I realize this is a long piece (with only one picture) and I'll forgive anybody for deciding it's too much effort to wade through it all. I intend this to be some kind of ultimate statement summarizing my views and my reasons for those views. I'll abandon hope of not needing any more web pages explaining political idiocy. Three really dumb liberal movements have occured since the time I started writing this piece and I'm sure there will be more. If I can't have finality in my statement, then maybe I can summarize more-or-less completely the anecdotal, moral, and historical reasons for my views.
There is a tripod on which politics should stand, what is happening now, a moral foundation of principles, and what has happened in the past. Based on these three things, perhaps with a different spanning permutation of these three things, we should have a vision of the future.
I realize my political opponents differ from me in their choice of moral principles or lack of moral principles. I realize many people differ from me in not having principles or not believing principles are important. They pick a handful of issues such as abortion or Israel and pick the political side that appeases their concerns. For example, many Jews have switched from liberal to conservative as the liberal threat to Israel has increased. When I've talked to some of them about it, they haven't embraced fundamental principles that define my conservative position, only that they want, for this moment, to be on the side that protects Israel.
The hard, cold reality of basing political positions on principles of personal decency is that they're not persuasive. People who believe in "the expediency of the moment" (Ayn Rand's words) will argue persistantly for some personal passion about some poor people's pain but soon lose interest in the bigger picture of the same issue. There's a picture on the cover of a liberal magazine of a suffering child and that's what they know. Understanding the political mechanisms that caused a child to suffer along with millions of other children taxes their patience unduly. No matter how horrible the consequences of their policies, my liberal friends catagorize my views as heartless and mean.
So while I can only hope to persuade my political opponents, at least I can assure those who agree with me that they're right, that there's a deeper, stronger, fundamental foundation for their beliefs, that by virtually any measure humanity is better off our way.
Four decades of political thought, discourse, and outright arguing have honed my understanding of my own political position. I've had discussions and written web pages on issues, but there is a core of my belief which is fundamentally more than just a collection of issues.
I'm a strong, logical, mathematical thinker with credential, Princeton honors, Stanford Ph.D., Bell Telephone Laboratories. In communities of whiz-bang math geeks, I'm still the smart guy. When there's something hard to get, I get it. When it's hard to get people to get that there's something to get, I get that, too. I spend my life getting hard mathematical concepts and getting the relationships between seemingly-unrelated things. It should be no surprise I get it in politics, too.
I changed from liberal to conservative once I understood what I've written on this page. I've thought about these issues for more than forty years. I understand that understanding the connection between twentieth-century horrors and twenty-first-century issues isn't easy. I also understand that passionate appeals to emotional response aren't the same as insight and reason.
|My Own Political Journey|
Raised in a left-wing household where the words "Republican," "conservative," "evil," and "racist" were synonymous, my political enlightenment came in three distinct phases:
First, I read David Friedman's The Machinery of Freedom, subtitled "Guide to a Radical Capitalism." I was eighteen, it was 1975, the book was two years old, and it changed my entire understanding of political economics. I always assumed, somehow, that government was able to effect positive change in regulation and redistribution, but somehow we weren't doing it right. Milton Friedman's son, also an economist at the University of Chicago, explains that this isn't so. There is no right way to regulate our way to a better world. People, even ordinary, stupid, ignorant people, make better decisions for themselves than well-meaning bureaucrats. (I think that's what Adam Smith was trying to tell us.)
Second, I gradually came to understand the vision that started with the Magna Carta in 1215 and resulted in my own United States in 1789. That the best result with ordinary people ("Laws of Nature and Nature's God" in Jefferson's words) is a free society respecting certain moral values which I summarize in a page on what is a libertarian. I realized that liberalism is expediency, ends-justify-the-means, immorality. How much hurting people and taking their stuff is okay? Who decides how much is okay?
Third, when Pete Seeger died in 2014 January I noticed in his biography his support for Josef Stalin and Adolf Hitler, among other horrors. (This was confirmed by an older, conservative-raised-liberal who explained that his liberal family was pro-Stalin because he was a communist and pro-Hitler because he was a socialist and pro-Stalin, then, when Stalin turned mean, because he was anti-Stalin.) When I looked back at history I saw a long list of issues where American left and right strongly differed and where history made it clear to me and my values that the right was right. I already understood the moral connection between American liberalism and evil and now I saw it was more than a moral connection as the left actually supported most of the awful things in recent history as I describe in the History section below.
When I went back to look at my liberal heroes, "Gosh, liberals were so much better in the Good Old Days," I realized things weren't better before the horrors of Carter, Clinton, and Obama. Wilson was a vehement racist, FDR sent Jews back to Germany and incarcerated yellow Americans, Truman was a member of the Ku Klux Klan along with Wilson and LBJ, and Kennedy was as indecent a womanizer as Clinton. Liberal progressivism in the Good Old Days was about unions saving the working man. During my entire lifetime unions have been about goons and thugs threatening people, workers who wouldn't join the union and managers who wouldn't meet their demands. Unionism was about getting more pay for less work by force.
Institutions with a sacred trust of honest truth have begun lying to us. Former paragons of truth Scientific American and Newsweek had photo-edited covers with admission of falsehood only in small print inside the magazine. Time went so far as to have a poor, helpless, crying little Mexican girl on the cover as a victim separated from her family by immigration policies when, in fact, they knew she was never separated from her family and she wasn't from Mexico.
Institutions with a sacred trust of impartiality have revealed or acquired a shameful liberal bias. I picked up a copy of The New York Times recently and articles on the front page, where the news used to go, were emotional blather against President Trump. News media have replaced news with pro-liberal propaganda. Liberal debate has degenerated into mindless attacks without any understanding either of issues or what another person is saying.
I'm an alumnus of Princeton University. At their most-recent Alumni-Day celebration two liberal prize winners made utterly-false statements in their acceptance speeches and neither was confronted in any way by a community of academic leaders who had a responsibility to speak up. In my day Princeton was hypocritical in many ways, but most shamefully around race and Affirmative Action. (For four decades and change, starting at Princeton in 1974, I have personally seen the corrosive power of so-called diversity programs marginalizing blacks and women in both academic and professional settings.) The graduation-day speaker a few years ago was Al Gore, hardly a politically-neutral speaker, and this year was Eduardo Bhatia spewing liberal rhetoric with specific support for the racial violence of a hate group called Black Lives Matter.
In case that isn't hypocritical enough, Princeton has black-alumni-only reunions and recently celebrated "She Roars" only for Princeton women. Lots of people celebrate those events. I shudder to think of what the same people would think of white-only or male-only alumni get-togethers.
