probably i've said this before. i think it's excellent that many americans, particularly in the south and in the west short of the pacific coast, are profoundly suspicious of government power and opposed to its expansion. indeed, it's important and refreshing that someone is actually capable even of detecting its increase. i like the fact that people are basically opposed to government health care, whatever may be the complex considerations that should be in play.
but as the birthers etc are showing, this extremely important, and extremely american, suspicion of government power and impulse toward freedom and independence is polluted by racism. this is traditional; one historical example would be "states' rights," a perfectly reasonable interpretation of the constitution and an attempt to decentralize in the face of the world-historical march toward total governmental power. but obviously, the basic idea was to preserve jim crow.
the american traditions of suspicion of government power and racism are only contingently related; indeed they are in tension. if your basic commitment is to freedom and independence, you ought to want the liberaton of everyone. you ought to be for gay marriage, etc. i was just reading in thoreau's correspondence: he was helping the survivors of the john brown group to escape to canada, etc. but of course he has all these same views about the pervasion of state authority.
another way to put this is that the american right is incoherent. if you're in favor of "small government" you can't also be for a series of measures to enforce traditional values or religious values or family values as you understand them. you've got to let people go.
at any rate, this all makes it difficult to criticize the constant onslaught of governmental powr, for which there is no moral justification. it discredits, indeed, the whole notion of freedom and those who advocate anything resembling it. that's a sad historical contingency, one that will end up helping bush/obamism (=squishy totalitarianism) to keep the government growing until there is nothing outside the scope of its power.