Friday, December 30, 2011

Get Out of Our House

There are precisely two things that make the United States of America the greatest country on earth. There are two things that make people want to immigrate here and keep people from emigrating from here:

Our constitutional republic
and our free-market economy.

Together, these two things make possible what is known the world over as the "American Dream." Take away just one of these, and you can kiss the dream goodbye.

So it is vitally important that we elect representatives who leave us and the Hand alone. There is no room for pragmatism. Pragmatism is what got us where we are today.

Get Out of Our House: Revolution! is author Tim Cox's answer to the problem we currently have with career politicians who make deals, compromise with the enemy, and take the illscratchyourbackyouscratchmine approach to government.

His system just might work. Every potential candidate must answer a questionnaire of over one hundred policy questions with strictly yes or no answers. There is no wiggle room, no mushy middle. And that's just my speed. The candidates are locked into their answers two weeks before the election and are legally bound to cast all votes in accordance with their answers. If the candidate is legitimately concerned that his answer does not represent the people, he can call for a poll to gather information in order to justify a change in his answer to the policy question.

Sort of reminiscent of the Social Contract.

My problem with the book, however, is not so much its approach, which is quite realistic, but its author. His politics are a paean to pragmatism in its grossest form. Shame on Mr. Cox for sinking to the same level as those he claims to loathe.

The 'wealthy' are arbitrarily described as those having 250 times the income of the median national income. Why not 249 times, Mr. Cox? Or 251 times? And who gets to determine that? You? The 'wealthy', thus defined, are locked out of his process. No doubt, that's to help Cox in his agenda to pass the Fair Tax, which is still a progressive tax system that taxes the wealthy at a higher rate than the not-wealthy. So we're back to where we started in the tax mess, requiring the wealthy, who worked for their money, to fund more government than the rest of us. Um, that's

Cox thinks abortion should be illegal in the second and third trimesters--but legal in the first. Be consistent, Cox. Spare us this disgusting, arbitrary 'respect' for life. You are pro-life from conception to the grave of innocent people...or you are not pro-life at all. Your attempt to stop the vicious cycle of single motherhood and poverty is not going to be fixed by throwing murder onto the heap.

And his environmental approach is absolutely bizarre. Claiming a strong love of the environment, Cox asserts that it is part of the government's job to help protect it...but(and here's where it gets really bizarre)...the government should not protect any endangered species with a mass smaller than that of a golf ball.


I'm no tree-hugger. And I'm with Vaclav Klaus who said that conservation is science but environmentalism is religion. But even I know that the food chain will be affected by even the smallest creature breaking the cycle. Again, Cox, be consistent. I'm not for saving the cave beetle of Central Texas if it interferes with human quality of life. But I'm not for saving the Alaskan caribou, either, if we need a domestic source of fuel.

Drill here; drill now, baby.

And his economics are a little too 'Chicago' for me. Cox claims to want the government to leave the economy alone--unless the GDP dips too low. Perhaps we need the GDP and everything else about the economy to reset to get us where we need to be?

In the end, we need to stick to our ideals,
to--as my friend Bev says--make our decisions based on principles, not circumstances.
The ideals that a good government will protect are the constitutional republic and the free-market economy.
If the men we elect refuse to protect these two ideals,
no exceptions,
no compromises across the aisle,
no wheeling and dealing,
the United States is done.
If the men we elect protect more than these two ideals, it will muddy the waters and infringe on the jurisdictions of the Church and the family.

"This quest stands on the edge of a knife. Stray but a little and it will fail." (Tolkien)

Maybe if he had read more Locke, Paine, Henry, Jefferson, and Madison
and less Gingrich and Hightower, Cox might have better grasped those ideals.
I may support Cox's system.
But I'm done supporting Cox's pragmatism
It's a fail, Mr. Cox,
An epic fail.

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