Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

NY Gov

Have you ever had one of those discussions with someone and come to realize halfway through the conversation that you are just not on the same planet with where they are coming from?  Perception is everything and any large group of people are just not going to agree.  We all see things our own way.  We value different things.  Being able to act on our beliefs is what is known as freedom.  Regarding politics in America we see this divergence during every election.

Briefly stated, approximately 40% of the vote typically goes to Republicans.  Approximately 40% typically goes to the Democrats, leaving 20% for the establishment parties to quibble over.  Regardless which of these two parties lose, the acrimony is palatable.  This gets expressed with statements like, “We just need to get along.”  We hear people say, “I don’t like all the arguing.”  Pundits tell us that one party or anther needs to court the so-called undecided.

Lets be honest, the truth is that there are two Americans with wildly divergent world views.  We want to think of ourselves as one nation; indivisible with freedom and justice for all, but this characterization is a fiction.  Yes, we all share the same history and culture in a general sense, but we haven’t been “one nation” in a very long time, but I digress.  I’ve written on the two American cultures before, but today I am more interested in talking about the underlying principles behind our two cultures.

What if the key to our politics is not whether one is conservative or liberal, but is about how they perceive topics in their daily lives?  While I do think there are selfish and even evil people out there, I also think that most of us want the best for people.  The rub comes in how we consume and process news about our world.  Our two American cultures differ greatly on how to achieve the most good for the most people.  In other words, who decides what is best, depends on trust and how one group or another sees the world.  Progressives assume that if you do not hold certain beliefs there is no discussion to be had.  In fairness, Fundamentalist Christians hold the same view differing only in what they judge to be appropriate.  In both cases, progressives in both parties are more than happy to use government power to force their view on everyone.  My point of view is that this is a fool’s errand.  The real answer to achieve the best good is not compromise or attempting to destroy one side or another, but to live and let live.  The founders knew this when they created system of Federalism.

As an example, a story on the Blaze yesterday talked about New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo stating that so-called “extreme conservatives” have no place living in New York.  What does that mean?  His speech noted that “extreme conservatives” are not who New Yorkers are.

Seriously?  There are a little over nineteen million people in the state of New York according to the census with approximately half of those in New York City.  Does he really expect me to believe that conservative New Yorkers somehow don’t belong there?  Just ten percent of that number is almost two million people.  According to the NYS Board of Elections the Republicans got just under 36% of the vote.  In other words approximately two and a half million New Yorkers voted for Mr. Romney.  Obviously, many of these people are not what Gov Cuomo would call “extreme conservatives”.  On the other hand, how many so-called “extreme conservatives” didn’t bother to vote in such a fascist environment?  If one were to multiply nineteen million by 36% they would find that there are somewhere in the neighborhood of six-point-eight million Americans in the state of New York who to one extent or another are relatively conservative.  If say half of that number are so-called “extreme conservatives” that would be like three and a half million Americans that Governor Cuomo says should leave the state.  Can you imagine that headline on the news?  Mass Exodus of Political Dissidents from New York State!

Progressive establishment politicians in both parties seem to be desperate to make hay out of the fact that there is a full-on battle going on in between Republicans who support limited constitutional government and have respect for the Bill of Rights and progressive Republicans who have an authoritarian point of view, who, like the Democrats embrace borrowing money to force Americans to live as they would have us live.  The truth is this argument is about power and who gets to control our lives and our money.

The Governor asks:  “Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay?”  Is that who they are? Because if that’s who they are and if they are the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.”

He and people like him assume too much.  They assume that if a person holds one view that they disagree with they must hold all of the views they disagree with.  They assume that there is no valid argument that could possibly be made for any point other than theirs.  That is why progressives preach tolerance but mean that others are free to believe whatever they wish, as long as those beliefs coincide with the progressive point of view.  In other words, we are all free to agree with them or else.

As a lesbian who happens to believe it is immoral to murder children in the womb, and who believe it is my God given right to bear arms to defend my life and my freedom, I qualify for two out of three of his attributes of what an extreme conservative is.  No doubt, I am not welcome in the State of New York.

