Rachel Held Evans has posted her “Ask a Christian Progressive” post, which features Progressive Tim King, of Sojourners. I especially appreciated Tim’s response to the question “What myth about progressives would you like to debunk?” He says:
“It’s on the role of government. Now, I believe that government can and should play a positive, active and limited role in society. But, sometimes I get the impression that others think I’m so in love with government that I spend my free time standing around in long lines at the Department of Motor Vehicles or figuring out ways to pay more taxes.
“For example, I think it is absolutely essential that the government play an active role in making sure our food is safe. But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t also problems with the regulatory system. Here’s a story about a local farm that was hosting a ‘farm to fork’ dinner when a state health inspector came by and shut the whole thing down for a series of ridiculous reasons.
“As someone who has grown up on a farm, situations like that really frustrate me. Why are they picking on the little guy? Especially when environmentally detrimental practices of large agri-business aren’t reigned in.
“Our current regulatory system is weighted to benefit big businesses that have the resources and the staff to figure it all out and it leaves a lot of small businesses with unnecessary extra costs.”
I agree with Tim. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to me that Republicans do enough to roll back that sort of regulation, as much as they like to blab on about how regulations kill jobs. When it comes to deregulating big banks that cause financial crises, sure, they’re willing to do that (as when they joined Bill Clinton and many Democrats in tearing down Glass-Steagall). But, even when the Republicans are in power, I still hear stories about regulations stifling and hindering innovation among the middle class. Do the Republicans do anything about that?