Thursday, January 21, 2010

The True Problem

Republicans are really just obstructionists.  Their constant fixation is with how to keep big government from getting bigger, and how to make big government "work".  And the health care debate is only the most recent iteration of this insanity. 

The Republican line on this whole debate has been uniquely absurd, even for them.  Here it is, in all of it's conflicting glory:

1) Obamacare represents a government takeover of health care.
2)  Government takeovers of health care are bad.
3) Obamacare would result in reducing funding for Medicare, a government run health care program.
4) Somehow, this is also bad.

It just puzzles me to see Republicans railing against socialized medicine while defending the rights of seniors to socialized medicine.  Their is some serious cognitive dissonance going on here.  The big problem is that, as I have written before, in a nation in which my property is up for grabs through the legislative process, and can be given to other "deserving" groups, tiny interests (such as seniors) have a large interest in supporting big government programs that benefit them.  All the while, the rest of us only lose a tiny chunk of our pay check.  This doesn't seem so bad.  Except for the fact that there are hundreds of interests suckling at the breast of the American working public.  In the aggregate, farmers, seniors, the indigent, children, homeowners, contractors, etc. are killing the very foundation that America was built on.  That an American is responsible to take care of himself.  We band together for protection, but we are in the end personally responsible.

Once we've given up on that basic principle, we've lost hope.  Which is why I don't hold out too much hope for the Republicans or the Democrats.  They are a bunch of sniveling cowards.  And I can't blame them really.  If you turn against every organized interest as a politician, save for the extremely rare exceptions such as Ron Paul, you lose elections.  And that's what it comes down to.  Our system is simply flawed, and politicians are forced to allow tiny creeping steps on our liberty.  At some point, it must stop.  Tyranny has been coming slowly for about 100 years.  And what can't continue, won't.  And this can't go on.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Puritanical Shortsightedness

I have recently become convinced that evangelical American Christians do essentially two things pretty well.  They keep their kids from swearing, and they keep them from having sex before marriage, or at least they clearly express their displeasure with those two specific sins.  And I believe that they are sins (for the most part).  For the first sin, as Ephesians 5 says, "Nor should their be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather Thanksgiving."  And the latter should be clear from many verses about purity.  So I'm not saying that Christians are off base by discouraging these sins in their children.  I just wish that they would treat other sins with the same tenacity that they do these two.

Imagine if a parent would wash their child's mouth out with soap for gossiping?  Or for using coarse language that's not included in our society's list of "swear words"?  Or if they would give their children lectures on the dangers of coveting?  Or jealousy?  What a better church we would have!  What a more Christlike body of believers we would have!  If only Christians could harness their cursin' and sex fighting zeal to every area of their children's lives.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Crucial Question

I feel a little like the man from the Ayn Rand Institute who was on Glenn Beck.  Not that I'm an Objectivist by any stretch.  But I feel like the whole debate regarding health care reform misses the point.  The debate here is no debate at all.  Conservatives rail against a government takeover of health care.  Liberals claim that every person deserves health care.  But the roots of this problem go back to basic questions of political philosophy.  And the debate reveals the generally homogenous philosophies of our politicians. 

As the man from ARI rightly pointed out, the real debate here should be about whether or not government has the right to take your money and give it to someone else.  And this debate rests on whether or not we agree with our Founders that rights come from God and that if government has the right to define our rights, then our rights are never safe.  But we are actively trying to create new rights.  No longer do you have the right to life, liberty, and property.  You now have the right to health care.  Not only do you have the right to health care, but you MUST have health care.  Regardless of whether or not you want it. 

Few Republicans would worry about natural rights principles (Ron Paul, and perhaps Bachmann, Demint, and Coburn.  Perhaps.).  But this is the critical issue at play here.  Because when government tells you that you must do something, inevitably, someone has to pay for it.  Which means that property rights suffer.  When government creates rights, other rights suffer.  This is the question, and where we should be focused.  Until entitlements are dealt with, nothing will be solved.  And until we once again embrace principles of natural rights, entitlements will never die.