Conservatism: Trashing Government on Its Way Out

Terrance Heath

Reading the headlines over the past week, I’m beginning to wonder if there’s a single agency in the United States government that conservatives haven’t left in worse shape than they found it. I’ve been reading about demoralized government employees, under-resourced departments, and agencies left in shambles after eight years of Republican rule.

A few days after the election I participated in a telephone survey about the outcome. The surveyor, at one point, asked me how I felt about the Bush administration and the congressional Republicans. After a couple of tries at explaining conservative failure, I finally blurted out, “People hate government, and don’t believe it can do any good, just can’t govern effectively.”

After this week, I think I’d probably amend that statement. Conservatives don’t believe government doesn’t work. They believe it shouldn’t. And when they get elected they make damn sure it can’t.