Heed the Ides of March

Today is the Ides of March. In the old Roman calendar, days were defined by their relationship to the phases of the moon. The ides were the days in each month when the moon was exactly halfway between full and new. This particular ides is remembered for being the day Julius Caesar was stabbed to death in the Curia.

Julius Caesar was the great man of his day. The Republic of the 1st century BC was crumbling. Under the leadership of Sulla, Marius, and the Gracchi Brothers, the power of the Senate was faltering while ambitious men learned to use the mobs to get what they wanted. Mob violence and assassination became commonplace. It was this chaotic society that gave birth to Caesar. He was elected consul in 59 BC at the young age of 41 and together with his contemporaries Pompey and Crassus he established an authoritarian rule that the Republic had never before seen.

After his consulship ended, Caesar was given the office of proconsul, a job that was designed to keep powerful ex-consuls away from Rome. In his Caesar’s case, he was sent to the wild lands of Gaul, or modern day France and Belgium. Caesar’s enemies and allies alike must have breathed easier, now that the ambitious and clever man was out of the picture. Pompey used this time to pursue his own ends, but even while absent Caesar was not forgotten. Like a modern media star, Caesar published harrowing tales of his exploits in Gaul, making sure that his fame grew even while away.

Caesar served two terms as proconsul, and his fame grew ever higher. Despite his popularity, the establishment powers in Rome – the Senate, Pompey, Cato, Cicero, and others – plotted his downfall. Today they might try a viral campaign, or perhaps use a hashtag such as #CeaseCaesar. They ordered Caesar to surrender his command and return to Rome to face prosecution. This forced Caesar’s hand. Rather than giving himself to his enemies, he took his army to Rome and a civil war began.

In the end, Caesar was victorious while his former allies Crassus and Pompey were dead. Julius Caesar stood alone as the undisputed master of Rome. Romans, of course, despised the idea of monarchy. Their hatred for the old Tarquin kings ran deep in their cultural memory, even though they had been gone for five centuries. When Brutus and Cassius conspired to assassinate Caesar, they thought they would be greeted as heroes for destroying the tyrant. If Hitler had lived before then, they would have said that Caesar was the new Hitler and needed to be taken out. They were wrong, however.

Caesar’s death on March 15, 44 BC did not end tyranny. It did not restore Rome to the grand old days of the Republic. No new Cincinattus arose to guide Romans back to their cherished traditions and then give up his power. Caesar’s death brought about yet another bloody civil war, one that ended with his nephew Octavian Augustus on the throne of the new Roman Empire.

Heed the Ides of March. The enemy you focus all your energies on defeating today might simply be a harbinger for something even more terrifying.

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Problem Solving

To a modern-day progressive, the problems in our culture are things like racism, sexism, wealth inequality, and the continued existence of conservative culture. Two of the key progressive beliefs are 1) man is inherently good, until corrupted by an unjust society, and 2) society can be perfected if only the right policies are enacted. Whenever progressives achieve something, though, they always move on to something new, something that suddenly becomes the most important cause ever. Thus the focus on microaggressions these days – activists have to be outraged about something, and we have reached the bottom of the barrel.

There are other problems in the world that are not so important, mostly because they are failures of a progressive Democrat president, and thus to be ignored. China hacking the personal records of over twenty million Americans does not seem to warrant concern. Nearly a hundred million American adults out of the workforce does not seem to be a problem. Tens of millions of immigrants entering our country illegally is seen as good, not worrying. Russia’s military expansion is only problematic to the progressives because they censor gays. The rise of the Islamic State in the Middle East and the tangible threat of a new caliphate is seen as less important than making sure we all understand that Bruce Jenner really, truly, is a woman now, and probably always has been.

I am sure that if we ignore the second group of problems and focus on solving the first group, then everything will be ok.

Freedom is for Grown-Ups

…but our leaders want to keep us children. My newest Kindle read is Daniel Hannan’s Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World. Hannan, a Member of the European Parliament who advocates for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, traces the development of the liberty that we take for granted from its roots in pre-Norman England through to the present-day anglosphere of the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Looking back at the foundations of the old English concept of liberty, Hannan points out one of the many differences between English common law and the top-down style of law in Europe:

“Common law is based on the notion that anything not expressly prohibited is legal. There is no need to get the permission of the authorities for a new initiative. Again, even now, we see this consequence of the different between British and Continental practice. British Euro-skepticism owes a great deal to a resentment of what is seen as unnecessary meddling, but, to the Eurocrat, “unregulated” is more or less synonymous with “illegal.” I see the difference almost every day. Why, I often find myself asking in the European Parliament, do we need a new EU directive on, let’s say, herbal medicine? Because, comes the answer, there isn’t one. In England, herbalists have been self-regulating since the reign of Henry VIII. In most of Europe, such a state of affairs could never have come about.”

