Good people have been thinking and saying such as the following, for at least the time I have been aware of such, some fifty years or more:
The mistake of the Democratic majority was believing it could create the good society by merely building government up; the danger for the Republican majority may be believing it can recreate the good society by merely tearing government down. Creating a good society means, rather, mobilizing American leaders and citizens from all walks of life to renew every sector of society. (Don Eberly, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3,1995)
But these good people have not been and are still not being listened to. This division, into those looking to government to save us, and those looking to save us from government, has probably more than anything else prevented our elected officials from taking reasonable steps to solve our quite solvable problems, that is, to save us from our unreasonable selves.
A post scriptum to my post above — This from Alan Abelson writing in Barron’s of 1/30/95:
There have been two great American pastimes. The more recent is baseball. The older is hating government…. The antipathy to government is as old as the country itself. A couple of hundred years ago, Tom Paine called government at best a necessary evil and at worst an intolerable one, and that has remained pretty much the prevailing sentiment, suspended only for the duration of wars and other national emergencies.