Jefferson held that for liberty to survive, government must be small - and local. (This is the principle behind the federalism of the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution - both of which referred explicitly to the United States, plural.)

Republicans - and even many conservatives - have forgotten this essential second half of the argument against "big government." It is impossible to reform a centralized state; impossible to connect it to the people; impossible to be "represented" by distant lawmakers in a faraway city. There is not one example in all of recored human history of a centralized government that is a friend of individual liberty because such a thing is not possible. The object of centralization is power.

This is why, whether Republicans or Democrats control the Congress or the executive, we get more (and more oppressive and expensive) government, never less.

The continental United States (singular) is incompatible with the principles set forth by Jefferson, by the Constitution - and with liberty.

If we wish to be free, the first thing we must do is discuss the dissolution of the federal government as our omnipotent secular god - our elected autocracy. The fact that we can "vote" means nothing. We have no more real choice than a man sentenced to death who is given the option of being gassed or put to sleep; no more choice than the inmate who is offered either hamburgers or hot dogs at the prison cafeteria.

If we wish to escape the physical claws of Big Government, we must first escape the psychological chains of our passive submission to Washington. We must reject in principle the notion that the grasping leviathan and its functionaries have any moral authority over us; that we are ruled, not represented.

That it is a tyranny by definition - and that it must be ended.