Saturday, September 29, 2007

The needs of the many...

(A couple of postings back, a new entry into my blogroll, Otto, he of American Interests wrote an interesting piece on the new Political-Economic networks developing around the world. He ended a reply to my comment at his post by writing a famous Mr. Spock quote; "The needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few,...or the one". This is a re-posting of something I wrote nearly two years ago, I think it still bears saying, still has meaning to me, and my extrapolation of that quote. - Truth-Pain)

There ain't no good guys,
There ain't no bad guys,
There's only you and me,
and we just dis-agree...
-Dave Mason

The past few months in blogger land have been somewhat depressing in many ways. Those with whom I've had the pleasure in communicating with can testify to our common theme of the moment,.. the insane "absolute-ism" that exists in the political discourse. No liberal wants to give a conservative credit for anything, no conservative wants to get caught dead agreeing with a liberal, etc. Nobody of any stripe of ideology want to throw a Libertarian a bone of any sort. Why does partisanship trump the better of the nation? why do we each feel that EVERYTHING our platform stands for is better that what YOURS stands for? How can it be that we dis-agree on 95% of everything... is it that difficult to give credit to opposing views when they show you a better path than your own?

Take foreign policy. Libertarians (the party that your truly identifies with the most) believe in virtually no foreign policy intervention whatsoever. An almost Wilsonian credo to our platform. If Hitler incarnate were to rise in the halls of the Kaiser's palace my party would say "Screw you Europe, you're on your own, its not our problem". There is a troubling absolute-ism to this issue that makes me think not everything in my party makes sense. I think most of us can readily agree that although we agree with a majority of our own partisan platform, the rest is just appeasement for the fringe elements that help us in the primaries,.. at least that is my view. Why not be honest then? Example, I am fully for a woman's right to choose and never talk about the subject as it is polarizing to the 12th degree, but that does not mean that the casual view of late term partial birth abortion is something to which I subscribe (save the slippery slope argument, I know it). For reasons of my own and that I choose not to share that's where I draw my line. There HAS to be a point that we as people can say, "Although I am a loyal partisan, my party is out to lunch in this issue and I do not support this or that"...

So in order to fully whip my own self, cleanse my soul, and flog my beliefs I offer you 3 things I DON'T fully or partially agree with within my own Party. There,.. I said it! (is this what AA meetings feel like?.... ) All of the comments on quotations (") are taken from the issues page of the libertarian party home page ( My comments of retort, are in blue.

1. End Welfare
"None of the proposals currently being advanced by either conservatives or liberals is likely to fix the fundamental problems with our welfare system. Current proposals for welfare reform, including block grants, job training, and "workfare" represent mere tinkering with a failed system.
It is time to recognize that welfare cannot be reformed: it should be ended.
We should eliminate the entire social welfare system. This includes eliminating AFDC, food stamps, subsidized housing, and all the rest. Individuals who are unable to fully support themselves and their families through the job market must, once again, learn to rely on supportive family, church, community, or private charity to bridge the gap"
(Although I agree in principle with the reasoning behind this ideal, practically speaking we know there in no way in hell this will ever happen. There is too much inertia and "grandfathering" of social programs to believe this is even in the realm of do-ability. I wish my party would come to a practical solution that is palatable to all and not seem as draconian. I work in the affordable housing industry, and trust me, there is good work being done by good people. And those very same people use the subsidies, grants and other Federal and State funds with great care and fiscal wisdom. My party is out to lunch on this)
2. Reform education
"There can be no serious attempt to solve the problem of poverty in America without addressing our failed government-run school system. Nearly forty years after Brown vs. Board of Education, America's schools are becoming increasingly segregated, not on the basis of race, but on income. Wealthy and middle class parents are able to send their children to private schools, or at least move to a district with better public schools. Poor families are trapped -- forced to send their children to a public school system that fails to educate.
It is time to break up the public education monopoly and give all parents the right to decide what school their children will attend. It is essential to restore choice and the discipline of the marketplace to education. Only a free market in education will provide the improvement in education necessary to enable millions of Americans to escape poverty"

(Again, I think there is enough education spectrum and diversity of thought so as to make public schools, charter schools, private schools, home-schooling and other methods co-exist and not pee on each other as if they are afraid of loosing their political or union clout. Education as a whole should trump our individual career agendas, not the other way around. My party is halfway out to Brunch on this...)

