I agree with Jonah’s point that “War on terror or [fill-in-the-blank]” is not a very powerful argument. But it is worth remembering that the more we ask government to do, the less effective it will be at each task. As Jonah notes, the war on terror makes all other public policies more difficult. This just underscores the broader policy point that we should only let the government do those few things that the government must do to ensure our liberty and security — and then there is a modest chance that the government might do those few things passably well. Combatting terrorism is something that government must do. But ask the government to do much more (and I’m speaking in the abstract here, not about the drug war or any other specific policy), and the government will do nothing well. It’s a point both conservatives and liberals alike would do well to remember.