Friday, October 10, 2008

The Body Politic: A Meme

I was tagged by Jen at Following the Road for a political post, and actually... she tagged me a while back, but I hadn't realized it because I hadn't read the post that she tagged me in. It was a political post and politics freak me out right now... yeah, I know, get over it and VOTE woman! I suspect that I am feeling freaky because some ideas that I have long held dear to my heart are sloughing away as a result of some serious reevaluation and an ad hoc education in economics. Economics as it applies to freedom and politics in general.

First you have to understand that I believe in this country. I believe in the Constitution of The United States of America, and I also believe that the founding fathers who pushed for, wrote, signed, and upheld that constitution, while imperfect humans, had actually been the recipients of revelation. And I do not use the word "revelation" lightly OR in jest. I mean revelation from the God that resides in Heaven, and the more that I learn about the Constitution, Freedom and Capitalism squares with what I know to be true.

I want you to stop right here and cut out that knee jerk reaction that you are having. Don't pretend that you are not now thinking to yourself "Oh freakin' LOVELY, another Conservative Christian Nutbag!" Hear me out in full please, I am being as clear as my faculties will allow.

I have as much right to base my political convictions in my moral and spiritual foundations as any atheist or secular humanist has to base theirs in theirs. I know this because this still is a free country, plus I used to espouse some pretty spectacular secular humanist beliefs, I used to be a Baha'i patchwork style agnostic-ish sort of a girl. Back then I could STILL see the "rightness" of the Constitution, and Liberty and Freedom... and as that was primarily during my formative teen years back in the late 80's, the Reagan administration and then the extension of the Reagan administration in the form of Bush... I was terrified of Big-Business-Heartless-
Corporate-Greed. I saw Big Government as facilitating Big Business Evil, and therefore I assumed that I was a Democrat and a Liberal.

Heh... yyyeah. And then the Clinton Administration showed up... and it is here that I must admit that Hilary got my back up within the first two seconds of her husband's regime with her disparaging remarks about how she wasn't going to "stay at home baking cookies" and the following reluctant retraction. My mom was an educated, highly intelligent woman who chose to stay home and raise her six children, and anyone making derogatory judgements on that choice (and no matter the apologist retrofit, it was derogatory and meant in a dismissive way) was not going to win my admiration. Three months before Clintons second term, I joined the Green Party in NM. Not so much because I am a tree huggin' crunch bag... but as a way to send a message to Washington in regards to my dissatisfaction with the two party Status Quo.

and then...
and then...
and then...

No matter, all I am trying to communicate is that back in the day I could see the rightness of the Constitution and the ideas behind the start of this country. My problems were with the mess that was the government, no matter which party had control.

People it is NOT getting better. We swing back and forth between the Democrats taking power and extending Big Government and then Republicans stepping in to fix the mess, but for the most part... not dismantling a damn thing that the Dems have put in place. And then we as Americans believe the rhetoric of Centralisation, and Socialism and believe that we need more government to fix the mess that too much government has made. We get this sense of entitlement. Like that just because we are Americans and the folks down the street own a home... we deserve to own a home no matter the cost. Even if the cost is more loss of freedoms and $700 billion that will not even fix the problem.

We get this sense of Entitlement that leads us deeper into the morass of Socialism, because poor people deserve to not be poor, so we take from those that have. And then deeper and deeper.

So I am walking away from rhetoric and political hoopla, and most especially away from charismatic "leaders," sound bites and facetime. I walk away from Presidential Debates that feature smirking, eye rolling, finger pointing bookends of horse puckky. Y'all I am looking for Truth with that capital "T." I am going way back. Back before this mortality began.

And here's the thing... even if you don't believe in the literality of what I am about to tell you... I think you can get behind the idea that one of the things that defines a human being is the ability to choose. Choice. Free Will. Think of this, if you like... as an allegory.