People with conservative or libertarian views are forbidden from speaking at colleges or they are harassed. Freedom of speech has become a one-sided privilege. The Capitol Steps, a political-parody song-and-dance group known for skewering everybody, were deafeningly silent after the 2008 Obama victory. Later they told me personally it was lack of material but I think they were scared of the consequences of making fun of the new President Elect.
A liberal alumnus of both my high school and college with a Ph.D. in astrophysics is comfortable in his belief in man-made global warming without citing a single case where somebody used climate-change models successfully and scientifically to predict the future. Scientific American and National Geographic Magazines and the venerated Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematicians (SIAM) became voiceboxes for preposterous pseudo-science in climatology. There is legitimate science, maybe things are warming up since 1920, maybe carbon dioxide has been rising since 1940, and maybe burning fossil fuels in the 1960s caused those things, but real scientists embrace doubt, skepticism, and exchange of ideas as opposed to dogma. That they still believe when their forecasts have not come true is a sign that they were never scientists to begin with. The Nature Conservancy, once a proud private-property-protecting promoter of environmentally endangered ecosystems, became a mouthpiece of political ecology movements.
Global warming is a formidable enemy of legitimate thought with emotion and pseudo-science masquerading as reason. Its predecessor was eugenics with racism and hate masquerading as world-saving environmentalism. Both global warming and eugenics were liberal causes. (I'm just old enough to remember eugenics personified in the "Star Trek" episode "Space Seed.")
The history of communism and socialism has been disastrous all over the world. I see over and over again politics isn't the way to get things done. A friend gave me this sound bite: "Conservatives make change and progress with shovels to dig foundations while liberals use baseball bats." Deep down it's all the same disease. Economists call it "socialism," politicial scientists call it "democracy," journalists call it "populism," and social scientists call it "collectivism."
The one apparent exception is China which I visited and realized it's not really communistic at all. Their success comes from government letting smart, energetic people get things done. While they have a massive, invasive, intrusive political machine, it seems, unlike the West, not to be biased against productivity and success.
Facebook memes from liberals seem to have prevailing stupidity and naïvité that insult all of us who claim human intellect. Every time I think a new issue is so obvious that they can't get this one wrong, they seem to pick the wrong side. The worst stupidity on the other side is a trifle in comparison. The really awful corruption scandals involve liberals and then they blame conservatives. Trump's predecessor didn't tell us his name, so they call Trump "#45." Obama's Secretary of State took bribes from Russia so they say Trump colluded with Russia. The Democrat before that was a womanizer so they say Trump is sexist. The Democrat before that trashed our economy, so Trump is losing jobs. The Democrat before that was a Klan member, so Trump is racist. There is, yet again, a scary rising tide of anti-semitism in Europe and the United States coming from the political left and the liberals blame Trump for that, too. I see liberals whining that conservatives are "taking away" some people's benefits that have been taken by force from others. I see limitless hypocrisy where liberals who embraced Ted Kennedy after Chappaquiddick criticize ancient, anecdotal, alleged sexual misconduct and liberals who elected three Ku-Klux-Klan presidents castigate right-wing candidates because they might be racist and liberals who tolerate Islamic cruelty and terrorism express fear that Christian candidates could impose their religion on the rest of us, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Liberal political discourse has become a name-calling frenzy devoid of any facts or logic. The impression is clearly one of arsonists taking the moral high road over fire fighters. They have the right to speak, but the rest of us should have the right not to listen to it. This is what we all read in the major newspapers, hear on public radio, and see on CNN and Facebook. Those writing for and posting to these liberal media should be ashamed of themselves.
We all saw the hate explode after the 2016 election of Donald Trump. Hate doesn't come from the winners. Liberal friends of mine had temper tantrums over Trump's victory, swarms of death threats for Trump came out of the liberal woodwork, and there were swastikas painted on Jewish graves the next day, by the same angry, hateful, liberals. The most vile, voluminous, vindictive, vicious values vendetta against the United States of America in my social-media universe comes from a woman who dragged her adopted family 11½ times zones from their home to live here, go figure. In addition to a large liberal community many middle-of-the-road and somewhat-right-wing people have a special dark place in their hearts for President Donald Trump to the point where we diagnose their blathering spew of hate as TDS, Trump Derangement Syndrom. Seen through eyes unobscured by hate, the anti-Trump hypocrisy has been steady and shameless.
It seeems others have lived in an alternate universe where things were different. For example, a typical left-wing post on Facebook claimed Republicans believe Hillary ran a child sex ring out of a pizza restaurant. I've never heard anything like that in any right-wing circles. When some right-wing Republican says the government should stop taking money by force from some people to pay for something for other people, there is an outcry that the government is "taking away" that something from the other people. "They're taking away our healthcare," they cry when, in fact, their healthcare is still there and their insurance is still there, only that they have to pay their own expense themselves.
In short, my own personal observation and experience has been that America's left-wing liberal progressive political position is based on egregious emotionalism with neither factual foundation nor accountability to integrity or dignity and that their policy results have been almost entirely negative. This is what I have seen and heard in the past forty-plus years.
|Logic, Science, and Morality|
Let's look at some basic principles. I'm going to follow a pattern common in mathematics and science, to funnel a large body of general knowledge into a small number of fundamental principles and then to use those principles to derive a wide range of conclusions. It's the pattern of Euclid's Elements (Στοιχεια) where he codifies all the various observations and practices of geometry into five postulates in Book 1 from which he derives twelve more books of theorems telling about geometry useful for surveying, planning, and other stuff. What he didn't know in 300 B.C.E. was how far that same geometry would go in understanding abstractions in algrebra, number theory, calculus, and more-advanced mathematics.
I'm going to do the same thing in the social-political realm. I'll start with a collection of observations and general good values from various sources, codify my own set of five moral principles, and draw conclusions that depend only on those five principles. It's an important concept that, once we have the postulates or principles, the conclusions come from those postulates or principles and not from whatever observations or emotional baggage that produced them.
We have religious principles going back to ancient times. There are prohibitions against killing, hurting, stealing, and lying in all the religions I know (with exceptions for their clergy, of course). They have other rules as well, but we can use these as a foundation.
There are philosophical visions of morality and they even teach Philosophy courses in Ethics. They deal in concepts of right and wrong behavior and try to boil those concepts down to basic moral propositions. I never took those courses, so I don't know the details, but I figure not killing, not hurting, not stealing, and not lying figure prominantly in their vision of good behavior.
There is the historical thread of liberty that started in 1215 with the Magna Carta and reached a glorious conclusion in the Constitution of the United States of America. Its visionaries include John Locke, Adam Smith, and our own Thomas Jefferson.
