Monday, November 19, 2012

Han Solo intuitively knew, what John Locke deeply understood, and which the 47% find unbearable to hear

Han Solo intuitively knew, what John Locke deeply understood, and which the 47% (and more) find unbearable to even hear.

So... to hear it noised about lately, especially by 'modern conservatives' (Jumbo Shrimp), culture is not important to politics.

Really.

Pardon me for having a little philosophical fun with the idea, but if that's true, why are they so damn hard to separate?

For something that's not so important, it's really amazing how impossible it is to separate even the lightest matters of modern day 'culture' from anything and everything else you might know, or wish you didn't know, about the deepest roots of our political concepts and their day to day application. Even in something as seemingly 'separate' as the 2012 political scene, 1970's sci-fi movies, and 17th century English philosophers, they are in fact so deeply intertwined, that the attempt to separate them, will enmesh you even more deeply, drawing you even deeper into the reach of 16th century English philosophers and 4th century BC Athenians to boot.

For instance, in a story from last week, George Lucas sold the rights to his Star Wars movies to Disney, and in the article is a reference to who shot first between Greedo & Han Solo. If that doesn't ring any bells for you, try Googling "Han shot first!", and your browser will groan under the weight of hits.

There ya go, you need look no further for the poppiest of pop culture, tying into the roots of our political philosophy, and our current electorate. Wha...? You didn't catch that? Ok, lemme fill in the details for you.

What 'Han shot first!' is all about, is a scene from the first Star Wars movie, where one of the heroes, Han Solo, demonstrated that he intuitively knew in his bones, what philosopher John Locke deeply understood (as did our Founders who followed him), and which a minimum of 47% of our 2012 electorate find to be a truth so unbearable to their entire being, that they will go to great lengths to obfuscate and obliterate any and all connections between them.

Which Reality must find deeply amusing.

Obi-Wan-Locke
May the Force of Culture be with you
George Lucas, circa 1970's, when making Star Wars, was following his understanding of Myth, of the Hero and the heroes quest, as illustrated by his friend & mentor Joseph Campbell and his writings such as the Power of Myth, and as such he found himself portraying within Star Wars, some very deep mythopoetic truths to a generation that the entire 1960's and the rest of the 1970's had been working so hard to obliterate.

I saw Star Wars the first time when I was just shy of 16 yrs old, and it was exhilarating. Not because the writing and acting and directing were top notch, they weren't (far from it), but because for the first time in ages, here were heroes fighting villains, here was Good opposing Evil, because it was evil... and winning! For a generation whose T.V. & movies had been taken over by anti-heroes, or, as with Clint Eastwood movies, the disillusioned once-heroes, who fought on only out of habit, not for any belief in what was right - Star Wars was an awakening!

The particular scene which ties pop culture to history, and to our politics and the 'relevance' of today, is the Star Wars Cantina scene, where Han, when confronted by a gun brandishing Greedo, stealthily draws his own blaster from under the table, and shoots first, without warning, killing Greedo, without the least qualm or regret or concern over its 'fairness'.

As directed by the Mythologist persona of George Lucas, circa 1970's, Han illustrated a clear and vital truth, a truth which John Locke, circa 1689, spent a sizable amount of ink in reasoning through, justifying and defending, and which the 47%, circa today, not to mention a sizable number of the remaining 53% of our electorate... find to be an inconvenient truth, at best, and highly disquieting.

That understanding which, not without flaws, was what John Locke expressed in the second of his Two Treatises of Government [1691], when he said, in describing the several states of war that exist between peoples, that
"...he who attempts to get another man into his absolute power, does thereby put himself into a state of war with him; it being to be understood as a declaration of a design upon his life..."
and that,
"§ 18. This makes it lawful for a man to kill a thief, who has not in the least hurt him, nor declared any design upon his life, any farther than, by the use of force, so to get him in his power, as to take away his money, or what he pleases, from him; because using force, where he has no right, to get me into his power, let his pretence be what it will, I have no reason to suppose, that he, who would take away my liberty, would not, when he had me in his power, take away every thing else. And therefore it is lawful for me to treat him as one who has put himself into a state of war with me, i. e. kill him if I can; for to that hazard does he justly expose himself, whoever introduces a state of war, and is aggressor in it."
That, which the previous 11 chapters of Book 1, and the two previous chapters of Book 2, were required for Locke to make his point in prose and discourse - and all of that was wordlessly communicated by Han Solo pulling his blaster out under the table and putting a fine point on his punchline "I'll bet you have", and killed Greedo.

That scene made perfect mythic sense, because it expressed a deep and vital truth, the same truth which Locke was able to establish and elaborate upon philosophically .. but oh what a can of worms it was for the leftist ideologue which Lucas became, because that truth - the wrongness, if not downright evil, of using power to force others to comply with your wishes - is a central core of the timelessness of conservatism.

George Lucas the ideologist, and no doubt a great many of his friends, found this scene and what it demonstrated (you'll often see Han's original actions described as those of 'a cold blooded killer' - and Greedo? Like the Palestinians, his aggression goes unmentioned), to be an unbearable truth, perilous to their every position and claim, and so in the 1997 release, despite two decades of viewers having seen the original movie where Han clearly shoots the first (and only) shot, Lucas actually went back and doctored his movie, not only to enhance it with new special effects, but to cleanse it of inconvenient truths.

For as every leftist knows, the 'bad' guy, must be given every opportunity, and then some, to make other choices, even at the risk of 'the good', and so Lucas's Industrial Light & Magic crew altered the film to make Greedo shoot first, though, luckily for Han, missing him from a distance of 2 or 3 feet, so that Han Solo finally had the 'moral high ground', not to mention the 'fairness', needed to legitimately return fire and kill Greedo.

The idea of a pre-emptive strike by 'the good' upon 'the bad'... that was something that was intolerable enough by the 1990's... can you imagine how Lucas & friends felt about it after George Bush made the scene? brrrughhh!. The problem for them, is that when you try and force Art & Myth to serve ideology, you wage war upon what is good and true.

What the character, the mythos of Han Solo conveyed in that brief scene, of pulling his blaster out under the table and blasting Greedo, casually, without deliberation or concern or regret, in that one moment it gave lasting form to a truth which reasoned understanding requires volumes of careful conceptualization through a supporting philosophy in justice, ethics, rights and more.

The power of Art and of Culture, is that through such scenes and tales, the essence of elaborate philosophies can be distilled and conveyed and their wealth spread around to the entire population, without their even realizing it. I've said before, with only a bit of my tongue in my cheek, that Star Wars was what made Reagan possible, that without the revival of the deeply American spirit of Good opposing Evil, and that it should, and could win, then Jimmy Carter might have held on to power and pushed through those programs which, instead. had to wait another 40yrs for Obama to do.

Art, Myth, Religion, do have the power to do that; which is just one reason why they are so important, and why conservatives ignore them at their great, great peril, to dismiss such things as 'trivial', is lunacy. It's often difficult for people like me, who are so quick to recommend and defend heavier works like Aristotle & Locke and so forth, to admit that Western Culture probably owes a far greater debt to those distilled concentrations of the truths they expand upon. We The People are given concentrated doses of cultural understanding through such 'light' material such as Nursery Rhymes, Aesop's Fables, and popular myths such as the Wild West Westerns or their cousins such as Star Wars.

You don't understand the Power!
 And of course with Luke & Han promoting the Light side of The Force of culture, We The People are given equally strong doses from The Dark Side, especially in our time, through the glories of easy victim-hood, class envy, injected through music, gratuitous sex, drugs, etc., which, as Yoda would say, isn't stronger, but is "Quicker, easier, more seductive", and if not countered, will carry the day - for while the Light Side requires a conceptual understanding that takes time to build (the role of Education), you can feel the power of The Dark Side immediately, in your physical senses & perceptions.

