Attn, DC Reasonoids: Jesse Walker Debates Whether We Get the Gov't We Deserve, Thurs, July 20


This month's Robert Taft Club meeitng, for those of you in the DC area (or who might like to drive up from nearby) will be this Thursday, 7—9 pm, at 1101 North Highland Street, Arlington, VA (i.e., the Leadership Institute building). Topic: Do the American people deserve the government they get? Panelists will be James Bovard, author of Attention Deficit Democracy; Reason magazine's Jesse Walker; and Paul Gottfried, professor of the humanities at Elizabethtown College. RSVP to Marcus Epstein.

NEXT: Red Star Over Milwaukee

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I don’t know if we deserve it but there is no question that we get the kind of government that most people are generally content with. Believe me, if people wanted the drug war to end it would.

  2. TWC is right. There shouldn’t be a debate about this anymore. People like pork. People like low taxes. People like a strong military, especially if it gets strong by way of pork. People don’t like drug users. People believe want to feel completely comfortable in public places – if that means more God there and no gay people there, so be it. People are paralyzed by the fear that their kids will grow up, smoke some weed and switch teams.

    We get exactly what most people want.

  3. Unfortunately, I get the government YOU deserve. You bastards!

  4. We get exactly what most people want.

    Which is why democracy is the most insidious totalitarian system in human history.

  5. I’ll bet that at least 98 of the next 100 people reading this could fill in the blanks:

    Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and _______ __ ___ __ ____ ___ ____.

  6. “…deserve to get it good and hard.”

    Classic Mencken.

  7. I once tried to explain to my father why I switched from being a Buckleyite fusionist “conservative” Republican to a dope-tolerating, abortion-allowing, intervention-eschewing Libertarian. I said, “Dad, you remember when Eisenhower swiped the GOP nomination away from Bob Taft back in `52? If I had been alive then, I would have voted for Taft.” My Pop then admitted “Well, I was a Taft man, too.”

    Just don’t get me started on any recent officeholders named Taft. Our friends from Ohio can vent much better than I can, anyway.


  8. I doubt even the majority gets or even knows what it wants most of the time, but democracy largely ensures that the majority almost never gets anything better than what it wants. And, of course, it absolutely ensures that the minority by definition doesn’t get what it wants.

    Therein, in case someone failed to notice, is one of the principle libertarian arguments against any but the most minimal government — the more government does, the more people will find themselves opposed to its doing this thing or that; that is, it’s claim to being representative or voicing the will of the people decreases inversely with the extent to which it does more and more things.

  9. Hmm…do people in a democracy get the government they want, or are they taught to want the government they get?

  10. The Robert taft’s website with more on info on the event is

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.