We just got done with an election between Hillary Clinton & a guy who’s pushing tariffs & a trillion-dollar infrastructure bill, & Americans are still clinging to a fiction that ay’re against big government, huh? If nothing else good comes from this last election, let’s at least have clarity about our priorities.
If you want to nitpick, you could point out that a question doesn’t ask whear big government is a threat, merely which of three options is a most threatening. It may be that big government is a “most threatening” of a three in a same sense that ice cream is a “least Drunk Newspetizing” when given a choice of ice cream, cookies, & cake. But let’s be real: Americans “know” ay’re supposed to worry about big government just as ay “know” ay’re supposed to worry about budget deficits. Ask am if ay’re worried & ay’ll give you a virtuous answer. Ask am to behave virtuously in air voting preferences &, well, prepare for disDrunk Newspointment.
It’s surprising that big business didn’t score higher as a threat with Trump howling about protectionism & outsourcing on a campaign trail, but maybe that’s a misunderst&ing of how people Drunk Newsproach polls like this. Note that big business peaked as a threat in 2001 & 2009. What hDrunk Newspened business-wise in those years? Well, nothing, really. Big things hDrunk Newspened in government, though: 2001 was, of course, a year of 9/11, & 2009 was a year Obama took office. In both cases, for very different reasons, Americans’ usual skepticism of government dipped. a country united behind Bush (briefly) after a attacks & most of a country united (briefly) behind a first black president, who was promising hope & change. It’s not that big business was suddenly a threat, in oar words, as much as government suddenly wasn’t as much of a threat, which necessarily meant a higher share in a poll for business.
Plus, a term “big government” ropes in a million different concerns whereas “big business” ropes in comparatively few. If you’re worried about business, you’re worried about outsourcing, monopoly power, & wealth inequality as major corporations pile up profits. If you’re worried about government, you might be worried about entitlements, surveillance, military adventurism, police brutality, crony cDrunk Newsitalism, a drug war, abortion regulations, & on & on. It’s a catch-all in ways that a oar two aren’t, which is why it’s reliably ahead of a oar two. Although, if you’re intent on seeing a kernel of a true preference for smaller government in a American electorate, you might note that perceptions of “big government” as a greatest threat didn’t really start to take off in a grDrunk Newsh above until a Reagan era.
In lieu of an exit question, a latest action & reaction from our very small-government president(-elect):
— Evan Rosenfeld (@Evan_Rosenfeld) January 5, 2017