Posts Tagged ‘Tea Party’

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.

Additional Resources:

In my novel “Phoenix Republic” readers are witness to Americans doing their best to live their lives.  My characters have family issues, deal with moral dilemmas at work, and worry over how to put food on the table and pay the bills.  Does that by any chance sound familiar?  My thought is that Americans have lives and kids to take care of.  We have to get homework done, take our kids to the doctor, or just complete the grocery shopping.  So, unless you just happen to be a political junkie or a glutton for punishment, the battle for freedom is likely not your highest priority to keep up with.  I sometimes get frustrated with my friends and family who are so completely unaware of what is going on in the country or for that matter, the world.  I have to keep reminding myself that everyone is busy and to be honest, keeping up with what the political class in Washington DC is really more than the average citizen can or wants do.  It would be easier if those in the aforementioned political class were honest enough to act on the promises they make when they are back home.   Sadly, that is just not reality.  Politicians from both parties will say or do almost anything to get elected.  That is just the way life is.  What is dangerous in today’s world is that we are creating a culture where the truth doesn’t matter.  We expect them to lie.  This expectation has grown into something frightening.   It has grown into acceptance.  We no longer care that Anthony Weiner is a dirt-bag.  He was a serious candidate to be Mayor of NYC regardless.  Mitch McConnell has been caught on tape branding senators from the freedom movement as traitors for standing for the constitution.  I guess we shall see if these leaders are driven from office.

Sadly, this isn’t the case.  Whether you are referring to President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Reid, or any of the numerous Republican cowards in the Senate or house such as Senator John Cornyn, or Senator Mitch McConnell, the thing these people all have in common is they say what they must to get elected, then they arrogantly disregard the wishes of the American People to continue their lifestyles as Pseudo American Royalty.   Thank God for the instant communication of the internet that is available to everyone.  It is making it harder and harder for these two-faced leaders to effectively lie to us.  Mr. Obama promised “hope and change”, The Republicans all go around promising to do everything they can to stop the destruction of the American healthcare system with the Socialist policies signed into law as a result of “Obama-Care.”

My point, and the point made in “Phoenix Republic” is that throughout history when the social contract is broken, trust is gone, and with the loss of trust we lose the ability to negotiate.  It is critical to avoid the loss of trust because when people are unable to talk reasonably with one another conflict becomes inevitable.  My concern is that those in power have so abused the authority given to them that the American People no longer know who to believe.  News organizations fail to mention key stories, or slant coverage to support an agenda.  Politicians look Americans in the face and tell us bald-faced lies with no consequence.  Is it any wonder that we see our family, friends, and neighbors beginning to fragment along ideological lines?  I don’t think the political elites in Washington DC and the media elites in New York or in LA really understand what time it is.  I fear that they fail to comprehend that Americans get their rights from God, not from Washington.  In the “Phoenix Republic” citizens are forced to stand up for freedom.  Standing up for freedom is something Americans have always done.  I believe that it is something that we will always do.  My thought however is that in real-life it is imperative for Americans to do everything possible to avoid conflict and to work together to avoid a complete break-down in communication.  The news may be covering a story about the government shutdown, but the real story of importance is about Americans as individuals running out of patience with and completely disingenuous ruling elite.  It is imperative that we stand up for our rights and reject the government’s consistent violations of our God-given civil rights, but it is also imperative that we all remain peaceful as we do so.

The Price of Freedom

Posted: October 7, 2013 in Current Events, Opinion
Tags: ,
Patriot Standing Up for Freedom

Americans defying the government shutdown.

For this week’s article, I thought that I would go with an out and out opinion piece about where Americans find themselves as the political class in Washington DC debate the government shut-down.  I am not going to pull in external references or try to convince anyone of anything.  Instead, I thought I would wax philosophical for a moment.  I think that the truth is that of those Americans that are engaged enough to care already have pretty solid opinions on who is to blame for childish mess those in the political class find themselves in.

While most would say the battle is about Democrats doing battle with Republicans, I suspect that is about all that most of America would agree on.  Depending on whom you ask the battle about one of the following struggles.  Democrats are looking out for the poor beleaguered middle class who are suffering because the Republicans refuse to allow them to do their jobs for the American People.  They would say that Obama-Care is settled law and that the shutdown is the result of a desperate Republican Party to deny healthcare to hard working Americans.  As you might expect the Republicans would say that the American people are suffering because Obama-Care was ill-conceived and is in fact so disastrous that it killing jobs, reducing people’s hours and destroying the greatest healthcare system in the world.  Actually there is yet another strategic player in this drama and that is the “Freedom Movement.”  This group of Americans is represented by a few but very vocal political leaders.  When you see names like Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, Senator Mike Lee of Utah, or of course Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky you may think you are looking at Republican leaders, but what these leaders really represent is something new.  These men and a growing number of representatives in the House of Representatives are actually a growing faction of Americans that although they reside in the Republican Party, they are fighting battles with the Republicans  that are more heated and desperate  than any fought with the Democrats.  These leaders represent the “Freedom Movement.”

