Sunday, March 29, 2009

Why I decided ..........

Every once and awhile a lovely note sends my brains racing for the "right stuff". A note sent to me about this blog did so. It led me to review why is it that I am a conservative. I am not a Republican. Fact is on certain issues I lean towards some Libertarian views on one or two issues. I used to be a Liberal.

Why I am a Conservative?

Every once and awhile it will come up in conversation, for the most part when I am at school and discussing a historical or political topic. I hear it in the lilt of the discussion. It sounds something like, “You Republicans….” Offtime to which I respond, “Technically I am not a Republican or a Libertarian, I am by choice a Conservative.” I thought this through because, well because it is important.

I haven’t always been a conservative. There was a time in college when everything Phil Donahue said made sense, when I wanted to fight for freedom and choice. I wanted to have choices and believed that all should have them including the North and South Vietnamese. I did not trust government and certainly felt that Richard Nixon was too good of a politician to be trusted. Fact is everyone over thirty did seem to look at the world different than I. Then I read the Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence from start to finish and made some decisions.

I read about Thomas Jefferson who did not trust government and in agreement to get the Constitution passed advocated for the ten amendments that were added. Those who use those amendments as legal tools today forget why they were crafted. The danger lies not in us but government and those who try to do things for us by it.

Why I am a Conservative:

1. 90% of life is maintenance, keeping what works working. Love works. Marriage works. Family works. Church and a belief in something other than self works. Work works. Hard work makes all the above work. Even my Communist teaching colleague has his car serviced at regular intervals-to keep it working.

Jesus said, “No greater love has a man than to lay his life down for another”. Things that work are worth sacrificing for. The issues are to prioritize what really works. I try to support the things that work. Freedom works. Capitalism works. Wanting to get ahead works. And the adage that matters...if it works don't fix it, especially if you are the government!

2. Equality is a given to those that understand that life is a precious commodity, equality is a mindset not a mandate. Freedom is not. Freedom has always been earned and work must be expressed for it to be retained. See America at War-with the exception of the Spanish American War which was bogus.

To mandate equality is impossible. One can only mandate the lowest common denominator of a society. Freedom is different than mandated equality. Under the law each of us should have the same freedoms. I often ask my students, "What if I gave every one of you a C, no matter how hard or how little you work, what would you do and how hard would you work"? The answers are always the same. "Nothing, I would do nothing". It is a function of humans ....they will work with the chance of success. Give a person the Freedom to experience excellence and they will seek it. Hand to them mandated equality and they will remain standing with their hand out forever doing nothing.

I prefer freedom as principle over the virtue of making the right decisions. I believe just as I did thirty plus years ago that Citizens of the World deserve a free and unbridled ability to CHOSE. Choice makes the difference. Choice is balanced by a hierarchy of values and freedoms. IE. I can choose to shoot a gun as long as it is not at my neighbor or my neighbors house. Choice and the hierarchy of choices trump even the hope that people do things in the proper fashion. We must allow people the choice to fail if they want to. We can be either equal or free but both do not hold the same space in politics. To enforce the equality of all men at all times eliminates real freedom. Given real choices, in my humble opinion the human spirit does its best work and soars. Given real choices apart from pathology humans choose and find themselves on the levels of the Philosophers. Humans will choose freedom over tyranny and our history has ample evidence to that point.

“Are we maximizing Freedom…? Barry Goldwater.

3. Human nature must be dealt with suspiciously. Romans 3:20 says “For all have sinned…”James Madison wrote that: “If men were angels no government would be necessary….
Why do they want it passed? Follow the money….follow power! Question Authority. (some sixties stuff so resonates in my brain I cannot get past it) I trust nothing that I hear on ABC and half of what I see on the Radio. *S*

4. Power as a tool tends to corrupt. Since it corrupts, those who wield it must be dealt with suspiciously-be sure that those who have it can’t do too much damage. Therein lies the danger. See Thomas Jefferson. See the Bill of Rights

5. Government for the protection of all must be kept limited. Government cannot do all things and in fact does little well, with the exception of the creation of protections. Protections against adversaries and ourselves. See Army and FDA. If you look to the government for help. You have entered into the world where you government must and will get bigger and bigger because you realize it is never enough. Why? Because government never solves anything. So, it appears like more of it would make a difference. You see the yen but not the yang.
Henry David Thoreau said, “That government that governs least governs best”.
Ronald Reagan said, “Government is not the solution to our problem: government is the problem.

6. Some individuals can do more. They should not be punished because others cannot. I learned that from Paul Hayden. He could always run faster than me.

7. The old adage holds, “Give a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach a man to fish he eats for a lifetime”. Conservatives love on the long term and wish those who can, to be able to do so as well and to do so for a lifetime. Liberals feel better about the fish and feel best when they can give the fish away. It works but not for as long-see rule 1.

