Based on polling data, it appears that one thing that most people can agree on is that the image of the current political class. It appears that they are viewed as a mafia like organization feeding on graft, corruption and influence peddling – Real Clear Politics has the average of several polls showing Congressional job approval at 17.2%.That is approval – the disapproval stands at 76.8% (don’t ask me who the 6% are who don’t know – maybe they are like many in the job market and they have just stopped giving opinions).
There is a simple answer. If we want better politicians, we have to be better people. Better people elect better representatives. That doesn’t mean that we need to become the American Taliban as the “progressives” would interpret it but we do have to come to a point where we abide not liars, narcissists and Machiavellian power aggregators…we cannot continue as a people to support these people simply because they have the power to advance the agenda we agree with, we have to stop the “ends justify the means” approach to governance.
Today, that would pretty much eliminate 80% of the current occupants of Washington D.C. and most state capitals.
There should be no political parties, at least not as we know them today. I have many times made my position clear that in the given system, I have no choice but to support Republicans because in the two party system that has evolved in our Republic, this group most closely represents my belief in:
- Individual liberty,
- Free markets,
- The constrained national government promised in the Constitution, and
- Respect for the rights of the states and the people as outlined in the Tenth Amendment.
The parties today are not aligned to fight the ideological and political battle that matters. The true battle is between preservation of natural rights by “conservatives”, a title that is erroneous, and the communism of the equally grotesquely misnamed liberals or as they like to be known, “progressives”.
In a 2011 Pew study called, Beyond Red vs. Blue: The Political Typology, revealed that there are about equal amounts of people who self-identify as “staunch conservatives” (9% of the total population, 11% of registered voters) and “solid liberals” (14% of the total population, 16% of registered voters).
Pew describes the “staunch conservatives” as: Extremely critical of the federal government and supportive of sharply limited government. Pro-business and strongly opposed to environmental regulation. Believe that military strength is the best way to ensure peace. Highly religious; most say homosexuality should be discouraged by society.
And “solid liberals” as: Very supportive of regulation, environmental protection and government assistance to the poor. Socially tolerant, supportive of the growing racial and ethnic diversity of the country. A majority (59%) say that religion is not that important to them.
Taken together, these two groups make up 23% of the total population and 27% of registered voters.
Hardly a majority, but the rest of the population is yanked back and forth between these two groups and the politicians in Washington try to force fit the remaining 77% of the people into one of these camps.
Fighting the battle with the armies aligned in this manner is an exercise in futility.
Neither group is true to its name. “Conservatives” do not want a changeless society. They also do not want to take the country back to the 1950’s even as they hunger for an idealized view of those times (needless to say, black Americans do not share this same idealized view) and “liberal/progressives” are neither interested true liberal concepts nor are they interested in progress (unless it is mandated by a government authority and is aligned with their idea of “progress”).
Let’s be honest: both of these groups are hypocrites in many areas. Conservatives claim to stand for freedom and individual choice, yet often seek to legislate along the lines of their religious beliefs and it is simply impossible to categorize yourself as a “liberal” when you are calling for more and more central government control and regulating everything in sight…and judging from the ferocity with which each side defends their positions, it is evident that each believes that their position is the correct one.
Our contemporary battle over gay “rights” is a perfect example. Conservatives seek to refuse legal recognition of same-sex unions as “marriage” because our traditional Christian teachings do not allow it. We do believe that the purpose of such a union is procreation and that such a coupling is blessed by God. Taking a different stand, “liberal/progressives” seek to enshrine by law something conservatives define as an aberrant behavior – because the “liberals” do not believe the Biblical admonition against it…and they want to be “fair”. What really is at the root of this issue (and the similar issue of the Catholic Church vs. O-Care on supply of contraception and abortifacients) is that the conservatives believe that the “progressives” want to redefine Judeo-Christian traditions through legalism to force us (and I include myself in this group) to accept behaviors that are antithetical to our core beliefs.
The better question on same-sex unions is this: what damn business is it of government is it to dictate to either group?
This is where my personal ideology diverges from that of either group.
