Republican Party/small government
Regardless of whether there is value in small government, the Republican Party in particular seems to be taking a very cynical attitude and simply exploiting the popularity of small government ideals for their own gain. This is clearly evident from the fact that they frequently support programs and laws that increase the size and oppressiveness of government. "Small government" is, to them, nothing more than an advertising gimmick.
The formula seems to be:
- Get some power
- Make government less efficient and more oppressive
- Run further candidates on the premise that we will now want "less government" because of how inefficient and oppressive it is.
Or, in greater detail:
- Run candidates on a platform of "reducing waste and over-regulation".
- When your candidates are elected, work to increase waste, cut helpful regulations and agencies, and generally make the regulatory environment highly favorable to a few wealthy interests that can help convince people to re-elect your candidates (despite how badly they've messed things up) -- in short, make government increasingly oppressive and unhelpful
- Run candidates on a platform of downsizing government (because of how oppressive, awful, and unhelpful it is).
- Upon election, your candidates can now freely dismantle whatever parts of government they want, regardless of how essential or cost-effective they might be.
- Pretty soon, your democratic government won't have the power to withstand the non-democratic influences of its most powerful interests. Mission accomplished!