So just what, bottom line, do I want in a political party? Well, it’s really not all that much because, you see, politicians are, well, politicians and I’m not about to suddenly start expecting them to be worth much. Every now and again a nation hits the jackpot and gets a great leader who is also, at bottom, a good person…it is rare and it is just as rare in democratic or non-democratic government. It seems that rolling the dice with genetics or votes works out about the same (so, rare birds like Abraham Lincoln and Empress Maria Theresa are once in a couple century things…while we’re chock full of leaders like Richard Nixon and Nicholas II). But we live, pro-tempore, in a democratic republic and so it is with votes that we’ll determine which pack of fools governs us. That being said, what do I vote for?
1. First and foremost, got to be pro-life. Yeah, I’ve heard all the pro-choice arguments from rational to downright stupid. None of them matter – at the end of the day, an elective abortion kills a kid for no reason, at all. There are no conceivable effects of having a child which are worse than killing the child…as the child, you see, winds up dead. If you can’t at least get this basic thing right, then I don’t want any part of you.
2. Freedom of conscience is non-negotiable. If a person cannot say and write what he or she thinks true regardless of the place it is said or written then no one is free, at all. Other than obvious things like immediate incitement to violence everyone must be allowed to hold in public whatever opinions they want without suffering even the least bit of social or official sanction. I don’t care what your views are – I only care what your concrete, physical actions are, and then only if they affect others.
3. Property rights have to be respected. Every person has an absolute and unalienable right to the fruits of their labor, as well as the fruits of the labor of their forebears. Taxes we must have, but once a tax is paid that is the very last claim anyone has on your property. Only in the rarest of instances can I see a credible reason for a government to take a person’s property for public use and then, of course, just compensation must be paid…but we must also be sure that every other possible alternative is searched out prior to taking private property for government use.
4. All concentrations of power are wicked. Anyone proposing to create, preserve or expand concentrations of power is an enemy of justice. And power is two things – government power to compel and money power to corrupt. The ability to decide must be retained at the lowest level possible.
5. The right of the people to defend themselves with arms, if necessary, is absolute.
6. Elected government service is the duty of citizens, not the sinecure of professional politicians. Terms limits on office holders is a must.
And that is really about it – you’ll notice that I didn’t get into tax rates, what to do with Entitlements, social issues (other than abortion; but even there it isn’t abortion so much as a respect for each, individual human life that motivates my vote). As readers here know, I’ve got my opinions on such things and these things do move me to vote one way or another – but in the crucial aspects, those six points are what I’m about.
And right now, neither major political party is doing all six things. The GOP is at least pretending to do some of the six, Democrats aren’t even pretending to do any of them. I’m kind of politically adrift right now. For the moment, I’ll remain a registered Republican – though if Trump does become the nominee I’ll have to think long and hard on that. I can’t go over to the Democrats because they hold in explicit contempt everything I hold dear. I won’t go Libertarian, either, because while I admire them for their spirited defense of liberty, I suspect that in matters of religious liberty they’ll prove unwilling to fight vigorously for me. Perhaps if I saw them engaging the left on things like the absurd attempts to remove crosses from public lands, I’d have more faith in their alleged commitment to liberty.
I’m hopeful that true Conservatives out there are also thinking long and hard about all this. I’ve been drifting towards the idea of a new party for a while – not with any thought (at least initially) of such a party becoming the majority, but of a party which would hold the balance of power between the two major parties. A party which would speak for me and those like me and could extract concessions from either or both party’s in return for temporary political alliances for this or that particular issue (so, if the GOP had 210 House seats and the Democrats 205, a Conservative party could throw its 20 seats into the balance…ok, Ryan, you want to be Speaker? Ok, we want a Freedom of Conscience Act and a termination of funding for PP; and if the GOP proves unwilling, I’m sure the Democrats would throw us a bone in return for Committee chairmanships…but the ultimate idea is to slowly move the ball our way…and if things crater, then this new party is clear of all blame, and maybe a majority eventually turns towards it). I think in 2017 or 2018, such a party could be formed, and probably obtain immediately a significant number of adherents among those already in the House and Senate, and in State legislatures – and by being freed from the Republican/Democrat dichotomy, it would be free to run varied types of candidates in both GOP and Democrat districts as best opportunities present themselves.
