The Real Reason the Freedom Caucus Hates Kevin McCarthy Is Larger Than You Think

Thom Hartmann
8 min readJan 5, 2023

While the battle for House Speaker appears to be about personality, it’s really about ideology. It’s about the future of “big government” and the American middle class

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay


While Kevin McCarthy’s struggle to become Speaker of the House of Representatives appears to be about personality and struggles within the House Republican caucus, it’s really about something much larger: the fate and future of American “big government” and the middle class it created.

Ever since the Reagan Revolution, the phrase “big government” has been on the lips of Republican politicians. They utter it like a curse at every opportunity.

It seems paradoxical: Republicans complain about “big government,” but then go on to support more and more government money for expanding prisons and a bloated Pentagon budget. Once you understand their worldview, however, it all makes perfect sense.

First, some background.

From the founding of our republic through the early 1930s the American middle class was relatively small. It was almost entirely made up of the professional and mercantile class: doctors…



Thom Hartmann

America’s #1 progressive talk show host & NY Times bestselling author. Thom’s writings also appear at