This strikes at the very heart of what makes a people truly free. If you come across a meadow, with no fences or signs, are you allowed to cross it? If you want to do something against which there is no law, must you first ask permission? In grade school, children are taught to ask permission before doing anything. While this may be necessary for children who are learning the etiquette and mores of polite society, there comes a time when you no longer need ask to use the bathroom. Yet activists and political leaders always feel the temptation to treat their fellow citizens as children who require their guiding hand in order to do right.

Jonah Goldberg wrote the book on the way the modern American left is driven by a paternalistic fervor to rule over us for our own good. A leftist is one who looks around and, seeing people making poor choices, wants to free them from the consequences of their actions by taking away the ability to make poor choices in the first place. As usual, good intentions are all that matter. This wannabe dictator would balk at any comparison with such dictators as Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, or Pol Pot, despite the fact that they all came to power promising the same things. Their evil actions make them evil, while my good intentions make me good, he might say. Sure, he will take away your rights and your liberty, but don’t you see that it is for your own good? Whether it is about protecting you from greedy unscrupulous corporations or keeping you safe from the consequences of your own actions, the wannabe dictator is there, freeing you from the tyranny of choice.

C.S. Lewis wrote about this strain of paternalistic totalitarianism decades ago in God in the Dock:

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

In a truly free society, laws exist to protect our liberty and our property. Murder, theft, and rape are crimes, and the government will punish on behalf of the victims those who commit such crimes. Contracts are enforced, and fraud is illegal. Beyond that, however, people are free to live as they will. Free men and women can choose to pay someone to braid their hair, arrange their flowers, or decorate their house. Free men and women can sell or trade firearms or loose cigarettes as they please. Free men and women can operate bakeries with the right to refuse service when an event violates their conscience. In a free society, adults can interact freely as long as they are not harming or defrauding each other.

In a paternalistic society, on the other hand, everything that is not regulated is unlawful. In the European model that Dan Hannan describes, and in the society that the American left is constantly pushing for, every personal interaction is overseen by government agents. Permits are required for braiding hair, arranging flowers, and interior decorating. Excessive taxes must be collected on every transaction, even between individuals. Friends cannot trade firearms without involving the government in an expensive background check. Bakers are forced to provide service if their prospective client comes from a government-recognized victim group. Beyond protecting liberty and property, the government of a paternalistic society treats its citizens as subject children, who must be guided by their benevolent parents lest they make the wrong decision. (Former Obama Administration official Cass Sunstein called it “nudging”.)

Despite the fact that such a society is ostensibly built on doing what is best for everyone, it is no less dangerous than the dictatorships that plunged the world into war during the twentieth century. If you doubt that, try ignoring your taxes one year. Try to practice law without a license. Open a business without going through the proper governmental channels. First, you will get strongly-worded form letters. Then, officers of the state will show up at your door. Eventually, police will be involved. Continue resisting, and they will eventually shoot you. Our government may be nicer about the situation than Hitler’s gestapo, but the end result is the same: comply with the state or be destroyed.

We let this happen. Our forefathers fought a bloody war against their mother country because they wanted to rule themselves, rather than let a king and parliament on the other side of the world determine the course of their lives. In just over two centuries, we have surrendered that hard-won sovereignty to a president, a congress, and an innumerable army of petty bureaucrats on the other side of the continent. We did it because in some ways, it makes our lives easier. We have traded our eternal liberties for the temporal security of knowing that Big Brother is indeed watching, and has our best interests at heart. If we are to have any hope of reversing this situation, it has to start locally. Get involved in your city council and school board. If you live in rural areas, get involved in your county commission, lest the city-dwellers decide how you must live on your own land. The next time you think “there ought to be a law” remember all the thousands of little regulations that have slowly curtailed our liberty up to this point. The death of the American Dream has not been by a single strike but by a thousand tiny cuts.