There is the experience of history. Societies that have lived well have lived by certain principles and those that have eschewed those principles have been worse off. This is where my viewpoints are derived from, but there's a subtle line between short-term reaction and long-term learning. My political opponents say there is some situation that requires action to do the right thing in the short term. I reject that view as being short-sighted while I embrace my views as doing good in a longer time frame. How do we discriminate between the short-term expediency that begets evil and the long-term principles that create good things like prosperity and freedom? The answer relies on judgment, not the easiest virtue to cultivate, and I rely on two things to defend mine. First, I'm a smart person who knows enough to tell the difference and, second, the time scales of weeks and centuries are so different that it doesn't require a fine line to discriminate between them. One of the tactics of my political opponents is to create a long-term vision of crisis like eugenics or global warming precisely to circumvent the principle of long-term vision versus short-term expedience. The tool I use to see past their deception is to note that these fake long-term crises seem to be short lived and continuously revised while the real long-term values persist for centuries.
Many of these ethical foundations rely on some concept of what is "good." So let's define what we think of as politically good. More specifically, I'm going to define what I think of as politically good. I want to feel safe and free, I want to choose the things I want to have in my life and I want to be financially able to have those things. I want to be able to earn a living and to keep the fruits of my living. I want those who make promises to keep them. I want to choose the people in my life. I want to be treated for who I am and what I do rather than what I look like or where I come from. I realize I can't always have all these things, maybe nobody can ever have all these things, but these are social-political things I classify as "good."
How do we turn "I want, I want, I want" into a political statement of what is good? Life, liberty, and safety are relatively easy concepts to grasp. Being able to keep my own stuff is still pretty easy to understand, although it gets harder with intellectual and artistic property. Choice of association and freedom from discrimination are yet more difficult. Methinks economic goodness is the toughest to quantify, so let me take a stab at it. If take all the people in some community of interest and line them up from poorest to richest by their economic success level, then we can take the level one-tenth of the way from poorest to richest. In my mathematical world we call that the "tenth percentile." A similar metric would be measuring economic success of the top half of the bottom fifth.
Almost everybody strongly rejects the statistical, arithmetic mean as one billionaire and 999 paupers falsely average out to a society of millionaires. The median is more satisfying, but I can imagine a community that takes good care of its middle third and leaves its poor without opportunity. The first percentile, essentially measuring the members worst off, has the frustration that every society has a few "lazy slackers" who choose poverty over even minimal effort. I do believe at least 90% of the population will take advantage of opportunity if it exists. Also, we can choose income or family net worth or something similar as economic measures of success. It's actually academic as the good-economic political communities have historically done better at every level of the economic scale with any measure than their bad-economic contemporaries. To put this into perspective, the median net family worth in the U.S.A halved during the eight years 2007-2014 when the Obama-Hillary-Bernie-style Democrats were in control. It's hard to imagine any way that could have happened other than devastating destruction of our economy during that time with horrifying financial impact on our poorer members.
Another moral foundation is simply to imitate good societies, "monkey see, monkey do." While it may be simplistic simply to copy without understanding, there's a great deal of mileage to be gained following that road. There are books on the seven habits of highly effective people promoting the notion that acting like people we would like to be makes us more like them. We can add historical perspective to make dramatic comparisons between vastly different societies like the United States of America and Europe from 1901 to 1950, comparing our freedom to Stalin's Russia and Hitler's Germany. Care must be taken to avoid associating mitigating circumstances with moral success as Rome did better than Pompeii in the year 79 but not because of their superior moral code.
We can derive social and economic consequences from moral principles as I believe people like John Locke, Adam Smith, and Thomas Jefferson did. It's a little tentative projecting economic consequences from ethical principles of behavior, maybe a lot tentative, so I support my utilitarian comfort in good values with normative and historical arguments.
Finally, there's the normative view, relying on principles of decency. In "Bonfire of the Vanities" Judge Leonard White says, "Decency is not a deal. It isn't an angle, or a contract, or a hustle! Decency is what your grandmother taught you. It's in your bones!" The trouble is that it isn't in our bones, not for all of us, and not all our grandmothers knew or had a chance to teach us decency. As an analogy, I remember one attempt to teach punctuation by telling primary-school children to put commas where they paused in speech. Those of us educated in grammar tend to pause where we put commas because we learned that way, but the kids being desperately taught this hail-mary method of punctuation had no such advantage and used commas in some of darndest places. I believe telling people to do right because they feel right is similarly fraught with peril, but I do believe we can accept certain principles as "right" without a whole lot of justification and go with it.
It may seem I've spent a lot of verbiage on foundations of moral principles we're going to accept anyway. Since I'm hoping to base a political system that can create and destroy human prosperity and dignity on a vast scale, I feel we should understand how that system should be founded.
I'm going to try to codify all of morality in five principles. Understand that these are a minimal set, the intersection of all versions of human goodness. It is my personal conviction that people of enormously varying cultures and beliefs can share these common value, at least when interacting with random strangers, to produce the kind of world we want to live in.
Human Life: The first principle is that people have a basic right to live, or at least not to be killed against their will. At its basic and axiomatic level it protects medically and mentally competent functioning and non-threatening human individuals against having their lives ended involuntarily. That's where the fundamental principle ends. It does not resolve issues around abortion, euthanasia, self defense, or the death penalty. Just about everybody extends it to include more than this bare minimum, as I do, but the basic notion is it's wrong to go around killing regular, breathing, functioning, non-aggressive, non-invasive people, even for economic gain. We can start there.
Liberty: The second principle is that those same medically and mentally competent functioning and non-threatening human individuals should be free to live their lives their own way. We dwell on the exceptions like not yelling "Fire" in a crowded theater, your freedom to swing your fist ending at my face, drug users, and intervention to protect people we care about, but let's not forget the fundamental principle of leaving people alone to make their choices. This principle at its axiomatic level may not resolve social issues, but it does establish what consenting adults should be free to do and a clear burden of proof on those telling others what to do.
Livelihood: As liberty is the "free" part of free enterprise, livelihood is the "enterprise" part. I don't see this notion on most summaries of what is good in a political community, but I believe it is missed because it is so obvious. There is an old Jewish story about some stupid people who applaud the moon over the sun as the moon gives light at night when we need it and the sun gives light during the day when we don't. These fictional idiots miss that the sun is the source of that daylight. The same way I believe people who form moral platforms forget that economic productivity is important in the fundamental platform we stand on. We should, we must, favor people's ability and opportunity to work for a living, first to become prosperous and second to create the wealth that we all enjoy so much.
