In the past 48 hours, I’ve run across columns, Facebook posts and broadcast pundits all blaming government for not doing enough–not keeping the Ebola virus from American shores, not deporting twelve million “illegal aliens,” and not doing enough to encourage marriage, harness the nation’s energy supplies, or create jobs.
In fact, pretty much everything that’s wrong with America–at least in the eyes of these critics–is a result of government shirking its responsibilities. (Of course, they also add that it’s all Obama’s fault that government failed to do what it was supposed to).
The accusation is that government had a job and it failed to do that job.
Interestingly, these finger-pointers tend to be the very same people who want to “starve government until it’s small enough to drown in a bathtub.” They are also the same people who are always insisting that government “get out of the way” of business (while regulating women’s uteri), that it stop supporting “takers” with our frayed social safety net programs (while continuing to subsidize those “makers” who will be creating jobs any time now), and that government stop extorting our hard-earned money through taxation (while demanding more and more of the services those taxes support).
There’s terminology that describes what happens when people hold fast to incompatible beliefs: cognitive dissonance.