Driving through Nevada, listening to talk radio (something I now avoid at home but used to listen to regularly), reading the papers, hearing about the huge demonstrations regarding eliminating all immigration laws, all makes me think again on the subject of what do you want your government doing for you? How invasive do you want it to be?
I have come to think personally that the biggest difference between people is not so much what party they join, whether they are left or right wingers-- even though the various factions would do different things to attain their aims. The real question is do people believe it is the responsibility of the State to make the individual stronger or the State itself? Should the government be levying taxes or making rules aimed at creating a utopia or limit itself to doing what keeps people safe or what they cannot do except in a group?
If you believe in social engineering as a goal of government, then whether you are on the right or left, you will favor laws to achieve that. If you believe the government has no right to interfere except where it has to for safety of the people, the laws you will accept happily are far less.
The right claims it does not do that kind of thing, their words would say they are the party of less government and to a degree they are-- less government regulation of pollution, less government taxation of the richest to allow more growth (which works nicely where it comes to more maids and service people).
The right has plenty of regulations it likes for the creating of their own version of utopia-- you could not as an individual decide on your time of death, nor choose your own entertainment. The right, for the good of the state or maybe because you cannot wisely choose, would tell you who can marry and who you can have sex with-- if some of them had their way.
Some of the religious right would regulate what is taught in schools, what you learn from the media because whenever something teaches against their version of a utopian society, they don't like it. The news broadcasts would be limited to what is good about what they are doing because anything negative about them is disloyal to the er uh country.
Is the left then the less invasive party? In some areas, like who you can have sex with but certainly the extremes on the left have their own version of what must be done if the government is to make sure the individual lives a good life. So we got politically correct dictates for names. Can't call a team the Warriors because that only relates to Indians er oops er Native Americans er uh heck who knows what you are supposed to use from week to week with any ethnic group.
The left would tax more heavily because you won't take care of your own health wisely or help others around you with theirs. Their version of government would do more land use planning (one of my own contradictions as I like land use planning to keep open areas and how does that relate to public safety? I'm thinking...). Environmental protection I am safe on though as that to me is a matter of safety-- if it's truly about the environment and not social engineering disguised as environment.
Basically when it comes right down to it, each party in the United States today, favors a lot of rules to bring about their version of utopia-- only differing in which ones. My belief and what makes me unhappy with them all is that I believe individuals should be allowed to make their own decisions whenever possible.
I do see a role for the State to do what is required for the safety of the people as well as to maintain order (which is why I think the borders of any country must be secured and orderly immigration provided for through a system of rules determining how many and why they are entering. Allowing or encouraging an illegal underground has done nothing to make any people safer even if it has kept certain products cheaper. It's been done at too high a price for integrity).
The Federal government is required to monitor commerce in the United States but what that means has been stretched into all kinds of areas. I favor government maintaining a strong military because it seems without that (in our case even with it) you get run over, but that military must be used with great thought and not to achieve goals of certain individuals.
I believe in a strong education system that maintains orders within its walls, that does not teach a philosophy but teaches about them all, that teaches skills-- you know reading, writing and arithmetic. (Some time back Mary Lou had on her blog, Life after NEXCOM, a truly tough test that eighth grade graduates used to have to pass. No wonder my parents' generation, so many with only eighth grade diplomas, seemed so wise.) The government in the name of safety needs police and fire department, road regulations, etc. but so much of what our government does and would do is not related to safety but rather to creating their particular version of utopia.
I don't have any idea how the United States could get back to a minimal government. Maybe it can't anymore. Third parties never seem to last long. Many of them, that have tried or hang on as insignificant vote getters, have as invasive of platforms as the two main ones.