Property: The concept of property, the notion of owning something, is a fundamental part of what separates decent people from beasts. It's fairly easy to understand owning small physical things like clothing or books. Ownership of larger things like houses or businesses are harder. Intellectual property, what kind of ideas can be owned, requires a complex legal infrastructure to determine what should be. Similarly, resource property rules like rights of way, airspace, and mineral rights get very complicated. Keeping what is ours is important and respecting what belongs to somebody else is just as important.
Contract: Doing what we say we're going to do is important, even vital, to making a political community successful. Being able to rely on others to keep their contractual word makes us able to accomplish things that would not be possible when dealing with slimy, lying weasels.
I've heard shorter and simpler versions of these values. "Don't hurt people and don't take their stuff," is one version. Another is a non-aggression principle prohibiting the initiation of force. Ayn Rand's John Galt summarized her morality as "I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." These are good piece parts of a full moral code, but they're not complete. I like to believe my five-values version is complete, but maybe I'm making the same mistake I mentioned earlier and I'm missing some fundamental piece of the puzzle. As my usual modest, humble picture of humility, I'll go with the notion that I got it right here.
Let me briefly explore why these shorter versions may be insufficient or misguided. Not hurting people and not taking their stuff wouldn't protect people appropriately exercising religious or sexual freedom that a freedom-oriented morality would protect.
Let's examine the non-initiation of force as a fundamental principle. I remember a conversation about nuclear power plants when my view was they should be accountable via insurance for their risk while the libertarian view presented to me was not to intervene until someone gets hurt by a mishap. I quipped back that if a guy shoots into a crowd and doesn't hit anybody, then would you sit still and do nothing 'cuz nobody got hurt? The right thing to do would be to initiate force to stop him from shooting again, isn't it? In answer to the notion that the shooting was, in fact, forceful, then I'll argue that whatever level one picks as minimally forceful I can find a case where I would rightly respond above that level in response to an aggressive act below that level. It's a good message, but not a good fundamental principle.
I remember one cute, funny thing about that conversation. When I came up with the example of shooting into a crowd, my Stanford, libertarian friend, a smart person overall, asked one question: "Where did you get that one?" Even in my own "right thinking" circles, people are used to having smarter people think for them and to use the examples that come from those smarter people. I like to come up with my own examples.
As for John Galt, I believe he got it backwards. I'm happy to give by choice to friends and charities, I'm happy to receive help when I need it, but I'm only against forcing others to give.
What can we expect of a society with these moral values? Clearly these values point to what we would call a "libertarian" society, minimum government, minimum regulation, socially liberal, and fiscally conservative, just as our Constitution of the United States of America tells us. That's the usual message of libertarian morality, nothing new there.
I reject religion as a guideline for political policy. The idea is that religion can give us the foundation for our moral compass and then we live within those bounds. People who don't believe in your god and people who don't believe in any god should be able to live in the same society as people who are devout and faithful.
I reject passion as a guideline for political policy. Again, I use my passion as a foundation for my moral principles and follow them from there. People are passionate about many things, some choose not to be passionate about anything political, and the same code of conduct should work for all of us.
I reject democracy as a guideling for political policy. There are web pages like Mark Humphry's that use the word "liberal" for what we call libertarian and use the word "democracy" for freedom in general. The distinction between rule-of-the-majority democracy and rule-of-law republic is a critical one in our political discourse. The old saw that democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for dinner is all too true.
I'll use a recent example of democracy versus morality from my personal experience. A friend of mine invited me to a presentation about saving wild wolves in Michigan. As I recall it a few years later, the wolves had been hunted to near extinction and were recently re-introduced into their ecosystem. The problem they faced is that people hunted the wolves, some for sport and some to protect their livestock. The presenters at this party were trying to end the hunting and they were delighted that their well-funded efforts got a resolution passed to prohibit hunting of wolves with a 52% majority. It was clear they relaxed with the comfort they won the battle. One on one with the presenter I pointed out that it wouldn't take long for the hunting lobby to erode that majority by a few percent, win their battle, and go back to hunting wolves. (I didn't waste my time bringing up the immorality of imposing the will of the majority on the minority.) She looked down at me as a nuisance and walked away to socialize with her larger donors.
"Well," I hear you ask, "what would you have them do?" We never got that far, of course, but I see at least one answer. Just as cattle have become property, why not radio-chip the wolves and have them be somebody's property? Sure, some of the animals will be bought by hunters and shot for fun, but others will belong to wolf-loving tree huggers and be protected from being shot like any other property as they roam wild. We may need some legal infrastructure to make that happen, but if they could get over half of Michigan voters to vote for a hunting ban, is it that much of a stretch that they would support property law protecting wolves from people who don't own them? Cattle have been property for two centuries and cattle rustlers have been dealt with harshly. We know how to discourage theft once we establish that what they're taking is property. A solution based on private property is more moral and less fragile than one based on majority rule.
I accept the spirits of innovation and entrepreneurship in a free market. We'll find a way. The same people who are utterly accepting of government running primary and seconday schools (and, more recently, colleges and graduate schools, all with a pro-government message) are somehow suspicious of what a free market might do in education. The same people who are utterly accepting of a public health system which costs more and delivers less (probably conceived as a source of organs for their own people) are somehow suspicious of what a low-cost, high-service-level free-market healthcare system might do. The same people who are utterly accepting of a cozy relationship between government and news media are somehow suspicious when President Trump calls those media to task for the pro-government lies they have been telling for decades. Private enterprise gave us pet rocks and genuine "official" letters from Santa for Christmas. It also gave us supermarkets with choices that bring tears to the eyes of visitors from socialist and communist countries.
I reject the approach of finding the middle between our two sides, Solomon-baby style. One side says take everything from everybody (economic slavery), the other says take from nobody (freedom), so is taking half the right answer. Would freeing half the slaves in 1860 have been the right answer? When genocide is supported by half the population would exterminating only half an undesired ethnic group be okay? If something is right, then it's right, and it's up to us to reach a consensus to do the morally-right thing.
I reject urgent expediency as a call for political action. "Is it so terrible to buy a starving kid breakfast?" No, it's not terrible at all, but it's not a case for a government welfare program either. "We have to do something!" Yes, but shouldn't we do right things rather than quick fixes? If something needs to be done, then let's do it and let's do it without an upwelling of government bureaucracy and without a raid on other people's rights and property. No matter how strongly we may feel about some issues, what feels good in the expediency of each moment is not a moral compass. If enabling government to solve a problem is the right thing to do, then we should be able to do it without an appeal to emotional panic.
