Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Reply to Monty

Your disillusionment with the Republicans is more than understandable, it is the healthy response. The profligate spending is nauseating & dangerous. The lack of articulation on war aims frustrating. The immigration proposals an abdication of sovereignty. W is no conservative and we are suffering.

So, your interests are not being represented by the political class, what can you do?

You can dream up all kinds of things that could help: term limits, saner redistricting, a third party. Yet if it’s really not gonna happen, you may be weakening your influence and helping politicians rise that are anathema to your beliefs. I don’t mean to insult, as I realize this argument is as persuasive as the Simpson’s episode where Kodos & Kang are running for President and plan to enslave the world. When someone mentions a third-party , Kang (or Kodos) replies: “Go ahead throw you vote away”.

Political leadership circa 2005 sucks.

So I have no solutions. Perhaps I had less illusions to burst. Yet it adds up differently for me.

I would easily support (though not vote for) democratically decided pro-abortion & gay marriage laws. Evolution is an unarguable cornerstone of modern science. Are theocons are a threat ? Consider the left, whose quasi-religious beliefs are actually stopping Artic drilling, nuclear power & building refineries? We are fighting real religious nuts that would enslave & kill us and have a fifth column in the U.S. (calling them freedom fighters), so I can’t get worked up over ID.

I for one often welcome the religious right, not least because they support Israel when the Jewish left & academia can’t, but because they are part of the American grass root conservative movement. Want the right parties of Canada & Europe? Elite Modern Tory Conservatism? bah. Even if you are not religious you must thank G*d we have some sort of fiscally responsible, market oriented, forward-leaning anti-terrorism foreign policy, flat-tax home for ideas in a viable political party. These ideas might not hold sway, but I hope we are we drifting rightward (although it seems in a two step forward, one step backward kind of a way).

Why hope? Technology. Bloging is changing how information disseminates . More people read about Clinton’s shameful bashing of Bush (in context) last week than saw the original show. Imagine a world where demagoguery is exposed in real time. This changing media is changing real policy choices that emerge. The fourth estate is crumbling into something new. Moveon shows that money can be raised without parties. Fundamental institutions are being shaken. Many things are unclear but one thing isn’t. Individuals will be more powerful.

I cannot understand third part talk. This is more than the best being the enemy of the good. To me, a Libertarian vote is not serious. We have senators calling for wage and price caps. How much would it take for withdrawal from Iraq to start building steam? Less than makes me feel comfortable. We are in a battling as gruesome an enemy as the Nazi’s and some in the left find common cause.

What can we do to advance our polices under these conditions? Somehow abandoning the Republicans feels wrong. I choose to oppose the left. The right is getting more corrupt , no doubt. I am not repelled by the thecons, though way to much on the left is repellent.

Finally your war position. Wars involve crazy risks and mistakes. A civil war (which actually may be in our long term interests as the best way to split-off moderate Muslims world-wide) ,may have happened despite the best possible US actions. For me, if the west can’t handle Iraq, then sharia’s a’commin. I choose to suck it up.

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