Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

"Limited Government" on OpinionJournal

OpinionJournal, the Wall Street Journal editorial page’s website, posts my essay on "The Trouble With Limited Government" from the current Claremont Review of Books today. I urge the minority of NLT readers who haven’t yet taken out a CRB subscription to treat yourselves to a first-rate publication. For the free riders, take a look at OpinionJournal.

I’ve been stingy with my NLT offerings in recent weeks, and will have to be so for a few more. I’m determined to complete the manuscript for a book by December 31st. The working title is, So . . . What Would Be Enough? Liberals, Conservatives and the Welfare State’s Limits.

Discussions - 5 Comments

Solid... a world of potential in fleshing that out...

Mr. Voegeli, we subscribe to both publications and you seem to be everywhere. A book, too? I like the title.


Most people hate paying taxes. My father-in-law howled about his taxes while insisting that government ought to provide services and a safety-net for every citizen which would have taken far more of his money than he already paid. He knew. Yet, to him and to far too many people, the government that gives is what seems right - feels right. The SENSE of entitlement will make eliminating entitlements or even stemming the tide of government beneficence just about impossible. Please, someone tell me I am wrong. I just spent the morning with my students trying to explain the difference between rational and emotional arguments. I am most discouraged.

Kate, did you end up making an emotional argument for rational arguments?

I would love to hear the difference again...

John Lewis, would it take you back to your undergraduate years? No. Actually, I was making them laugh about logic, playing with premises and syllogisms and we wandered. Arguments do not have to be emotional? Apparently some young women do not "feel" that to be true.

An outstanding essay, Bill. It is head and shoulders above the shallow, boring, pseudo-analysis of what went wrong that we've seen too often from other conservative quarters.
As you point out, statism is more deeply entrenched in our society that most of these people suspect. The American people, by and large, do not really want limited government. It is possible they can be made to want it, but that is a long-term project requiring the kind of seriousness seen in your essay, and too rarely elsewhere.

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