I reject the notion that there are separate codes for some people. Some say, "Well, I would never use a gun," but they rely on police with guns to ensure their safety. Some want laws that apply to other people but not them. One example is fast drivers in favor of low speed limits for others, "I don't want all those yahoos driving seventy on the Turnpike." Another example supported the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and its rigorous drug-testing programs restricting medicines while taking a beta-test drug smuggled from Europe for his own ailments. I may be comfortable not using a gun myself, but I don't stand in judgment of friends who carry firearms. I may drive slowly or fast, but the same traffic laws should apply to all. If there is an exception for better-qualified drivers, with a commerical license for example, then it should apply to anybody with that qualification. I'm okay with the FDA putting green, yellow, and red labels on drugs, not having them tell me what I can't take, and certainly not having a smug doctor taking non-FDA-approved drugs giving me a lecture on the benefit of FDA restrictions for me.
I reject the argument that your choice should limit my choice. "Well, I don't mind paying for the government we have." Great, then pay for it, join a community that pays for it like choosing to buy insurance or any other service. "I like paying to help poor people." Even if one is naïve enough to believe that government anti-poverty programs help impoverished people, there are voluntary and moral ways to support people in need.
I reject misdirection in political discourse. If I said I believe in government funding to paint sidewalks green because there are people suffering from narcolepsy in Asia, then you would ask what on earth I'm talking about. But when government programs that increase heathcare costs and decrease availability are called "Affordable Healthcare Act" or "Universal Healthcare," then it's just as silly but people feel good about them. Without relieving any troubled assets I know about the "Troubled Asset Relief Program" (TARP) took almost three trillion dollars ($3T) out of our productive economy and gave that wealth to somebody who didn't earn it, almost certainly somebody far wealthier than those reading this page.
I accept the evils of the Republican right over the evils of the Democrat left without embracing them. The religious-right, moral-majority movement is fading fast, no more Billy Graham in the White House, no more Pat Robertson on the radio. Those who don't like Rush Limbaugh can turn his show off. I don't believe drug legalization is less jeopardized by either side. I hope the Pro-Life people don't win their battle on abortion, but it would be a small price to pay not to have the racial hate, economic failure, tyranny, misogyny, anti-semitism, pseudo-science, and depravity of the Democrats. I'm not a Christian, but Christmas nativity scenes in town squares don't affend me and I don't need token menorot to appease me.
I reject the legal structure around unions. Workers can bargain collectively just as companies can, "Give us a pay raise or we'll all quit," but the notion that the company can't hire alternative workers is wrong. Representing workers as a collective unit is a good thing. Training workers to be more productive so they get commensurately higher pay is a good thing. (I know personally of a union doing this, sitting members in classrooms to increase their knowledge to make them more productive and getting them a good share of that increased productivity.) Negotiating reasonable working conditions and benetits is a good thing. Where good became evil is when unions became political, when they forced workers to join and to pay dues against their will, when they left their jobs on strike and forced companies to keep those jobs open and available to their members, when they made workplace settings violent and threatening.
What's the alternative? If unions as they are are evil, then what do "good" unions look like? Good unions represent a community of workers, their needs and their salaries, with the leverage of mass resignation and the opportunity to educate and to qualify their workers. The threat of thousands of qualified people leaving the company is compelling, but it's limited by the ability to hire replacements. Good unions find work conditions that maximize both safety and productivity. They look for ways their workers can be protected from harm and still produce as much as possible. Instead of getting more pay for shorter hours and ultimate sending those jobs overseas to non-union places, they should work for more pay for harder, more-productive workers so a company has nowhere else to go to get that level of effort. Finally, as the real power companies had over labor was control over information, they had no way to find out about other work opportunities, unions should be a conduit of information about work choices, where its workers can find the best jobs for their abilities and their personal requirements including compensation. All of this is good for workers, profitable for unions, and good for management while staying in a good, moral framework and being free of political corruption. Anecdotally, I see bits and pieces of this, more as the so-called right-to-work movement gains momentum.
Double talk isn't just on the liberal side. I see so-called "Pro Life" literature calling abortion "killing babies." They may be potential human beings, but fetuses are not babies. "Well, they're alive." Yes, so was the broccoli I ate last night. "A fetus has a heartbeat." Yes, so did the steak I ate last night. "We use their organs for human transplants." Yes, and they use heart valves from pigs for transplants. "Well, God says they're human in the Bible." Whatever else is in the Bible, the Book of Genesis attributes the sanctity of humanity to Adam at first breath and before that he's only dust, compelling Pro-Choice argument confirmed, I'm told, by Talmudic law. Whatever your feelings on the abortion issue, this sort of double speak hurts our chances of reasonable discouse toward resolution, or at least learning to live with each other.
I reject pseudo-science as political mandate. If the universities say we have to keep the planet from burning up or scientists say we have to eliminate certain races or our horiscope says we have to look for a suitable mate today, then I'm okay with your decision to follow those leads yourself. I'm not happy making them instruments of political policy. The connection between eugenics and a stream of short-term eco-crises made me suspicious of global warming by 1990, the founding facts were contrary to any connection claimed, and the absence of follow through on prediction made me sure by 1998 that man-made global warming is a political hoax. (The fit between the politics of eugenics and global warming is as compelling as the coastlines of Africa and South America suggesting continental drift and Lysenkoism fits in there, too.) Is there science to be found? Maybe, but since the data sources are politically corrupt and the scientists are in the pay of political forces, we're not going to find out. Twenty years of no warming make me comfortable that we can ignore climate politically and work on important, real issues instead.
I reject the notion of setting up a big system, especially a big government system, to protect us from other big systems. The system concocted to protect us from the bad system becomes the bad system we need protection from. The systems we use for protection have to be voluntary and we have to be vigilant in watching over them.
Let's take an example from my own personal list. What about laws against drunk driving? They say, "Do you think people should drive drunk?" No, I don't, but there are a lot of things I think folks shouldn't do that there also shouldn't be a law against. (The musical world would be better off without disco, but I don't favor passing laws against it.) My first question is why don't we want people driving drunk. "They weave, they drive at erratic speed, and they don't signal." We have laws against all of those things, don't we? "Well, yes, but it's bad to drive drunk." I can test for weaving, unsteady speed, and not signaling without the invasion of privacy that drunk-driving laws require. Using the above morality, I put the burden of proof on those favoring drunk-driving laws that the risk of a drunk driver over a sober driver at the same level of weaving, unsteady speed, and not signaling is greater. If it is, then the justification is there for drunk-driving laws, but I haven't ever heard or read anybody argue for those laws with any kind of mathematical estimate of the extra danger over using the non-privacy-invading laws we already have without drunk-driving laws. Meet that burden of proof and I'm a fan of breatholyzers, but not otherwise.
