Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Comment on the Scale of Government

I'll have to admit that I prefer smaller scale units of government, especially the city or the county kind, as they seem more life scale, rather than the Federal government.  Obviously, this is not a bias shared by people of the liberal persuasion, who see their Government in an activist role to make things better.  I see them often as busybodies from some other place that comes in like modern-day carpetbaggers bringing light and required harmony to those errant Tennesseeans (and now Montanans, since I'm here).

Yeah, I know that somethings have to be done by the Federal government.  Like defense, and interstate highways, and National Parks, for example.

(Incidentally, what gets capitalized, state, federal, county?  Obviously, state and county get capitalized when the writer is referring to a specific entity, like the State of Tennessee, or Williamson County; but since there's only one federal government, it somehow rates a capital "F."  Oh, F!)

I know we have some clowns in the Tennessee legislature like those I mentioned, Campfield, Hurley, Armstrong; but they're usually more amusing than scary.  But the ass clown likes of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi making decisions regarding my life gives me the runs!

Part of it comes when we visit our courthouse: it's kind of quaint, fun, inefficient, and you feel charmed and think that these people are trying their best, they mean well and they're harmless.  Even the sheriff's deputies tend to be "Aw shucks, Ma'am" kinds of guys and let you off with a warning if you act contrite.  If you want to get out of jury duty, someone will listen to you and cut you some slack.  Assessors wield a light hand.

That's what it is.  Locals cut each other slack.  As long as you're friendly, and don't cause no hassle.  There's a lot of bending of the rules.  Or they're not sure of what the rules are. 

Those people in Washington worry me.  It seems so efficient, distant, and powerful.  And they act like an occupying force.  Whereas the state and the county seem like small domestic animals, the Federal government is a superlarge-sized carnivore.  And they collect taxes, and make a lot of laws I'm not sure of.  Maybe because it's the fact of certain states seeming to have disproportionate input.

And why has the Federal government moved into areas reserved for the states?  Because it can.  Because a lot of people let them. 

In short, the little county courthouses are where many of us feel that we have accessible, not dominating, government.

I realize that other people see it differently; but big government daunts me just like big corporations do.


  1. I liked going to the county courthouse except for jury duty.

  2. I agree with Duck. I've had enough jury duty to last a lifetime.

  3. This was a very good and very thought-provoking post. Like you, I believe that the size of government should be as small as possible, and that functions should be performed at the lowest possible level of government so that they are as close as possible to the people who are most affected. I think you have inspired me to riff on this in a post of my own when we get back from our vacation ...

  4. There's a hazard to hanging around county courthouses: too many lawyers.