But beware: Liberty comes at a cost. We will be accountable for our choices and must accept the consequences of our actions. In a truly free society, there are no government bailouts – not for the trillion-dollar corporation that mismanaged their capital into nothing; not for the broke college student who is a hundred thousand in debt with only a liberal arts degree to show for it. One of the many causes of our recent recession was the way our government took on the cost of failure in housing investments while leaving the investors to reap the rewards of success. If you know you cannot fail, you will act with much greater risk to your money and to your life. In a truly free country, men and women know that risk is real, and will act accordingly.

A Conservative Libertarian

Last year while I was on my North American adventure I had time to read quite a few books. One of these was Jonah Goldberg’s The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas. His basic premise is that the American left, which dominates most media and academia, pretends that they are not ideological but merely pragmatic. A leftist will claim that conservatives are ideologues, bound to the dogmas of backward traditions, but liberals are simply open-minded folks who go with whatever has been proven to work. Goldberg ably demonstrates why this is hogwash, so I will not rehash his arguments here. Despite the fact that some claim otherwise, the truth is that we all have ideologies, we all have systems of interpreting what is going on in the world. For many people, these systems are unconscious, instilled in them by parents, school, peers, and media to the point where they do not even realize that other people might see things differently. (Hence the common assumption on the left that if you disagree with my tax policy you must be ignorant/racist/sexist/hateful of poor people etc.)

I was raised in a conservative home, taught in the public school system, and grew up in a very liberal area of the country. Extracting a purposeful ideology out of all the unconscious assumptions that have developed has taken a long time. When I asked, I call myself a conservative libertarian (or a libertarian conservative, depending on the context). I use these terms very specifically. In the most basic sense, a conservative philosophy conserves those ideas and traditions that have given shape to our culture and society for many centuries. Conservatives hold on to ideas that have stood the test of time. A libertarian philosophy is concerned with maximizing the liberty of the individual as opposed to the rights of the collective. These two philosophies overlap in some places and contradict in others, but overall they give me a framework for deciding if I can support an idea. They force me to ask two questions about every issue: Does this make us more free? Has this worked in the past?

Let’s take Communism as an easy example. The Marxist socialists and the Leninist Communists wanted to create a society where men and women did not need to worry about poverty or hardship. They saw their philosophy as ending in an utopia of peace and brotherhood. Laudable goals, sure. But before I sign on, I have two questions. First, does it make us more free? Well, if it works (see next question) it would free us from want, like President Roosevelt wanted. But what about our freedom of agency – our freedom to choose how to live? A Communist society is by necessity totalitarian, that is, its only hope of working requires everyone to participate. If the government is decided who gets paid what, and who lives in what house, and who sells what product, then your freedom of choice is severely limited. There is no room in a Communist state for people to make their own choices. Remember that the Berlin Wall was built to keep the Communist citizens from leaving, not to keep their capitalist neighbors from entering. There is also the fact that a state that provides for every need turns a free citizen into a slave who is completely dependent upon that state. Clearly, your freedom is curtailed in a Communist government.

Question two: Has this worked in the past? The answer to this one should be obvious. Neither the Communist societies in the past such as the Soviet Union and the other Warsaw Pact nations nor modern examples such as Cuba or Venezuela can show the innovation, freedom, or happiness of their capitalist neighbors. Korea provides a striking example. In 1953, the two Koreas were even in technology and standard of living. Today, capitalist South Korea is an economic powerhouse and its people are some of the most prosperous on earth. Meanwhile, Communist North Korea is one of the poorest places on earth. Cuba may have “free” healthcare but their standard of living is below the American concept of poverty. Venezuela recently had to post armed guards at toilet paper factories because they could not produce enough for their citizens. China only became an economic success after Deng Xiaoping modernized the country and loosened government controls. I think it is clear that Communism has failed wherever it has been tried, and I did not even mention the millions upon millions of people who were murdered or starved to death in these nations.

What about an example that satisfies one question but not the other? Taxes tend to make us less free, but we would all agree that some level of taxation is necessary to support a government that protects our life, liberty, and property. Legalizing all drugs would make us more free, but there is a point at which they would be more harmful to society than keeping them illegal. Truthfully though, most ideas will answer either yes or no to both questions. Humans have an innate desire for freedom, so what works will often satisfy our need for liberty as well. Free people are happy people, innovative people, and strong people.