The usual libertarian arguments fit in nicely here, that pot should be legal and employers can use drug tests to discriminate against pot users if they want to. Public funding of almost everything at the Federal level goes away and most state funding as well. Some organizations would get away with racial discrimination, but could it be any more offensive than the sweeping mockery today that is Affirmative Action?
What would a five-points moral society look like? Well, I'm comfortable it would be freer and more prosperous than anything we can imagine from our current politics. As for government protection from harm, I believe we would soon rely on private agencies who would be cheaper and more effective. Most of us would hire a supervisory provider of protection to keep us safe and to tell us which medicines are safe and all that government-protection. The big difference is that public outing of bribery and corruption would cost them business, so they would be more careful than our government to keep their noses clean.
Finally, I embrace philanthropy. Giving to worthy causes should be a way of life. Institutions are already here to help people in need and there's no reason they have to be run by the government. Our religious documents command us to give and generosity is good social policy. Passing legislation to have government take from somebody else to give to a different somebody else is theft, not charity. Dig into your own pocket, support the causes you approve of, and take the time to promote those causes to colleagues and friends.
What about all those charitable organizations that today live off of government grants? People have to step up and give of themselves. Imagine if the left-wing, progressive, liberal energy that goes into taking wealth from others for their causes went into giving of themselves for the poor, the mentally incompetent, special education, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. People will do stuff if it's socially responsible. If we can get hundreds of millions of Americans to separate recyclables from their garbage, think what they'll do to help people in need. Of course, it helps if the causes support people in need as opposed to supporting first-class air travel for bureacrats. If government steps in to certify which charities actually give money to charity, then maybe it's a good thing. On the other hand our government didn't shut down the Clinton Foundation when 94% of the money went to the Clintons.
I believe today's American's Democrats have rejected morality of any form. They are amoral rather than immoral. There are liberal moral frameworks out there, the Marxist values of communism and the code of Islam followed by ISIS come to mind. Those moral frameworks have produced horrors upon horrors throughout history.
Amoral live or life under progressive-liberal morality sucks big time and their argument is that libertarian life wouldn't be perfect so we should keep doing things their way. Libertarian life would be a whole lot better for a whole lot of us and most of those those who would fare worse are whining, mooching scum.
People are surprisingly willing to accept values from authority. In some sense, I'm arguing for authority to tell people to reject authority, kind of like my opinion of the Libertarian Party being the political party to abolish politics. It's time for those of us who believe in this kind of morality to be vocal about having moral premises guide us, and to choose this morality over political liberalism and over religious regulation.
I have a notion of a "meta-culture" that dictates how we deal with other people with other ways. Even though we may speak different languages at home and go to different houses of worship, we can agree which side of the road to drive on, which side of the sidewalk to walk on, and that green means "go" and red means "stop." We can agree to hold the door for people carrying parcels and I have seen outraged spectators castigating those who didn't follow the meta-culture rules. Above and beyond respecting other people's life and personal freedom we can learn to agree that property is something we protect, that livelihood is something we respect, and that individuals and businesses that violate contracts are bad.
I exhort my friends on the conservative right to spend some of their political voice time calling for this kind of morality. If they're in the entertainment or news media or they're politically visible, then I exhort them ever so much more so.
What about places that aren't the United States of America, the other 98% of the land area, the other 95% of the population? I choose neither to meddle in their affairs nor to offer my opinion gratuitously, but I defend my values when confronted. When foreigners try to rub my nose in the failure of our health care system over theirs, I point out that a lot of people were taxed a lot to make it happen, they still wait quite a bit longer and put up with quite a bit more, and their system depends on having someplace to send their really-sick people. That place was the United States until we socialized our system and now they send their really-sick people to Thailand and India just as we're starting to do.
Europe is hailed as a success of socialized democracy. Never mind the foibles of Stalin's Russia or Hitler's Germany, it's not the panacea offered in their discussions. Anti-semitism runs rampant on the Continent and now in England and their work-vacation excesses result in a lower economic standard of living. They are used to a world where the government tells them what to do to an extent that offends most Americans I know. This aggregation of liberal social democracy in Europe extends to Canada and Australia so far as I can see. Germany seems to be the one exception of a socialized society that outproduces everybody else, the one European country that exports more than it imports. Deutschländers work hard and live well, probably not as well as they would live under a freer system, but they seem to make it work and they seem satisfied living there.
Unlike Europe, Asia is an economic success story without our social freedom. In 2009 in Beijing I clicked on a Facebook link and got an obviously-nasty page in red Chinese letters telling me Facebook wasn't allowed in the Land of the Dragon. Singapore enjoys a pleasant and productive society without the freedoms I take for granted stateside. It works, I have my own theories about their mix of political tyranny and economic freedom, but Asia isn't a place most Americans I know would like to live.
Latin America is an interesting mix of libertarian anarchy and corrupt chaos. Their moral code seems to lack the notion of contract. Anecdotally, I recall the public buses in Cancun stopped anywhere for anybody who paid, very convenient, but the airport bus drivers put my luggage in their compartment, so I was a captive customer who couldn't leave, and then kept me waiting forty-five minutes for the bus to fill up. The deal was open bar from six to seven and cash bar after that, so they kept us outside, took our orders at 6:50, and brought our drinks at 7:02 with a bill, of course. Other stories from other people seem the same. Add the larger scale corruption from the drug industry, backed by the illegality of drugs in most of the west, and we have a mess.
That leaves the Dark Continent. Africa has been a huge mess of human misery for thousands of years. Rich in resources, both biological and mineral, not to mention tourist sightseeing opportunities, Africans should live in the lap of luxury and yet they represent the lowest pit of poverty. Treasured animals become extinct from poaching. Nice people lead nasty lives. I've been to the milk-and-cookies places like London, Prague, and Singapore, but I've also been to the liver-and-onions places like Benghazi, Kampala, and Lusaka. Corruption and crime are so prevalent that South Africa was better off with Apartheid. Certainly somehow, someway, somewhere, somebody should do better than the state of Africa today.
My own belief, without any substantiation beyond my own speculation, is that Africa doesn't have the foundational premises of property and contract. Obviously, that's a huge generalization, often not valid, but the legal infrastructure that protects American cattle isn't going to protect African elephants until there's a healthy respect for property. I chuckled when I read that leopards had made a meal of malignant, marauding, pernicious poachers, but shouldn't there be a way that laws and law enforcement could protect big-game animals without relying on big cats? It's the same argument as I made with Michigan wolves up above, but at least Michigan has notions of property and contract. I shudder at the prospects of starting a business in Africa or even making a business partnership. Who knows what the government will do? Without fear of reprisal for misdeeds who knows what the people will do?
