I just figured out why the "smaller government is better" rubbish that the GOP trots out every elections cycle sells.
I have just come back from a two hour trip to the Maryland MVA to get an updated sticker for my car's license plate.
Apparently, if you get your car inspected in Maryland, the mechanic doesn't put the new sticker on the car. This is entirely foreign to me. As a mechanic that periodically did inspections in Pennsylvania, I used to put the new stickers on myself. Therefore, after having my car inspected a month ago, I didn't bother to do anything with the paper work other than throw it in the glove box.
So a week ago I noticed that the stickers on my license plate showed that my car wasn't currently inspected. A week of being nervous every time a cop drove by and I finally found a chance to get to the MVA. Long story short, I sat and played games on my cell phone for much longer than I should have.
The point of this mind-flatteningly boring story is that for 95% of voters, their interactions with 'Government' is almost entirely this sort of thing. Well, that and complicated tax forms. Both of these give the average voter little confidence in the ability of government to get things done and a great deal of incentive to believe the Republican propaganda about "the government must be made small enough to drown in a bathtub."
I'd have liked to drown myself in a bathtub after 90 minutes of cell phone darts.
I don't necessarily have a solution for this. It's more of an observation. Identifying a problem that we have to deal with.
Somehow we have to communicate to voters that 'government' may not be the best at getting you a new sticker that says "08" for your license plate, but it is, by far, the best at doing things like helping economically depressed areas, protecting minorities, the environment, and preventing 'Enron' type fiascos.
Small Government Republicans Democrats Framing