The quote often attributed to Benjamin Franklin about a society who gives up liberty for security and loses both is an apt one. If we give up our freedom to choose our own medical care for the security of knowing someone else will pay for it, we will find ourselves worse off than before. If we give up our freedom to defend ourselves with firearms for the security of a militarized police force and surveillance state, we will find ourselves in more danger than before. If we give up our freedom to travel as we will for the security of keeping safe from terrorists, we will become prisoners in our own lands. The point is that freedom is dangerous and scary. Children have parents who watch out for them, take care of them, tell them what to do, and keep them safe from the outside world. The government should not be our parents. A conservative philosophy of liberty is for grown-ups who understand that they will face the consequences of their actions, both positive and negative. It is not for the timid. You have the freedom to choose to support ideologies that keep you safe from want, from need, and from fear, but beware! History shows that societies that go down that road face ruination, a lower quality of life, and degradation of the human spirit, which yearns to be free.

Immigration and the Undying Lands

I was listening to John Derbyshire earlier today and he pointed out that every mainstream article about illegal immigration is seemingly required to use the word “dream” multiple times. Supporters of amnesty and increased immigration often use the word to describe the reasons why people come to America. It tugs at the heartstrings, right? Young people, growing up in poverty-stricken countries, risking their lives to come to America, the land of opportunity?

I realized that this sort of rhetoric exposes an assumption that immigration advocates all share: that there is something special about America as a place, rather than a people. Liberals such as President Obama talk about how all of these people crossing the borders are here to improve their lives and achieve their dreams. Republicans such as Jeb Bush are convinced that Hispanic illegal immigrants will transform into Republican voters once they set foot on our soil. Libertarian open-borders advocates desire a political system that allows anyone to go anywhere. All of these people remind me of a character from J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendarium named Ar-Pharazon.

Ar-Pharazon was the last king of Numenor, an island populated by a special group of men and women. They had been given this land by the gods as a gift, a reward for their solidarity with the gods and the elves in the War of Wrath and in recognition of their shared descent from the elves as well. However, they were given one command: They could not sail to the uttermost west and set foot in Valinor, the Undying Lands. Valinor was the home of the gods, and they had called the immortal elves to come west to live with them. Men, however, were mortal, and had a different destiny. As Ar-Pharazon grew old and neared the end of his life he became jealous of the immortality of the gods and the elves. He decided to go to Valinor to seize this power for himself.

Ar-Pharazon’s mistake was in assuming that there was something special about Valinor that conferred immortality upon its residents. He seemed to think that just by setting foot in the Undying Lands that he too would become immortal like the elves. He made a category error, however – the Lands were not Undying because of some special virtue of themselves, rather they were simply the home of the beings who did not die.

For more than two centuries, America has been exceptional among the nations of the earth. We have inherited a society based upon rule of law, equality before the law, freedom and liberty, a respect for hard work and individual success, and a belief in civic participation. These virtues are not inherent to the soil of America, but codified in the soul of our society. America is exceptional because it is filled with Americans. Until recently, people from all over the world came to America because they wanted to be Americans. Irish and English, German and Polish, Chinese and Japanese, Italian and Greek, they all came here because they wanted something that their old homes did not provide. They wanted a part of the virtue of America, and most importantly, wanted to become Americans themselves.

That has changed. Today, immigrants (legal and illegal) are coming to acquire the virtues of America while retaining allegiance to their old homes too. Mexican immigrants come here and work, or take advantage of social welfare programs, but they still cheer for Mexico rather than the US in the World Cup. Somali immigrants are coming to Minnesota and instead of assimilating, are looking to implement sharia law. Civil disorder and balkanization is in the cards for a nation that no longer has a melting pot.

To the left, I would ask: What do you do when the millions of people you are inviting in to share the largess of America become intolerant to gays, women, or other races? To Republicans, I ask how you expect millions of people from countries that have no tradition of representative democracy, civic participation, and rule of law to keep from voting in the sorts of tyrants who will undo these virtues? To the open-borders folks, I ask how you expect to maintain a civilized nation that guarantees individual liberty when you grant voting privileges to millions of people who do not believe in individual liberty?

America itself is not exceptional. American people have been exceptional throughout history. We inherited a belief in individual liberty and a mistrust of a powerful centralized authority that goes back almost a thousand years to the signing of Magna Carta. If we are to maintain a nation that protects freedom and liberty, than we must have a people who believe in those things. As we can see lately in Iraq and Egypt, there are no guarantees.

