Rob Stein is the founder of the Democracy Alliance, an umbrella a group that organizes the funding of left-wing causes by rich liberals and interest groups. In The Blueprint: How the Democrats Won Colorado by Adam Schrager and Rob Witwer, at page 7, Stein explains candidly what politics is all about for the Left:
“The reason it is so important to control government is because government is the source of enormous power,” Stein continued. “One president in this country, when he or she takes office, appoints…5,000 people to run a bureaucracy, nonmilitary nonpostal service of 2 million people, who hire 10 million outside outsource contractors–a workforce of 12 million people–that spends $3 trillion a year. That number is larger than the gross domestic product of all but four countries on the face of the earth.”
“So the reason we’re doing what we’re doing…and the way we get progressive change, is to control government,” Stein said. “That’s what this is about.”
This will to power explains why the Left, a clear minority among Americans, consistently punches above its weight, politically.
Glenn Reynolds once commented on the seeming paradox of liberals who are terrified at the prospect that libertarians might take power and leave them alone. Actually, liberals probably do want to be left alone; they just don’t have any intention of leaving you alone. Liberals hunger for power so that they can enrich themselves, in many cases, but more generally, so they can remake the world according to their own preferences. This doesn’t mean that they will have to change, but it does mean that you will have to change. As long as liberals’ hunger for power is stronger than conservatives’ desire to be left in peace, the Left will continue to dominate our public life.
STEVE adds: I’d never seen that Stein quote before, and I’ve never seen a liberal ratify so directly and so clearly Michael Oakeshott’s great warning of this disposition:
To some people, “government” appears as a vast reservoir of power which inspires them to dream of what use might be made of it. They have favorite projects, of various dimensions, which they sincerely believe are for the benefit of mankind, and to capture this source of power, if necessary to increase it, and to use it for imposing their favorite projects upon their fellows is what they understand as the adventure of governing men. They are, thus, disposed to recognize government as an instrument of passion; the art of politics is to inflame and direct desire. In short, governing is understood to be just like any other activity – making and selling a brand of soap, exploiting the resources of a locality, or developing a housing estate – only the power here is (for the most part) already mobilized, and the enterprise is remarkable only because it aims at monopoly and because of its promise of success once the source of power has been captured.
As Oakeshott concluded, the conjunction of dreaming and ruling generates tyranny.