Will the real conservative please stand up? Readers of a certain age remember a show called What's My Line? During the show people tried to stump a panel of celebrities about their line of work. One was struck by how certain answers could be both applicable to a broad range of professions and yet hilariously revelatory to the audience ("Do you spend more than three hours a day on the phone" applies to both congressmen and those answering 1-900 callers).
After 18 debates since May 2011, people across the country—and certainly the residents of Iowa—must be getting pretty tired of virtually every Republican presidential candidate's claim to be constantly, genuinely, thoughtfully and tirelessly ... Conservative. Frankly, at this point we've discounted the currency of the term so much we should consider throwing it out. After all, we've lived through enough big government "conservatives" that I for one would rather have a small government advocate than any of the adjective or adverb enhanced stalwarts of conservatism. It seems to me to be a much better test regarding the proper role of the federal government.
Let me play Steve Allen for a moment with a few questions for presidential contenders:
If you are honestly able to answer "yes" to all of the above, you can justifiably be termed an advocate of smaller government.