I've been trying to figure this out for a while and I'm hoping that maybe my readers will be able to help me out with finding an answer to this question. Why do the American people react to the mere word (let alone the concept) "government" with such a degree of hysteria? Even societies who were victimized by totalitarian regimes that claimed millions of victims don't hate the idea of government quite as much. Given that the US has never had and is not very likely to have a strong government any time soon, the American fear of a completely nonexistent strong government seems to be schizoid in nature.
In Framing the Sixties, Bernard von Bothmer offers an explanation that is as shallow as the rest of his book. According to him, the US government messed things so bad in Vietnam that every American government since then has had to live in the shadow of a deep-seated popular mistrust.
This argument sounds pretty unconvincing but I find it hard to provide an answer of my own. Is it the legacy of the Cold War? Is it some kind of a cultural phenomenon? I don't think that the usual suspect which is the "Anglo-Saxon individualism" works in this case. Great Britain doesn't seem to have it nearly as bad as the US. I hope the readers of this blog will provide their own explanations for this strange phenomenon.