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Steamrollers are not your friend

Peggy Noonan gets it right once again in today’s column on OpinionJournal.com. Addressing the recent Jack Abramoff scandal, she begins:

The problem with government is that it is run by people, and people are flawed. They are not virtue machines. We are all of us, even the best of us, vulnerable to the call of the low: to greed, conceit, insensitivity, ruthlessness, the desire to show you’re in control, in charge, in command.

If the problem with government is that it is run by people and not, as James Madison put it, angels, the problem with big government is that it is run by a lot of people who are not angels. They can, together and in the aggregate, do much mischief. They can and inevitably will produce a great deal of injustice, corruption and heartlessness.

She proceeds to review the history of the past 25 years of attempts to slow the growth of government, and how they have mostly failed. In her metaphor, the government is the steamroller, and even those working in it are just atoms in the steel, carried along by the momentum.

So what should we do? “Stop trying to fit in. Stop being another atom in the steel. It does no good trying to run a better steamroller. It won’t work. Steamrollers are not your friend.”

Go read the whole thing.

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