the paradox

The current (renewed) national debate on the Death Penalty and ongoing debate about the use of torture has been on my mind as of late. And the one thing that really bothers me about this is the position that the hard line GOPers take on this. The bizarre paradox of Big Government and their distrust of it and their near total support of the Death Penalty, ignoring the Geneva conventions and willingness to sacrifice Habius Corpus. At the same time, you hear them talking about the need to Starve the Beast. You hear the tax and spend platitudes.

But there is this odd disconnect. Why is it that they don’t trust Government to monitor air and water quality; but do trust them to never torture or execute an innocent man? Why is it that they don’t trust the government to spend wisely when the money would go to schools or hospitals; but do trust them to spend any amount on money on the military all the while refusing to investigate potential waste or fraud?

One would think that if a person didn’t trust Big Government then they would want to keep Government from executing or torturing anyone, ever. They would want constant audits for every penny spent. That independent, quantifiable standards be put in place for anything government did. And such a person would never trust the government to be involved in private matters of faith. And would rather raise taxes than have a untrustable government borrow money from a foreign government; thus leaving it open to coercion from that foreign power.

I understand and appreciate a healthy distrust of government. The founding fathers shared that view. So I wonder why that distrust of authority seems to be limited to only to the state and only when the state engages in domestic spending. Go figure.