Mark Steyn: Burst Bubbles of Big Government and Political Soap Operas

With his usual eloquence and wit, the venerable Mark Steyn on National Review Online makes a terrific point about the connection between centralized state spending & power and bizarre behavior by politicians:

The real bubble is a consequence of big government. The more the citizenry expect from the state, the more our political class will depend on ever more swollen Gulf Emir–sized retinues of staffers hovering at the elbow to steer you from one corner of the fishbowl to another 24/7. “Why are politicians so weird?” a reader asked me after the Sanford press conference. But the majority of people willing to live like this will, almost by definition, be deeply weird. So big government more or less guarantees rule by creeps and misfits. It’s just a question of how well they disguise it. Writing about Michael Jackson a few years ago, I suggested that today’s A-list celebs were the equivalent of Mad King Ludwig of Bavaria or the loopier Ottoman sultans, the ones it wasn’t safe to leave alone with sharp implements. But, as Christopher Hitchens says, politics is showbusiness for ugly people. And a celebrified political culture will inevitably throw up its share of tatty karaoke versions of Britney and Jacko.

After this past week, it’s easy to be reminded that Americans have gotten a raw deal, one they unfortunately all too often continue to enable. I like Steyn’s solution: “Burst the Bubble” of big government.


  1. says

    Yeh, we-uns’ve got a purty bad deal, att’s fir shore. Real bad deal indeed. But who’s a-gonna burst that thar bubble-a big gummint, really? Th’ Republicans? Dohn’t make me laff, Ben. Republicans put us ohn th’ paith t’ big gummint baick in 1861, ‘n they ohnly gotten wirse since then.

    I thank y’all’ll find-iss here series intersturn. It even includes somethin’ by yir friend Timothy Sandefur:

    Here’s th’ ohnly way we’ll be able t’ burst-att bubble. I’ll be tawkin’ ’bout it a lil bit oer at my blog. Hope y’all’ll tune in.


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