3/09/2013

Pulling the levers



One of the most disappointing aspects of the Obamacare tragedy was when Chief Justice Roberts found it constitutional under congress's taxing authority after Obama and the Democrats had spent months steadfastly denying that it was a tax. By doing this Roberts was basically saying that principles do not matter in the legislative process. He confirmed every American's most cynical view of government, politicians lie and get away with it.

But in a statement after his wretched ruling he made a point which not only justifies his ruling, it in fact points to where we are as a nation.
“We do not consider whether the Act embodies sound policies. That judgment is entrusted to the Nation’s elected leaders.”...

“Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.”(emphasis added)
In other words if the nation is so disconnected from the political process that they would elect people who give them policies and programs that they do not want, then they deserve what they get, and he is correct. It all goes back to the old saying that a nation gets the government it deserves.

Obama and the new Democratic Party, meaning Progressives,  have "gamed the system" to get what they want and the American people as a whole are so disconnected or too cynical of the political process to recognize that they are being enslaved. Under the banner of progress, America  is being pulled backwards towards a totalitarian state.

Why are they able to do this? We talk about the education system and the popular culture being taken over by the statist forces and this is indeed a a major factor. But there is also another piece of the puzzle which is seldom discussed. It has to do with the very nature of the opposing philosophies.

In the United States you basically have two opposing camps. In one is the liberal/progressive philosophy of big government top down governance. This is opposed by the conservative/libertarian philosophy of limited government and the promotion of individual liberty.

This division is well understood but what is seldom mentioned is that a philosophy based around government control is probably going to be better at manipulating the levers of government than a philosophy based on disdain for government control. In other words the statist win because it is in their very nature to want to pull the levers, while we the proponents of individual liberty abhor the levers.

Recently we saw a perfect example of this, at the personal level, when Senator Jim DeMint resigned one of the most powerful positions in the American political structure to head up the Heritage Foundation. I do not begrudge his choice, I imagine his life is heaven running a conservative think tank as opposed to dealing with Harry Reid or even the squishy elements of his own party on a daily basis in the US Senate. But this does not change the fact that one of the most effective "lever pullers" on our side walked away from government service.

All too often when the forces of liberty have the opportunity to bring about change or at least stop the downward spiral into tyranny, they fail to use their power. The examples are all too disheartening. I wrote a couple of posts about how the Republicans need to take this opportunity  while they control so many state governments to reform the electoral college to their advantage.

Does anyone doubt that the Democrats given such an opportunity to help them gain more control over the political process would not seize upon it and force it through? How, after all, do we find ourselves in this position? Over the years the Progressive forces have sought out opportunities to increase their influence and pull the levers of power to gain more control. While the forces of liberty worry about how they will be perceived, Progressive have incrementally gained control of our institutions and government.

It is bad enough to watch as your political opponents use their power to destroy you, it is quite another thing to have the power and fail to use it. The Republicans still define politics in America as the art of the doable, when in fact politics in America has become a matter of survival of the republic itself.

When given the opportunity, Republicans must seize it. Look what Rand Paul did this week, he not only stood up to the powers that be, he changed the narrative from the perils of sequestration to constitutional freedoms. If you want to change the world, or just the nation's political dialogue, it takes boldness.

Conservative and libertarian elements in the Republican Party must not only seize control of the Republican Party, but must seek out every opportunity to pull the levers to gain control of political power. In a sense this is anathema to the philosophy of limited government, but the simple fact is that you can not limit government if you do not control it.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great post, Jer, and your summary "...but the simple fact is that you can not limit government if you do not control it" is spot on.

    When someone like Rand Paul steps up and boldly supports what so many of us believe in, we see many people get energized in support. This is what we want - we just need an articulate leader.

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