President Obama is all excited about this brand new thing he’s thought of, after four years in office, that no one has ever thought of before. He’s going to make the government smarter and more efficient. And he’s really going to do it. He even has a hashtag for the Twitters — #SmarterGov — and everything. And despite a few obvious problems with the plan — like in the new, smarter government, where is Joe Biden going to work? — Obama is really going at this one with childlike glee. He wants to make the government leaner, quicker, and more intelligent. Unstoppable.
And that’s about the most terrifying thing I can imagine.
Really, have you thought about how scary it would be if we actually had a smarter government? Right now, the IRS is targeting conservatives, the Department of Justice is spying on journalists, and the NSA is spying on absolutely everyone. Now imagine if the government were much smarter when it went about doing all these things. We’d never even hear about the targeting and spying as the government went after us in efficient and intelligent ways. We’d be defenseless.
Currently, about the only thing protecting us is the fact that the government is stupid and plodding (“hey, this Snowden chap seems trustworthy; let’s tell him all our spying secrets”). The federal government is a lot like Godzilla — it’s big and dumb and smashes things without even thinking. Sure, it’s threatening, but at least we can always see it coming and scurry away. Now imagine a smaller, sleeker, faster Godzilla that doesn’t just smash every building it runs into but instead picks its targets intelligently. We wouldn’t even know it was there, and suddenly the power would be out all over the city. Yeah, that’s a much scarier beast, and that’s what Obama wants to make our government.
Just think for a moment of the same government that carried out the Fast & Furious program — but this time pretend it had a brain, so it didn’t get caught so easily. A government like that would basically be a supervillain. With a smarter government, we might as well move the Capitol to a hollowed-out volcano from which the government will plot what it’s going to do to us. And think of its minions — the bureaucrats. The only thing that tempers their maliciousness is their stupidity, but imagine such malevolent creatures being given intelligence. That’s like making a cat smarter — you know it’ll just use all its brain power to plot murder.
Right now we can laugh off all the big conspiracy theories, because it’s ridiculous to believe that a government that can’t even successfully plot to tie its own shoe could secretly blow up the World Trade Center or something. But no more… not with a smarter government. It will be everywhere, with its hands in everything… but now invisible. And that’s the scariest part: If the government were efficient and smart, we wouldn’t even know what it was up to. Every day in the news we hear things like, “Look at this new dumb thing the government did!” But imagine if that stops and we never hear about the government anymore. It’ll just be out there, working in the background, and anytime we ask what it’s doing, Obama will just look at us with a creepy smile and say, “Smart things. Terrible, yes… but smart!”
And what if the government gets so smart it becomes self-aware? It will be like Skynet. I mean, it already has the robot drones. And you know that just like Skynet, it will determine that people are the problem — the one thing that always gets in the way of its plans. A smart government could lead us to a dystopian future where the world is taken over, not by robots or apes, but instead by the government. Our children will live underground, hiding, as the government tries to lure them out with promises of free health care and Social Security checks and funding for the arts.
No, thank you, Obama. I’ll stick with my large, dumb government. Sure, it’s destructive and expensive, but it’s also predictable and too dull-witted to ever defeat the citizenry. We’ll take the lumbering moron beast that is our federal government over the fast, efficient, horrific demon you propose.
Of course, if the government tried to make itself smarter, it would probably be as successful at that as it is at anything else it ever attempts. Obama saying he is going to make the government smarter is a bit like a four-year-old saying he’s going to build a robot. If anything, Obama will probably just make the government even dumber. So, really, this whole idea of a smart government is just a scary, scary thought… like getting attacked by evil space aliens or a zombie apocalypse. It shouldn’t ever actually happen.
But I’m stocking my survival shelter just in case.