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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Perfect Storm

I'm not your typical political conservative. You probably know that. I still think George W. Bush is one of the most well-intentioned people we've ever elected president. I also think he's guilty of terrible offenses, and profoundly bad moral lapses in judgment. Maybe Dr. Peter G. Klein of the University of Missouri-Columbia is right; voting may be nothing more than an expression of identity. I do know that when one has not only tired of war, but realized perhaps that the entire rationale for a nation's entry into them has been nothing more than political expediency, national pride, and angst for about 100 years, if not longer, the peacenik starts to sound like a live option. If you've been Republican your whole adult life, and policy starts to reflect nothing more than an intra-generational culture war, rather than the real moral battles that need fighting, when abortion is just a card they play to stir up the rubes while nothing changes, when they nominate essentially a Democrat, while pretending this is The Most Important Election Of Our Lifetime, like they always do, don't blame me for taking a flyer. Is Obama worse than anyone (including me) might have thought? Yes. Nor is he a peacenik, as it turns out. In fact, he begins to make W look like Henry Cabot Lodge. So fine, I was very wrong. You still can't pay me to vote for John McCain. And don't even try to make me hate Obama; honestly, I'm not capable of it.

I do think that the lines are about to be redrawn. I think we won't even recognize the coalitions which make up our parties in a few years, if not before. If I were to run for president, I want my coalition to be made up of poor people and minorities; I want to be the most environmentally-conscious president in recent memory, even as I infuriate the professional activists for that cause. I want to help people realize that while socialism is a grave evil, not every government expenditure perpetuates it. On the other hand, government is too large, in that its existence in the present form hinders rather than helps; it grows so large that it doles out the favors that are the fruit of injustice, both economic and otherwise. In general, we have an entire political class that is unresponsive to the needs of all the people they claim to serve, because that reward has grown so bountifully that they are insulated from reality, from suffering and difficulty that afflicts ordinary people.

I believe we have a Culture of Death, and it tells us to kill our children in the womb. It tells us that individual pleasure is more important than our duty to our families and to others. It tells men and women to die for "freedom" far away, when no one else has counted the cost, except them. It tells us that profit at all costs is the same thing as co-operative self-interest, and dares to name it "the market economy." It tells us to re-define marriage when we already have, and when we have completely lost its purpose in the first place. It tells us that killing people in the name of public safety when the situation makes it neither necessary or just is acceptable.

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