I have a close Republican friend who tells me constantly that government cannot be trusted. His theory is that concentrated power attracts precisely the two personality-types that should never be allowed near power: the corrupt or the idealistic. For this reason he says that power, by definition, must be dispersed. When it comes to social programs, he is a cold eyed realist: "if you pay someone not to work, they won't. If you levy punitive taxes on innovators and producers, people won't innovate and produce". When it comes to hope and change, he is surgical: "Every postwar American president has promised all things to all people, but none of them has had the courage to be honest with the middle class about the hard choices that lie ahead. Instead of calling for sacrifice, the government hands out credit cards and false promises" Point is: my friend doesn't believe anything the government says. He believes that Washington's concentrated power transforms all politicians -- sooner or later -- into corrupt insiders who provide favors to special interests. (accept for when it comes to war) Whether it be Vietnam or Iraq, he believes government. He believes that the corrupt monster called government is, somehow, magically honest and good when it comes to war. (He cried -- literally cried -- when Reagan gave speeches about the evil empire. If you try to tell him that Washington has very skillfully hidden the real costs of the Cold War and the War on Terrorism, he gets defensive and mean. Why? Because government doesn't lie.) Indeed, as a Cold Warrior, he has a deep, indefatigable patriotism which is engaged fully by war. This is his blind spot. When he thinks of presidential war speeches he gets extremely emotional. He craves romantic stories about National Greatness. The pride of being an American -- of being better and more evolved than the rest of creation -- defines him. He is the archetype Republican Voter -- decent, honest, hard working, practical, & just -- but utterly trusting in government when it comes to the most important thing: war. He, to put it simply, trusts government deeply. He doesn't question the Pentagon, the war budget, "the mission", or the nuts-&-bolts narrative of what the government says the dangers are. When the government speaks of the domino theory or the dangers of Hussein, he believes it. Unlike the Lefties who rebelled against Johnson, he doesn't question the government description of war. I have a question. Why do Republicans trust Washington so deeply? This is not a rhetorical question. It is genuine. I do not ask it disrespectfully. I have never, ever received a convincing answer, despite years of asking (on both sides of the ocean). I have been attacked for asking this question, but I have never heard a carefully reasoned, historically rich argument.