"Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem." -- Ronald Reagan.
"I fear the federal Government more than the Soviet Union" -- Barry Goldwater
These two giants of conservatism betrayed fallacious thinking which will not buoy this country through the trials to come.
A nation must have a cohesive foreign policy. Freedom isn't free, nor is it popular, or even widespread. Rogue states, terrorists, and warmongers will stop at nothing to bring down liberal states, for their very existence poses an ongoing threaten to their dictatorial hegemony.
Government has a coveted role in our society. Agents of the state are assigned the task of protecting our rights, protecting us from fraud within, and foes from without.
In Goldwater's time, the Soviet Union posed a real and immanent threat to the United States. No matter how gargantuan the Great Society welfare state grew, the Soviets oppressed their people far worse, stifling markets and innovation, imprisoning dissenters, and subsidizing blood-thirsty warlords throughout the Third World.
President Johnson's encroachments on the freedoms of the American People and the impoverishing entitlements he forced upon the country compromised the freedom-fight of the United States against the Communists on behalf of liberal, capitalist states. Still, the need for a strong--but limited--government to protect the interests of free people at home and abroad cannot be denied.