Being anti-government is an easy bandwagon to jump on for many American citizens, no matter what end of the political spectrum you operate on. It is easy to hate on the government, and also very easy for people to stoke that hatred of government amongst the people. It is an interesting cloud layer over our society to penetrate, as you elevate yourself out of the rural, localized discussions, and begin to engage with businesses and individuals at a higher level. Small businesses in smaller towns, and isolated to single regions, tend to hate government, but if you are big business, government is always see as an opportunity.
Big companies are anti-regulation that hurt them. They aren’t anti-regulation that hurts their competition, or provides subsides for the industry they operate in. There is a lot of money to be made if government policy looks favorable on your business, and the industry you operate in–it is often used to keep small businesses (competition) down and out of the way. It is often used to give specific businesses an advantage, and subsidize what would otherwise be an un-profitable endeavor. Big business, and the people profiting from this reality are not anti-government, but they do have a motivation in stoking the fears of average voters to help keep government weak enough, so that it can’t resist what big business wants.
As an individual, on the left or the right of the spectrum, if you are anti-government in general, and as a base rule, you are just a tool in big businesses toolbox. I’m all for being anti specific government laws, policies, and programs. Hell yeah, go after the injustice that exists in the system, but if you are throwing out general anti-government sentiment, and parroting what is said on the campaign trail, you are a tool. You are just working for big business, helping them weaken government just enough, so that they can get what they want. You are helping do the work of large corporations when it comes to shaping where tax payer money flows, and weakening the teeth of the government when it comes to leveling the playing field in any industry, and protecting consumers from any damage inflicted by big business.
You can see this in action at the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB), which was setup to protect consumers when it comes to financial matters, but is now being used to protect banks when it comes any collective harm they might face for predatory practices. Or maybe over at the FCC, where Net Neutrality was abandoned, allowing for the prioritization of Internet traffic, and reduce investment in broadband for unserved communities. Also over at the Department of Education, where for profit universities are running the show, dictating what they can get away with when it comes to generating profits off student loan subsidized business. You also see money being given out to agriculture, mining, energy, and other sectors, something that goes against almost every principle you hear spoken at the local levels when it comes to big government, socialism, and other anti-government rhetoric that making the rounds each election cycle.
Seeing my friends and family at the local levels of this country blindly be so anti-government, when it is the only thing standing in the way of big business completely fucking them over on a daily basis (instead of only partly). Seeing them all be in such denial about the benefits that government brings to their life with education, healthcare, roads, telecommunications, Internet and on and on. All makes me so sad, and so aware of the anti-government tool I had been for so much of my adult life. I drank the Kool-Aid, and repeated all the choreographed steps I was handed. It was until I began seeing how big business engages with the federal government, and seeing the puppet strings above the fog that covers much of the United States, that I began to understand what a tool I was. Revealing just another way in which the rich and powerful keep people down, maintain a grip on power, keeping government small enough to control, and out of the way of profits for shareholders at all cost.