Wednesday, August 03, 2011

The Politics of Seeming

To my 'Practical' friends - you failed. Now can we move on to something that works? We've tried playing to public opinion, striking appealing bargains, etc. The 'Debt Deal' is what that strategy has produced. It doesn't work. Know why? The people who'd be worth winning over, don't believe it. And the ones who are focused on the politics of seeming, can't look away from the dazzling bright lights long enough to tell whether or not those lights are illuminating anything worth seeing.

Your idea of being 'practical' has amounted to saying that
'the typical American is too stupid to understand ideas of liberty and the constitution.'
I'm tired of hearing it. You failed. You failed, because the notion (a favorite comment of people like Bill Maher, btw) is itself a deeply stupid thing to say. While it may be true that the majority of the American people do not understand the meaning of Liberty and the Constitution, it isn't because they cannot understand them, but because elitist pieces of poop (valid editorial statement) such as yourselves, who supposedly do understand them, haven't been doing what it is your responsibility to be doing, which is to help to spread, communicate and teach their meaning!

You say people just don't understand John Locke anymore, people just don't understand how the government is eating away their liberties, they're just too comfortable. You know what? They didn't understand them either when Sam Adams first began alerting and informing people about them back in the early 1760's. You know what? Because he, and others started informing their fellows, We The People came to understand the nature of the problem they faced, and understood the importance of the concepts involved. You know why? Because they were, and are, intelligent people who had been under and misinformed.

That is all.

Speaking of Witch
Laura Ingraham recently said about the latest debt deal:
"Some conservatives may not be satisfied, but then again, no one is. This is simply a step in the right direction."
Dear Laura: Just as I reject the notion that 'The enemy of my enemy is my friend', I also reject the notion that 'The Bill which the Left says is bad, is one I should consider to be Good'. You know why? Because it's a Stupid proposition!

I suggest that Laura, O'Reilly and others like them, are so focused on moving from left to right, that they've forgotten about taking into account the whether or not they are moving forwards or backwards at the same time. Taking a step towards the right, while moving backwards, is not progress. Sorry, it's just not.

Ingraham might have been at least partially correct if this political agreement reflected a political solution for the real situation. It doesn't. At best the political agreement has roots which go no deeper than the politics of popular opinion. The real problem is that this politics of public opinion goes no deeper into the reality of the situation than the uninformed opinion of the person on the street who gets a laugh line on Leno for identifying Washington D.C. as a type of electric current.

The govt has defined functions (see Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1 through Clause 18) which make up a small portion of our monthly budget, and many, many programs which are not covered by that. We have put ourselves on the hook for 50 or so billion dollars a month which the Left AND the Right have managed to convince themselves it is ok to borrow against in order to pay. On top of that, if for some reason, fiscal responsibility or some other such madness, we choose not to borrow more for what we cannot afford, that same public opinion insists that we cut not the extraneous programs, but those that are vital to the functions of government.
And pardon me if I seem extremist, but in a time of war - Three Wars! - even considering cutting defense by half a trillion dollars, is INSANE! Agreeing to the possibility of that, in order to seem reasonable, is unreasonable insanity!

The Politics of Seeming
Might this have been the best that could be hoped for? No, I don't think so. But let's say it was, the Republicans, if they had to go along with something similar, should have done so in such a way as to clearly define the issues involved, should have clearly pointed out that this practice of spending more than we have is, as Vladimir Putin said, parasitism. They could have, and should have, identified and won the moral argument, even as they lost the political one.

That is what people such as myself expected of those we sent to Washington D.C. in the last election. That is not what we got. Instead we got politicians who went along with the charade of this budget having 'Cut'  trillions of dollars, which is simply obfuscation and lies. Reducing the excessive amount you propose to spend over your income, to a slightly less excessive amount over your income, and which results in spending more than you did the previous year, is not a cut. Only spending less than you are spending now, is a cut! But by going along with the democrat's political narrative, the republicans legitimized that view where spending more is made to seem to be spending less, which enables those who are recklessly spending money they don't have to seem responsible, and makes those making an effort, however lame, to block such 'cuts' to seem to be extremists, or as Joe Biden and his fellow dim dem's put it, like 'terrorists'.

