Saturday, August 14, 2010
Obama gets involved in a lot of issues that do not require his direct attention. Case in point, the Ground Zero mosque. I am torn on this. On one hand it is about as appropriate to build that there as it would have been to build a Shinto Temple near Pearl Harbor in 1950. Then again, I am a firm believer in property rights. Build it, but don't complain if a gay bar or a pork restaurant show up next door. And don't violate noise ordinances by blaring a call to prayer at 5 AM.
Obama didn't have to say anything except that it was a New York City issue and none of the business of the President, which it certainly is not. Then again, Obama thinks your kids' waistline is his business too. 70% of Americans are against the construction of this mosque. So Obama holds a Moslem dinner at the White House and voices his support.
Really? Do you honestly think that this will help your party win elections this fall? This is not the only time that Obama has undercut the diminishing support of his party with elections coming up.
So let's speculate. Why would Obama want to destroy the Democratic Party? Where would he gain? Will Rodgers once said "I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat." That holds true in every era. Democrats have grown like an onion since the 1790s, with fully functioning and distinct layers from a Jeffersonian core to the New Left. These prevent any kind of real ideological unity such as you see in a European political party. Obama would love to have that kind of control and has exhibited a Messiah complex at times. He would love to have an obedient, compliant, and efficient party at his command. Instead, he has the Democrats.
If the Democrats lose in large numbers this fall, they could conceivably evict Obama in the primary season in 2012. If he foresees that, he might try to split his supporters off, a la Theodore Roosevelt to the GOP in 1912. Obama could create his own organization, own party, and try to campaign on personal appeal again against the GOP and a weakened Democratic organization.
It wouldn't work and this is all speculation. That being said, Obama seems rather uninterested in his own party's chances of success this year.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Harry Reid once again tried to haul out race as an issue and once again it backfired.
Reid found himself under fire in the 2008 election by referring to Obama's light skin and "lack of . . . dialect." Now he has come out and said that he can't see why any Hispanic-American would be conservative.
Is this not racism? They expect blacks and Hispanics to all follow the same party, same leaders, and same principles. Does anyone suggest that all whites need to follow the same party? How about Asians? Are they expected to all mindlessly follow one leader? Nope, just blacks and Hispanics are expected to stay on the left wing plantation.
Were I a member of these groups, I would take serious offense even if I was already liberal. It echoes the old pre Civil War assertions that blacks have to be guided like children by their betters because they cannot decide for themselves. Republicans preached differently then and differently now.
People of all races, religions, sexual orientations, and anything else you might think of choose the Republican Party because they usually believe in less government, less taxes, and more freedom. When Republicans concentrate on core economic, national security, and freedom issues, they attract supporters from all groups. Republicans increasingly tend to look at individuals more than groups. That leads to less offensive stereotyping than you see from the other side.
Reid publicly stuck his foot in his mouth, but he only said what a lot of liberal/leftists believe.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
I have noticed that people will often say they are Republicans or conservative Democrats, but that they are liberal in some areas. Fair enough. But when you ask them what they mean by "liberal," you often see that they are not that at all.
Liberal in today's political parlance comes very close to what it meant in the 1500s when it was used as a political term by Nicolo Machiavelli. To him, "liberal" meant first and foremost that you doled out a lot of the public treasury to a lot of the people. The leader did that to look generous and to gain the support of the multitudes. Of course, Machiavelli warned that you have to tax others to get that money and you risk alienating them from your system.
When I ask self-identified "liberal Republicans" what they mean, they usually respond with similar issues. They generally want to legalize some drugs, some are uncomfortable over outlawing abortion, and most have no problem with gay marriage. This does not necessarily mean that you are liberal, but probably libertarian.
Libertarians believe in maximum freedom of choice for each individual. They adhere most closely to the Jeffersonian maxim "the government that governs best, governs least." Here is how you can tell if you are a libertarian instead of a liberal.
Libertarians want to legalize drugs, at least the ones that grow out of the ground and need no manufacturing. They believe that the drugs should be used or sold with a minimum of government interference. One of their arguments is that marijuana sales would boost the legitimate economy of states like West Virginia.
Liberals believe that if drugs are legalized, they ought to be taxed to the point that the producers receive little or no profit. They pretty much feel the same about pharmaceuticals.
Libertarians tend to want to government to get away from marriage period. Many want marriage to be a sacrament or social institution separated from government control, authority, and definition. Civil unions for all couples make more sense.
Many liberals would love to see controls exerted to force clerics to perform marriages that go against their belief system.
A libertarian says if they are consenting aduts, leave them alone. Why should the government dictate to anyone what their living arrangements are? As long as they are not committing fraud or expecting extra welfare benefits because of their arrangement, who cares?
A liberal wants to outlaw polygamy if their is a Mormon basis for it and they call it "marriage." They have no problem with it if it is a group of people in San Francisco doing the same thing with no religious overtones.
As far as abortion is concerned, many libertarians are uncomfortable with the issue. They see it as a personal rights issue. I consider myself somewhat libertarian, but see it this way. When you choose to engage in sex, you have to live with whatever consequences come from that. Also, what are the individual rights of the child? The right of the innocent to live is one of the primary natural rights; their defense is the main job of the government.
Basically you can see that the main difference between the two lies in the fact that libertarians want to government to butt out because it screws up almost any situation. Liberals believe that the answer to any issue is more government. Where do your principles lead you?