I have strongly held Christian belief that homosexuality is a sin and as such is forbidden – but that doesn’t mean that I hate, feel sorry for, or otherwise discriminate against gay people. My position is far more libertarian and therefore much more sanguine than the “conservative” position. I recognize that there have always been people throughout history who identified more with the gender that was/is the polar opposite of the genetic equipment that they were born with. It is a simple fact of human psychology and physiology that there are “butch” and “bitches” among both the genders and neither I nor science can answer why with scientific certainty if this is a nature or nurture thing.
I personally am of the belief that it is a combination of both – as we now have mountains of data from children from homes of single mother, feminine/ matriarchal homes, and from children reared in same-sex households – there seems to be an indication the latter children are more likely to be gay than the general population (interestingly enough, children of male/male parings are far less likely to be than female/female – supposedly due to the intense hostility exhibited by lesbians toward the male of the species).
But it is undeniable that for whatever reason, there are men who passionately love men and women who passionately love women – as they say, it is what it is. The only thing that has changed is society’s attitude toward the open practice of homosexuality.
Being a flaming heterosexual, I can only guess at the pain of such a situation in a society that does not condone or accept it. What emotional drain it must be to have the core of your being discriminated against when you are who you are and didn’t have a hand in that decision. I cannot pretend that I understand it because the thought of carnal knowledge of another man is repulsive to me.
I do harbor resentment, not toward gay people, but toward their parasitic supporters. I resent the fact that homosexual lifestyles are being elevated by the entertainment industry and are being forced into the homes, schools and organizations that include people who are opposed to it. I resent that our political class courts favor of the gay community as if it was the only enlightened position and opposition renders one to the level of a lobotomized troglodyte. I resent the fact that liberals wear their support of the gay community on their sleeves as if it were some sort of Boy or Girl Scout achievement badge, like archery or swimming. I resent the fact that in the past 40 years, the left has used the gay community in their quest to destroy 2,000 years of Christian tradition.
But most of all, I resent solid liberals for using gay people (and other minorities) for political gain.
But even with all that, I find that with every passing day that I care less and less about the issue – because it has lost its moral and spiritual dimension and become pure vicious politics. I know that I should care – but for me, the homosexual agenda has achieved the same level of innocuous effect as the overused term of racism.
My position on homosexuality is that if you hear the Word of God and choose not to heed it, that’s on you and not me. If you have heard the Word and decide that it is not for you – neither I, nor any law or government in the world can change that. The Book of James, Chapter 1, verse 22 says: “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”
I’m not a theologian but that sounds pretty clear to me.
Contrary to the political misidentification of my position, I don’t seek to tell anybody who to love or even have sex with. That is up to you – and as long as you practice common decency in your public conduct (and that goes for hetero as well as homo – no sex in Wal*Mart for example), what you do in your private spaces is up to you. If you are willing got accept that there is a possibility that there is a God and my theology is correct, then you understand both the potential temporal and eternal risks. That’s your choice.
What is the answer?
Get the federal government the Hell out – of marriage, of society of pretty much everything. Marriage is a religious rite, not a legal one. Make all unions civil unions and for those who feel that they are led to have their union blessed by God, then so be it. Let the states decide. Let the people decide.
The trait that I most despise in “solid liberals” and “staunch conservatives” alike is adoption of the Hobbesian position that society must be pushed by some motivating or constraining force to “progress”, that that they seek deny my beliefs and force their beliefs (or absence thereof) on me because they have determined my beliefs or actions to be “wrong”. In doing so, they established themselves as the authority over me through whatever metric that is advantageous to them – amount of education, position in society or inheritance, or just the presumption that their ideology is simply superior because they believe it to be.
That is the modus operandi of both contemporary parties but the question of who gets to make the decision as to what “progress” means is not as open to debate as one would think. We are continually pushed away from the ability to make our own determinations and forced into being controlled by a government that decides. We foolishly elect people who say one thing when before they are elected and do another after.
Their use of government as the tool to accomplish this forced system is where I draw the line. As I said, I support Republicans because they are the most aligned with my beliefs and I believe that the plans that so called solid liberals have in mind will not only enslave me but eventually them as well. Knowing that they will face the same fate as the rest of us is no comfort.
In my mind the answer is more individual freedom, less centralized government, more local control and more freedom.
If we want better government, we have to be better people.