You've no doubt heard, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. George Lucas, faced with the 'unfortunate' truth he spread around the world through his blockbuster, and which was in glaring opposition to his own political beliefs, used his own power over his movies, to, very George Orwell like, attempt to erase it. But Lucas'd act of hiding the truth, actually illustrates another truth from his own movies, transforming himself into Darth Vader, the technological terror and embodiment of exerting Power over Truth, with his Ends justifying any and all of his Means.

In Lucas's attempt to use his power to alter and dispense with the mythic truth his original work portrayed, he draws us back even further in time to Sir Francis Bacon, or at least to the phrase popularly attributed to him, that
"Knowledge is Power"
which has it mostly wrong. What Bacon actually said, was that,
"II. The unassisted hand and the understanding left to itself possess but little power. "
and,
"III. Knowledge and human power are synonymous, since the ignorance of the cause frustrates the effect; for nature is only subdued by submission, and that which in contemplative philosophy corresponds with the cause in practical science becomes the rule."
George Lucas illustrates the line "since the ignorance of the cause frustrates the effect" quite well. And more importantly, Bacon said what is anathema to all things leftist, in the Arts, in Economics, in Politics, that,
"Now the empire of man over things is founded on the arts and sciences alone, for nature is only to be commanded by obeying her."
Knowledge is not Power, Power results from knowledge and your adherence to it. Those who seek knowledge in order to gain power over what is true, inevitably corrupt the knowledge they think they've acquired.

They tend, as did George Lucas, to make elaborate pretexts for doing what they want, not because it was right, but because it was easy. For what those for whom the 'Ends justify the Means' implicitly grasp, graspingly, is that in thinking that 'knowledge is power', they conclude that having power over knowledge, will create even more power for them. Conveniently forgetting that absolute power corrupts absolutely.

The truth is that power is a side effect, a disquieting one, of attaining knowledge. Power is something, a troublesome something, which those with considerable knowledge, find themselves to have been made unwilling custodians of. And worst of all, if you do not make the constant effort of seeing to it that your power conforms to your knowledge which is kept serving what is Good, Beautiful and True, rather than the other way around, it will consume you.

I can imagine Lucas in a time traveling sequence, going back to face his 1970's self, the skinny child who was the father of his now bloated older man, and saying,
"Lucas, you are my father!"
And 1970's Lucas would doubtless, gazing on the twisted and evil countenance of himself using power to obliterate truth, would wail,
"Noooooo!!!!!!!!!!!"

Poetic Justice incarnate.

There is something which art & story can convey in a slightest detail of pose or illustration, convey it to anyone watching in a fraction of a moment, which sums up a knowledge that requires volumes of understanding to approach. It is why Shelly, riffing on Plato, said that
"Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world".
, and why Aristotle called Poetry a greater truth than history,
"...It is, moreover, evident from what has been said, that it is not the function of the poet to relate what has happened, but what may happen- what is possible according to the law of probability or necessity. The poet and the historian differ not by writing in verse or in prose. The work of Herodotus might be put into verse, and it would still be a species of history, with meter no less than without it. The true difference is that one relates what has happened, the other what may happen. Poetry, therefore, is a more philosophical and a higher thing than history: for poetry tends to express the universal, history the particular...."
Art conveys Truth, and the understanding of it, in such a way that it fills the receiver with unexpected, and unlooked for, power, the power to choose how to act - which is a very different thing from the power to choose how others must act.

George Lucas couldn't bear the idea that the Truth he illustrated in Star Wars was in complete opposition to his political positions, and he used the power his movies brought him, to try and eliminate it.

What he may or may not have also actually grasped, was that that Truth, which Locke provided the knowledge necessary for supporting an understanding of, applied not only to such obvious things as the justness of pre-emptive war, but in opposition to anyone who seeks to use power over others, for their own purposes.

The leftist ideals he promotes, advocating using the power of the state to impose upon the few, to force them to live as he sees fit, and to take what does not belong to them, in order to spread the wealth around to those many who have not earned it, but want it, the 47% (which includes many of the most wealthy among us, such as George Lucas), have put themselves into a state, which John Locke clearly understood to be, an act of war upon the rest of us, and with all that is Good, Beautiful and True as well, and which even the most seemingly lightweight aspects of culture, are the great transmitters of.

And people like Lucas, Obama, Democrats and not a few Republicans, find that thought, the idea that Culture is vital to politics, to be simply unbearable; or as Luke might say,

"nnnNNNOOOOOoooo....!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Thursday, November 15, 2012

What if you held an election... and no one paid attention to the winner?

What if you held an election... and no one paid attention to the winner?

Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder told Dana Loesch on her radio program today, that there are disturbing signs that the GOP dominated legislature is considering doing just that, and only YOU can stop them.

This year, even in the midst of the GOP electoral losses, Missourians were very clear in their dislike of ObamaCare:

From BallotPedia:
Missouri Health Care Exchange Question, Proposition E (2012)
The following are unofficial election results:
Missouri Proposition E
ResultVotesPercentage
Yes1,567,81661.8%
No970,92438.2%
The Missouri Health Care Exchange Question was on the November 6, 2012 ballot in the state of Missouri as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The measure would prohibit the establishment, creation, or operation of a health insurance exchange unless it is created by a legislative act, a ballot initiative, or veto referendum. According to the text of the bill, the proposal is aimed at prohibiting the establishment of a health care exchange by the Missouri Governor.[1]
The bill's formal title in the 2012 state legislative session was Senate Bill 464.


The ballot summary of the measure, according to the Missouri Secretary of State:[2]
Shall Missouri Law be amended to prohibit the Governor or any state agency, from establishing or operating state-based health insurance exchanges unless authorized by a vote of the people or by the legislature?
No direct costs or savings for state and local governmental entities are expected from this proposal. Indirect costs or savings related to enforcement actions, missed federal funding, avoided implementation costs, and other issues are unknown.
And yet, our Lt. Governor, Peter Kinder, is reporting that our GOP dominated legislature, is getting wobbly at the thought of standing up to ObamaCare, even though their constituents, you and me, clearly expressed our support and expectation for their doing just that!

Kinder is urging the "...Legislature to refuse health insurance exchanges, Medicaid expansion..." and reminds us that, no matter what you might hear, or be lobbied by the Insurance companies to believe, the state is under no obligation to act:
“Setting up a health insurance exchange is a direct violation of the Healthcare Freedom Act, passed by 71 percent of Missouri voters in 2010, which forbids Obamacare’s individual and employer mandates. This month, Missouri voters again revealed their reluctance to embrace Obamacare’s implementation by easily passing Proposition E, which prohibits the establishment of health exchanges without a vote of the people or their representatives.

“These exchanges will cost states between $10 million and $100 million per year, and will set up state officials to take the blame when Obamacare increases insurance premiums and denies care to the sick. There is no compelling reason for Missouri to implement this unpopular, expensive and intrusive federal power grab. I urge the General Assembly to reaffirm Missourians’ opposition to Obamacare by refusing to create a health exchange or expand Medicaid.”
On top of that, it was just two years ago that Missourians first declared their resounding opposition to ObamaCare, when in we stood against the Obama Express, and passed Prop C
Shall the Missouri Statutes be amended to:
Deny the government authority to penalize citizens for refusing to purchase private health insurance or infringe upon the right to offer or accept direct payment for lawful healthcare services?
Modify laws regarding the liquidation of certain domestic insurance companies?

Proposition C
ResultVotesPercentage
Yes669,84771.1%
No272,72328.9%
What if you held an election... and no one paid attention to the winner?

