A Facebook friend invited me to like the Facebook page of the Republican Liberty Caucus. I took the time to send a considered reply (below), to which she responded by asking what I think should be done. Here is that conversation:
My Response to the invitation:
Hey, _______. I got your invitation to like the Liberty Caucus page. I wanted to write you personally and express my thoughts. With no offense intended, I’ll just be blunt. While I despise 80% of what the Democratic Party says it stands for, and 99% of what it actually stands for (as judged by what Democrats do while in office), I must confess that my view of the Republican Party is only slightly better. (With them, it’s 60% / 90%.)
The Caucus mission says: “Founded in 1991, the Republican Liberty Caucus works to advance the principles of individual rights, limited government, and free enterprise within the Republican Party and throughout America.”
I do not believe it is possible to work within the Republican Party to bring about such ends. Nor do I believe that the leaders of the RNC establishment have any designs whatsoever for such a state of things, nor that they will tolerate any serious attempt to head in that direction. Rather, they will fight to keep the nation perched precariously atop the false left/right fence, working carefully with their Democrat neighbors in Congress to continue promoting the false notion that nothing can ever really be fixed in America, and that the best we can hope for is to get 4 or 8 years of modest “progress” under a friendly administration before the “other side” gets a chance to mess things up again.
The RNC was corrupt from its founding, just as the DNC.
Even if every voter in the next congressional election voted Republican, nothing much would change. Even if they did so for the next three elections in a row, nothing much would change. Instead, new reasons (excuses) would have to be invented for not discontinuing those “liberal” acts of government that Republicans claim to despise. Or worse, new emergencies would have to be created in order to “justify” the continuation of those acts.
For nearly every constitutional violation loved by the Democrats, there’s one loved by the Republicans. I’ll see your Obamacare and raise you a Patriot Act and a TARP. That’s the way it goes. Yet both sides pretend as if their own offenses do not count and that those of the other side are likely to bring the nation crashing down just any minute now.
Both are dishonorable. And so with their organizations, from the anonymous DNC and RNC owners down to those rank and file members who think they do a good thing to participate in a system that is patently designed to fail the very principles and public it was supposedly invented to serve.
No offense to you, but I would no sooner praise Lincoln than Hitler, nor any sooner join the Republican Party than the Nazi Party. I see them as quite the same. (As I see also the Democratic Party.) I consider it a fool’s errand to try to reform the Republican Party—even under the reasoning that it is slightly closer to sound political doctrine. What such attempts do is to waste the time of those who participate. They never bring about widespread reform. Instead, they keep a certain subset of disgruntled party members busy and distracted for quite some time—with many of them never stopping to do the math as to whether their efforts are yielding any benefits.
Just as I would not join the Nazi Party to “take back our party” or to “return our party to its conservative roots“, I would not join the Republican Party. In fact, the Republican Party never had “conservative roots” from the beginning. They were for unconstitutional public works programs from day one—which means they were corporate protectionists. (If you haven’t read DiLorenzo’s The Real Lincoln and/or Lincoln Unmasked, you really should. We found them quite compelling.)
So, just because we think the DNC is evil, it does not follow that the RNC (or any subset thereof) is necessarily the answer.
In my view, life is too short to devote myself to causes that are designed to fail (whether that failure is deliberate or by error). I see no point in that. Nor do I subscribe to the incrementalist fallacy that assumes that widespread reform is impossible in the short term and that activists should be content with mere token “changes” from time to time. (Their mantra is “change takes time”, but they’re too busy saying this to notice that they’ve never managed to get much of anything permanently changed—no matter how much time they invested into it.)
Further, I reject the “this little light of mine” paradigm, by which so many assume that minimal efforts or affirmations on their parts will translate eventually into a blazing grass fire with awesome and transformative powers. It simply doesn’t work. The bad waitress as Pizza hut will mostly likely be a bad waitress 5 years hence, never noticing that the other staff members are excellent—never transforming herself to higher standards. She will not “get it”, even though she is surrounded by many good examples who are “letting their little lights shine”. The reality is that people need to be grabbed by the lapels from time to time and some sense talked into them. That’s how it works in the real world. Anyone with an easier plan is either doomed to fail or planning to fail.
No, I’d much rather expend my energies on some initiative that has what it takes to drive straight to the roots of the tree. And having worked to identify such concepts, I am now fairly convinced that hardly anyone in America is truly interested in a paradigm of principled-reform-wherever-it-may-lead. No, they all want to stop when it gets hard, inconvenient, embarrassing, costly, tiring, lonely, or when it costs them a government job, contract, benefit, or entitlement. In other words, the people themselves are corrupt. The basic duties of a citizen, they do not perform. They have abdicated their roles, leaving the country to whichever scoundrels would want it the most. (This translates to the bankers and their darlings, mostly.)
