December 14, 2010

What makes America great ...?

A site I frequent -- Common Sense Political Thought -- gets quite a few regular commenters from both sides of the political spectrum. In one recent thread, one regular lefty opined on the demise of America as he sees it:

We’re not the country we used to be. We turned our backs on our own values for the love of our own abject fear. We ignore the very real growing fascism within our borders, while accusing efforts at improvement of being fascist.

We revere the generation that fought WWII while being completely incapable of continuing their work at national improvement. We can’t even maintain the 60-year-old infrastructure they built. Because it’s too expensive. Self-destructive greed from the bottom up.

Out of a desire for national machismo, we’ve ruined the good name of our country all over the world for the privilege of swinging our Florida in everyone’s face. We export corruption to friendly and defenseless countries. We’ve lost control of our foreign intelligence arm, as well as our internal police forces.

We loudly boast of our number one status while rapidly dropping on the list of every desirable metric.

We still have the plan for a great country as the core of our law, but we keep ignoring it, while touting its greatness. We refuse to understand the words on the page, which gets easier year after year, because we’ve let our schools go to shit. We’re in the process of re-instituting slavery, which only requires assigning it another name, or no name at all.

We are testing the limits of success of propaganda and fear-based politics.

Virtues are derided.

This post will be seen as an attack on America.

There will be actual violence, on a national scale. The wealthiest will retire to other countries. The remainder will have to rebuild, and we may envy Haiti their standard of living. It’s only a matter of time.

"We turned our backs on our own values for the love of our own abject fear"? What exactly does this mean? But if I had a nickel for every time some "progressive" cried "fascism" due to the efforts in the GWOT (General War on Terror) let alone anything suggested by conservatives/Republicans, I'd be a rich man right now. And here, again, we see how utterly incapable "progressives" are at even considering fundamental political and philosophical differences with conservatives. "Efforts at improvement" are accused of being "fascist?" Not exactly; more likely they're deemed "socialist" (although in their ultimate forms there's actually little difference anyway). Nevertheless, what conservatives take issue with are not "efforts at improvement" but who exactly should make the improvement. Frankly, if the federal government backed off one-third of what it's intertwined in at present, we'd be much better off.

Next, a false premise. Why should the federal government maintain infrastructure anyway? Why shouldn't that be a state/local responsibility? And "greed from the bottom up?" How so? Here's is one of many differences between "progressives" and conservatives on this: "Progressives" think you're "greedy" and "stingy" if you want to keep more of your hard-earned money. After all, as noted above, it's needed for "good public works." On the other hand, conservatives recognize that government has squandered so much of your tax money already, and will merely squander more if they get it. It's not your fault that bridges may be in disrepair; it's the idiots in government who waste our money on things other than what it should be spent on! Period. Groups like the Tea Party in part were generated by the "had it up to here" feeling myriad folks had pent for years.

Following, what does our little progressive mean by his next quip? Does he mean that, because we allowed our Constitution to work in 2000 when George W. Bush battled Al Gore for the presidency, we're ... "corrupt?" How deluded does a "progressive" have to be to think this "ruined" the name of our country by how that ultimately played out? And which "friendly and defenseless countries" have we exported corruption to? Even with "progressives'" holy grail -- Iraq -- that supposition cannot be made even remotely credibly. As bad as the situation may seem since the US invasion, any semblance of democracy is inherently less corrupt than an authoritarian dictatorship. Not to mention that it puts in place the structures for further improvement. (And I state the above as a libertarian-conservative who was AGAINST the invasion of Iraq.) In Afghanistan, the same principle applies. "Oh, gosh -- since the US invaded the heroin trade has picked up." Yeah, but in the meantime, the Taliban and al Qaeda aren't terrorizing the living hell out of the populace, murdering anyone who so much as looks the wrong way at them. Sorry, but yes -- freedom can have a "down" side. People can take advantage of freedom, especially newly founded freedom, in negative ways.

Regarding the next point, the US certainly may be dropping in certain metrics, but it's not "rapidly" nor is it dire.

In response to the next point, by "ignoring the law" do we mean things like stretching the Commerce Clause beyond any recognition? Do we mean like hiring political appointees who haven't paid their taxes, yet you and I face killer fines and liens? Do we mean like letting politicians get a slap on the wrist while Joe Six-Pack would be thrown in jail? Do we mean like going to war without declaring such?

And who is "letting the schools go to sh**?" Are we actually claiming there's a lack of funds for schools? Why do countries with worse educational infrastructures beat us in various measures, then? Might there actually be something other than mere money involved in the decline of American education? The rest of that paragraph is just neo-Marxian drivel.

Following, whose virtues are derided? Why do "progressives" see one as virtuous only if they agree (or, voice no disagreement) to have more wealth confiscated from him/her so that the "virtuous" federal government can "do more" with it? "Progressives" also feel they are more "virtuous" because they want to grant things like habeas corpus to people like radical Islamic terrorists who have no compunctions about killing innocent women and children. Yet, somehow, it is not virtuous to clearly state who our country's enemies are, all the while stating that things like childhood obesity is a "national security risk."

Lastly, the notion that the US will envy Haiti is simply beyond reason. The US does not riot like European countries do merely because college tuition goes up, or because politicians want to hike the retirement age for benefits. If there's going to violence in the streets here, it will more likely be because our politicians refused to cut profligate spending, refused to get the federal government off the average person's back (and wallet), and continued to allow the unelected court system to make laws instead of interpret them.

Among other things.

Posted by Hube at December 14, 2010 04:31 PM | TrackBack

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