What if? Well, as Dana pointed out, our newspaper media and Gov. Nixon, are planning to demonstrate what that would mean - that they can scoff at We The People, without a care in the world. For if you can hold an election, and your elected officials feel under no obligation to take your electoral wishes into consideration, and their fellow travelers in the News Media, decide to aide and abet their doing just that, then... you've got a voice that no one can hear.

That my friends is the tyrants favorite tune, music to their ears: ♫  ♪ ♬ The Sound of Silence ♬♪♫

But it stands to reason that their dreams of turning a deaf ear to your vote, again, will be exponentially more difficult to realize, if We The People make damn sure that they can't avoid hearing our voices as we melt the wires of their phones, faxes, emails, twitters and also by word of mouth: Call your friends and family too!

You'd better get real loud and real clear, now, because there's something else that happens if you can hold an election where no one pays attention to the winner - it's as good as a declaration of taxation without representation, isn't it? I don't know about you, but I don't want to see what might follow if we allow that to stand.

We're hearing reports that at least one State Representative, David Sater (David.Sater@house.mo.gov) has responded that he will listen and stand with the vote of the people, please, make sure that he doesn't stand alone!

Here is a link to the phone and fax numbers for the MO Legislature:

Here are the phone numbers for the Senate
http://www.senate.mo.gov/12info/senalpha.htm
And courtesy of some of my friends,
Action Item:
Call or email each Republican senator. Time is very short as they will be discussing this Friday and Saturday. Tell them the people of Missouri don’t want them to set up an Obamacare exchange any more than they want the governor to. The sentiment behind the Prop E vote applies to them, too!
(Here are the senators for whom we have public contact information. Some of the new senators don’t have published information yet.)
Dan Brown Rolla Dan.Brown@senate.mo.gov 573-751-5713 R
Mike Cunningham R
Tom Dempsey St Charles tom.dempsey@senate.mo.gov 573-751-1141 R
Bob Dixon Springfield bob.dixon@senate.mo.gov 573-751-2583 R
Edgar Emery Lamar R
Michael Kehoe Jefferson city 573-751-2076 R
Will Kraus Lees summit Will.Kraus@mail.senate.mo.gov 573-751-1464 R
Brad Lager Savannah brad.lager@senate.mo.gov 573-751-1415 R
John Lamping St Louis 573-751-2514 R
Douglas Libla Poplar Bluff
Brian Munzlinger Williamstown 573-751-7885 R
Brian Nieves Washington Brian.Nieves@senate.mo.gov 573-751-3678 R
Michael Parson Bolivar mparson@senate.mo.gov 573-751-8793 R
David Pearce Warrensburg david.pearce@senate.mo.gov 573-751-2272 R
Ron Richard Joplin 573-751-2173 R
Gary Romine Farmington R
Scott Rupp Wentzville 573-751-1282 R
David Sater David.Sater@house.mo.gov R
Robert Schaaf St Joseph rob.schaaf@senate.mo.gov R
Kurt Schaefer Columbia kurt.schaefer@mail.senate.mo.gov 573-751-3931 R
Eric Schmitt St Louis eschmitt@senate.mo.gov R
Ryan Silvey Kansas city Ryan.Silvey@house.mo.gov R
Wayne Wallingford Wayne.Wallingford@house.mo.gov R
Jay Wasson Nixa jay.wasson@senate.mo.gov 573-751-1503 R
Here is a link to all the current phone and fax numbers for the State Senate
Here are the phone numbers for the Senate and links to all the Senators websites. If you don’t know what district you are in there is a place to put in your zip code to find out.
http://www.senate.mo.gov/12info/senalpha.htm

Monday, November 12, 2012

Conservatives: Don't try to become more 'modern', become more Timeless instead

What with all the campaign autopsies that have been floated around since last Tuesday's election, all the thinkers rethinking what went wrong and how to fix conservatism, it's set one of George Carlin's old comedy routines running around through my head on continuous loop, the bit on words that don't go together,
"...the term Jumbo Shrimp has always amazed me. What is a Jumbo Shrimp? I mean, it's like Military Intelligence - the words don't go together, man... "
That's what I especially hear when I hear that according to numerous rethinkers upon the state of conservatism, that in order to save conservatism, conservatism needs to be modernized, conservatism needs to get with the times.

Conservatism + Modernize. See what I mean? Just like Jumbo Shrimp.

Unfortunately, while George Carlin was trying to be funny, these folks are dead serious. They say, with a straight face, that in order to 'modernize' conservatism it will require 'bold' 'new' 'thinking' in regards to conservatism's positions on college 'educated' youth, Latinos and supporters of gay marriage.

My immediate reaction, other than laughter, is that
  • 'bold' thinking is not to be found in chasing after the presumed hot button issues of popular opinion.
  • 'New' thinking is not found in reasserting the need to pander to decades old issues (and I don't mean 'decades old' as in Old, but as in what's merely fashionable, a passing fad).
  • 'Thinking' is not what results from crunching numbers and electing to follow the higher tallies.
In addition to those obvious points, there's also the fact that to the extent that you try to put a new face on an old philosophy in order to better appeal to the appetites of one particular group or another, it cannot be done without severing its principles, wrenching it out of its orbit, and transforming the entire project into an unseemly fraud.

That's not to say that conservatism doesn't need to reexamine its conclusions on these, and other issues, to strive to see more clearly how its stated conclusions compare with the truths that its philosophy brings to light - that should be the constant effort of all of those who claim to believe in it. But to advise adopting the conclusions of others, for the sake of winning popularity contests, that is hardly a conservative thing to do.

Do that and you will have no conservatism left to conserve.

Sooo... is it me that's not modern enough in my thinking? Or is it they who are tediously ancient in theirs? What about you?

Again, while I realize the importance of the popular vote in elections, the deeper issue which the vote serves, the purpose of governing, is not to do what is popular, but to do what is proper and right. It is not the job of politicians to do what they know to be wrong, in order to gain popularity and power, but to do what is right and communicate that in a way that promotes the popularity of those ideas.

If you are losing elections, it isn't your philosophy that's the problem (assuming that it is true in the first place), but your politicians and their poor and ill-informed understanding of it and their ridiculous attempts to make it seem (!) 'relevant'. Hello RNC, Romney, McCain, Dole, Bush, Ford....

Conservative vs. Liberal? Hardly
First, what is it that Conservatives are seeking to conserve? If they are being true to themselves, and to our Founding Fathers, then they should realize that they are supposed to be conserving the Classical Liberal philosophy which our nation was formed from and founded upon - preserving and extending the Liberty of its citizens.

Who are the opponents of Conservatives, Liberals? Hardly. What masquerades under the label 'Liberal', meaning to promote the greatest liberty, is not found in a party that desires to use govt regulation to control everything from your Dr's prescriptions to the size of your Big Gulp. The proper label, as Hillary Clinton pointed out when running for President, is the term 'Progressive'... which I find difficult to not amend to ProRegressive I'll make clear in a moment.

The entire ProRegressive project has been predicated upon the idea that the ideas and principles of our Founders era, are outmoded, suitable only for a pre-technological and agrarian few but not for the modern technological many; that the way of 'progress' is to be found through the rejection of what is True across time in favor of what pragmatically seems to work... for the moment... and may change (or be changed) in the next moment).

It has been the goal of the ProRegressive movement, to transform the Constitution and the principles which animate it, into a figurehead for an all powerful administrative state that will replace those pesky Natural Rights, with Govt Promises and Privileges.

Are you seriously going to tell me that the way to 'save' conservatism, is through the embrace of its fiercest enemy and the rejection of that which makes it timeless and worthy of conserving? Because their 'new' ideas, which amount to nothing more than taking away your Rights which are yours by nature of being human, and giving you govt IOU's for one privilege or another, that is supposedly a modern idea?

