Some Political Musings

Well, I promised I would talk about politics this week. And now I am going to talk about politics. You have been warned. So let’s do this.

The presidential election was a disappointment, but not a surprise. Even so, I still do not understand the support Obama received. He has done very little good during his presidency, and added as much to national debt in four years as Bush the Younger did in eight years. An economic recovery that should have taken two years at the most is now in its fourth year and still barely plodding along. The most financially stupid health care law in the history of the country was pushed by him and passed. We keep hearing from him and his spokespeople about “economic patriotism” and how the “rich” have an “obligation” to “contribute” more. He complains about top-down economic solutions in one breath and espouses more top-down economic controls with the other. His policies have proven to be largely incompetent and yet a majority of voters chose to vote for him. Mind-boggling.

On the other hand, we have the Republicans wondering how they lost the election, after nominating the worst GOP candidate since John McCain. Yes, I know, McCain was nominated only four years and a few months back, but still, he was an astonishingly bad nominee, and Romney is a very close second place.

And to all of the folks who live in Bizarro America and keep complaining about how the Republicans lost because the so-called “far right wing” libertarians had taken over the party and ruined it with a lot of hardcore laissez-faire economic policies, to you I say POPPYCOCK! There is no way to rationally and honestly assess the Republican Party as having been overtaken by hardcore libertarians. Clue #1: The GOP nominated Mitt Romney. Whatever else that man is, he is no libertarian. Clue #2: The two actual libertarians who ran for the Republican nomination could barely get the Party to pay attention to them. Clue #3: the RNC platform. Protecting massive “entitlement” spending and increasing already massive military spending are not libertarian positions. Not even close. Sure, Romney wanted to repeal Obamacare, but he also wanted to keep most of it in a another form. That ain’t laissez-faire, people. No, really, it just is not.

For those Republicans who are wondering where they went wrong, I will tell you. You went wrong by not adopting more libertarian policies. This ain’t the 1950s any more. And please note I did not say the GOP needs more liberal policies. I know a lot of conservative types are all “we don’t need to be more liberal” and that is true. But that is what you have been doing, and you need to stop it. Yes, you do need to be more libertarian. Saying we have to keep Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security and massively wasteful military spending and spend more money on border control and immigration law enforcement and the drug war and on and on, it all significantly undercuts the notion of the Republican Party as the party of smaller government. And no, cutting the future projected growth of spending is not a real spending cut. Stop trying to keep your cake and eat it too.

Oh, and by the way, Republican Party, you know how you did not get a lot of the young vote? I want you to think back on which Republican, over the past several years, has been getting large crowds of young people to come listen to him talk. On college campuses even. Who? Ron Paul. Yeah, that Ron Paul. Think about it. If the Republican Party does not adapt, it will become irrelevant and die.

As much as I dislike saying this, the Republican Party does not have to become the Libertarian Party. But it does need to stop pretending that a candidates a few inches separated from each other policy-wise is a somehow a choice between two vastly different candidates. If you want to be truly bold, start supporting true smaller government principles. Stop protecting the so-called entitlement spending as sacrosanct, and start proposing plans to gradually eliminate Social Security. Stop making excused for government failures in education, and start proposing to genuinely eliminate the U.S. Department of Education. Stop partnering with Democrats on making the tax code more complicated, and start promoting and pushing for a single digit flat tax. Stop blathering nonsense about how cuts in projected growth of military spending are “draconian” cuts that will “gut” the military, and start talking about making the military leaner and more economically efficient. Stop clinging to outdated drug war nonsense, and start talking about a rational drug policy that works more like the laws we have for alcohol. In other words, stop just claiming you are for a smaller government and start acting like it. Actually become the party of personal liberty.

Does the Republican Party have to do all of that at once? No. But it by golly needs to start somewhere.

Moving on, can we please stop with the whole people who who oppose Obama/Democrats are racist? Those of you making these arguments, you know who you are. You’re acting like fools. Yes, there probably are some people who oppose Obama who are racist. There are also some Democrats who are ignorant ideological bigots. So let’s stop with the stupidity of the broad-brushing. I was once told the Democrats were the party of nuance. Apparently not. Listening to some of you stirs up the same kind of nausea and hatred I feel when I hear people espouse actual racism. Your rhetoric of ideological purity is disgusting and bigoted. Listen your yourselves sometime, and replace Republican with Democrat, or liberal with conservative, or right-wing with left-wing. Consider whether or not it is still rhetoric you would embrace.

One last thing before I stop for the night. No, Ron Paul is not advocating for secession. What he has done is defend the right of other people to call for secession. That is all. The hand-wringing over the secession petitions is so much nonsense. Hey, look, a libertarian says people have a right to talk about secession! If you were surprised by this, raise your hand so someone with sense can be sent around to slap you. And by the way, there is no need to act like the secessionist talk is some kind of precursor to a civil war. It is not going to happen, and everyone with a modicum of sense knows this. The people wringing their virtual hands over this are more foolish than the people who put the petitions out there. Let it go.

Okay, that is all for now. I am done for the night. Enjoy your Thanksgiving. Eat good food. Eat more than you need to. It should be a feast. So feast if you are able, and try to help someone who cannot. Love your neighbor. And remember, everyone is your neighbor. Even the people who voted for the other guy. Eat, drink and be happy, for tomorrow we may be dead. Give thanks to your God, or gods or goddesses or other deities, or to the universe or simply to one another if you hold to no religion. Tell someone you are thankful for them. And mean it.

Elvis has left the building. Thank you, and good night.

One Response to “Some Political Musings”

  1. Now that is the man I have come to know so well.

    Enough on simplifying the tax code already. You’ll put me out of a job. Yes, it is needed.

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