8. Creating a welfare state is a method of earning votes for a lifetime. It is also a method of re-creating political "sharecropping". No one ever gets out of poverty when there is that kind of sharing. We have new slave owners in America they believe they are helping others......but the slavery remains a condition of the institution itself. Once you have created an institution it does its best to remain. And to remain forever. If the money comes from the suspicious. Not much will get done and it will stay that way forever.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Political Gymnastics

There are questions I have been asking about the new administration:

There is something that I have always been amazed at those who have the linguistic skills of salesmanship and politics. I am not sure I really am the proficient at either. When I trained with the best reputable company in the business, they are Mormon if that helps, in timeshare. I learned it is not what you say but how you say it that seems to have most people buying timeshares in droves. My wife says often....I have no problem with what you are saying....but how you are saying it. Might be just a man thing but ....there were some timeshare guys who I would not trust any farther than I could throw them across a river but they sold timeshare. Does your client, customer, owner, whatever you were going to call them that day, trust you? The counsel was it was all how you asked the question. So many bright, intelligent and financially secure timeshare veterans would seem to know all the tricks, "When did you stop beating your wife", as an example of the power of framing a question properly. It is the perfect "gotcha" question of all time. Most of us today see through such framework but not all of us. You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time but not all of the people all of the time.....famous guy said that not me.

Those who are fans of the Sunday News shows of Foxnews Sunday and Meet the Press know that how one frames the question is substantial in getting the proper response. These are lessons glean from years and years of watching 60 minutes pummel their guests with the microphone in their face as they ran down the street. By the way, Chris Wallace and Mike Wallace...yes, Father and Son. So when did you stop beating your wife?

Health care professionals have learned it is imperative to ask the proper questions if you MUST have the truth. Dr. Kevin Fiscella found it matters a great deal medically,
The first question was, “How long has it been since you’ve had a mammogram?” Most women of all races and ethnicity's tend to underestimate how long it’s been: They’ll circle 1 year, for example, when in fact it’s been 18 months or 2 years since their last mammogram. Indeed, the responses showed no significant differences in mammogram rates among black, white and Hispanic women.

But the responses changed to the question, “What health care services have you received in the last four months?” Fiscella found that when he looked at an entire year, 28 percent of white respondents versus 15 percent of black respondents reported receiving a mammogram. He believes the 13-percent disparity gives a more accurate picture of mammography rates.

Even the election of last year has its very unique and different views. Of course Barack Obama who won the electorate by a 52-48% margin has a "mandate" and has turned the world around according to some TV moderator types who are wondering how the Republican party is ever going to recieve one more vote.....Ever! While at the same time California rejected same sex marriage by 52-48%...and the comments by the same TV moderator types is that it passed by the "narrowest of margins". It is not only how you frame the question but sometimes how you frame the answer. Did anyone notice this small but significant inconsistency? Does the guy have a mandate? More than that.....does he really know the right questions to ask. He is a bit of a newby when it comes to making anything work. And making things REALLY work is what this fellow is going to need to do.

I teach US History and am just about to embark into a discussion and trapse through the mess known as the Stock Market Crash and the New Deal......did you know the New Deal did not work. Take out employment provided by the federal government and the worse year for unemployment, prices and a down economy was 1937. Most knowledgeable History types easily say, "Well, it was World War II that brought us out of the depression". And it was. So why do Democrats wistfully remember Franklin Roosevelt as the cure all, savior and Icon for the Democratic Party. There were all kinds of solutions and the ABC's of any government plan. Most have gone away but a lot stay FOREVER!!! Well, you can fool some of the people....and they were and are.....and well, now we have Barack Obama. But all of the people all of the time?? More government does not help business. Where is it the easiest in the world to set up and get a business going? Try Hong of the business centers of the world. Might take me two months in Orlando but could take two hours to get up and running in Hong Kong. Government knows what makes that Island work. Do we? How does government create one job. And if there do it is temporary at best. What is the definition of a government employee? Bureacracy, red tape and worse...incompetant.

What concerns me most is this. The bad guy for the last eighty years in the Stock Market Crash and Depression was Herbert Hoover. Know what he did? Support and give money to banks and insurance companies, try to fix the home loan business....YIKES. Mr. Obama...the New Deal did not work. The Moment Roosevelt was out we saw the next fifty years dominated by Republicans. Why? You can't fool all of the people ALL of the time. We do not need more government! I do not trust the government. I remember walking the freeways of Seattle in 1970 knowing not that I did not trust anyone over thirty, my Dad was over thirty and I trusted him, but that I did not trust government. I do not trust anyone who does not understand and know history as well.

We need regulation...Teddy Roosevelt was right! I want my environment clean (thank Nixon for EPA), I want my food clean (thank Teddy for FDA) and I want people to get hired and work and to be prosperous.....(does this administration know how that is done)????? That is the Question isn't it! Or are you ready for fifty more years of Republican Rule?