Ladies and Gents, that, putting powerful politicians in charge of your life, is not progress, it is regress. A century ago, President Coolidge framed that point nicely:
We are too prone to overlook another conclusion. Governments do not make ideals, but ideals make governments. This is both historically and logically true. Of course the government can help to sustain ideals and can create institutions through which they can be the better observed, but their source by their very nature is in the people. The people have to bear their own responsibilities. There is no method by which that burden can be shifted to the government. It is not the enactment, but the observance of laws, that creates the character of a nation.

About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.
For you who are seeking this 'modernization', just what is it, please, tell me, what is it that you are seeking to conserve? Your own power? Perhaps? Was your self-esteem damaged in the last election?

Poor dears.

Timelessness over Modernistic
Oh, I hear you, trust me, I can just hear you saying,
'There you go talking about what some dude said a CENTURY ago! What does that have to do with me? With us? Here! Today!'
A fair question, and no doubt followed up with... what about the 'educated' youth who want free this and that? Or of those Latinos who want special privileges? Or those gays who want to marry? Don't we realistically have to pander and appeal to them? Don't we need a slick new marketing tool that'll convince them that we 'care' about them?

Let me ask you this: Do you really think that you, assuming that you believe a tenth of what you claim to want to conserve, do you really think that you, are going to pander to them, more convincingly than those other guys across the aisle? Do you really think the people who want that sort of thing, are going to buy Pander-Lite, when they can get the real thing from the party of FDR, LBJ, Clinton & Obama? Is there something you find that's particularly modern about being stupid?

How about considering this instead: If you keep asking a question, over and over and over again, and have tried several of the different answers which that question leads to, and they have all failed (as happened with Ford, Bush 41, Dole, McCain, Romney), how about considering the possibility that you are asking the wrong question?

Rather than asking how conservatives can pretty themselves up and trick... oh, excuse me, appeal, appeal is of course what you meant to say, yeah, that's the ticket, appeal to supporters of the young or the old or the Latinos or the gays, how about asking them if they'd really like their choices to depend upon what favors the current crop of politicians in Washington D.C. are willing to grant to (or withhold from) them... or whether they might rather be secure in their own power to make those decisions about their own lives for themselves?

How about those 'educated youth' consider and reflect upon how govt has already helped to increase the cost of education beyond their reach, and get back to me on just how much more they really want govt to help them out?

For those who what govt to mandate marriage laws, gay or otherwise, how about first considering just who it is it that marries people? There are a few options of course, Churches, Justices of the Peace, Ship Captains... but I don't recall Congress being one of those typically involved in marrying people, do you? What place does govt have in marriage? Marriage is tough enough as it is, do you really want Govt involved in it? Do you really want an ever growing thousands of pages of statutes, codes and regulations describing and defining who it is that can get married?

Personally, I'd hate to see happen to the term "Marriage", what has happened to the word "Gay", there are any number of Christmas Carols that cannot be sung today without adolescents smirking when it comes time to sing the word. That kind of modernization I think we can do without. And traditionally, churches have defined Marriage as between a Man and a Woman... or as with Mormon's of a century ago, and Muslims of the modern day, a Man and Women. And of course while the modern Muslims demand stoning to death any same sex dalliance of any kind, still, if you can find a church that is willing to marry you, why should the govt have a say in the matter? Aren't you for a separation of church and state? Do you really want to change that?

Or are you one of those that say that you want the 'respect' of being able to say that you are 'married'? Have you looked at the level of respect that congress has in this nation today? Do you seriously believe, that govt, whose own level of respect is at all time lows, is going to succeed in requiring others to give your associations their respect?

Really? Government + Respect. I'm hearing George Carlin talking about Jumbo Shrimp again... how about you?

Or is it that you want the legal standing of married people in regards to insurance, inheritance, etc? Then what you want is not something proceeding from the pulpit, but more of a civil union, such as can be performed by a Justices of the peace and Ship Captains; contractual obligations that unite two people in a legal union.

So aren't you really saying that you want people to be able to form contracts and associations as they see fit, without the interference of others? Aren't you really saying that even if a majority of the people want to deprive you of your Rights - that you have a Natural Right to oppose them? And that Govt should uphold your Individual Rights, even if a majority of the people wish it were otherwise? Aren't you really saying that you want to make sure that no majority, moral or otherwise, can band together and deny you your liberty to make your own contracts and associate with who you please?

Welcome to another one of the timeless truths which make a Republican form of government (where Rights are upheld by law no matter the wishes of the majority), superior to that of a Democracy (where the majority decides what is, and isn't, 'right'), which is why our Founders defined, in our Constitution, that this nation would be a Republic,
"The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence."
Our Founders, those who you claim to be conserving, believed that the government has no business dictating or altering the terms of a contract freely entered into by adults, they saw to it that no state shall... pass any....
"... Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts,"
That my friend, is as conservative (in the Classical Liberal sense) as it gets, and was just as True 200 years ago, as it is today, timeless, rather than merely modern. What benefit would 'modernizing' that bring to anyone?

Well... what about appealing to 'Latinos'?

So... you think conservatives should start trying to appeal to 'Latinos'. How? Do you really want me to start trilling my L's like Obama and all of the other ridiculous News Anchors? Will that make me 'Latino friendly'? Is pronouncing particular words, or buying burritos in areas I might not normally venture, really going to make lllLLLah-teen-OHhs, my friends? Is that going to show how much I respect 'them'? Is it going to make 'them' like 'me'?

No way Jose.

How about this, how about if you (Latino, Irish, Canadian, etc.) would like to live your own life, without interfering with the lives of others doing the same, how about we restrain govt, and anyone else who might want to overpower you, from interfering in your living of your own life? How about we see to it that the Law takes no notice of your race or wealth or accent; but only of the truth and justice of your position?

On top of that, study after study has found that Latinos tend to be far more conservative, than leftist - it isn't Conservatism that has kept Latinos from voting on the Right side of the aisle, but idiot politicians paying more attention to rolling their L's, than to making clear how conservatism protects the rights of Latinos and everyone else in this nation together.

How about that as a 'conservative' policy towards lllLLLah-teen-OHhs, gays, the young, the old, the rich the poor and everyone else?

Because that is the only genuinely New political ideal that has been developed over the last several thousand years, ideas that were first tested out by the Founding Fathers of this nation. All the other available options, whether statist, marxist, socialist, racist, they are anything but 'new' or the means of making 'progress'; they are not new and they make no forward progress, they are instead the oldest ideas in game of political power. There is nothing older than those who seek to attain and hold power, by using it to play favors with those who (at the moment) can help them keep their hold on power, at the expense of every other 'little' person out there.

It was the true radicals, those of our Founding Father's era, who looked that ancient evil in the face and said 'No more'.

It took decades to work the kinks out, but those new ideas - the idea that govt derives its just powers from the consent of the governed, the idea that those holding the reigns of power in government must themselves obey its own laws, transforming that people into a nation of laws, and not of men, restraining itself from violating the individual rights of any of its people... that is the most brand spanking new idea on the political power scene, and all the others are out to get, and end, it, as they have been from the very beginning.

IMHO, That is a political philosophy worth conserving. How about you people who'd like to change that, drop the pretense of wanting to conserve anything at all, and just declare yourselves to be the ProRegressives you are? Because that is what you are if you are seeking to somehow 'modernize' conservatism. You are for, Pro, Regressing our system of government to a time where pesky things like Individual Rights and objective Laws didn't interfere with the power of those in power to, in Thrasymachus' words, do what they'd like for the 'advantage of the stronger'. that is what you are after, isn't? You want to lure the votes of the young, the old, the gay and the Latino, so that their uninformed consent will make you stronger? Or as IEP summarizes it:
  1. Justice is nothing but the advantage of the stronger (338c)
  2. Justice is obedience to laws (339b)
  3. Justice is nothing but the advantage of another (343c).
Just come out and say that you'd like to use the power of your organization to influence the ultimate organization, govt, to shower flattery and favors upon whichever group you feel will help you get whatever power it is that you want? How about you just come out and say that you are after Power for powers sake, and drop the pretense of wanting to secure anyone's liberty to live their own lives in pursuit of their own chosen happiness?

