I’m skeptical of the collective wisdom of the American people. I’m not any more skeptical of the people we put in government. But those people wield enormous power; and nor are they acting in isolation. What they can and cannot do is often limited by other people perhaps less brilliant or less honest. Even the most skilled technocrat with the best intentions has to navigate the labyrinthine halls of power, compromising here, giving special favors there. Often it is the very corporations and special interests that liberals decry who benefit the most from centralized power and complexity, from the good intent of human failings. Limiting government, then, in my view is a very progressive goal. We will have experts in government no matter what and that’s not a bad thing but we should expect what they can achieve in real life to be far less than what they can achieve in theory. They are as human as we are and as prone to mistakes. We should look to limit the scope of their mistakes.
Again, conservatives are as guilty of certainty as liberals are often more so.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.