The Issue: "We welcome all refugees to our country and condemn the efforts of U.S. officials to create a new "Berlin Wall" which would keep them captive. We condemn the U.S. government's policy of barring those refugees from our country and preventing Americans from assisting their passage to help them escape tyranny or improve their economic prospects"
(I love my party, but they are freakin' nuts in this issue! For a party that is for fiscal discipline and strong individual responsibility they sure act as if I love paying taxes for the caring of every refugee who can make it here,... I sure as heck don't! I swear I am neither a racist or xenophobe, but to say that the house of America is open to care for all the refugees of the world, while noble and Utopian, is not near the pragmatic thought patterns I subscribe towards. My party is not only out to lunch on this,... but I am fighting from within to fight this)

Now, If I can just get a Democrat and a Republican to tell me what 3 items on their platform are full of it, we may yet save all of us,... from ourselves.

This Libertarian man did not vote for Mr. Bush, but if I think pragmatically (and close my eyes really tight...) and look at every thing he has done, and all the laws passed by the Congressional bodies during his administration, I can find some things that I can applaud and hail as noteworthy,... and believe me, its not that hard. It just takes loving your country more that you love you party.


Anonymous said...

Wow, now that's a great blog. Give me a little while and I will get back to you. I'll have to think on this. This post may just bring us a little closer together.

You are right about the liberals vs conservative debate. We are on such opposite sides I think that we will never agree on anything. I'm interested to see what comes of this. I am going to link a post to this one. It will be an interesting experiment.

TRUTH-PAIN said...

You are very kind in your comments,... If you are the only person who has been affected by my thesis, then I've already been successful. I am curious to find out what are your final thought and considerations.... :)

American Interests said...

I wish to look beyond the micro; that is, the three issues of governance noted in the post.

There are two collective thoughts at opposing poles of the ideological continuum at work here, Liberals at one-end, Conservatives on the other. If one dispenses with the differing beliefs and philosophies of each collective on one, two or however many community issues what is left are the beliefs and mind-set of a very significant and indispensable entity; an individual being.

All things considered, I have just read the views of an individual (the one) who separated oneself from the popular and deep-rooted views advocated by and through the hypothetical virtues of consensus majoritarian mechanisms (the many), in this case, Liberal and Conservatives.

Brave and candid commentary, an individual speaks thus separating from the collective ideology of the party. Ultimately, it is, in effect impracticable for one to change the course, or check the momentum of an assemblage of thought, thus one is forced to align with a group, philosophy or party. This is fine but only as long as one never discounts the value of expressed individual scrutiny. Sometimes there is common ground to be discovered through the latter even though the same can never be found between the absolutist views of the collectives.

Good introspection!

Robert said...

Great idea and a very interesting post. I guess I should point out that I care not about melding with the dems, but defeating their dangerous and immoral ideology.

I guess this will be boring, since mine are so aligned with yours. I will keep it short and sweet.

1) Immigration. Close the borders. Declare that the waves of illegals that currently account for millions line the entiere southern border with claymores and declare that the the waves of illegals present a "clear and present danger" to the United States. Line the entire border with claymores and assorted military funtoys. M1 Abrams tanks at the checkpoints. Don't chase vehicles with a patrol car, take them out with a sabot round about a mile away when they thing they have made it. Stop any and all public assistance (AKA my Federal witholding bi-weekly)for anyone without a social security number.

2) Taxation. An immediate change to either a sales based tax or a simple fixed percentage tax. Weathy use more, they pay more. Poor use less they pay less. But the rate is the same for both.

3) The great social net. Remove it. Slice it to shreds and discard it. I am tired of telling my kids "no" because I do not have the money yet seeing 10K in my income going to someone I don't even know.

Obob said...

I tried posting the other day and couldn't through. For the GOP
1. Gay Marriage: does it really matter? I'm to old to care who marries who, within age limits and species of course. And if i have in-laws, so are they. Plus think of the food at the recption! Damn
2. Vouchers: this would kill public schools. Not that the friggin' unions haven't tried to kill the spirit of the teachers. Of course teachers must be accountable, but to take funds from strapped public schools is unfair to the kids. I teach in an inner city Catholic school, we need the money. Look at my pay stub, my wife will tell you I need the money
that's good for now. I do dig the Libertarians, but I cannot agree with the isolationist gig.

Terri said...

Right on...
love your blog...

TRUTH-PAIN said...

AI, Robert,Obob, and Terri,

Thank you all for taking the time to comment on this post. My sincere apologies for not being able to reply specifically to your comments, but I do read them all with respectful consideration and ever-lasting appreciation.

(special thanks to Terri, a newbie reader of my Blog,... welcome to the little circle of world-fixers!)