Our friends at The Daily Beast have an article from 2017 talking about how politicians are idiots:
A couple of days ago, I noted that Kathleen Sebelius [Previous Democratic governor of Kansas] doesn’t seem to know how insurance works. Now Colorado’s senior Democratic representative, who wants to ban extended magazines, appears to reveal that she doesn’t know how the magazines that she wants to ban actually work:
Asked how a ban on magazines holding more than 15 rounds would be effective in reducing gun violence, DeGette said:
“I will tell you these are ammunition, they’re bullets, so the people who have those now they’re going to shoot them, so if you ban them in the future, the number of these high capacity magazines is going to decrease dramatically over time because the bullets will have been shot and there won’t be any more available.”
What she didn’t appear to understand is that a magazine can be reloaded with more bullets.
None of which is likely surprising for any of my readers. Politicians are notorious for getting the actual number on gun deaths wrong along with spewing insanity about what actually happened with Australia’s gun control policies.
The author of this article then goes on to note:
Unfortunately, as I observed many years ago, the government now does so much stuff that it is literally impossible for our politicians to understand most of the legislation they vote on. It would be reasonable to expect our congressmen to be experts in how guns work. But it is not reasonable to expect them to be expert on that . . . and fancy military helicopters . . . and fire safety . . . and social work . . . and all the other thousands of things that we expect them to take care of. And so we are regularly treated to the sight of politicians making impassioned pleas for banning something that they cannot even accurately describe.
This is ultimately one of the strongest arguments for smaller government. The government can do many good things, possibly more than conservatives and libertarians are generally willing to admit. But it cannot do all of them. And the more we ask, the less well they can do any of it.
This is a very true statement. Our politicians are uneducated on a wide variety of essential governmental topics. This is evidently apparent to anyone. Especially considering something like firearms: how massive is the gun control issue in the United States? Yet, our politicians don’t even understand the very basic concepts of firearms. Like the difference between a clip and a mag. Or how a bullet works.
Let’s Make Politicians Train For A Decade So They Aren’t Idiots
So, one could make a very strong argument in favor of smaller government when looking at the facts through this lens. Modern politicians are unable to handle what is required of them given the modern governmental system. By near de-facto, we must consider small government a better alternative than a large government with inept politicians.
But instead what if we had educated, valued politicians? Politicians that were trained on all matters of government: from the essentials of the constitution to the ever-moving field of hot button political issues? Would we still desire a “small” government?
I would argue no. A small government can, and usually does, lead to the centralization of power in oligarchical or monopolistic entities. Small government is never sustainable forever. But the large government with inept politicians is also worthless. So what do we do?
Why not instead advocate for a medium sized government that has heavily educated politicians instead? A large enough government to make it self-sustainable locked-in with knowledgeable politicians.
We train doctors for a decade and they have far less impact than a governor.
We train lawyers for a decade and they only interpret the laws while the untrained politicians write them.
The reason so many people advocate for small government is because modern large government is inefficient. But the option between large/failures and small/unsustainable are not our only options.
Let’s train our politicians for a decade. Toss them into the military for three years. Make them do a “hell” year for strength and to prove their mental fortitude. Make them study for four years without the allures of the modern world: No different than law or medicine. Then make them do a volunteer year for selflessness and community support. Finally, make them foreshadow other politicians for the final year to give them real life experiences.
Then we have strong, educated, and virtuous leaders. Instead of these limp-wrist soy boys or Moloch worshipers we have currently directing our national security.
Then, when we have decent politicians, maybe people wouldn’t be so focused on the small vs large issue of government at all. Rather, they would focus on the quality of the government instead of its size.