There was a time when we were all beings of Spirit, and we lived in a place that I will call the Pre-Mortal Existence. God had organised us and created a world and had a plan for us to go down and be tested on that world. Tested to see what we would do, choose right or wrong. Part of that test was to receive a body, and our Heavenly Parents knew that we would inevitably choose wrong as part of that learning process. But there was another, a Being of Light who's name was Lucifer, and he had a different plan. HIS plan was to go down and by some means or another, he had a way to force every spirit to choose the right, some way to coerce this perfection out of each and every soul that gained a body, and we would all return to live with our Heavenly Parents, having done all that we were sent down to do. And we would give all the Glory to Lucifer.

Gods plan was to give us choice... and all the consequences that go with choice. In the end, we went with plan A... or the Plan of Salvation. The one that offers progression for the human race, as opposed to coercion or the removal of choice for our own good. Not even for our own good. Because in the end, there is no such thing as coercion for our own good.

The more that I learn about free capitalism, the more that I see a mirror of Plan A. Choice, accountability, natural consequences... progression. But true capitalism needs less government in order to work, not more. Under the tenants of Capitalism, we would never be in the "crisis" we are currently in. The "Economic Crisis" we face was caused by forced artificial loans, poor government oversite of it's own programs and interventions and NOW? Now the government has voted AGAINST IT'S OWN CONSTITUENCIES WISHES to award itself the position of arbiter and fixer of the huge mess that it has made, to the tune of $700 I-can't-wrap-my-head-around-the sum dollars.

And this is somehow a good idea?

And now we are faced with a Liberal Republican and his ideas of how to maintain a top-heavy and unconstitutional Federal government, and a Socialist Democrat who want to offer us change by extending governmental control and increasing Federal power and taking charge of giving us what we feel like we deserve.

And trust me... we will get just what we deserve. We will.

Ben Franklin was quoted as saying "Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both."

You had best believe that we will get what we deserve. Think about it... even if Obama is the saint that so many seem to be saying he is, he is stepping into an office that has term limits. Any extension of government that the man puts into place, if history can be counted on to repeat itself as it has done in the past few decades (and I think that it will).... a Republican Administration will take charge of those Agencies and Institutions in EIGHT SHORT YEARS. They will NOT dismantle the increase in centralized control. They will take it, grin, and proceed to do whatever the crap they think is right, and/or furthers their own agendas.

Do you hear me? To all Dems who villianize Republicans and the Republican Party... the Republicans will be in charge of what Obama builds, for better or for worse, and pretty much for certain if we continue on this reactionary path we have gone down as a country. Socialism is not the answer. Increased Centralization and Federalization is not the answer.

But there is an answer... and I am starting to think that the Constitutional Party has a good number of them. You want change? Let's take apart the Machine. Let's tell ourselves "NO" for a change. Let's work and do, and take personal responsibility for what happens. Let us choose, and make choices and be free.

So I am back to the idea that the current two-party system of government has failed us, and failed us big time. I want real change, for a change... and I am starting to mouth off about it, and I am only just getting started. I want less government, not more. I want a Constitutionally circumscribed government... and that means MORE than you may think it does. Or rather LESS.

I am never good at perpetuating meme's but I hope that all ya'll are thinking about this stuff anyway. If you post it, I will read it, just let me know by email or comment.


Sushiboy said...

Wow great post Bon, I had a post similar to this in the works but had scrapped it long before I read your excellent post. Maybe I'll get back on it.

elizasmom said...

(First a side note: Did you read the Golden Compass? Because I would LOVE to hear what you think of his spin on Paradise Lost/freedom of choice etc.)

Let's see, where to start: I am so on board with you as regards the limitations of the 2-party system. It is ridiculous that 2 parties should sum up everyone's beliefs. I am not sure how to break away from it, but I wish there was a legitimate and true 3rd, 4th, 5th party. I think the national discussion would be richer and stronger for it, and I think that being forced to work in coalitions in order to get things done would could help get past some of the partisanship that spoils our system.

