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October 10, 2004

The Arena and The Team

When I listen to political arguments between Democrats and Republicans I am struck by how they talk past each other. Each is having a discusion, but only with themselves, not with the other. I believe the misunderstanding of the motives of the other is based on a core concept of the role of government.

Republicans (and Libertarians) think that the government provides the arena, the rules and the officials. The people bring the team. The game is on the field and the government's role is to provide all the structure that makes the game possible. But not the game. The people bring the game.

Democrats (and Socialists) think that the government is the game. All those other activities are just services that provide infrastructure, like concessions and the seats.

In simplest form:

Republican: Government brings the arena, the people play the game.
Democrat: The people provide the arena, the government plays the game.

Posted by creagb at October 10, 2004 02:40 PM