Upon reflecting a bit on the implications of my post from yesterday, I want to clarify that I can no longer realistically say I aspire to be a Republican even if the party were cleaned up as it needs to be.
The Republicans have in too many ways shown that this is a failed ideology, and I have grown to understand that.
I expect to remain a political independent, but I'll no longer indulge even the metaphor of being displaced. Maddow is correct that any goal state from which I might perceive myself as displaced exists only as a confused nostalgia fantasy. I am finally satisfied that there is not a pot of golden political happiness at the end of the rainbow of coalitions fabricated by the Republicans (whether Rockefeller, Goldwater, Reagan, or Bush) and the Libertarians.
I'll continue to critically examine ideas from all sides, and champion those that are good ideas no matter who they come from—even if they come from the Republican party. A thoughtful person cannot afford to close off sources of ideas. Ideas stand on their own and can be evaluated for their intrinsic worth, independent of their source.
Republicans talk a good game about being “The Party of Values” but there are no useful values in what they've been doing with the environment, with the health care system, and with the economy. It looks more like the aftermath of hedonism to me. They have destroyed these things, and with them the American middle class, in a selfish and unchecked Randian fantasy centered around the notion often articulated as “greed is good.”
In fact, greed is not good. Greed is greed. Good is good. The two are really quite distinct, and we as a public need to get about the business of distinguishing them. To quote some very good advice from former President Reagan, somewhat out of context:
“Trust, but verify.”
If greed is good, show me how I can verify that claim. Because I'm not seeing it. As far as I'm concerned, the ongoing political move by some to reduce control on Big Business has all the credibility of a coalition against parenting. And following in that metaphor, what a number of businesses these days need is a serious “time out,” a stern “talking to,” and/or an outright spanking. And who else is there to offer such discipline to these “legal juveniles” than We The People, acting to promote our own “general Welfare” through our collective avatar, the United States Government?
And let's hear nothing about how the Constitution doesn't intend us to take control of what we need to take control of in order to assure our collective welfare. To quote former Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson from his dissenting opinion in Terminiello v. Chicago (1949):
“The Constitution is not a suicide pact.”
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This is part two of a two-part series.
If you missed it, you can see the first part here:
The Spoils of Libertarianism