Are we talking about a new third party?  Who knows, but I would suggest that at the very least Americans are witnessing a battle for the heart of the GOP and quite possibly the birth of a third party.  It is a very difficult thing for this to happen in this country, but not impossible if the stakes are high enough.  The Republican Party was in fact in just such a time in the run-up to the Civil War.  If you are interested, Google the Whig Party…  In a nutshell the Whigs became out of touch with too many Americans over the issue of slavery.  As human beings we are all subject to living within an envelope of what conventional wisdom says is practical and likely.  For politicians this predilection is almost overpowering.  Politicians, you see have enormous egos and want to believe that only they truly understand their constituents needs and what they want.  In other words the need to be popular is more important to them than almost any other consideration.  Prior to the Civil War the Whigs and Democrats considered any number of arrangements and balances of power around the issue of slavery.  I believe that many of these men knew in their hearts that it was abhorrent to tolerate other men and women, Americans being held as property, but they just could not figure out how to get out of an intractable situation.  Instead those opposed to slavery played politics and tried to incrementally move towards the universal equality envisioned by the founding fathers.  This didn’t do a lot for those Americans held in bondage, but I guess it let them sleep at night.

In contrast to the Whig Party, the upstart Republicans wanted decisive action to end slavery.  Obviously they were able to pull off this rather auspicious goal.  Think about it in terms of someone living at the time.  A group of people considered as way outside the mainstream were taking bold stances against an entrenched and fundamental foundation that underpinned half of the country’s economy.  If these men were successful it would destroy the economy of half of the country and almost certainly cause a civil war, yet here we are.  Clearly, it is self-evident that enough Americans were fed up enough with the status-quo to elect Abraham Lincoln as the first Republican president.  While I have no idea if something like what happened then is just around the corner for us, I can see and almost feel a profound level of distrust and unrest boiling over in America today.  Other than committed partisans on one side or another, it is obvious that a vast number of Americans no longer trust the government of the United States.  I could care less if someone votes Republican or Democrat.  If they are being honest, I believe that most of us would say that we do not trust our leaders.  They have lied to us for decades.  They twist the facts and engage in political theatre to keep us mollified by kicking the ball down the road.  The problem is what happens if you run out of road to kick that ball down.  Isn’t this essentially what happened in 1862?  There just wasn’t any further wiggle room to wallpaper over the underlying economic and moral issues of the day.

I am profoundly concerned with the danger America finds itself in.  We are the greatest nation made up of an inventive and good people, but we are also human, and as such we are prone to not wanting to rock the boat.  We all know that much of what we witness every day is wrong but we accept it anyway because that is just the way it is.  My point is that this is very dangerous territory.  Passions are high, the rhetoric used by the politicos is beyond inflammatory, and many Americans truly despise or maybe even hate our brother and sister Americans on the other side.  But for the Grace of God do we avoid an unimaginable calamity.  Every time a pundit on radio or television discusses the battle between Republicans and Democrats, consider for a moment, the root cause of today’s battle.  I would posit that whether a given topic is supported by liberals or conservatives is not nearly as important as what the solution to the issue being debated is.  In today’s world where the established political class in Washington DC is working very hard to assert control over most aspects of life it matters very little if it is the Republicans or the Democrats who vote for usurping our constitutional rights.  Republicans and Democrats have passed legislation (NDAA) permitting citizens to be held without trial.  Republicans and Democrats have passed repeated bailouts committing our children and grandchildren to a burdensome debt.  The battle today is not about left versus right, but rather about freedom versus oppression.  The new political dynamic is more about “Authoritarianism versus Libertarianism than it is about our traditional parties.  Men like Senator Lindsey Graham, or Senator John McCain are working hand in glove with President Obama and Majority Leader Reid to infringe on the rights of free Americans.  What would be amazing is if all of us could watch the news in terms of freedom and Oppression instead of our traditional party affiliations.  Does whatever is being debated make you more or less free?  Regardless of how you might like a proposed solution, how would you feel about an opponent having that very same power?

Freedom is hard work and as they say Freedom isn’t Free.  Hold you individual liberty dear for it may not always exist.  The whole point behind Phoenix Republic is to illustrate in a novel what losing freedom might feel like.  In the real world it is up to each of us to avoid such an outcome.