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I am a conservative, not an anarchist

Bloomington Herald-Times, March 18, 2012. (Comments)

To the editor:

I am a conservative, which means I support limited government. I am not an anarchist.

Limited government, by its very nature, is incompatible with anarchism. After all, limited government requires that a government exists, though the powers of that government are restricted, usually by a constitution. This applies to all conservatives - we are not anarchists.

With this concept established, can we please move beyond the childish and oversimplified meme that conservatives want to eliminate all government?

Both conservatives and liberals recognize that government needs to exist. The debate is over the proper role of government. How much power should government have in a particular area of society? In what cases should we have a more "hands off" policy and in what cases should we have more regulations?

Here is a good standard: Government should prohibit harm. As we determine where government regulation is appropriate, the next question is obvious: What level of government should have that regulatory authority? What powers are appropriate for the federal government, and what should be handled on a state or local level?

Legitimate discussions over the role of government are necessary. Let's not make reasonable discourse impossible with absurd oversimplifications of others' ideological leanings.

Scott Tibbs.