Finally we agree on something. Once one drops the notion that big government is good, it's easy. Big government, right or left, is intrusive, curtailing freedom. Snowden started at CIA in 2006, and as a contractor at NSA in 2009, so it doesn't matter who's in power. Big organizations are impossible to control in the public sector. They develop their own defenses to self perpetuate. Orwell wrote of the technology of power. Is this not it in full display?
Vladmir Putin is a leftist, as are of course, Maduro in VZ and Castro. Don't quite fit the ideal, do they? Lord Acton had it right, "Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely." They never fit the ideal. How to deal with this then? Shrink it, cut funding, starve the beast. But my sense of you is that you want more funding, not less, just spent differently, in good ways. And I don't doubt your sincerity. But that's not how it works. Once controlling the purse strings, leaders do what they want, not what you want. Or do what their funders want. And the first order of business is to do what's necessary to maintain power. Human nature. They justify it by believing that if they don't have enough control, or aren't in power long enough(like Argentina, VZ, etc.), they can't do all the good things they want to accomplish. The Founders knew this. It's been forgotten, and look at the efforts to dismantle that document, on an almost daily basis. Can't have it both ways: Big Government is Big Brother. Do you want freedom or Big Brother? If the former, you might want to stop advocating for more funding of Big Brother. You seem to think there's another way, a compromise, a balance, a "middle ground", a "third way." But there is no "third way". Vaclav Klaus had it right, "The third way is the quickest way to the third world." It's The Road to Serfdom. You should read that, just to refute it. Bet it scares the s*** out of you. It did me, in unexpected ways.