Friday, September 25, 2009

One of everything, please, and how dare you charge me for it!

While reading an article about the "tea party" movement, I came across the story of one of the protesters. She is upset, angry, on the verge of outrage. Her problem? The alleged socialist agenda of the current president, along with his desire to increase government control over everything. (She did not comment on how the previous resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue increased the size and scope of the federal government on a scale that makes FDR look like Ronald Reagan, even though the last president came from the supposed party of small government.) No, the object of her outrage is the current president along with his proposed changes on health care, energy, and everything else we Americans hold near and dear. "The government needs to back off and let capitalism work," she said. An interesting comment, since the thing that pushed over the edge into outrage was not healthcare, but the lack of help from the "someone" with her mortgage that she can no longer afford.

I think this is the reason why reasonable political discussion is nearly impossible. We live in a nation that wants the government to leave them alone, and to take care of our every problem. Yes, health care needs to be reformed, so the government should fix it by leaving it alone. We're sick of paying high property taxes, but we want world class schools. For that matter, we're sick of paying every kind of tax, and heads are going to roll down at city hall if someone doesn't get out here soon and fix that pot hole in the street in front of my house.

I thought of ending this post, my first since finishing my latest book, with a little sermonette of how we must live consistent lives, but I decided against it. Inconsistency in thought is the hall mark of the current age. We've grown so accustomed to holding onto mutually exclusive thoughts and beliefs as if they compliment, not contradict one another, that we cannot imagine life without them. In the words of the Brain, we want a world that is both flat and puffy. Now we have it. God help us.


  1. Well said. If only we could have let Mr. Paul have a crack at it. No doubt he'd be even less popular, but I think his ideas would have borne more fruit.

  2. I agree with your position about consistent living, but I'm a little curious about how you can be so sure that the woman who was upset and angry about the current administration's socialist agenda, didn't complain about Bush's un-conservative policies (and indeed, there were many!)

    Unfortunately, for conservatives, there haven't been many choices presented for a truly conservative candidate. I would not have picked McCain as my presidential choice, but voted for his as the lesser of two evils.

    I also think you paint with a somewhat broad brush stroke in assuming that those who want smaller government are not willing to make sacrifices, such as less property taxes resulting in less fancy schools. That kind of double-standard thinking is probably the picture the media would like to paint of conservatives, but it's not necessarily true. It's just that those of us who truly want less government aren't able to get the rest of the country on the band wagon, precisely because of the inconsistencies you mention. I wish we could find a politician here in Indiana like the governor of New Jersey, I believe his last name is Christy, who sounds as though he truly is cutting government spending (i.e. waste, to be redundant.) Current events have made me hopeful that we may be headed in this direction if we can survive this administration. It will be a painful, but I would liken it to the sacrifices one makes when balancing a household budget.

    If nothing else, I have to admit I'm thankful to the current administration for causing folks like me who had become complacent in our political actions to get off our collective duffs and make our voice be heard. I think as a rule, conservatives tend to avoid conflict and keep their mouths shut, until we reach a certain point where we feel our freedoms and liberties are indeed threatened. Then we start pushing back. It's a bit of a conundrum because it does fuel the media's tendency to paint us as angry and upset, but at this point it's a price I'm willing to pay.

    Hopefully I'll learn from this situation and stay more proactive about living consistently. I think I'm becoming better at sounding off, wouldn't you say?