Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Random Thoughts On Tea Party vs. Conventional Wisdom

Today, a lot of Republican strategists had their easels kicked over and trampled by voters. Christine O'Donnell in Delaware, Carl Palladino in New York and Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire have all defied dismal predictions by the Republican establishment that they would never succeed.
In November, we will find out if the "moderate Republican" naysayers were correct.

In Delaware, Mike Castle was a pro abortion, pro gun control Republican who refuses to endorse Christine O'Donnell, his Tea Party opponent. To many people, if supporting abortion and gun control are the price to pay for a Republican victory, then what do we need a Republican party for?

There is a certain attitude towards political parties that they are like corporations vying for market share. A Republican like Lindsey Graham, who rubber stamped Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court does not seem to stand for any strictness in interpreting the Bill of Rights, market economics or anything else. The Republicans just gave him a job, as did, unfortunately the voters of South Carolina. It's a pity Graham is not running for reelection this year.

The people I respect are people who will rise or fall with something they believe in. Ronald Reagan fit that bill, as did Sarah Palin. In Britain, Margaret Thatcher stood on principle. Barack Obama, however I may disagree with him is at least staking out ideological territory.

If this election is a principled debate on our nation's future, then it will be an interesting spectacle indeed.

The New Yorker did an article about the billionaire Koch brothers backing the Tea Party movement. Such revelations don't surprise me. The Democrats have George Soros bankrolling a liberal agenda for America. It seems to be logical that a few billionaires might be picking up the tab for some mass movements. You need money and you need mass political support to put a movement in power. I'd like to know more about what some of the big donors are getting for their money.

A very simple question is being asked by the Tea Party. How do we pay for the government and services that we want? I used to hear from my grandmother about paying for a loaf of bread with a shopping bag full of money. Bad economics costs jobs, trashes the currency we trade in and creates social instability. Even Cuba is scaling back the role of government.

Yesterday, I got some rejection letters from health insurance. My wife has what amounts to a part time job fighting with these people. If I wormed out of supporting my children like my private health insurance worms out of paying my claims, I'd be in jail.

Anyone who wants to send their kids to a religious private school in America has to pay out of their own pocket. That wouldn't be so bad, but they also have to pay for public schools that are bloated and often inefficient.

I have to insure my vehicle in order to drive it. The government prescribes the minimum insurance I must have, and lets me shop for the best coverage. Why can't they do that with schools? They could tell me that my kid has to leave school with a basic set of skills, and that it's up to me to choose a service provider. Instead, there are government schools that I am strongly "encouraged" to choose for my children by telling me that any private alternative will come out of my own money.

I'd like to have the same true free choice with school that I have with auto insurance. There is no movement in that direction. Instead, the government now seems to be pushing health insurance into the same unwieldy framework of government supervision that has worked so poorly for the education of our children.

The Democrats like to criticise "big business". But the best "program" to pay for the needs of my family is a good paying job, or even a passably decent job. The nice thing about a job is that there are no political strings attached to it. I do my job well and vote on my own time for whom I please. Government benefits, on the other hand can be and are used to control voters. If I get food stamps, Medicaid or anything else, I will have to vote for someone who will keep the gravy train coming. There is no doubt that there is a link between political freedom and government benefits.

There is good reason to care if beef, grain and steel command a price that justifies their production. There is likewise as much reason to care if labour is priced fairly.

I do not view bosses and entrepreneurs as the enemy. I tend to view them as partners. I'd rather owe my boss a favour than owe one to the government. I am fearful of seeing the government do to medical care what they did to education. And voting in a government that will pass out "goodies" in exchange for my vote seems like a deal with the devil.

I don't know if the Tea Party is the answer. But they are asking some good questions.


The picture at the top of this article is of a German woman in the 1920's who found it cheaper to burn money than to buy firewood. I don't want to go there. Sphere: Related Content

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