Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Government bashing

Have you seen that bit of "humor" floating around the Net describing the discovery of the new heaviest element, "Governmentium"? It goes on about how it's made up of "morons" and so on in this vein.

Call me an old grouch, but I find this—and the many similar things that circulate around the Net—annoying at best.

In the guise of humor, they reinforce the "conventional wisdom" that government is inherently inept and ridiculous. This is the purest essence of Reaganism, and getting even self-described progressives to promote it has to count as a victory for Norquist and the rest of the anti-government zealots. I'd be surprised if the Republicans didn't have somebody on the payroll somewhere whose job is to propagate this stuff.

Ask yourself: where are the similar stories that hold big corporations up to ridicule? There are plenty of vitriolic anti-WalMart rants out there—which largely preach to the choir—but I can't recall any that might make the average Joe chuckle and decide to forward it to his friends.

Yet another way the right wing has outsmarted us?


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