Sacred Cows

“Sacred cows make the best hamburger.” — Mark Twain

Q. How many feminists does it take to change a light bulb?

A. That’s not funny!

Many humorists will point out that the object of comedy is to shock the audience; to take people out of their comfort zone by making them laugh. The comedians of the 70s and 80s certainly did that; George Carlin’s “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television” was considered groundbreaking precisely because he deliberately set out to offend his audience. Today’s comedians still claim that mantle, using the most offensive language possible to skewer the traditions and political figures… but only those on the right side of the aisle, oddly enough. It seems to me that the so-called cutting-edge comedians are still living in the world of the 1950s, where conservative and Christian traditions are still the established culture of America. Where the humorists of the 1970s were mocking the establishment, their modern equivalents are simply taking cheap shots at easy targets.

Vox Day diagnoses the problem:

Actually, it’s not quite true to say that progressives are completely humorless. They do enjoy one single joke that they repeat over and over again, in a myriad of variants.

“That X, he sure is stupid, isn’t he!”

What passes for progressive humor isn’t actually humor per se, it is merely group reinforcement behavior.

This is why most modern comedians will never attack the sacred cows of the left – abortion, gay marriage, diversity, etc. By mocking the right, they are identifying themselves as members of the correct group of people, who think, speak, and believe in the correct manner. This is why anyone can joke about white men (rednecks, Nascar, etc) but nonwhites, gays, and women are off-limits. (Except for conservative women, of course – see Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann.) This is why conservative Christian culture can be mocked all day long, but we are not allowed to joke about Muslim culture, African culture, Hispanic culture, or anything else that is non-Western.

Me? I am just against double standards, and in favor of equal treatment. If it was ok to portray President George W. Bush as a chimp, then we should have no problem doing the same for President Obama. If it was ok to call a dung-smeared portrait of the Virgin Mary “art,” then we should have no problem doing the same for the Prophet Mohammad. Go for it, you fearless cutting-edge comedians! Make it happen!

Plus ça change…

Oh, what is that? this blog has been quiet for a while? My life has been changing. In the last year, I spent a summer traveling the continent, settled on the other side of the state, went back to school, moved into a new place, found a woman worth marrying, and finally gave in to the inevitable and shaved my head.

Much has not changed in our world. Riots and revolutions keep happening. The national debt keeps increasing. Politicians speak platitudes, feminists ignore reality, and Al Gore declares that the sky is falling every other day. Some things, however, seem to be changing, albeit slowly. People are starting to notice that the real world does not resemble the fantasy created in the imagination of college professors and beltway journalists. The talk coming from Steve Sailer, Chateau Heartiste, Vox Day and others is getting harder for people to ignore. Is this the time where America wakes up to the reality that the good times of the last generation are coming to an end? Or are we going to go back to our reality TV and take for granted the media’s line that increased government spending and opening the borders to unrestricted immigration is the key to prosperity, while decrying the hesitancy of traditional Christians to fully endorse homosexuality and transgenderism as the biggest problem of our era. Interesting times, indeed.

Racism Nostalgia

Steve Sailer compares the current racial hysteria to the UFO phenomenon:

After the 1950s, the press slowly figured out that it shouldn’t get too worked-up over flying-saucer sightings. But Klansmen on the campus of what is perhaps the most frenetically liberal college in America? How couldn’t it be true?

Seeing racists under the bed is the latest manifestation of the adolescent hysteria that triggered the Salem witch trials in 1692.

It seems as if the more that real racism decreases, alleged racism increases. Gone are the days of black people being forced to sit in the back of the bus, of segregated water fountains and lunch counters, of Jim Crow and slavery. But according to the media, we are plagued by racists as never before.

It should be clear to anyone capable of logical thought that “racism” today is not a malady of the average white man, but is instead a weapon used by the media and the Left to silence those who dare to disagree with them. Incidents like what happened at Oberlin are the norm in this pernicious environment.

Lechers and Gossips

The lecherous man is such a staple of literature and television that it has a very well-documented page at TVTropes. Everyone knows about the dirty old men who prey upon the innocent young women, sociopathically using defenseless young ladies in order to satisfy their carnal desires. I was not surprised to see this trope in action when I saw the new movie adaption of the musical Les Misérables. Fantine, played by Anne Hathaway in the new movie, is a single mother working at a factory to pay for herself and her daughter, who is in the care of an innkeeper in another town. The lecherous foreman makes advances, which she spurns:

Have you seen how the foreman is fuming today?
With his terrible breath and his wandering hands?
It’s because little Fantine won’t give him his way
Take a look at his trousers, you’ll see where he stands!

