policy and numbers. Issues of budgets and spending, debts and deficits, are essential to deal with, but produce either instant boredom or (particularly in the case of spending) a transition to wondering “what’s in it for me?” – and then taking and accepting what crumbs one is given as a net good.

A simpler, traditional American core message might work: we want to be left alone. Today, we’ve come full circle, having traded one tyrant thousands of miles away for thousands of tyrants in the form of politicians, bureaucrats, and regulators within miles.

[O]ur industry discouraged, our resources pillaged, worst of all, our very character stifled. We’ve spawned a new race here…rougher, simpler, more violent, more enterprising, less refined. We’re a new nationality. We require a new nation.

— Benjamin Franklin, as portrayed in 1776.

Franklin may not have described American society as it evolved from its European roots exactly in those words, but they’re certainly in his style. Americans as a people are the key, not whatever government we form.

Government, and what we’re going to do with it, can’t be the lead if we ever expect conservatives and libertarians to present themselves as a legitimate alternative to the two-party statist rule we have now. Yes, both elected Republicans and Democrats have built the leviathan, and they’re more concerned with being able to run it than reform it, or better still, smash it to pieces.

If we don’t change the paradigm and focus on individual liberty and opportunity outside or away from government, we’ll only ever appear as “more of the same”. We won’t be attractive to anyone, we won’t convert anyone, and the 40-60 percent who aren’t involved will remain on the sidelines. Bobby Jindal understands this:

We must focus on real people outside of Washington, not the lobbyists and government inside Washington. We must stop competing with Democrats for the job of “Government Manager,” and lay out ideas that can unleash the dynamic abilities of the American people. We need an equal opportunity society, one in which government does not see its job as picking winners and losers. Where do you go if you want special favors? Government. Where do you go if you want a tax break? Government. Where do you go if you want a handout? Government. This must stop. Our government must pursue a level playing field. At present, government is the un-leveler of the playing field.

We have to harvest people’s apathy. Use the American assumption that government isn’t supposed to matter. Tell people that if you don’t want to have to care, get involved so in the end you won’t have to anymore…at least for a while.

If I’m right, and believing that government shouldn’t be a daily presence in our lives is inherent to being an American, it should be an easy sell.