Government is the only thing we all belong to …

This video was featured at the the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte this week. In it the narrator says:

“We are committed to all people. We do believe you can use government in a good way. Government is the only thing that we all belong to. We’re different churches, different clubs, but we’re together as a part of our city, or our county, or our state, and our nation.

I searched for this video after seeing many of my friends Facebook statuses started saying things like “I don’t belong to the government” or “The government belongs to me.”

As I watch this video, I know that the Democrats are not trying to say that government owns us. But what they are saying illustrates a profound difference in philosophy from what I believe. Now, there is no question that I am a Republican partisan. I serve on the Republican State Central Committee here in Iowa and I ran unsuccessfully to represent Iowa on the Republican National Committee. I have chaired my county, district and state platform committee and represented Iowa on the national platform committee in 2008.

Over the years, I have tried to explain politics to my children. In those especially teachable moments I have tried to be fair and to avoid invective. Since I am a Republican, I tell my kids that Democrats are not bad people. For the most part, Democrats and Republicans see the same problems in our country. The profound difference is the approach that they take to solutions.I usually explain it to my kids this way:

Democrats view government as the expression of our better angels, a means of working together as communities and ultimately a nation for the common good.Republicans view government as necessary, but believe that its function should be limited to prevent it from hindering those better angels of our nature acting as individuals and in community.

So when my guys get elected, I want them to rein in spending, and hold the line on taxes but I do not want them to create jobs. I want them (the government) to get out of the way and let the individuals take risks, start businesses, invest, and create jobs the old-fashioned way.

Of course when one of my kids asks, “Daddy, what is a Libertarian?” I tell them that:

… a Libertarian is a Republican who smokes pot 🙂