Sunday, January 30, 2011

Don't compare Egypt's rioters to the American revolutionaries

There is nothing inherently good about "democracy". Democracy is simply mob rule, in which the will of the majority can oppress the minority. The reason we view our own democracy as good is because it is a Constitutional democracy, in which the will of the majority is severely limited by a set of supreme laws. Our Constitution was designed to insure that, whatever the will of the majority, individual liberty will remain the basis of our society. When our government was created, we deliberately set up roadblocks against democracy. Read the Federalist Papers. They argue extensively of the perils of Democracy, and explain why a Representative Republic with a separation of powers (one of those powers being the States) helps eliminate the problems of mob rule and an uneducated populace.

Whatever you say about the fundamental "right to vote", no such right really exists. You do not have a right to vote to oppress your neighbor. The wellbeing of the people is not served by a government mandated to follow the uninformed temporary whims of the majority.

The danger of the situation in Egypt is that their "revolutionaries" are in no way similar to those that fought for freedom in America. Our revolution was debated and decided by representatives of the people, which happened to include some of the greatest minds of the generation. When it moved forward it was for the noble principles declared in one of the greatest political documents in human history. Our revolution had strong leaders, an organized army with a chain of command. American revolutionaries were not a spontaneous angry mob rioting in the streets, burning and looting. When our revolutionary goals were complete, we built a Republic based on the doctrine of individual liberty, not "democracy".

What doctrine or principle is guiding Egypt's revolutionaries? Who are their leaders? What is the great and noble principle they are fighting for? If it is for nothing but "democracy", than we have every reason to be worried. If it is for the principles of the Muslim Brotherhood, then the rioters are tools of oppression worse than anything Mubarak ever employed.  I'm not saying we should not support the struggle for democracy in Egypt.  I'm saying we should not support it blindly.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Translating the State of the Union

Despite his supposedly renouned oratory skills, it's sometimes difficult to understand exactly what President Obama is talking about.  To facilitate better communication of some of the finer nuances of his State of the Union Address, I've provided the following translation.

Obama on green energy:
I know we have abundant resources of coal, oil, and natural gas here in America, which we could use right now for cheap, profitable, private-sector, no-government-spending-(er, I mean "investing"), job-creating energy.  But if we do that, we'll release more plant food into the atmosphere -- the horror!  So instead, I want to spend (er, I mean "invest") billions of tax dollars on alternative "green energy".  Sure, "green energy" has been an economic disaster everywhere it's been tried, killing 2 regular jobs for every "green" job created, but hey, it'll mean less plant food in the atmosphere!  Oh, and those billions of dollars spent (er, I mean invested) will actually be borrowed from China, and payed back 3 times over in interest by our children and grandchildren.  But making those payments will be tricky because switching to "green energy" will double our electric bills and slow our economy.  But it'll be worth it to get rid of that plant food!

Obama on the deficit:

I just got finished raising government spending to an all-time-high, and now I want to freeze it there! Suckers!

Obama on the economy:
Look guys, I know in my first year of office I promised that if you passed my trillion dollar stimulus bill, it would create millions of new jobs and keep the unemployment rate under 6%.  I also know that I promised that if we did nothing, the unemployment rate would go all the way to 8%.  And I know that after you passed my stimulus bill, unemployment skyrocketed to 10%, and it has stayed there for 2 years.  You could say we'd be better off if we'd done nothing.  And I know that my stimulus bill was filled with spending on infrastructure and "green jobs".  Now stay with me here... today I want to do exactly the same thing again!  It'll work this time, I promise.

Obama on health care:

I heard today that 27 states are suing the government to stop Obamacare, and the House just voted to repeal it by a wider margin than they voted to pass it.  And my local SEIU, which donated over $20 million to my campaign, applied for and got an Obamacare waiver.  Maybe it's because the bill will do none of the things I promised it would.  Maybe it's because I totally misidentified the problems with our health care system, and now my bill is causing costs to go up instead of down, and coverage to get worse instead of better.  But it's still a good bill, because it spends half a trillion dollars and taxes even more!  Come on, tax and spend, what's not to like?

Obama on the Internet:

I propose spending tax dollars to give wireless Internet to every American, because the real reason our economy is growing so slowly is because not enough people have access to Facebook.

Obama on taxes:

When I say we passed tax cuts in December, what I mean is I tried to pass a tax increase and was blocked by Republicans.  But I promise if I get my way, you'll get your tax increase! Oh, and taxes aren't about punishing success; they're about giving your money to me, because no one knows how to spend it better than people who didn't earn it!

