The best and lowest-cost way to popularize and build support for small government is by running candidates for office on a small government agenda – and voting for them. Ballot measures are also very effective in the fifteen-or-so states, and in local jurisdictions, where the law allows them.
Campaigns get people talking about real small government solutions and taking them seriously. They give people the chance to take a stand and actually vote for small government.
Some activists put all their energy into fighting back the latest bills and proposals to expand government. We certainly want them to win those battles, and we’re glad they’re doing this important work.
And…we need more. We need to go on the offensive.
Some freedom-lovers put their energy into exposing the damage done by government programs and debunking the myth that government is here to help us. Think tanks, media pundits, authors, and bloggers supply this vital information, a necessary part of making government small. In addition to informing the public, they give small government candidates the data they need to make their case in debates, interviews, and forums.
And…we need more. We need not just the knowledge that government is too big but the will to make it small. We need to create a mandate for shrinking government.
Because big government resources outnumber small government resources by orders of magnitude, we need to create this mandate as cost-effectively as possible. We need to exploit leverage points.
Small government campaigns are leverage points. They’re the most cost-effective means to reach the American people because they generate free media. And they reach the masses, not just with libertarian philosophies and principles, but with sellable, yet bold, small government solutions to shrink government. They can then enlist support for those ideas with votes, which not only creates a mandate but also holds out a real possibility for electing small government candidates who will actually shrink big government.
The mainstream media has a distinct media bias. They often refuse to cover small government ideas or campaigns. They typically exclude small government candidates from debates — while showering free media on our big government opponents.
But because they’re in the business of delivering news, they cannot deny that an election is a newsworthy event. Even small government candidates usually get a modicum of coverage that otherwise wouldn’t happen.
This is one of the great benefits of small government campaigns. They produce a lot of bang for the buck.
Small government campaigns reach more than just political junkies and the activists who already agree with us. They also reach everyday Americans who are open to our ideas and who believe that government is too big.
Convincing enough people to vote small government will take time, money, and effort. It will not happen overnight. But history has shown that with enough persistence, freedom can win. We can make government small.
By voting small government, every election, and convincing others to do the same, we can build a small government field of dreams.