What has this to do with police, from Ferguson, Mo., to your home town, toting marksman rifles, fighting knives, grenade launchers and other combat gear? Swollen government has a shriveled brain: By printing and borrowing money, government avoids thinking about its proper scope and actual competence. So it smears mine-resistant armored vehicles and other military marvels across 435 congressional districts because it can .
And instead of making immigration policy serve the nation's values and workforce needs, government, egged on by conservatives, aspires to emulate East Germany along the Rio Grande, spending scores of billions to militarize a border bristling with hardware bought with previous scores of billions. Much of this is justified by the United States' longest losing "war," the one on drugs. Is it, however, necessary for NASA to have its own SWAT team?
A cupcake-policing government will find unending excuses for flexing its muscles as it minutely monitors our behavior in order to improve it, as Debra Harrell, 46, a South Carolina single mother, knows. She was jailed for "unlawful neglect" of her 9-year-old daughter when she left her, with a cellphone, to play in a park while she worked at a nearby McDonald's.
Resistance to taxation, although normal and healthy, is today also related to the belief that government is thoroughly sunk in self-dealing, indiscriminate meddling and the lunatic spending that lards police forces with devices designed for conquering Fallujah. People know that no normal person can know one-tenth of 1 percent of what the government is doing.
Darin Simak, a first-grader in New Kensington, Pa., who accidentally brought a toy gun to school in his backpack, turned it in to his teacher. School administrators then suspended him because the school has a "zero-tolerance policy." What children frequently learn at schools is that schools often are run by biological adults incapable of commonsensical judgments.
"We can't allow toxic things to be in our schools," said a spokesman for the Texas school district that confiscated the suntan lotion of a 10-year-old who then became sunburned on a school trip. Students, the spokesman explained, "could ingest it. It's really a dangerous situation." Not as dangerous as entrusting children to schools run by mindless martinets.
Contempt for government cannot be hermetically sealed; it seeps into everything . Which is why cupcake regulations have foreign policy consequences. Americans, inundated with evidence that government is becoming dumber and more presumptuous, think it cannot be trusted to decipher foreign problems and apply force intelligently.
The collapse of confidence in government is not primarily because many conspicuous leaders are conspicuously dimwitted, although when Joe Biden refers to "the nation of Africa," or Harry Reid disparages the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision as rendered by "five white men" (who included Clarence Thomas), Americans understand that their increasingly ludicrous government lacks adult supervision. What they might not understand is that Reids and Bidens come with government so bereft of restraint and so disoriented by delusions of grandeur that it gives fighting knives to police and grief to purveyors of noncompliant cupcakes.