Obama on earmarks:

I just got finished signing every record-setting earmark-laden bill the Democratic Congress sent to my desk these past two years, despite my campaign promise to ban earmarks.  But now that Congress is controlled by Republicans, my promise is renewed!

Obama on education:
I want schools to compete for money! No, I don't mean "school choice". *I* need to be the one who decides the winner.  Sure, letting consumers decide winners works for everything else, but things will be much better if politicians and bureaucrats decide where the money goes for our public schools.  I mean, it's worked so far, right? 

Obama on college tuition:

Look, everyone knows the only reason college tuition keeps going up is because colleges know the government will just pick up the tab with taxpayer dollars.  That's why I'm proposing we pick up even more of the tab.  It's not like it's a vicious circle or anything.

Obama on illegal immigration:

The people who break our laws by entering our country illegally, and consume tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars by enrolling their children in our taxpayer-funded schools, need to be rewarded!  Let's make their kids U.S. citizens.  It certainly won't encourage more illegal immigration, and after all, these well-trained moochers will surely vote Democrat. 

Obama on infrastructure:

Sure there isn't a single business in America that's struggling because they can't deliver their goods to market, or a citizen who can't get to work for a lack of roads.  But I want to spend even more money, borrowed from China of course, into our nation's perfectly adequate infrastructure.  It'll create jobs -- union jobs paid for with your children's money!

Obama on the TSA:

Sexual assault is a joke. Seriously, I think it's funny.

Obama on the War on Terror:
We must continue our wars abroad.  I guess I really shouldn't have accepted that Nobel Peace Prize.

Obama on foreign policy:
We stand with freedom.  Except in Honduras.  There, we stand for Marxist would-be dictators and an attempted coup funded by Hugo Chavez.

Obama on securing the boarder:

We must secure the boarder! The Afghan boarder.  Not our own.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Political rhetoric and the Tuscon shooting

My article on political rhetoric and the Tuscon shooting is up on the Orlando Sentinel website here.  I will probably be contributing frequently to that blog over the next year.  The text of my article is below:
Colorful rhetoric has been part of politics since the dawn of civilization. The term “campaign” itself is of military origin. Military metaphors are common not only in politics, but in business, sports, medicine, science, and every-day life. In 2009, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee published on their website a map of the country with bulls-eyes over the districts of “targeted Republicans”. Nobody complained, because the word “target” and associated symbolism have long been accepted in the non-violent American lexicon. We do not presume advertisers intend to actually kill their “target audience”. We all know that Target superstores do not sell guns and ammo. On October 23, 2010, Democratic Congressman Paul Kanjorski said of Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott, “they ought to have him and shoot him. Put him against the wall and shoot him.” Inappropriate? Yes. An actual call to violence? Of course not. Yet when Sarah Palin published her own now-famous “target map”, Democrats accused her of inciting violence. At the time, conservatives laughed off these accusations as being childish, disingenuous, and hypocritical. With the eruption of new accusations against conservatives after the tragedy in Tuscon, we must address this issue head-on.

Political rhetoric becomes heated because people are passionate about politics – and rightly so. When our government is squandering our national wealth, committing generational theft, and destroying an opportunity for prosperity built by generations of Americans, anger is an appropriate response. For Liberals, anger was an appropriate response to “war for oil”, at least while a Republican was President. What we have in American politics is not a climate of hate; it is a climate of passion. We cannot not allow the tragic violence of a lone madman to quell our passions, or use it to lay false accusations of hatred on our fellow Americans.

But that’s exactly what Democrats did after the Tuscon massacre. Within literally minutes of the shooting, the leftist blogosphere and media organizations were saturated with articles and commentary accusing Republicans and the Tea Party of inciting the shooter to violence. In an epiphany, the Left came to believe that, despite non-stop exposure to guns and violence in movies, TV, and video games, it is non-violent military metaphors on conservative websites and radio talk shows that incite lunatics to kill and turn ordinary men into murderers. When the Tuscon shooter turned out to be an anti-Christian, anti-Semetic, God-hating, anti-Constitution, Flag-burning, Marxist, George W. Bush hating, pothead 9-11 Truther, intellectually honest Democrats should have then argued he was incited by their own “violent rhetoric”. Instead, the charlatans on the Left continued to promote the idea of a conservative “climate of hate”, and are using the Tuscon tragedy to push for new restrictions on free speech, including a modern-day Sedition Act. The truth is Jared Loughner never listened to talk radio. He was not motivated by any political ideology or rhetoric, and the only real climate of hate was the one in Loughner’s own deranged mind.