#Liberalism, #Libertarianism, #Politics

The Hypocrisy Evident in Political Discourse

I’m going to rant for a little bit; I’m going to do this because I’ve had it with being considered a government hating, racist, ignoramus, low-life conservative minded person. My views are not extreme; my views are not heartless; and my views are far from racist. Each of these arguments against my beliefs lack legitimacy in that they do not address my thoughts in any way. My beliefs are completely ignored, but my character is attacked; I’m considered an idiot and heartless for bringing this up.

When I disagree with a set of opinions, my disagreement is misguided, dangerous–subversive even–yet when those with whom I disagree are in opposition to what I have said their protestations are of the highest order of patriotism–intelligent, and well guided. Really, they’re just fucking enlightened–while I am clearly not.

Disgust is displayed prominently on my face.

Where did these ideas come from? Obviously there are some legitimate arguments to be had on both sides of the governing philosophy coin, but the complete dismissal of one of those viewpoints is indeed subversive and antithetical to the ideals with which we are supposed to have been taught since birth; the real crime, though, is the manner in which they are dismissed rather than the disagreement itself. Character attacks do not advance political debate; they change the nature of the debate, while solving nothing.

It’s no wonder a lot of conservative minded folks are such conspiracy theorists when their beliefs are attacked in this way by the national media, politicians, and just about every Tom, Dick, and Harry in Hollywood; this is all they hear.

A list of my crazy, subversive, and supposed racist beliefs and thoughts:

  1. Governments are for securing and maintaining the natural rights and liberties of members of society; the social contract is legitimate under these circumstances. When a government no longer follows it’s rules and instead becomes a body that doles out rights and liberties its purpose is muddied and it begins to protect liberties less.
  2. Governments exist to maintain security in society and to protect from foreign actors; this is how liberties and rights are protected.
  3. While taxation is important to maintaining government services and security, the increased amounts of taxation required to maintain the modern welfare state begin to encroach on one’s right to property as the government increasingly sees those earnings as theirs first, and yours as a pittance for your time. Thus, taxation is not evil, it is that taxation for redistribution helps no one over time.
  4. We should help one another in society. People need a hand every once in a while, a leg up, something to get them moving; however, using taxation in order to force a helping hand is not charity. Governments are not for creating happiness.
  5. People are free to do as they wish, as long as it harms no one; so, people may marry who they wish, drive whatever car they wish, believe what they wish, and act in a manner conforming to the no harm principle.

Please, if any of these ideas are racist, crazy, anti-intellectual, ill informed, or heartless, let me know.

7 Responses to “The Hypocrisy Evident in Political Discourse”

  1. Jonathan Reynolds

    February 13, 2010 @ 10:15 pm

    I guess I am a crazy, anti-intellectual, ill informed, heartless racist as well. The problem is that the dominant parties in power currently don’t want to talk about the issue of what government isn’t allowed to do according to the constitution. They just care about doing as much as they can get away with to benefit their party and themselves. IMO unless the electorate some how becomes informed, the battle may have to reside at the state level. Smaller groups have much more influence in state and local government. We need our sheriffs to stand up and say “not in my county” and for the legislature and executive branches to stand up and say, “not in our state.”

    Reply

  2. Dan

    February 13, 2010 @ 11:33 pm

    Government for the people by the people is at the same time our greatest gift and our greatest enemy!

    Reply

  3. Mike

    February 14, 2010 @ 3:06 am

    Jonathan, good to hear from you; I think most arguments belong at the state level as it is, but so much power has been concentrated at the Federal level in terms of state funding that unless we decide to stop suckling from that glorious federal teet, we will be forever subservient to their machinations.

    Doesn’t seem like the founders placed a lot of faith in voters, when you consider that the House of Representatives was the only one directly elected by the (for sake of illustration) landed classes. Indeed, you are right in the bottom up approach, but perhaps the place to start is in schools. Quite a bit of inaccurate historical information being passed on there.

    Dan, I’m surprised you could remember that at your age. I kid, I kid. Indeed, once we found out we could vote ourselves a little off the top, it became a bit of a burden didn’t it?

    Reply

  4. Jonathan Reynolds

    February 14, 2010 @ 8:01 pm

    Good to hear from you as well. I guess we should have talked more at full sail.

    Anyway one of my favorite quotes (I think I combined two of his):

    “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest
    civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: “From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to selfishness; From selfishness to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage.”

    ~Alexander Fraser Tytler

    Reply

  5. Mike

    February 14, 2010 @ 9:45 pm

    Perhaps we should have talked more; there would have been some good conversations I think.

    I have heard, or read rather, variations on that quote; what makes it such a great message is the truth behind it. The question is, can the cycle be broken? If there were a way to do it, would it be possible in practice?

    Reply

  6. Dan

    February 16, 2010 @ 10:20 am

    I remember reading that in my H.S Civics Class. It actually was a good class, we had a good teacher. Never knew the name attached to the statement and maybe it isn’t directly from him but at least the 2nd part of J Reynolds reply was dead on. Nearly every historical civilization has gong through that process. We are on the verge of Selfishness to Apathy.

    Hey at least we beat the 200 year average, if nothing else we can put our hats on that.

    Where has my (Lincoln/Teddy Roosevelt) Republican Party of Fiscal Conservatism and Social freedom gone? It has been replaced by free spending, evangelical hypocrites.

    Reply

  7. Mike

    February 17, 2010 @ 11:47 pm

    Free spending indeed. It is politically unpalatable to reduce spending and entitlements…

    Reply

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