Wednesday, August 23, 2006

S, M, L, XL - Sizing, Dividing, & Balancing Government

An Illustrated Primer on Divided & Balanced Government
This blog is in the service of promoting one topic and one objective, the benefit of voting for and securing divided government in Washington D.C. We have researched and cited articles, white papers, and books from journalists, scholars and leaders that explicate in detail the benefits of divided government. We have debated the merits of divided government with blog readers and authors. We have offered example after example from the news of the day, demonstrating how single party control of the federal government leads to bad governance, while government divided between the major political parties leads to better governance. Still, it is not enough.

The Problem
The idea of divided government as a positive, actionable political objective remains mired in the collective subconscious of the voting electorate. While we occasionally hear and read about divided government in the newspaper, on the web, and on TV, it always seems to be in the context of an off-hand comment, or a brief observation of an interesting but seemingly unimportant political element, worth noting, but quickly forgotten. The idea has yet to successfully fertilize and germinate, let alone give birth to a real political movement. Net net - we need to impregnate the body politic with this potent political idea. In an effort to inseminate this idea into the broad populace, I have assembled this educational illustrated primer, which I hope will serve as an invitation to explore and appreciate the seductive beauty of these ideas.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I found these photographs on the internet, and cannot speak with 100% certainty as to their veracity, provenance, or accuracy. However, since they were secured from Reuters, a highly respected photo-journalism and news service, you should have all the confidence in the accuracy of these photos that is merited from a source with Reuter's reputation.

Nipping the Problem in the Bud - A Divided Government Primer
First, it is important to understand that there is no absolutely right or wrong answer to the question of exactly how big government should be. Government can be appreciated in a variety of sizes. In this primer we will illustrate that, regardless of size, it is more important to ensure that our government be divided and in balance.

Big Government
For some, the bigger the government the better. The seductive charms of big government are easy to see. Advocates of big government believe the milk of human kindness can only be effectively distributed and enjoyed with a bountiful, abundantly large government. Others believe that an overly large government is not natural, creates inflated expectations, and requires excessive support. They fear the single-minded pursuit of the benefits of large government will lead to an artificial enhancement of government size. While this may provide short-term gratification for government patrons, the long-term effects are often unexpected, and can lead to sagging government fortunes and other expensive unintended consequences. Now, both the right and the left have their favored constituencies, who can be expected to grab and grope for all the government largess they can get their hands on. This is the important point: If the government of the right and left are not in balance, the perception of these abundant government assets will be distorted, creating confusion and dissatisfaction among all government patrons, users, and abusers alike.

Limited Government
Limited government advocates believe that as far as government is concerned: more than a modicum is wasted. Limited government advocates believe that government has a proper purpose, that government should be limited to a size that is appropriate to that purpose, and anything beyond that purpose is a perversion of the proper use of government assets. For limited government advocates, a large government detracts from the sleek and supple performance of the socio-economic body. They see big government as a distraction at best, and at worst, a dangerous, resource sucking, freedom restricting, gold-digging promiscuous harlot (Limited government advocates are generally not considered to be as much fun as the proponents of big government).

Moderate Government
Others choose a middle course. They point out that people will always want what big government has to offer. At the same time, they recognizing that there is only so much to go around, and there must be some limitations on how government should be used and contained. Correct sizing of the government containment cup is important, and properly cleaving a decision between the A, B, C or D choice requires careful consideration and handling.

Balanced Government
The seductive appeal of suckling from government resources, whether large or limited, cannot and should not be denied. It is this very appeal that makes government so attractive and so dangerous. It is only through maintaining a balance between right and left, that we can be assured that government resources are used to nurture, to protect, and not to corrupt.

I hope this simple primer will stimulate your interest in exploring the benefits of divided and balanced government in detail. By stripping back the facade of partisanship, we expose the truth about limiting our focus on the right or left, and can appreciate the glory and symmetric perfection of a government divided and balanced.

Divided Government is Better Government

UPDATE: Friday, August 26, 2006
I was questioned whether my message was being trivialized by my illustrations in this post. Then, reading wapo this morning, I decided that if MSM pundit Eugene Robinson can take Washington Post Op-Ed space to write: TomKat vs. the Tom-Toms -"The real news today ... is too depressing for a summer morning when we all ought to be on a beach somewhere... Let's wallow instead in the tabloid news" ... Then I can wallow in a few gratuitous humorous metaphors to make my point.

UPDATE: Friday, July 25, 2007
Added tags. Added Labels. Edited offer. Fixed typos.

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Anonymous said...

Very cute, but you could add too other cases: Single party big (you'd have to morph the picture so the girl has just one large breast; and Unbalanced government, where one party has much more power than the other, but isn't fully in control. That would need a picture with one large breast, and one small one. :)


mw said...

I think your suggestions fall under the heading of "diminishing returns". My intent was to "broaden" the appeal of these ideas, and attract readers, not um... scare them away. Not to mention these image ideas fall outside the realm of my skills, and my photo software capabilities. Thanks for the comment though. - mw

Unknown said...

What about the parliamentary model of multi-party government?

mw said...

Rachel, LOL - thats just perfect! Next time I update this post, I'll have to incorporate your insightful photographic observation.