That’s A. Barton Hinkle, referring to many political groups’ enthusiasm for putting the violence of the state behind their particular policy choices. Hinkle observes:
Force is sometimes necessary. We must have police and courts and national defense and environmental protection and so on. But government at all levels does much more nowadays than is strictly necessary, because both liberals and conservatives delight in using it to make other people do what they would not do through mutual consent.
In the wake of the butchery in Tucson, it has been nice to hear many people say we should not speak so well of violence. It would be even nicer to hear more say we should not vote for it quite so often, either.
He’s right, and you should read the whole thing.