Thursday, November 06, 2008

The more things change

I have said I'm disappointed in the reactions of people to this week's election (and the years of campaigning leading up to it).

I think I should note that I'm not necessarily disappointed in the outcome of the election. It was expected, and I frankly gave up caring about presidential politicians years ago.

But I had been holding out hope that there were more people out there who can see what's happening and care enough to be as upset about it as I am.

In reality, the American people don't want change. They want more of the same.

More government programs to take care of the poor means they don't have to take responsibility for the poor in their own neighborhoods.

More government takeovers of failing industries mean they don't have to deal with the fallout of their own poor decision making.

If we make the government responsible for our health and education, we can go on eating Big Macs and playing Grand Theft Auto 4 until our hearts explode.

We're not responsible for our actions because we are all victims.

I've come to the conclusion, due to lack of evidence to the contrary, that as a society we've reached a tipping point, a critical mass where the number of people demanding that the government do more will continue exponentially to outnumber the people who just want to be left alone.

We will demand more and more from our government in exchange for giving up more and more of our personal freedoms and responsibilities.

And don't kid yourself into thinking this is a Republican/Democrat thing. Both parties are pushing for the erosion of personal freedom, from the constitutional abuses of the Bush administration to the support of domestic spying by congressional democrats (including our president-elect).

Yes. It's a depressing thought.

There are very few options. Either accept it, join the crowd and try to get as much as you can, or ignore it and hope you and your children die before the government goes bankrupt and is bought out by Brawndo - The Thirst Mutilator™.

Of course, on the other hand it might be kind of cool to vote for Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho for president. Now THAT'S change we can believe in.

tagged: , , , , ,


  1. Makes me long for a leader like Jefferson again.

    A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government.
    Thomas Jefferson

  2. "I frankly gave up caring about presidential politicians years ago."

    Perhaps you should care a little bit more since it was a "presidential politician" who sent over 3000 of our soldiers into a meat grinder of his own choosing.

    Don't give me any crap him not being able to do it without congressional approval.

    To paraphrase a more recent presidential polititian, yes he can.

    Congress abdicated the power to declare war a quarter of a century ago when they approved the War Powers Resolution in 1973.

    Yes, yes, Congress controls the purse strings. But once the President has committed troops to hostile action, refusing to fund the troops is tantamount to killing them. That is simply not an option. This gives the President, as Commander in Chief, complete control over our armed forces.

    So maybe you should be a little bit more concerned about who has that control.

    "I've come to the conclusion, due to lack of evidence to the contrary, that as a society we've reached a tipping point, a critical mass where the number of people demanding that the government do more will continue exponentially to outnumber the people who just want to be left alone."

    Just want to be "left alone" do ya? On Planet Emaw there are no taxes and no pesky governments providing unwanted and evil "services"?

    I didn't know that you were particularly adept at building roads, and bridges, and plumbing infrastructure, and generating electricity, collecting trash, plowing and salting snow-covered roads, chasing down criminals, putting out fires, housing convicted criminals, regulating the banking industry, defending the country against foreign invasion and being the ultimate arbitrer of all legal matters.

    You truly are a renaissance man.

    There is a legitimate role for governments at all levels to provide basic services in a civilized society.

    In fact, it is impossible to have a modern, civilized society without a government that taxes it's citizens and provides services.

    The only thing negotiable is the level of services the government will provide. The two drivers for that decision are the amount of taxation and the will of the people.

    If you simply want to be "left alone", then you are about 10,000 years too late.

    That land bridge melted a long time ago.

  3. Yeah,Emaw,didn't your parents teach you to share toys like Obama? Because obviously building the roads and giving your money to other people in a form of cash payment is exactly the same thing, a service of sorts.

  4. XO, obviously there are things which need to be financed by the collective. Yet that is not the point EMAWKC is trying to make, if I may be so bold as to respond.

    The fact of the matter is, too many of us are looking for a nanny state. We have this hope that the government can magically provide is with security from all of the bumps and potholes along the highway of life. Politicians are more than happy to promise us such security. "We'll keep you safe from suicide bombers, just let us listen to your phone conversations. We'll keep the oceans from rising, just let us tell you how warm you can keep your house in the winter."

    What we need to understand is that there is no way government can keep us safe. Ultimately, our safety and security are our responsibilities. When we abrogate those responsibilities in favor of some government provided security blanket, all we do is give up our personal autonomy.

    And we never really become more secure -- just less free.


  5. R. Sherman - I would agree that Americans are far too eager to give up their freedoms and privacy in return for a false sense of security and safety from fabricated boogeymen.

    But when you say "Ultimately, our safety and security are our responsibilities." I'm not sure I can fully agree with that statement.

    If you are talking about government legislation requiring helmets on motorcycles, seat belts in cars, no trans-fats in foods aand sobriety check points, I would agree.

    But our safety and security in the areas of crime and national defense depend heavily on goverments and taxes.

    Unless you think all we need to do is hand every man, woman and child a firearm and let nature take it's course.

    I wouldn't call that a civilized society.

  6. I think that the great lie of Talk Radio is that some sort of socialist state is what Obama plans. American people don't want socialism, but they'd like an equal playing field.

    Look, I voted for Bush TWICE. I regret those decisions and I'll chalk them up to being young and dumb (not old and crotchety like XO), but after reading through ALL of Obama's position statements, what I found invigorating was that while he was introducing more government programs, it was always tempered with personal responsibility. That's why I think you're wrong, Emaw.

    I think Pelosi and Reid need to be watched, but I think Obama has the ability to inspire folks to take on that personal responsibility. His campaign is an example of that. Instead of having robocalls, he enlisted his volunteers to make calls, thus getting people involved in something they believe in. A president who can do that gets my vote.

  7. XO,

    Sometimes I can't tell whether you genuinely believe something or if you're just being obtuse for the sake of argument (and comedy).

    Since I have a policy of not underestimating the intelligence of others, I'll assume the latter.

    Of course, as R.Sherman points out, we need a basic level of government services. But let's be honest, the current state of governments "services" (especially at the federal level) goes waaaaaay beyond basic.

    Calling the current Federal government "basic services" is like calling a Saddam's yacht "basic transportation."

    I mean, Congress is giving people digital TV converters for cryin' out loud. Yeah, Kansas City Missouri residents might have sewage backing up into their basements, they might have to drive on steel plates because the roads are crumbling, by thanks to our beneficent congress they'll be able to watch American Idol in full digital glory.

    Now, on another topic, don't give me any crap about the Congress not being complicit in the Iraq war.

    If they are impotent, it's because the have constitutionally castrated themselves -- or rather, they laid back, spread their legs and saluted the flag while they allowed themselves to be neutered.

    They have the constitutional ability and responsibility to be a check on liberties appropriated by the executive branch.

    Whether anything changes, whether we see them live up to that responsibility remains to be seen. But history would suggest that they won't.


Your turn to riff...