by Eileen | 10:00 am, January 12, 2013 | Comments Off
I have decided to return to frequent political writing, to be carried out until powerful people start listening or I realize I can earn more working retail, whichever comes first. Here on PPC, I get to do what I like, although the Managing Editor does wish I’d pay more attention to spellcheck.
I have two foci for this project. The first is privacy; all nuts need an obsession and that’s mine. Also, I will be outlining idea for the center-right to improve, an exercise in which I am dedicated to not suggesting hanging the bastards high and starting from scratch. That’s not because I don’t want to but because I really am trying to deliver suggestions that are actionable.
And so, I think I ought to place myself somewhere on the spectrum, especially as I am indulging in the ‘editorial we’. Not always was I as wondrous as I am today. I had to learn and refine y views, to develop and to mature, much the way cheese does and fish does not.
I was once a registered Republican. I ran a chapter of the College Republicans. I walked neighborhoods for Republican candidates until muscles on the bottom of my feet began spasming. Yes, it’s possible to sprain your heel. I did it and I can tell you it hurts and heals slowly. I was never a my-country-right-or-wrong type. I always had a strong sense of realpolitik – there are two parties that win in the U.S. and you better pick one. I still think that idealism in politics is a fool’s errand. Of the people who have a realistic shot at winning, pick the one you have the least problem with and support that one. But I also think we may expect a higher level of integrity in our politicians and politicos than we have been getting while still remaining in the realistic camp.
Put it this way. Asking the government to stop torturing detainees and come clean about surveillance is realistic. Asking the Kennedy’s to sober up is idealistic. I’m a realist.
These days, though, I am an Independent and have been for some time. I made the choice to re-register as a protest against a GOP that has turned on its base and ignored strong, profound principles of free societies, human dignity, and good governance. I did not leave the Republicans. They left me. I despise Big Government for any reason at all. I think ‘National Greatness’ sounds like a slogan more suited to 1933 Munich than to we Americans. I believe no one has business controlling and legislating areas of another man’s life unless what that man is doing hurts others. I believe there is a sea of difference between real, provable harm and the malevolent hysteria of overgrown children who think not being allowed to control others is somehow a wrong done to them. I hold that no state has any business existing if it isn’t upholding the dignity and freedom of its people. I loathe people who want to force me to go to church and people who want to force me to go to sensitivity training. I think they deserve to be locked in a room with one another as punishment for having assaulted my dignity and their own by refusing to recognize that I am a moral actor with free will.
On social issues, I am a resolute libertarian. On foreign policy, I am a non-interventionist. I distrust centralized power, think people who truly want power are suspect, and feel deep and warm happiness when blowhards get taken down. Whenever I see the scene in Love Actually where Hugh Grant tells the American President to pound sand, I get misty-eyed because I have always loved the moment when the good kid finds his spine and stands up to the bully, even when it’s a cheesy and unrealistic piece of emotional propaganda.
I think that America’s claim to greatness is that we are the only nation ever deliberately founded on a good idea. The only thing that can ever truly matter is the fragile and dignified human. However, humans are also terrible, petty monsters endlessly capable of making the moral exception for ourselves. Most states that have existed were vehicles for the worst people to exercise their worst tendencies. We tried to do the exact opposite and came up with a rather good system, one which we began destroying immediately. It is a testament to our Founding that after 237 years, we have still not wrecked things entirely. But we are trying and we are accelerating. We are a people and a state worth enduring because we believe in the worth of the little guy and once upon a time dedicated a state to protecting his right to be let alone. But the Great American Story does not being with once upon a time.
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