So if this is our fundamental problem, I don’t see much promise in joining a small, underdog faction in the RP in order to solve this problem. No, something much larger will be required if anything is to be solved here. It is to this end that I am currently expending my energies.
Her reply was:
What do you suggest is a good course of action?
And here’s my answer:
Before I answer you, let me say this: If I were falling off a cliff with a partner and my partner suggested that we flap our arms like birds, I would quickly realize that such a course of action was not a viable solution to our predicament. So I’d likely stop flapping. And if the fall were long enough for a discussion, my falling partner might well ask me why I stopped—and I’d say that it wasn’t doing any good—and he would ask “what do you suggest is a good course of action?”
My point, of course, is that it is not necessary to have apprehended a good solution before one can correctly identify a bad solution as bad.
Now, having said that here’s what all needs to happen to set things straight. The question will be how to make it happen.
1. Americans need to learn rational (reality-based) thinking and shun irrational thinking. For many decades we have been conditioned to do exactly the opposite, so this is huge.
2. Americans have to be taught how to care again. For many decades, we have been taught to do exactly the opposite, so this is huge.
3. Americans are terribly misinformed/disinformed. This must be reversed.
4. Americans have no idea what the rule of law is. This must be reversed if we are to have a successful constitutional republic.
5. Americans (rank and file) are quite willing to take from the treasury that which is not rightfully theirs to take. This must be reversed.
6. Our Constitution, as superior as it is to the de facto lawlessness that is currently under way, needs to be strengthened if we’re going to give this government another go.
7. Trillions of dollars are being made under our current lawless state. Those who are profiting will no doubt oppose any meaningful reform. They will have to be removed. This cannot happen unless all 6 of the previous points are fixed—and even if it did happen without a reform of the public, we would still be in a mess, for the seats of power would be refilled from the corrupt public at large.
8. The churches are, for whatever reason or reasons, actively conditioning their members not to care—or to behave as if they do not care. And many of them are teaching the members that problems on such a scale as our national problems are the business of Jesus. So even though anyone may freely observe that Jesus has not once reformed our government in our entire 224-year-history under this Constitution, many millions of Christians are adopting the “Jesus will fix it” paradigm on politics. Along with point #1 above, this will have to be stopped at the church leadership level, or the people will have to leave churches that insist on this irrational and untrue teaching. Church is just too big an influence in our culture to be ignored in this business of national reform. No practical solution will succeed without addressing it head-on. Indeed, what better way to talk people out of fulfilling their obvious responsibilities as citizens than to tell them that GOD doesn’t want them to be responsible in that way? It is a huge lie, and of the worst kind.
The alternative to all this, of course, is to decide to do nothing, leaving the country to the establishment that practically owns it at present. If such a course were chosen, we all ought to accept that we are royal subjects and stop our complaining, along with whatever other activities give the appearance of attempting reform. Indeed, what is the point of flapping our arms as we speed toward the canyon floor?
And that leaves us with an utterly huge problem—that we may either face or not face. But not facing it doesn’t make it go away. So we’re stuck with it until we insist on fixing it, or until our masters voluntarily resign. And I think we both understand the chances of the latter.
Never have so many done so much to hack away at the branches of evil as now, yet they have no clue that their hacking amounts to nothing. Where are the rational ones who will do the math and devise a different strategy?
I am convinced that a character reform movement is crucial. Building such a thing, however, requires a considerable amount of money, which I do not have. There also needs to be an RQ test (Rationality Quotient) to accompany our traditional IQ tests. And we need a new Constitution, which I am working on as time permits.
All this can be organized if a small core of individuals is willing to face the truth that the current varieties of arm flapping are useless. But alas, many have their identities wrapped up in their particular arm-flapping brands and do not love the truth so much as to reform themselves when they realize their error. Indeed, many go not get so far as even to realize their error, for they reject even the obvious! Somehow, in all their activity over all these years, all the millions of churches have failed to teach the people to love the truth. And so American languishes primarily for lack of this one ingredient. People would rather cling to that that does not work than to devise that that does.
Obviously, no casual effort will have any effect on this problem since casual effort is its cause. If one approaches any institution with a plan of action for such reform, he or she will doubtless be given a counter offer that takes the teeth out of the reform and makes it, more or less, a casual affair. This is what institutions do. They are anathema to reform.
If what I have written here is less than true in any regard whatsoever, then please point out which part is untrue.