My behavioral summary of all this is, "Choose choice." If you're evaluating two political philosophies, then select the one with more personal options. If you're evaluating two political directives, then select the one with more personal options.
If a political philosophy like this is unattractive, then vote with your feet and go someplace better. We're have been a Guns-and-Freedom club since 1789. A small place (two percent of the land area) with a few people (five percent of the world's population) sharing a common vision should be easy to escape for those who find that vision unappealing.
|The Great Achievement|
My casual summary of history goes like this: In 1215 a bunch of English lords signed a self-serving document called the Magna Carta that established that even the king had to follow the rule of law. This crack in the structure of the divinity of royalty changed the world and, one bit at a time, the intellectual and political fabric of our culture of liberty was formed. In 1789 it reached its fruition with an actual government based on those principles, the Constitution of the United States of America. It's one thing to sit around sipping tea and eating biscuits talking about how wonderful things could be if only, if only, if only. It's totally another actually to build something and to see it run.
All angels don't need government to run their society, all devils can't make their society work with or without government, but people are what are, some good and some bad. The idea is to have a moral code implemented in such a way that so long as we each follow the rules as individuals, we have good lives as individuals. That we achieve wonderful things as a group that way is a nice side effect, a huge side effect. Sometimes the good guys win big time.
Human beings are capable of great things, but there's a nasty part of us, too. In The Terminal Man Michael Crighton discussed our limbic center, our "crocodile brain." What fraction of human males on this planet do you think would consider rape a sin? Maybe half? While some of us are making judgments while sipping fine tea from bone china with pinkies held high in the air, other people live in a grungy survival world where going a month without bodily assault is cause for celebration. Hitting a girlfriend or wife in that world is bad, just like running a STOP sign.
So the idea is not to make devils into angels, or even ordinary people into altruistic do-gooders. The idea is to come up with a code of conduct, kind of like the rules in a game, and let people be as greedy as they want so long as they follow the rules. Most people follow the rules most of the time, they even separate recyclables in their garbage when asked to, we have a Bill of Rights for those who keep the code, and we have a criminal justice system to deal with those who don't.
As compelling as experience and logic may be, it is all too easy to get to a result that isn't right. Sometimes there is a bigger picture lost in the details, sometimes there is a piece of the logical puzzle lost in the details. There are oodles of fake math proofs where some basic item is hidden in making the spoof work. In the math cases the spoofs hide a division by zero or whether a point is inside or outside a triangle. The math spoofs are fun, but political misdirection is not fun. It's important to see what really happened and is happening.
Another way to look at it is this: I know razor-sharp smart people in various walks of life who make the muddiest, sloppiest logic errors when it comes to intuition in religion or politics. I admit it's possible I have the same gaps of intuitive reason in politics. So I ask myself what the historical perspective tells me. What is the historical record of actions generated from each side of the political aisle? How did what they supported at the time turn out with the advantage of historical perspective?
A liberal buddy, Ph.D. in astrophysics, not a mental midget, believes in global warming and climate change with conviction. He has gone to great effort to provide complex equations that fit parts of the past and he has the same conviction in his beliefs that I have in my beliefs. The fundamental difference is when we look at history. None of the models he supports with such vigor have predicted their future.
That's the key: Their arguments and their logic neither fit the past nor predict the future. Furthermore, their policies and their actions do bad things to people. I joke that in aviation what matters is when the rubber meets the rooftops. We should learn from actual history when we have it available, and we do have actual history available on most of our divisive left-right issues here in the United States of America. When a bunch of self-proclaimed National Socialists advocated forced economic equality, gun control, tax-funded health care, and state controlled education, the American progressive left wing supported them just as they support those issues today. When it didn't turn out well, they spun around and said it was really right-wing bigots who supported their cause.
The history certainly points to bad things coming from good intentions, if the intentions really were good. Many of my Democrat friends simply deny their history while others admit the dark past but insist there was a switch. For the latter, some evidence is offered (e.g., the blue-to-red shift of the Bible-belt south) but there are very few Democrats around from fifty years ago who aren't still Democrats. Look at all the Democrat folks-singer crowd who sang for Hitler, who supported Castro, and who are still Democrats today.
The one good and noble cause many left-wing Democrats supported was the civil-rights movement spearheaded by Martin Luther King. (My parents were among those Democrats and so were Peter, Paul and Mary.) It was a Republican movement in opposition to George Wallace and the segregationalists. My Democrat friends who supported King deny it was a Republican movement, but much of the country supported Wallace and they weren't Republicans. It's nice to stand against the evil racism, hate, and violence of the progressive left, but wouldn't it have been nicer not to support those things for a century before Dr. King and half a century after?
I was thirteen on 1970 April 22 on Earth Day when our environmental movement began. It was a moment of joy as ninety years of eugenics hysteria faded and environmental awareness began. It was only a matter of a few years before the progressive left wing had us believing in an impending ice age. There was several short-term environmental scares before the ball stopped bouncing as it settled on global warming as the political issue to save the planet.
On race, economics, anti-semitism, misogyny, pseudo-science, and tyranny the liberals have supported the wrong side. Look at their racial history from slavery to hate groups. Look at their treatment of women and women's rights. Look at their attitudes on social and economic tyranny. Every attempt at communism or socialism has gone terribly wrong.
There is no imperative in my version of libertarian morality about gun ownership. Instead I fall back on history. Every society that restricted gun ownership became despotic. We can think of tyranny as an allergic reaction to gun control, one strong enough, I would hope, to teach all but the feeblest minds.
I don't get it. Their ideas have always gone wrong. If a liberal came to me and said, "Yeah, sure, I supported these terrible things and I was wrong," then I would feel better about their community. If a liberal came to me and said, "Yeah, sure, I supported these terrible things but here are good, sound reasons why our ideas won't be the same mistakes again," then I might feel better. Not one liberal I know has admitted their history of supporting slavery, the Klan, Stalin, Hitler, et cetera.
My Democrat friends remind me the peaceniks were Democrat. The Democrats have escalated wars left and right, but the Republicans haven't been much better in that department. Alas, both sides seem hell-bent on bigger government budgets, too.
As liberalism has failed so completely, some of my liberal friends have switched sides, usually on one or two favorite issues, Jews protecting Israel for example, but not on the major issue of adopting a moral compass for their political views. My own litmus-test is, "What is the fair share of the tax burden the richest five percent should pay?" The moral answer is five percent, just like it says in Article I of our Constitution. That's a hard pill for a liberal to follow, even a newly-conservative, ex-liberal on one or more issues. I'd love to say it's time to put grown-ups in charge, but few in the political community are acting like grown-ups, but at least we can say it's time to put grown-up values in charge even if the people following those values still act like children.
