Anti-government sentiment will be driving the electorate to vote for Republicans this November, but how deep does that feeling go?
A fascinating study on this question commissioned by the Washington Post shows about what you'd expect; people think government tries to do too much but in a seeming contradiction, still want social security, medicare, and federal involvement in schools:
Americans have a more negative view of government today than they did a decade ago, or even a few years ago. Most say it focuses on the wrong things and lack confidence that it can solve big domestic problems; this general anti-Washington sentiment is helping to fuel a potential Republican takeover of Congress next month.
But ask people what they expect the government to do for themselves and their families, and a more complicated picture emerges.
A new study by The Washington Post, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University shows that most Americans who say they want more limited government also call Social Security and Medicare "very important." They want Washington to be involved in schools and to help reduce poverty. Nearly half want the government to maintain a role in regulating health care.
In summary, people not only want less government, they want better government. Big ticket items are bound to be popular but what about some of the health care reforms? What about government takeovers? It's not hypocrisy to think that we should try and save social security and medicare while preventing government from taking over private industries, or allowing the feds to get mixed up in our most personal and private health care decisions. This goes to the heart of the current conservative critique of government; that it should be made to serve us and not the other way around.
This is what is driving the tea party movement. And it is a signal that will be heard loud and clear come November.