My take-away today is this.  The founders knew that the country would have divisions.  They designed a system designed around sovereign states who share power with a sovereign federal government.  If things today functioned as they were designed we would have a limited federal government.  It would only be responsible for the common defense, a robust transportation network, and a very few items that could be agreed to by everyone as being for the “common good.”

political model

All of the social welfare and regulatory laws should reside in the states.  If the United States functioned as it was designed, today we would have fifty choices of what level of progressive intervention by government with which we whished to live.  If one wanted a cradle to grave welfare state one could move to California or New York.  If one wanted individual responsibility one would likely live in Texas.  We could live and let live.  No need to compromise one’s basic principles and no need worry of being pushed into a conflict because one side or another can not tolerate their rights being violated.  The United States is a nation of over three-hundred-million people.  A nation split into two camps, each trying to force its will on the other will never result in anything but anger and distrust in the best of circumstances and an outright tragedy in the worst of circumstances.  My novel, Phoenix Republic depicts what a disaster like this might be like.  Lets pray we don’t find out.

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During my lifetime, politics in the United States has always been left versus right as represented by the Democratic and Republican parties.  Our popular consciousness holds that the “two party system” has always been a part of the American landscape, more or less, since the founding of the republic.  Yes, there have been any number of other parties throughout history, and a few of those have even had their members make it to the White House.   Many Americans are comfortable with the idea of a two party system and to be sure, the fragmented mess and coalitions that result in European governments can produce some strange bed-fellows.  Still, when one speaks of the two-party system, many people assume that what we have today are those two parties.  This has been the case since President Lincoln’s election in 1861, but prior to President Lincoln there were Federalist, Democrats, Democratic-Republicans and Whigs.  Throughout our history the United States has experienced seventeen third-party runs for president of the United States.  The net result of these efforts varied, but the average percentage of the vote gained by a third party  run is eleven percent with Teddy Roosevelt’s Progressive Party taking over twenty-seven percent of the vote.

My point is this.  Political parties in the United States are living things.  Whenever a political movement becomes strong enough in this country, it gets absorbed into an existing political party, or one of the existing parties is defeated and ceases to exist.  People are people, and it’s only human for leaders of and existing establishment party to become arrogant.  The story of the Republicans rise to prominence is an example.  I posit that the Whigs simply refused to do anything meaningful about slavery.  They were more or less opposed to the idea of slavery, but the stakes were high and they preferred for political reasons to dissemble, to offer meaningless votes and act as if they were fighting slavery while all the while placating Democrat’s desire to allow the institution to continue.  That story sounds to me like today’s Republican Party negotiating with the Democrats over immigration, the debt ceiling or Obama-care.

They miscalculated.  Republicans swept to power on the votes of a largely moral and freedom loving public, which realized that the evil that was slavery must end.  The Whigs were destroyed, and their adherents were themselves absorbed into the Democrat or Republican parties.

Only fifty-one years after Lincoln’s election the Republicans were themselves tested by one of their own.  It was a just over a hundred years ago, a new century was dawning, and President Theodore Roosevelt wasn’t done with political office.  He wanted to “transform” the Republican Party into a progressive party.  He was short of money but won over twenty-seven percent of the vote anyway.  Those in power in the Republican Party were alarmed and reacted accordingly by moving sharply towards progressivism in order to capture those voters.  I argue that it was this election that killed the two-party system in the United States.  It wasn’t a quick death to be sure, but the Republicans have moved inexorably towards over regulating big-government since that time.

political modelIn the 1960’s LBJ’s “Great Society” moved culture sharply in the direction of dependency on government.  In the 1970’s the Democrats also had their own watershed moment.   The Vietnam War was raging and protests were both widespread and violent.  The Democratic Party basically “transformed” from being the party of liberal ideals to one of progressive socialist ideals.  What was once a progressive caucus within the Democratic Party seized power.  Like the Republicans before them, the Democrats have steadily moved towards democratic socialism.