Oh... yeah... it doesn't work that way either, does it? If you come out and say that you want the power to tell people what to do with their own lives, people tend to not vote for them. So you have to pretend to before them, before you can be against them, is that it?

Well I'll let you get back to trying to fooling all of the people all of the time, and I'll just get back to doing my best to recover what is true; and to doing my best to conserve the only political philosophy ever created for the purpose of securing the liberty of its people to live their own lives, and the Constitution formed from those ideas, so that people can clearly see, just who it is that wants to give their fellows the liberty to live their own lives, and who it is that wants to grasp the reigns, and more importantly the whip, of power, so that they can gain power over everyone else, and use the power of govt to dictate how to live their lives for them.

Let me put the starting point of my position plainly. If what I believe is not true in any time and place, then it has no claim to truth, or to my interest. If what I believe excludes, or includes, anyone, on the basis of their age, race, wealth, gender, accent, origin, etc, then it has no claim to truth, or to my interest. And while admittedly conservatism requires an Educated people to prosper and prevail, a people 'educated' to the idea that nothing is right and nothing is wrong, have declared themselves to have no grasp of what is true, or any claim to my interest.

The way forward will not to be found by making ourselves more 'modern', but more timeless. I wish to conserve liberty, not to transform it into something less than zero. How about you?

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Not the end of history, but the midst of it. Carry on.

Last night, right about the time this picture was taken with some friends, I sent a Tweet:
"Ladies & Gents, I have a prediction. In about 6 hours, the sun'll come up. Get a grip. We've got interesting times coming. Rise to it. ;-) "
One of the replies I received was that,
... yes, the sun would rise, with UV rays that'll give us skin cancer & kill us all!
ROFLMAO!

Oh, come on people! Get a grip! If the day to day of life is that difficult for you, it's probably because you live your life mired in the present, where each ripple feels like being buffeted by storm surge waves. Get some perspective. Read some history.

An after election scotch with Scott (off camera), Letitia (the knee), moi,
JD, Chris & Dana (snapped by Jen)
Consider what it must have been like to hold onto conservative thoughts while living through re-election after re-election after re-election under FDR.

Or even worse, imagine what it must have been like to have beaten back the beast with Harding/Coolidge, only to see the country turn towards the ProRegressive Hoover, with the inkling of the disaster that'd follow.

Or even worse than that, to have actually lived as a free man at the turn of the 20th century, only to see it traded away for treats under Teddy Roosevelt, and then locked in with constitutional amendments under Wilson; imagine seeing your once free nation suddenly turning to locking up thousands of your fellow Americans for the crime of disagreeing with the policies of the Wilson Administration.

That would be tough.

And yet still, the sun would rise again, and life would simply go on, completely careless of your pain. That's just the way it works.

Do I need to extend that back any further? To the Civil War? The wrenching anguish of deciding upon revolution in 1776? The horrifying struggles to survive Jamestown? The loss of Roanoke? Caesar overthrowing the Republic of Rome? The fall of Rome? Hellooo...?

And you think the sun is going to pause in its course, and life is going to wait for you to get your head together, because Barack Obama was re-elected POTUS?

Go stand in the corner, and don't you dare make a noise or come out until you've recovered, or I'll draw a circle for you to put your nose in.

Seriously.

Grow up.

The election's over. Deal with it. The sun came up this morning, as I predicted it would last night, and I'm pretty confident that it is going to continue to do so.

The Real Miracle
It took thousands of years to reach the miracle that was, is and are, the ideas America was founded upon. The fact that that understanding has been largely lost over the last century, is far less impressive than the fact that they were found, and instituted and stood out in this world for over a century.

We are not at the end of history, but in the midst of it. Yes, the pendulum has swung away from center, but the good news is that it will, eventually, swing back, but it will do so at histories pace, not yours. If you want to encourage its pace, learn the ideas that first animated America, and spread them. Nothing less will change histories course.

25 years ago today, I changed my life when Carol married me and made me a part of hers. 25 years, three kids and a life worth living later, I've learned not to mistake the distractions of the daily events, for what is really real. If you expect me to pretend that the re-election of the living lie that is Barack Obama and his policies, that that fiction is supposed to distract me from the reality of living my life... then I'm laughing at your superior intelligence.

Understand, I'm not being a Pollyanna here, I'm not predicting smooth sailing. In fact I'm doubling down on the doom and gloom that I've seen coming for years. Bad times are coming. But they always were, and always will be.

I just refuse to grant that any significance in my life.

What was true yesterday, is still true today, as is the need to stand by it. And the need to do your best to spread the understanding of it.

As to Romney's call to end political bickering:
Up Yours. Viva la Gridlock!
New Tone.

;-)

People have asked me
'Didn't you expect Romney to win?'
No. I hoped he would, absolutely. But I understood that hope very rarely brings change, on it's own.

Elections do not cause change, they register it.

I, who have been focused on the state of Education, and have a pretty good grasp of history, have never expected to 'win' in less than 50 years. Sooo... no, I'm not surprised, and I didn't expect the task at hand to change even if Romney won (in fact, I told friends early on yesterday, that if he won, I thought that our task would be just getting started) - such a win might have made things less difficult, but I never expected it to change or improve things.

So, with that, I have the same optimism I had before the election, and which I had several years before the rest of the world realized it was time for a Tea Party; that being, that if everything goes swimmingly our way, without a single hitch or swerve, it would take 50 years to restore the full ideas of America to the minds of Americans, which is the only change that has a hope of changing things for the good.

Yesterday was a swerve.

Oh well. As Gagdad Bob put it: "S.N.A.F.U." Exactly. Carry on.

The task at hand has not changed, and still remains. Nothing has changed from yesterday.

Forward.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Slave or American - how would you ask it? How will you Vote?

The time has come around again to ask an old question anew. I'd been prodding leftists for a while when I first asked this question a couple years ago, in the comments at One Cosmos, in January of 2010, and I've repeated it in many places and many times since. I've still yet to receive any worthy response to it... nothing other than confusion or anger. One of the regulars commenter's there, Hoarhey, suggested I make it a permanent post, which I did (down on the sidebar... Right side, natch), and what with tomorrow being election day, it is about high time to raise it again, because this is the question that it all comes down to.

To be a house slave... or to be an American. But I'm not asking you that question.

Though that is the choice you are making when you go (or don't go) to the polls. Will you cast your vote with the party/candidate that has a realistic chance of unseating them, or will you choose to throw your vote out of harms way to fan your own vanity under the guise of 'being principled'?

Obama or Romney? Casting your vote for anyone else is casting it away from the fight, and for Obama.

McCaskill or Akin? Any other vote is a vote for Harry Reid as Senate Majority Leader.

To be a house slave... or to be an American - That is your choice tomorrow... but it's still not the question I'm asking you... give me a moment more.

What, you think I'm being too dramatic? Why? Have you ever bothered to think about what makes the life ones living, one lived as a slaved or in liberty? Do you really think that the presence of a whip determines the correct answer?

What prompted this question that I'm about to ask you, the first time, was an anonymous anninymouse comment, stating that essentially we conservatives were just being hysterical about ObamaCare, that we should all just relax and let Obama, Pelosi & Reid do their thing because
"The nation is fine. We have a good nation. We have a bright future. We have happy people. Can you not accept these things?"
Can I accept these things... with their definitions? No. Can you? Can you accept the rapidly increasing instances of reduced or lost rights to property, life, liberty and right to pursue our own idea of happiness... as issues we can 'just accept'? As infringements that are just harmless and meaningless trifles?