That is the politics of seeming, and it is madness. How dare you 'practical' people contribute to convincing the public that this is a legitimate proposal. Shame on you.

Bill Hennessy summed up the crux of the problem the other day,
"Our present crisis is the result of:

*Too much borrowing
 *Too much spending
 *Too much government control
 *Too much taxing

 Those who argue that America needs to borrow, spend, regulate, and tax more are simply wrong, wrong, wrong. Their argument is absurd on its face..."
Any supposed solution which does not address any of those issues, is not a practical prescription for anything other than self administered poison. Do we really have to say this again? Read the bill! It doesn't address any of these issues - it engages in phony-baloney semantics, gimmicks and potentially disastrous contingencies, all of which amounts to planning to add additional trillions of dollars of expenses over its term, and through more word games and lies of omission, adds even more taxes and opens the door to more regulations to boot.

Peter Schiff notes,
"The Congressional Budget Office currently projects that $9.5 trillion in new debt will have to be issued over the next 10 years. Even if all of the reductions proposed in the deal were to come to pass, which is highly unlikely, that would still leave $7.1 trillion in new debt accumulation by 2021. Our problems have not been solved by a long shot.
Moodys', S&P, and all the rest, are not going to be able to find any way of avoiding downgrading our credit rating any longer - it is coming. As is the Piper.

And he is going to be paid.

Those of you who are congratulating yourselves on either putting another one over on the American people, or who have convinced themselves that the politics of seeming is actually something of substance, are in for a very rude awakening.

The UK Daily Mail maybe puts it best:
"Debt surges to reach 100% of GDP as U.S. stock market barely avoids worst losing run since Jimmy Carter was president"
Yes, I know you want to get 'the right people' elected, well, I've got news for you, 'the right people' just went along with a bill that plays to public opinion, but accomplishes nothing worthwhile and a great deal that is positively harmful. No, the current bill did not accomplish anything worthwhile, changing our plans to leap from the 10th floor of a building, for plans to leap from the 6th floor of a building is not an accomplishment, and any viewpoint which suggests it is, I suggest to you is not a view that's worth pointing at.

Changing our plans to no longer considering leaping from the building, now that would be an accomplishment.

Something else. Winning over people on our side alone, is a losing strategy, attempting only to win others over to our side, is a losing strategy, or at best it's one that leads to real conflict - which is a losing strategy. There will always be two or more points of view on what is proper govt policy; John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison - they had four very different (yes, four) points of view, but they were united in their principles.

Forget about winning people over to 'our side', try winning them over to understanding what is actually at stake, try winning them over to seeing things as they actually are, rather than how others would like them to seem to be. That is what we need. We will always disagree over how to handle a situation, but as long as we are arguing over the actual situation, rather than someones opinion of how it seems to be, then we can make progress. Then, no matter which 'side' wins, we will be progressing, rather than regressing.

We must focus on getting both sides to understand the actual principles involved and what is actually at stake. Nothing less will allow us to succeed. Nothing less will enable a 'win' to also be successful.

The only, practical, winning strategy, is to make the principles of freedom known and understood once again. Left and Right, must see that their well intentioned notions are counterproductive, at best.

Both the left and the right say, and probably believe, that they are for freedom and liberty. It is not effective to tell them that they are wrong, and it doesn't improve your effectiveness any at all to say it while smiling with a Green Energy product in your hand, we've got to get We The People to look at the concepts for themselves so that they can understand and convince themselves and see what is right and what is not.

Anything less, is ridiculously impractical. Do you really think liberty and freedom can be achieved without understanding them? If you do, then you don't understand them!

I gave a start in a recent post "Liberty - It all hangs together, or we all hang separately", and I'll continue adding to that, instead of less practical matters such as appealing to a 'broader audience', because if we don't manage to relearn and care about the fundamentals, nothing else can possibly work.

If you're not practical enough to realize that... you're even dumber than you seem to be.

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