Currently I am a Democrat for lack of a better option although I find them disappointingly pusillanimous when it comes to standing up for what they allegedly believe in (see: Biden's sad little tapdance around gay rights during the debate).

My quibble with capitalism and less government though, and I guess this reflects a pessimistic view of human nature: Can we count on people to do the right thing just because it's the right thing to do? Deregulation (i.e. gov't getting out of people's ways somewhat, I realize not totally) has led us to this current mess, and to the enormous income disparity between CEOs and peons. (I'm with you in your ire about the bailout, because I think privatizing gains while socializing loss, which is what this situation comes down to, is the worst of all possible worlds.) What about environmental concerns? Capitalism has not exactly spurred people to give a rat's patoot about the way we are befouling the planet.

I am trying to phrase this delicately but I can't so here's the thing: to extrapolate from your allegory, do you really think it puts people on the side of Lucifer to say, you MUST respect these rules or face the consequences? I know that's overstating the case, and I am not even necessarily disagreeing with you, just playing (heh) devil's advocate. The whole not-regulating-honor-killings thing, that's not really working out for women in the third world very well.

"We get this sense of Entitlement that leads us deeper into the morass of Socialism, because poor people deserve to not be poor, so we take from those that have."

Where do you see help coming from for those who are poor? Is this to become a matter of personal choice? Faith-based? Practically speaking, when you read accounts of days gone by it was the housewives who volunteered time and money to see to the less fortunate. Everyone's working now — who's going to do it?

Anyway. Thanks for writing this; you've offered a lot of food for thought.

bon said...

Excellent, a conversation!

To answer your question about how to take care of the poor? First you turn to your family, extended family, then neigborhood. I more than believe that this can be done and done right.

But I have to drop my jaw that you believe that Deregulation of any sort is to blame for the crisis that we are in. It was upon government regulation of loan making that the whole idea of a subprime loan was ever floated. A bank would never make an unsecured loan to an individual that they were fairly assured COULD NEVER repay the debt, unless there was another entity guaranteeing that they would purchase the debt from the bank that made the loan. In this case... the govt. via Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It was not deregulation that caused these institutions to go belly up... it was the MISMANAGEMENT of them combined with the fact that this whole thing was a subversion of the Capitalist process, and a travesty of greed on the part of the financial institutions and entitlement on the part of the saps who took out loans they could not repay. We were warned of this mess as early as 1999 by economists and politician both. I can give links that go into greater detail if you are curious.

Furthermore, you and I have NEVER lived in a society sans Socialism and over-regulation by the government.

The ad hoc education in economy of which I spoke? Check out Milton Friedman, specifically his book Capitalism and Freedom. Any more questions? Here is a novel idea. Go read the Constitution.

I believe that a free market brings it's own form of regulation. A Natural Regulation if you will. But then this IS NOT ANARCHY of which I speak. And here we get into a whole 'nother post on Capitalism.

Nobody™ said...

Best post ever!

The two party system has to go, it's destroying our country. Much of what you wrote in this post I was thinking about earlier today. I was a McCain fan, but I realized that we can't have change when the same clowns are running the circus. And Obama is a commie. It pains me to think that I have to choose one of them.

Superwoman said...

I say again, what I've said before, I really feel like there is a choice between one liberal or another, we just get to choose what we believe the lesser of two evils are. I do believe neither party completely covers most peoples beliefs. Nor will any party EVER completely cover any persons complete beliefs, however, it would be nice if we could believe in either party. At this point, both candidates will say or do anything to get elected and that scares me. However, there really isn't a viable third party option. So, I guess we get to choose between dumb and dumber and hope more people will wake up and realize the current system is broken. Excellent post.

JenK said...

Weee!! I love all the different points of view. Nobody is ever willing to talk about this stuff. I think this meme is so great because it forces people to say what really leads their hearts and heads. Wonderful.

I also think it is fascinating how many people have tied religion and politics into a single entity. So unexpected. Thanks for participating, Bon.