Hell no!

But I'm not asking you, directly, which you'd choose... instead I'm asking you how you'd explain the choice to someone else.

The question I posed to the aninnymouse, and which I offer it up to you (and you could still be the first  to answer this question), is not a difficult one; it is not as if I'm asking for anyone to actually define what Rights are, or anything like that... I'm just going to pose the following scenario and then ask you to answer me one simple question... ready?

The Question
Here's the scenario:
Suppose there's a place nearby where people are actually enslaved, enslaved in the good old fashioned pre-civil war sense, and you, a righteous leftie, working in association with an underground railroad, have a chance for a brief private moment alone with a pampered well kept house slave, one of those 'cared-for-like-one-of-the-family' house slaves (you know, the sort ya'll lefties used to accuse Condi Rice of being?)... how would you interest this house slave in escaping with you, to make a break and escape to the sort of 'freedom' you propose for us today... how would you induce them them to make a break to live in a land where 'all is fine, good, bright futures and happy people' such as the left, offers us today..?
Hmm?
  • Would you tell them that they'd be able to live their life as they chose (as long as that meant buying govt defined healthcontrol or risk fines and imprisonment)?
  • Would you tell them they'd be able to keep their own money and plan their own future (as long as those plans included forking over 20%-80% of their earnings for 'necessary' services(don't worry what those might be, governocrats will decide) and the 'social security' of having govt plan their retirements)?
  • Would you tell them they could own their own property (as long as govt didn't see a better use for it... as they did for Susette Kelo's home... it's such a nice vacant lot now, isn't it?)?
  • Would you tell them they could perhaps build up a family business and pass it down to their kids (unless it were something that the govt decided to 'rescue', like a car dealership)?
  • Would you tell them that they'd be able to raise their kids and give them a good education (as long as that meant in govt approved schools with govt approved teaching certificates and with an Obama govt safe school czar curriculum)?
Would you tell them... well... what would you tell them to make them want to leave their cushy house slave status, to make them consider leaving a comfortable house slave position where they're on such good and personable terms with their masters... what would you tell them to make them risk that cushy spot ... in order to exchange it for your leftie house slave status... where they'd have a nice DMV like relationship with their bureaucrat masters?

What would you tell them?

What will you tell the nation today as you cast your vote?

Do tell.

The American Answer
I know what I'd tell them, assuming I lived in a free nation, one with constitutionally protected liberties and secure property rights... I'd tell them 'Come with me if you want to live!'

But given that such a country, a free nation, with constitutionally protected liberties and secure property rights, no longer exists in the world today, there is only one thing to be said... there is no where to escape to... it is up to us, all of us, now, to restore that freedom and liberty and their security through Property Rights, to this nation, here and now! It's not such a hard fight, the foundation for it, our Constitution, already exists, we only have to remind those we've put in it's offices, of what it says, and what it means, and more importantly, and more urgently, we have to remind the citizens of this great nation, of what it says, of what it means, and why it is important to them and their children, why being a house slave, no matte how cushy the position, is nothing in comparison to living your own life, with liberty to pursue what you see as your own happiness.

Luckily for us we don't have to come up with all of the ideas and arguments for a nation based upon laws, rather than the whims of men - some folks already did a very thorough job of considering such issues before us. In fact, centuries worth of consideration upon such issues has already resulted in a thorough examination of the concepts of Individual Rights, of fixed and objective Law rooted in Natural Law, as opposed to the whims of Leviathan... and a revolution was already fought for them - and won. And even after our Founding Fathers initial attempt at a government based opon those theories alone proved to be ineffective, some of the greatest men in history got together at a convention in Philadelphia, and wrote the Constitution of the United States of America.

A Framework For Governing And Upholding Our Rights
But as fine a document as the Constitution was, after the entire nation debated that framework for governing and of how to implement them, they found it to be wanting... and they insisted that there be added to that constitution, a Bill of Rights, and after much further consideration, eventually settling on 10 amendments, in order to make it inconceivable that a Tyranny could ever arise in this land... at least not while that Bill of Rights stood firm and kept our government in check, by protecting:
1. Our Right to Free Speech and Freedom of Religion, and the Right to Petition our government and to Free Assembly,
2. Our Right to Bear Arms,
3. The Right to be secure from government intrusion in your home, and "that a man's house shall be his own castle",
4. That the "...right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated..."
5. The Right to due process of law, and that no private property will be taken for public use, without just compensation
6. The Right to a fair and speedy trial
7. The Right to trial by jury
8. The Right to be held without excessive bail or cruel or unusual punishment
Those people back then, people just like us, but much more aware of how a once loved government can quickly turn into Tyranny, they felt secure enough in these Rights, these 'parchment barriers', only because the vital concepts of Natural Law were enshrined in the Constitution through both the presence of
9. The Ninth Amendment, which was there to prevent those in power within the government from abusing or reducing the Rights of the people: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people",
10. and because it was doubly secured through the Tenth Amendment, which made it crystal clear, that "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
Read your Rights as stated in these links, but more importantly, read through the material linked to beneath those amendments, they explain what those ideas meant, the arguments for and against them - understand what they mean! It is really not rocket science! Read the constitution, read how it was so carefully structured in order to be able to balance such issues of the Rights of the people against the needs of the state, how it was intended to balance the lust for power (which they knew to fear even in those they admired) of those in one branch of government, against the lust for power of those in the other branches of government, for as the quote attributed to George Washington says,
"Government is not reason, nor eloquence. It is force. And like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearsome master."
IOW, for those of you who think 'all is well'... Don't turn your back on it!

Read the reasoning behind the debates on each clause of the Constitution, here, start with the Preamble... scroll down, familiarize yourself with the ideas that went to it, before blindly dismissing what some of the finest minds in history had to say on the same issues, in principle, which we face today, do that, and you may help spare us from becoming House Slaves.

So Now What?
Assuming you understand its importance, and wish to protect it - what can you do about it?

Plenty.

Two years ago, the best I could tell you was
  ... to speak up, speak up in private, speak up in public, whenever someone snickers, as Pelosi did, at the idea the the Constitution should have any restraint upon their desire to wield power over us, if like her, they as "Are you serious?!" - answer Yes, and be able to explain why. Get involved locally, not just for U.S. Congressional and Senate races, but even more importantly, in your State and Local races, and in your Party politics. NOW!
But today there is something you can do, right now, today - cast your vote.

Cast your vote like a stone between the eyes of the greatest threat facing our liberty today. But when you cast it, make sure it will make an impact, make sure that you oppose the greater threat, with the candidate most likely to be able to keep the greater threat out of power. Anything less, lets them pass unhindered. Any vote for a weak 3rd party candidate, is a vote that misses the mark, a vote that slows the beast not one bit, it is a vote that turns from the fight and leaves the field to the most ruthless.

For President, that means casting your vote with Romney/Ryan... any other is shot in the air that will not phase the Obama and his regulators one whit.

For Senator, in Missouri, that means Todd Akin... any other is a vote that will keep Harry Reid secure as Majority Leader in the Senate.

You stand alone at the bridge - will you stand your ground?
You don't stand alone, but you must make your choice alone... do you see it clearly? It is an easy thing to do, but it is not a small choice, it is momentous and its effects will be long reaching... it is the sort of choice that stories are written and lived for... don't let the fact that you have no sound track trick you into believing that your part is insignificant. It is not, and those stories of grand adventures are told for the very reason of helping you decide how to proceed in 'small' matters such as your stepping into the voting booth. Long before there was Gandalf at the bridge facing down the Balrog, there was Horatius at the bridge facing down an army, and what was true in the 'fiction' of Tolkein's Lord of the Rings, was true in history 2,000 years ago, and it is just as true today - you must stand and make a choice, between what is right, and what is easy.

