How Much Government Is Enough?

Give the goofy GOP credit: it has raised key questions about the U.S.'s future

Illustration by Hieronymus for TIME

And so we bid a fond farewell to the first phase of the Republican presidential campaign. It ends in Iowa on Jan. 3, leaving hilarity, outrage and occasional, blistering moments of clarity in its wake. I will not linger on the carnival aspects of the race, from Donald Trump to Herman Cain. Those have stolen far too much attention. A more substantive contest has been going on just beneath the surface--a campaign featuring two men who could plausibly serve as President and some worthy implausibles. More important, this slightly subterranean campaign has placed some basic questions about the future of the...