Back in July 1988 Ronald Reagan made a famous quip that,
The ten most dangerous words in the English language are “Hi, I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”
(At least, that’s what I think he said – the quote is sometimes given as him saying “nine” – and with “hi” missing; it’s a good example of how minor inconsistencies spread and linger online.)
Unsurprisingly, the quote is popular with many right wing and libertarian people.
What is odd, however, with the death penalty in the news is the number of people who both love the Reagan quote but back the death penalty.
It’s as if someone turning up on your doorstep saying “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help” terrifies but saying “I’m from the government, and I’m here to kill you” would be welcome. Or to put it another way, people who don’t trust the government with their money are happy to trust it with their life.
As I said, odd.