Io is one of Jupiter’s four moons that Galileo Galilei discovered. Of those four, it is the nearest to the huge gas giant it revolves around, and it is the most violently and continuously volcanic.
Scientists now think they know why it’s so volcanic.
The tidal influence of Jupiter pulls at it constantly, and its internal solid matter — rock — gets squeezed and churned into magma. That magma layer may be quite large. So, no wonder lava keeps bubbling up and shooting out in the form of volcanic activity.
I bring this up not to extend the scope of Common Sense to astronomy and its subdivisions. Instead, I want to make an analogy.
The bigger government gets, and the closer it reaches into our lives, the more we are squeezed and churned — and so of course we get hotter.
And we will erupt . . . in the form of political activity.
Indeed, the Tea Party movement, and the underlying sentiments of distrust and disgust — as well as the rise of tax-and-spending-limiting initiative campaigns — can be understood as a natural result of letting government get too big. Jupiter-size. And we are too close to it for comfort.
Mavens who want a less volatile political culture might consider Io’s case, and see some good reason to shrink our “Jupiter.” There’s no easy way of moving us all out, into a more extended orbit from politics and bloated government. So shrinking our governing gas giant is key.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.