Will you stand your ground and declare to those who would trod your liberty underfoot, that "You shall not pass!"... or will you welcome them in with thanks for their gifts of baubles and chains for you?

The choice is yours.

Choose to fight and fight well... or settle in for having Govt live your life for you.

And pray you get a cushy job in the masters house. Far, far away from me.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Putting your purpose into action - When acting 'on principle' is unprincipled behavior - part 2 of 2

Putting your purpose into action
Ok, so yesterday we established that Principles are an aid to thinking, not replacements for it, and that voting for a candidate that 'reflects your values', rather than voting for the candidate that has the best chance of either preserving your rights, or of harming them less, is in fact unprincipled and unconscionable, that,
"... to vote for A candidate, without taking into consideration the dynamics of the race itself, the realistic chances of your ' best candidate' to either win or affect the overall race, and the consequences of the election going to one or the other of the most likely winners, and what effects the likely winner might have in that office, then you have divorced your principles from the purpose they are principally supposed to serve - how your state and the nation will be served by the person who is elected - which renders your actions, unprincipled."
So... so what then? So how do you figure out the actions you should take, in order to best serve your proper purposes in voting? It's surprisingly simple to do. Figuring out 'how' hasn't changed all that much in the last few thousand years, it involves thinking the issue through, and realizing that:

Nichomachean ethics, 8
"... We must consider it, however, in the light not only of our conclusion and our premisses, but also of what is commonly said about it; for with a true view all the data harmonize, but with a false one the facts soon clash."
When you are properly putting your principles into practice, your data - in this case the ramifications of your vote - will tend to be in harmony with each other, to integrate well. When not, not. When they clash, such as when your own narrow self regard begins to take precedence over the purposes of your vote, then you begin to be faced with one uncomfortable truth after another, and you begin to search excuses, each one more of a stretch than the last, such as with:
"Don't tell me my vote is a vote for Obama, it's your two party system which your voting for the lesser of two evils, that's caused all the problems!".
Poppy-cock. If you do not use your vote in the most effective way possible to oppose the greatest threat to our liberties and to the government that was established to support them, then you are aiding that threat - your vote for a third party, IS a vote for Obama, and/or for McCaskill and for Jay Nixon... & co., etc.

Whether or not our 'Two party system' is the best system is another question entirely (and one that should perhaps be pursued further, soon), but right now, here and now, the two party system IS the system we have. And under this system, ideally, you have a candidate to vote for which you believe to have principles you consider to be important, there is a place for those beliefs in our current system, that is the purpose of Primaries - and in those earlier elections you should work to convince your fellows to see the merits of your judgment. But afterwards, you must do better than behaving like a sore loser if your candidate does not win. You cannot wish the loss away, and you must not elevate your disappointment to a higher position than the purpose of the election itself - that would be unconscionable.

If your fellow voters did not agree with you, nominating instead a candidate you disliked, then, depending upon how much you dislike the candidate, you might not be able to vote for that candidate, but that does not mean that you do not vote! At the risk of re-repeating myself, You do not vote For a candidate, rather, you cast your vote in order to affect the system of governance, and if you cannot vote for a candidate that has a reasonable chance of competing, then your vote should be cast against the one you think will do the most immediate damage during their term of office.

Does that mean that you should vote for the lesser of two evils? NO. You do not vote for the lesser of two evils - ever! - you vote against the worst of the likely evils facing you, using the most effective weapon at hand for stopping the greater evil - the candidate most likely to be able to defeat them.

Then, if you care for principle, if you strive to be principled and are a conscientiousness citizen, then you continue working to eliminate all of those evils you can (and you can say 'continue', right? You can continue because have already been actively working Against those things you disapprove of, right? What with your being principled and all? Good to hear).

The winner of this election will be determined by the ideas held in the minds of the people participating in it today. The winner of future elections, will be determined by the future knowledge of the electorate - if you want to be able to, with good conscience  vote for someone who does agree with you, and has a reasonable chance of winning, it's not elections you need to win, but minds.

And to win minds, minds capable of understanding why it is that today's candidates are inadequate, as are those policies and ideas they represent, we need time. I am not casting my vote to make things better - no candidate can do that, only you and I can - I'm voting to stop, or to at least slow down, what is making things worse.

In this election, with today's ideas in the minds of today's electorate, we don't have the option of voting For someone, only against; which brings us to the election we have to vote in, in just a few days time. Sooo... starting with the top of the ticket, oppose the greater threat to your liberties,

  • for President of the United States of America, I'm voting against Obama, by way of Romney's 'X'.
  • For the Missouri Senate, I am voting against Claire McCaskill, by way of Todd Akin's 'X',
  • and for Governor of Missouri I am voting against Jay Nixon, by way of Dave Spence's 'X'.
What's more important though, is should they win, then after this election, I will immediately continue to, ramp up even, doing what I can do to educate people on what ideas our system is based upon - exposing in the process why the current system and their popular candidates - Romney included - are cancers upon our body politic.

In case you didn't realize it, no, I'm not here to be a cheer leader for Romney, but a voice raised against those ideas which Obama represents.

But if they're both cancers, why vote for one over the other? Because the one is like an inoperable brain cancer, and the other is relatively treatable, like prostrate cancer. Still deadly, but a more manageable risk.

Why is Obama a greater electoral evil than Romney, etc?
I continually get comments such as "How can you vote for Romney? How is he worse than Obama?" Especially with his soph-revealing statements such as:
"Mitt Romney said Sunday that he likes parts of ‘Obamacare’ and will keep key provisions involving pre-existing conditions and young people. “I’m not getting rid of all of health care reform. Of course there are a number of things that I like in health care reform that I’m going to put in place,” he said on NBC’s “Meet The Press. “One is to make sure that those with pre-existing conditions can get coverage. Two is to assure that the marketplace allows for individuals to have policies that cover their family up to whatever age they might like.”"
Pardon me, but for those conservatives who were caught by surprise by this, I'm having a hard time working up the sympathy for your surprise that Romney would have sympathetic thoughts for aspects of Obamacare. Please. If it wasn't apparent at least four years ago that he was comfortable with the idea of government being involved in your healthcare, you never opened your eyes in the first place. He's not a conservative, at least not in the sense of someone seeking to conserve the concepts and principles which this nation was founded through and upon.

Never was.

He is not a solution to any conservative issue, he is simply the one left standing that is less of a threat to our lives than the other likely option we are facing in Obama. Many of us tried to elect someone else in the primaries. We failed. That wasn't just due to the GOP or the RNC. The problem is deeper and more widespread than that.

To ask "How about that! How can you vote for this guy?" is to ask the wrong question and so miss my answer, which is: I am NOT voting For Romney, I am voting in opposition to Obama with the candidate most likely to unseat him, which is clearly Romney. If there were a three-way tie going, I might consider that third party, but there is no, and so I will not.

When I say this, it's usually followed by some variation on 'Why should I assume Obama is going to be worse than Romney?'

My answer is that if you pay attention to essentials, you shouldn't have to assume anything, look at what and who they support, and what drives those actions.

