We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Monday, December 29. 2008
Is "small government Republicanism" a fantasy? Are libertarian ideals silly utopian fantasies?
It's a good debate, and it would be fun if enough readers are home or working this week to join in via comments.
We have three fine pieces on the topic today:
Jennifer Rubin: How do you fight Obama's New New Deal?
The GOP must reject big government: LAT
Where should Conservatives draw the line? Am Thinker
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Small government Republicanism is no more Utopian than big government Liberalism! It is simply the most worthy cause with which any of us could be affiliated.
We can never accept the liberal ideal as being inevitable, just as the founding fathers never accepted rule from London as being inevitable! Nothing is inevitable!
Big government liberalism is inevitable only so long as it is not vigorously opposed at every turn. Republicans have had their best moments in opposition to the big government agenda; our mistake is that when in power we have been corrupted by the same power that corrupts liberals.
Republicans fatal flaw, it's Achilles Heel, has been, is the fact that Republicans do not like government the way Democrats do, i.e., as the "family business", in fact, Republicans don't like government at all! Republicans are mostly too busy leading their lives to become engaged the way Democrats do.
Republicans see themselves as the necessary opposition, the finger in the dike, to keep the Democrats from turning America into a "Heaven on Earth". It's a distasteful job but someone must do it or we can forever sign off to living like serfs.
I have not lost faith as I still see many Republican regulars ready to lead the Opposition. Republicans are needed now more than ever and being in Opposition will lead, hopefully, to a return to Republican power. But when we do return to power, will we remember the lessons learned from this last go around?
Well firstly I've gotta' say that, libertarian ideals are the antithesis of silly utopian fantasies. It is the acceptance of imperfection which both makes libertarianism unique and actually highly just and functional. And its not as if free societies are theoretical, there certainly have been rare occasions where, for the most part, the State was restrained.
But of course these instances have been diamonds in the rough and currently we are in a century long cultural domination of progressivism/socialism. In the short term, I certainly see no hope for any kind of libertarian revival given the snide, laughing treatment of Ron Paul and Paul Schiff.
I am optimistic in the long run. I believe that the internet, as a truly free and international organization, has become a beacon for the potentials of liberty as well as the source for organization/education. If the internet remains free, we will be freed.
I also have a question. Is the Republican party the answer? In the big picture, is the party really all that different than the Democrats?
But of course, third parties are institutionally pre-ordained to fail.
Bacon ... all political parties are fallible. Heck -- all humans are fallible. An intelligent person simply selects the least fallible party, the one with the most adult attitudes toward realistic achievement of achieveable goals, and puts up with the elements which are not neccessarily in agreement with his own goals but which are least harmful to them in the long run.
And then he takes action to achieve the goals of that party. But one only recognizes this truth when one is about 80 years old. And then one is too old to carry the flag very far.
Well, its probably my youth speaking, but given the choice between suffering the lesser of two evils and inaction, I'd choose inaction. The cost of the few additional regulations/taxes is worth far less than my support of the vast amount of common ones.
"Is "small government Republicanism" a fantasy? Are libertarian ideals silly utopian fantasies?"
Yes and Yes.
Not only that, both are utterly outmoded and obsolete and, to be blunt, boring. Neither one is every going to happen.
We need to trash both and get some fresh ideas.
Lately, everytime I see the word "conservative" I start to get the same cringe-reaction I get when I see the word "liberal" or the word "progressive."
Is the Republican Party the place for us?
I dunno. Better than anyplace else I have found for a variety of reasons.
But the RNC-McCain-"Magic Negro" crowd certainly is not me.
I think a serious, scholarly study of Sarah Palin might be instructive.
She got where she is, not by fighting corruption, but by fighting Republican corruption.
Most of the minor "parties" are doomed to forever be minor parties because they are too fractious and rigid to ever attract more that a few who follow the narrow diktats and dictates of the various splinters.
It would appear that the Democrats pretty much follow what they say they believe in.
If we could get the Republican management converted to Republican leadership which follows what they say they believe in, we might be in better shape. The Gingrich Years will be the disaster years for us for a long time, doing more harm than the Nixon years did.
Being all things to all people is not the way.
How do you fight O's New-New Deal?
You can but not effectively for another twenty to thirty years if ever. The bailout nation is now well established under Geo. Bush. He actually has done all the heavy lifting for the socialist democrats and Commandante Obama. Banks nationalized. No more Wall Street. Money being printed in lurid amounts. Itís not whatís to be saved; itís can we rebuild or regain what weíve just tossed overboard, capitalism.
If polls are to be believed, polls taken prior to the 2008 slow motion depression, then some 51-52% of the American population believe the Federal government should be doing MORE, not less for the citizens. As Iíve stated before this nation isnít a melting pot itís becoming a sewer of human excrement who just want the goodies, they could care less about the nations history or ideals, and Iíd bet 90% of them couldnít tell you, nor do they care, what the difference between a stock and a bond is.
Forget getting back the USA that existed immediately after WWII to about 1990. That country doesnít exist anymore. It probably wonít ever exist again.
Seeing the "Habu" at the end of that is a clear signal that all is not lost; that there is reason to hope.
Whew! That was close.
Habu, nice post. Sad and depressing but always informative. I think we will go thru a slow motion disintegration, and skip the depression.
I distrust all Govt. That's my states flag up on display. I betcha more than half the people up here don't know who said " Live free or die". I expect nothing, nor do I want anything from Govt. Leave me alone and stay out of my pockets
Well there is one thing Govt. can do for me. Take the pacifier's and diapers off all the people, who want and need more Govt.
Molon Labe, right back at ya!
Hopefully after 6-12 months of Obama Nation the fighting spirit will return to the many defeatists among us; I do not associate Maggie's Farmers with defeatism and therefore am dismayed by what I see. Defeatism is just not an option, freedom and liberty must always be defended against all enemies, foreign and domestic. The only political vehicle we have left to accomplish this is the only viable Opposition Party in America, the Republican Party.
Glimmers of Hope on Today's Horizon: First, RNC issuing statement knocking the Bush bailout and Republicans in Congress who supported this "Socialist Program". Second, Mitch McConnell says "Whoa, not so fast!" to Obama $1 Trill stimulus package. The Opposition Party finally beginning to sound like one. There is absolutely nothing in it for Republicans who support anything this new Congress wants to do. This is a good start, you may rally the demoralized troops yet.