20 January 2010

Perspective on terminology

In this post, I would like to revisit common claims of the major political parties and challenge the basis of those claims. The Republicans claim to be "conservative", but what does that really mean? The Democrats claim to be "liberal", but does anyone understand what that means? Finally, I would like to propose a method by which this country can once again achieve the greatness that it once had, staving off the imminent economic decline and bitter infighting that is inevitable given our current trajectory. This will require challenging some basic notions.
A "conservative" today tends to be a social conservative that would like to have their particular morality become the status quo. (This happened somewhere between Barry Goldwater and George W. Bush.) They are very quick to point out that the documents of The Founding Fathers refer to God and take that as meaning that this country was intentionally designed to be an extension of the Christian faith. They parlay this to having the right to make rules against what they view to be immoral, even if it is a personal choice that has no direct impact on anyone else, like their choice of partners. A little research reveals that The Founding Fathers were primarily Deists, they believed that there was a higher power that set things in motion, but expected man to take control of his surroundings through the use of observation and reason without the need of faith and religion. They explicitly rejected the concept of divine intervention and miracles. The life to focus on was this one, not the one after you are dead, and the resulting discourse was focused on the proper interaction between men and between men and their government.
Liberals, on the other hand claim to be atheists, yet what they have really done is trade one religion for another. Their deity is now "the public good", yet there is no entity defined as "the public". Every individuals' definition is different yet overlapping so each will claim validity. Society is a combination of individuals, not an entity in itself, and has no more rights than the individuals it contains. If you don't think that liberals are religiously attached to their doctrines, try challenging the fundamental ones like welfare, the environment, or better yet, their views on capitalism. They will likely respond with statements made by someone with the appropriate pedigree (which makes them the expert and exempt from dissenting views) or attempt to provide a specific example and expand it beyond where it is reasonably applicable.
As a result of the ideologies mentioned, we have two party political system which, with some notable individual exceptions, push for state control over individual lives and any issue arising from that state control is only to be corrected with more of the same. Rather than having a clearly defined set of objective laws protecting the individual from having their rights infringed upon by others, we now have a federal register that is full of random laws, most of which are created by appointed officials not elected ones, that are "subject to interpretation". The result is that any random individual in the United States today probably breaks at least one of these "laws" every twenty-four hours (this is my individual opinion, that I have not been able to verify factually).
The career politicians in this country now view themselves as the elite ruling class and the rest of us as their serfs. Notice that opposition to proposed legislation is met with "well these people obviously don't understand all of the details" or "we know what is best for this country". The condescending attitude and the fact that neither party believes that a grassroots opposition to their agenda is possible and must be organized by members of the other party provides the evidence of that claim. The only difference between the parties at this point is what part of your life they intend to define and control. Both are interested in taking larger and larger portions of your hard earned pay since they believe that it is their right to determine the best way to dispose of the product of your labor. We now have a distinct class of individuals in positions of authority that are convinced that they have inherited some perverse version of "The Divine Right of Kings" and it is time for individuals in this country to stand up, assert their rights as citizens, and find representatives at all levels of government who understand what the proper role of government is, and value the rights of the individual.
Keep in mind, however, that with rights comes responsibility. You will be responsible for planning and managing your own life (and your child's until they are adults). It is not the responsibility of the government, your neighbors, or your countrymen, to make sure that you can retire comfortably, educate your child, or keep a roof over your head. This does not exclude benevolence and charity, this excludes forced income redistribution. When people are not forced to assist every whining entity, they are more prone to assist those that they believe to be deserving. It will not eliminate taxes as there are proper roles for government and those need to be funded, but it should significantly reduce them eventually. These things will take time to come to fruition and most of us will likely not live to see the final fruits of our labor in this endeavor. It will be our children and grand-children who benefit the most. If this generation is successful in turning the tide, the best we can hope for is to see the deficits at all levels of government decline as we pay off the transgressions of the last century so that our progeny will not inherit it like we did.

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