And the boss, he never knows
That the foreman is always in heat
If Fantine doesn’t look out
Watch how she goes
She’ll be out on the street!

He has no sympathy when he discovers that Fantine has an illegitimate child:

Ah yes, the virtuous Fantine
Who keeps herself so pure and clean
You’d be the cause I had no doubt
Of any trouble hereabout
You play a virgin in the light
But need no urgin’ in the night.

We all know that this sort of man is a villain. Though some stories play up the humor aspect of the dirty old man, nobody seriously believes that this trait is anything but sinful. There are many, in fact, who seem to think that this is the default state of all men.

After seeing the movie, I decided to read the book. I was surprised, then, to find that the circumstances of Fantine’s sacking were different in Victor Hugo’s original novel. Instead of a lecherous foreman, she was fired through the actions of a gossipy old woman. I would say that in our culture, gossips are held to be rather harmless, minor annoyances at worse. Certainly they are not considered to be villains on the level of a lecherous man. Victor Hugo would disagree, however. Here is what he had to say about the gossip:

For prying into any human affairs, none are equal to those whom it does not concern. ‘Why does this gentleman never come till dusk?’ ‘Why does Mr So-and-so never hang his key on the nail on Thursday?’ ‘Why does he always take the by-streets?’ ‘Why does madame always leave her carriage before getting to the house?’ ‘Why does she send to buy aa quire of writing-paper when she has her portfolio full of it?’ etc. etc. There are persons who, to solve these enigmas, which are moreover perfectly immaterial to them, spend more money, waste more time, and give themselves more trouble than would suffice for ten good deeds; and that gratuitously, and for the pleasure of it, without being paid for their curiosity in any other way than by curiosity. They will follow this man or that woman whole days, stand guard for hours at the corners of the street, under the entrance of a passage-way, at night, in the cold and in the rain, bribe messengers, get hack-drivers and lackeys drunk, fee a chambermaid, or buy a porter. For what? for nothing. Pure craving to see, to know, and to find out. Pure itching for scandal. And often these secrets made known, these mysteries published, these enigmas brought into the light of day, lead to catastrophes, to duels, to failures, to the ruin of families, and make lives wretched, to the great joy of those who have ‘discovered all’ without any interest, and from pure instinct. A sad thing. (Les Misérables, by Victor Hugo. Wordsworth Classics Edition. Page 120.)

Just as a lecher will use another person for his carnal satisfaction, a gossip will use others for her emotional satisfaction. The end result is the same: people hurt and lives destroyed. Lust and lechery are clearly condemned in the Bible, and are nearly universally condemned in modern Christian society. Let us do the same for gossip and slander.

These six things the Lord hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.
(Proverbs 6:16-19, NKJV)

The Bifactional Ruling Party

Rachel Lucas points out how mainstream Republicans are not really for smaller government, they just want to be in charge of the big one:

I was told during the election season by a few people I know personally and who read my blog that a casual observer of this space could easily come away with the impression that I’m a Republican because I oppose Obama and the Democrats and progressives. So for the record, once again: I am a libertarian. I supported the GOP candidate in the last few elections because I thought that was better than the only other viable alternative.

But I’ll never do that again. I’m never voting for someone like Romney or McCain or Dubya again; they’re just as useless as their opponents, just as happy with oppressively huge government as Obama is. Let the progressives burn it all down; it’s happening anyway and we may as well speed it up. I’d rather have the collapse come when I’m young(ish) than when I’m old and relatively helpless.

As the last election cycle played out, I found myself willing to vote Republican one more time. Mitt Romney was not a perfect conservative, but he was better than the alternative. He was better than President Obama, for sure, but he was also better than Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum. I thought he might – just might – be able to postpone America’s inevitable judgment day. Alas, the American people voted for more bread and circuses as the cliff approaches. So far, it seems that the GOP’s response is to tack even further to the middle, to try and win votes as the Democrats-lite.

The end is nigh, and neither party is willing or even able to save the nation. I suppose it is time to enjoy the decline.

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