Personally, it is my belief that since Lincoln parties have matured somewhat.  Politicians loathe giving up power.  Since Lincoln, the United States has settled into a pattern of Republican versus Democrat.  I don’t think that the American public suddenly stopped evolving politically, but rather that political leaders did a better job at maintaining the status quo.  In the 1860’s entrenched leaders knew well that they could be defeated and set out to make such an occurrence difficult to achieve again.

Now, a century later the progressive paradigm set in motion by President Roosevelt has fully blossomed.  Government controls every aspect of American’s lives, even violating the constitution upon which the republic was founded.  Whether from an honest desire to help citizens or just to obtain and consolidate power, today Americans are ruled by a one party system, the Progressive Party.  It has two wings, Republican Progressives and Democratic Progressives.  They put on a wonderful show and media types are more than happy to accommodate the theatrical performance that plays out in Washington DC or promote the endless debate on some pundit filled news channel.  They may have differences about what they want to control, but believe me, both wings of the party absolutely want the power to force Americans to submit to their all-knowing collective will.  If you have ever wondered why government excess is never dialed back, it is because the other wing of the party is always more than pleased to use the capabilities legislated by their predecessors to force its own will on America.

The problem today is that socialism doesn’t work.  It never has, but America is wealthy and there have always been ample sources of funding for progressives from both wings of the party to enact their schemes, or to buy votes.  The concern is that things are changing rapidly.   The days of the US dollar being the reserve currency may well be numbered.  More and more nations are moving away from the US dollar.  Nations like Germany have asked for their gold reserves to be returned.  OPEC which used to trade only in dollars for its oil is now making side deals with countries like Russia and China in currencies’ outside the dollar.  When Barak Obama campaigned on transforming America he was only putting icing on the cake.  The system is too broken in too many places.  Catastrophe is far too likely for my comfort.  Today’s political topology is not about an argument between the left and right, but about an argument between authoritarianism and freedom.  My concern is that both progressive Republicans and progressive Democrats are well aware that the clock is running out.  If that is true it would explain why leaders from the political class in both parties would fail to investigate the NSA spying on every American.  It explains giving the IRS and EPA a pass when they clearly break the law by illegally targeting political opponents.  It explains the unprecedented procurement by the federal government of literally billions of rounds of ammunition.  It explains why both parties overwhelmingly voted to authorize the indefinite detention of Americans without trial in the National Defense Authorization Act from 2012.  It explains the bailouts of the major corporate interests.  Ask yourself, is it at least possible that elites in the political industrial class are preparing for an economic tsunami.  If one assumes the political class believes this outcome is likely they would certainly need an authoritarian structure to ensure their retaining control.

A nation cannot endure with socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor.  The greatest number of people in history have benefited by an economic process where free people served others by serving themselves.  Collectives don’t get out of bed in the morning.  They don’t risk what they have to try and make a better mouse trap.  They don’t work seven days a week, or work late into the night to achieve success.  Individuals do these things.  Where there is no individual incentive to prosper or where a collective steals too great a portion of the fruits of an individual’s work mediocrity is the inevitable result.  Phoenix Republic is a novel about what it feels like for an average American when this progressive leviathan collapses in on itself.  Maybe the Tea Party or some other freedom group will prevail and “transform” the Republican Party back to a political party that represents free Americans.  Maybe, like the Whigs, the establishment lions in leadership positions fail to see what is happening and a new party will be born, restoring two parties to the American political landscape.  The question in today’s rapid paced world is this.  Do we have enough time to avoid disaster?  Take a moment to do a search on Teddy Roosevelt’s “Bull Moose Party.”   History clearly acknowledges that the party was a progressive party.  Incidentally, while researching this week’s article, I noticed that four of the first six presidents, (March 4, 1801 – March 4, 1829,) of the United States of America were Democratic-Republicans…   Ironic, Isn’t it?

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(Editor’s note:  I am not sure how I feel about this video.)

I agree that political and corporate elitist are working together against the best interest of the United States.  I am not sure that this video advocates for collectivism, but I did see some collectivist themes presented.  Regardless, it is good food for thought.  Things are changing fast.  It is imperative that we know what is happening around us.