Column II: It’s the government we’re TALKING about here, Cal

Just as one should change a car’s oil every 3,000 miles, I think it is helpful to call “Bull!” about everything 3,000th time I hear a nonsensical rhetorical cliche.

Such as this one in a Cal Thomas column I read in the paper today:

There is something else Republicans must not do. They must avoid making the same mistake Democrats make by looking to government as a first resource.


Cal, you were talking in this column about people running for president of the United States. Someone to run the executive branch of the government. Someone to be in charge of government programs. Someone we trust to be in charge of the things we have decided that we want out government to do.

We are not hiring a pastor for our church, or a den mother for a Cub Scout den, or the CEO of a corporation, or the executive director of a nonprofit. We are looking for someone to run the government.

That’s the job. This person will not be in charge of anything else in the world except the government. Therefore the only tools this person will have at his (or, in one unlikely case, her) disposal will be government tools.

Therefore, the only proposals any reasonable person — whether Democrat, Republican, or whatever — would expect to hear such candidates speak about would be proposals for what to do with the government. Any other proposals would be completely irrelevant.

Now, you or I and lots of other folks might prefer to turn elsewhere for solutions to problems we see in the world, and that’s fine. We should do so as we are inclined. But that is completely irrelevant to the task of choosing a president, a person who would have nothing to do with running those other aspects of life.

Not only the “first,” but the only “resource” this person would be empowered to use in carrying out his (or her) duties would be government.

I just thought I’d point that out. It seems to me to be painfully obvious, but you seemed confused, and I like to help.

4 thoughts on “Column II: It’s the government we’re TALKING about here, Cal

  1. `Kathryn Fenner

    That’s what you get for reading Cal Thomas. I gave up when I never read an argument I found credible. There are conservative columnists–Kathleen Parker, P.J. O’Rourke, the late lamented Wm. F. Buckley, who make valid arguments, even if I disagree, and then there’s Cal Thomas, who is even worse than Charles Krauthammer…

  2. Nick Nielsen

    I’m still trying to figure out why the people who tell me government is bad also want to be part of it…

  3. Ralph Hightower

    I beg to differ with Cal’s praise of Mitt Romney’s business sense.

    Mitt’s forte while at Bainbridge Capital was stripping out the assets of businesses, selling the assets to someone else, and leaving a shell of a company left behind.

    Also, there is no logic in Cal’s argument that parents should be able to send their kid to a private school for education. That right exists right now. Nothing is stopping Cal from sending his kids to a private school. However, I object to subsidizing private schools with public money.

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