The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is the simple fact that the opposite of "big government" is "limited government." Instead of clamoring for "small government," conservatives should be demanding "limited government."
When the Founders framed the Constitution, they were very careful to limit the powers of the federal government. In doing so, they set up a federal government with three branches - executive, legislative, and judicial - and gave each branch the responsibility to "check" the other two branches.
The Heritage Foundation blog entitled "New Common Sense - Applying FirstPrinciples to the Issues of Today" posted the following statement about the size of government. "We conservatives are against `big government,' so we must be for `small government,' right? Wrong. We're for limited government. Here is the difference. The Constitution creates a federal government of enumerated (read: limited) powers. When Congress acts within its legitimate scope - for instance, national defense - then it can do a lot. There is nothing inherently contradictory about a limited government conservative supporting strong national defense, because that is within the federal government's constitutional responsibility. On the other hand, for areas outside of the federal government's constitutional scope (Obamacare, anyone?), there is no role - big, small, or medium."
We must have a government large enough to govern our nation in their constitutionally-based roles, but we do not need our federal government taking over every part of our nation. If conservatives want to be more effectively in demanding a limited government, we must drop the cliché of "smaller government."