At any rate, that is how I see things and how I see myself in the political spectrum.
You’ve given a lot to think about but my initial thoughts aren’t agreement.
Item 1, abortion – I have a hard time with litmus tests. If Lincoln were running but he felt abortion is ok for rape victims you’d be a fool to discard his candidacy.
2. Freedom of expression, this is more what you want from culture not what you want of a party. You should have the right to say whatever without any possible blowback? Never gonna exist. Courage is speaking our regardless of the consequences.
3. Property rights, totally agree
4. Concentrations of power are wicked – c’mon, man, you can’t run a nation of any size with ten thousand city councils. That is what they tried in Russian with the local soviets and it worked out great. There will always be wicked concentrations of power.
5. Right to arms – totally agree
6. Government service – are you suggesting service be compulsory, like military services is in Israel? If that is the suggestion, totally agree.
A Lincoln would never come to the view that the innocent must die because of inconvenience.
Freedom of expression – yep, a bit pie in the sky, but that is where I draw the line. The ideal is never achieved, but my goal is the broadest tolerance of views. I insist upon this for my own sake, not least of all. Any attempt to curtail speech because it is offensive to some means that my speech may be curtailed.
We don’t have to ‘run’ the nation – it will run itself fine as long as everyone is obeying just a few, basic laws. Liberals are getting of the odd view that we wouldn’t have roads if the central government hadn’t made them. I refer such ideas to the fact that, for instance, Salt Lake City was founded long before there was a road to that destination. People will build roads as they need them…because they want to get somewhere easily. We might benefit from a bit of national coordination on the overall routes, but we don’t need a Department of Transportation doling out funds and demanding obedience in return to get the roads we need.
I just don’t think that anyone should be in elective office for any substantial length of time. I’m really, really starting to like the old Roman requirement that once you leave office, you can’t get another one for five years. The demand for experience is really just an assertion that some people are smart enough to ride herd on the rest of us, who are too stupid to rule our own affairs in the day to day. It is a Progressive notion and I’m against it. Even in the realm of high military command, I’m not sold on the concept that experience counts – to be sure, staff officers have to be skilled in organizing the procurement and movement of material…but officers with decades military experience sent men over the top to their deaths in WWI, while there once was a guy with about 11 years military experience who won the Battle of Castiglione.
It isn’t a matter of whether Lincoln would support abortion, or any viewpoint in particular. The point is that if all it takes to exclude our greatest President from getting one’s vote, I think that person is doing themselves and the nation a disservice.
I’m asserting that no one with the intellectual and moral capacity of an Abraham Lincoln could ever agree that elective abortion is a good thing.
While, I would agree I would not exclude a candidate from consideration for my vote for supporting abortion in the case of rape, I find the augment that it must be allowed in cases of rape and particularly when used to justify abortion as practiced today specious. Less than 1 in 100 abortions in 2011 were performed due to rape, so there’s not much of market for it without approving the procedure for other customers. I’d guess that figure is inflated even coming from Operation Rescue. If I told you killing 100 kids was OK, because one of them was conceived by force against the will of the mother, you’d likely disagree. It really is that simple. In the Greek the word for fetus and child is the same man. If your cat killed your hamster would shooting your dog console you? The greatest good is realized when we find a way to save all 100 kids. Women that have undergone such severe trauma need counseling not abortions that add a new layer of trauma over the experience of rape for most women. And that counsel should not be from providers that want to sell your baby’s tissue and organs to pay for their new Lamborghinis. You see the problem with conservatives’ is we’ve been to willing to make concessions. We don’t fight all out, so we say, well we could allow murder if…, because we don’t want to sound heartless. As a result, 730,322 children were aborted in America in 2011. The time for compromise is over. Maybe we should start speaking the truth.
It was the fine ladies over at Silent No More who convinced me to go all-out on the pro-life side. I’m anti-death penalty, as well. Some times we must take a life – but those times are rare. Most of time, some other solution is better.