Here's the thing about then-vs.now. Liberals embraced National Socialism in Germany under Adolf Hitler because he offered socialist economic policy, gun control, state controlled education, universal health care, and government control of big business. They supported Josef Stalin and Fidel Castro for the same reasons. Now, today, decades later, they say they could never support those evil men. The Obama and Clinton campaigns in this century were based on socialist economic policy, gun control, state controlled education, universal health care, and government control of big business. The difference is Hitler and Stalin and Castro were bad people. So the liberal Democrats are comfortable with Hillary Clinton with the same political values because, in contrast, she's a good person. I'm having some trouble with that one.
We have demonized Adolf Hitler and his holocaust as a singular bad moment in human history. If only that were so. There have been many other despots just as terrible and several mass killings just as devastating in the last century. A liberal friend was listening to a 1944 recording of a concert in Berlin and said, "there were actual Nazis in the audience," as if they were somehow especially evil, when he could look in the mirror to see what those people looked like at the time. The American left-wing progressives supported them at the time. Their messages are a Siren song luring us to the Anthemoessa of these terrible historical events. It's the same song that Wilson, FDR, LBJ, Carter, and Obama sang before the horrors of their presidencies and it's the same song that Hillary sang in 2016.
When I went to graduate school we had a network of a few dozen computers called the ARPAnet built and funded by Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) modeled after the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). You know, the Defense Department, really the Department of War. Computer geeks could communicate "in real time" with other computer geeks time zones away or they could type so-called "electronic mail" to each other to be read at leisure. There were so-called "electronic bulletin boards" some of which were special-interest groups. It got to the point where there were so many groups that one person barely had time to keep track of all of them. We joked that they were going to break up the Yak Breeder's Group into North American Yaks and Siberian Yaks.
Then, suddenly, ARPA funding was going away. No more ARPAnet. The yak breeders, both Siberian and North American were going to have to go back to reading paper magazines to stay in touch. I was crushed. I didn't think private enterprise and it's fledling Internet would begin to have the cool factor of ARPAnet, or even to survive in the long run. But I stuck to my moral backbone that if the private sector couldn't keep the ball rolling, then maybe it shouldn't be rolling anymore. In the face of my whining, protesting, computer-geek friends, I insisted that the private-enterprise Internet was the right answer. In case you didn't notice, the Internet not only didn't fail, it succeeded, prospered, and grew beyond our wildest dreams. The World Wide Web was a consequence of that expansion. The morally-right answer worked out better and it didn't take long to do so.
It was 1983 and the Bell Telephone system had just spun off its Consumer Products division as American Bell. Jokes were everywhere, they were ill-equiped to make it, they didn't know how to compete in any market, never mind consumer products, we said they had "Bell-shaped" heads. And then anti-trust Judge Harold H. Green decided to go for the throat and to break up the entire telephone company held together by a 1956 Consent Decree that enabled Bell Laboratories to produce some of the most awesom technologies ever in a government-mandated Bell-Telephone monopoly. Again I was crushed and disappointed over the prospect of the death of innovation. I openly protested the obvious victimization of AT&T in the divesture ruling, there was clearly a national hatred of The Phone Company (TPC in the movie "The President's Analyst") which was not appropriate. Come the first day of 1984 the Ma-Bell telephone company was no more. Without the guiding unifying light of The Bell System the future was going to be a bleak landscape of incompatible telephone systems failing in horrible ways. Again, I said it was a good thing to have less government in telecommunications, it was the moral thing to do.
There were some awful flops. A whole line of cordless phones manufactured by a friend of mine failed because a switch manufacturer took shortcuts in their design and didn't follow the international standard. There were other horror stories in 1984, but by 1986 things were clearly going up. Telephone communication was clearly better and cheaper and much more flexible. The cellular telephone system my own group built in 1983 grew into something more than anybody could ever have imagined. (Thirty-two years after we were disbanded we still get together several times a year, there is a steady stream of emails, and thirty-five years since the first cellular service has brought forth a gusher of celebration among us.)
A Bell-System world in 2018 would likely be a world with much faster modems and cheaper long-distance rates, maybe even economical PicturePhone, but that's about it. The post-divesture explosion of telecommunications creativity suggests it was the right thing to do. Again the morally-right answer worked out better and it didn't take long to do so.
|Why You Should Believe Me|
So anecdote, logic, and history all point to conservative values, at least the conservative value that people make better decisions for themselves than others make for them by force. The liberal track record on racism, economics, tyranny, misogyny, anti-semitism, and pseudo-science isn't good by any of these three criteria. I believe most liberals are good people with good intentions, but good people with good intentions following bad vision and bad values produce bad results.
Back at Bell Telephone Laboratories I had a conversation about provisioning circuit-switched voice trunks. (The fellow questioned my assertions about how telephone companies assign low-level, single-voice trunks to more-aggregated conduits, DS-0 links bundled into DS-1 links.) I said, "You're going to believe me. You can believe me because you think I'm right, you can believe me because others think I'm right, you can believe me because you think it's the right way to do it, you can believe me because you talk to people who do it and they say I'm right, you can believe me because it's true, but you're going to believe me." It's an intellectual journey you must travel on your own. Glinda said of Dorothy, "she had to find it out for herself." It leads to a guns-and-freedom club, libertarian America.
The same is true here if you believe in doing good and right and if you follow the path of anecdote, logic, and history. I believe the leadership of the left doesn't want those things. They don't act like they want liberalism, they want the extermination of conservative values. They don't want to live, they want us to die.
When liberals love themselves more than they hate conservatives, we will have peace. When they love all humanity and not just themselves, we will have freedom such as we have not known for a century, the worst racial discrimination being a memory, and prosperity beyond all our dreams of avarice.
If you didn't like the lashings and the lynchings of the nineteenth century, then don't be a Democrat. If you didn't like the gulags and the gas chambers of the twentieth century, then don't be a Democrat. If you don't like the horrible hate of the twenty-first century, then don't be a Democrat.
If the libertarians are too weak or flaky, then be a Republican with conviction to reduce government. Follow the mandate that President Trump said he was going to follow. I don't know if the game was rigged or Trump was thwarted, I don't know if the huge budget for next year was planned all along, but let's try to follow the original post-election plan and reduce the government.
Today is 2019 March 26, Tuesday,
5:50:10 Mountain Standard Time (MST).
One visit to this web page.
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