Approximate quote from a Glenn Beck promo this morning:
"When government is small, when it doesn't have its tentacles in everything, you can't get a Stalin. You can't get an Ahmadinejad. When you have a large overwhelming government, that's when you get dictators."
Absolute nonsense. Dictators arise when the people need a dictator. The people need a dictator when government has become too weak
to perform its basic functions; or when the government protects a rich elite and impoverishes everyone else. The Russian Revolution of 1917 happened because the Czars were inbred and ineffectual. Hitler was welcomed by Germans because the Weimar democracy was too fragile to maintain control. Khomeini's revolution was welcomed by lower-class Persians because the Shah was serving only the upper-class Westernized minority.
have a functioning democracy when the governed unit is small and homogeneous; in other words, when the nation is like an extended family. You can't have a functional democracy in a huge conglomeration of different cultures and races, unless the conglomeration is loose enough that its component parts are small and nearly sovereign states. The Roman Empire lasted because it was loosely jointed. America was loosely jointed until Lincoln, the Great Exterminator, decided to smash all opposition to his demented power-hunger. Since old Bipolar Abe eliminated the structure of federalism, we've been an untenable empire, held together only by the glue of prosperity. When we stop huffing prosperity, the structure falls apart.