  • Mitt Romney is someone who believes that government should be used to take an active role in improving people's lives. That, on the Federal level, is anathema to me. It will not work. In the isolated cases of 'success' they are prime examples of What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen. Does his latest revelation on healthcare change anything? No, nothing I didn't already know and expect.
  • Obama is someone who believes that government should be used to take an active role in transforming the beliefs and actions of Americans by using govt's regulatory power to forcibly alter our everyday actions, sentiments and beliefs. He believes in using the power of government to dilute our rights to our property and to our ability to live our own lives, to which we slowly become unaccustomed to having done to us. Those actions, combined with a Federal takeover of our schools and what is not taught in them, combine to undermine the Rule of Law and the sanctity of our Rights, transforming Americans, slowly but surely, into anti-Americans. The regulatory state even as its cost dwarfs that of our tax burden, it is its means of intruding the state into our lives through its ever present nudging of our lives, is the political means of spreading 'pod people' amongst us.
If you doubt that, then you have not read any of the many books where Obama, and the many people who believe as he does, where they openly state just that. If you don't believe me, pick up a copy of "The Second Bill of Rights" by Cass Sunstein, President Obama's hand picked 'Regulatory Czar'. A good summation can be found here,
"... The Second Bill of Rights may rest on a logical fallacy, a primitive economic theory, and a silly ethical claim, but it is instructive nonetheless. Sunstein's treatment of the problem of how to use the judiciary to enforce welfare rights shows what a radical departure they are from the rule of law, how they introduce arbitrariness into government policy, and how, ultimately, the contradictions and incompatibilities generated by welfare rights undermine the very idea of rights itself — for when "rights" conflict, the state must decide whose "rights" are to be respected, but, since it has been stipulated that both of the conflicting parties are in the right, the state's decisions must be on the basis of something other than right.

Sunstein's work represents a return to the governmental theories of absolutism — of power, rather than of right. Welfare rights are incompatible, not only with property rights, but with law and with the very concept of rights. Professor Sunstein, meet Louis XIV."
You will be hard pressed to find a more fundamentally anti-American book out there, and he is putting his ideas - the eradication of private Property Rights, and the replacement of Individual Rights with Collective Rights, aka: Entitlements; those benefits, privileges and restraints, bestowed like gold plated chains around our necks each day by our lawmakers .. see the SSA, Medicare, FCC, EPA, DOE, DoEd, NLRB, FDA, EIEIO, for reference.

The Real RINO Threat
If you are looking for why a Romney presidency is better for our long term goals than another Obama presidency, look no further than who they will put in power in their regulatory agencies. Romney will no doubt put wonks in place to keep the agencies 'running smoothly', but Obama is putting people in them who are of like mind with Sunstein, and who are not just keeping the regulations up to date, but who are purposefully using them to transform the ideas, beliefs and customary structures of American life, and so replace the system, Liberty, which gave rise to them.

Conservatives are continually making the SCOTUS argument as a reason to vote for Romney, and while Romney's nominations would no don't be less bad than Obama's, there's a danger in focusing too much on the SCOTUS appointments, because it makes the SCOTUS seem like the real goal.

It is not. Don't get me wrong, it's nothing to sneeze at, and another Obama term would undoubtedly put harmful 'justices' upon it. But the ProRegressive Left has long looked to the Constitution and the SCOTUS primarily as being aids or obstacles to establishing an administrative state in their stead; once they have their powers secured, the Constitution and SCOTUS will be annoyances only. We are very nearly at that point now.

The SCOTUS is going to be of little concern if the administrative regulatory agencies manage to get much more power... and that is the full focus and concern of this administration - just look at what they they say and what they do!

Obama, his administration and the agencies under his control, have shown themselves, time and again, to be absolutely opposed to, the Rule of Law (do you recall the EPA imposing the rules the congress voted down? Or ICE imposing the immigration rules that congress voted down? Or the FCC imposing NetNeutrality rules that the congress voted down? Etc.?), they have shown themselves, time and again, to be intent upon dissolving any and all remaining private property rights, they have shown themselves, time and again, to be intent upon promoting Collective Rights, over Individual Rights as such.

Romney, while the typical proRegressive republican who believes that govt can 'help you' by making better decisions for you, is not deliberately and ideologically opposed to our culture, our system of government or to free enterprise as such. His administration will undoubtedly continue the erosion of our Rights, believe me, I have no illusions about that (and it has been the norm over the last century), but under his administration, that erosion will occur incidentally or accidentally, rather than with the force, intent and momentum of intentional malice which the Obama administration has shown itself to wield.

What formally began in Obama's first administration, will quite possibly be completed in a second administration, the final relegation of the Constitution to the ceremonial status of the Queen of England, through elevating the regulatory agencies over it; and congress itself is not likely too far behind.

If you are hoping that there is anything more than a Republic In Name Only left in place after another four years of Obama... I think you're whistling in the wind. But if you are more worried about a Republican in Name Only, than a Republic In Name Only, you are about to get what you so richly deserve.

What about a 3rd party candidate?
At this point in time, a 3rd party candidate has zero demonstrable chance of securing even a significant 3rd place in a presidential election, let alone 2nd or third. There are times that voting 3rd party might be wise, Perot in '92 for instance, as a statement that violating a pledge of no new taxes (Bush 41's 'Read my lips: No new taxes!', was unacceptable. But despicable as he was, Clinton was no Barack Obama, and that 1992 vote ushered in a conservative congress. It was a valid option, one which I took, for the foreseeable future.

But, in case I need to remind you, it was not without cost - Monica, ChinaGate, LippoGate, the first World Trade Center bombing, Mogadishu, the allowed rise of Osama Bin Laden, the attack on the USS Cole. All of that was unforeseeable in 1992, yet that pales against what IS foreseeable today - just imagine what we cannot imagine yet. Elections do have consequences, and sometimes they suck. And those consequences are not always foreseeable - but when you can foresee  clearly, dire consequences from one candidate winning, more dire than what you can foresee arising from the election of their opponent, you must vote against them.

Such a choice today - to sit out the election, or to vote 3rd party - in this election, can only be made in utter, self blinded denial of the consequences, it is a denial of an impending evil, and such an action would be unconscionable.

With electing Romney (and I'm still disgusted typing that), we wheedle some more time from fate, time put back on the clock which we can, must, use to try our best to right things with. This is less a vote for a President, than a bid for more time, time to help inform your friends, neighbors, family and co-workers, time to wake up We The People, not with something so ephemeral and unreliable as alarm (and Obama's already done that), but with knowledge and understanding of what America means, so that they will again be capable of choosing a President who will support and defend the Constitution of the United States, rather than ignoring or dispensing with it.

What's the alternative, throw up our hands and yell 'Wheee!' as we head over the cliff?

No thanks. If we're going down, I'll go down fighting, throwing those punches that have at least some chance of landing on our real opponent, ignorance.

And I've got news for anyone that thinks Electing Ron Paul, Gary Johnson, or anyone else of the like would change things - it could not, and would not. Many of us tried to elect someone else, anyone else than Romney, in the primaries. We failed. The problem is deeper and more widespread than a single candidate. Romney didn't win just because of the GOP or the two party system, it was due, at the very least, to the knowledge and awareness of the people who make up the electorate. We have the system we have, because over the last 150 years, our understanding of the meaning and purpose of Law, Rights, Liberty and Govt have been fundamentally transformed.

No elected officials, no matter how many, are going to change that. If we swept all offices and branches of govt with Founding Fathers grade classical liberals, who would go in and rip every code and law out of the books back to the mid 1800's... We The People, the sovereigns in this nation, would haul their asses out the next term and demand that their goodies be reinstated.

We The People are what must be changed... no political change of any import is going to happen until that!

All political fights at this point in time are holding actions, the real work MUST be done in the minds and understanding of your family, your friends, your neighbors and your co-workers.

Fail at that, fail at all.

To succeed, to have even a hope of succeeding, we need more time, and for the time being, that means using your precious vote, your responsibility to your own Rights, to elect those who will harm them less than the next most viable candidate is likely to.

And make no mistake, if you do not vote to oppose the greater evil, you are using your vote, either by casting it where it can have no effect, or simply by casting it away, to aid in ushering in the greater evil.

This Tuesday, please, don't waste your vote; cast your vote where it will have the greatest effect, by casting it against the greatest threat to our liberties - don't lay down, don't retreat, don't throw it away - Fight!