Who's to blame, part 2
I've been outlining this in my head, and found that I really didn't want to do it much. Not because I'm sad, disappointed, or fearful of the future, but because I'm mad as hell.
Not at the opposition, at my own side.
You conservatives. Perhaps it's not fair to blame you too much. After all, there are no conservatives in Washington, only Big Government Republicans.
Nonetheless, you could have held the Republicans' feet to the fire. You could have been screaming bloody murder as Bush sent the deficit into the freaking stratosphere.
As far as I can tell, many of you thought supporting a wartime president was more important to the life of the nation than preventing him and his party from pursuing a course that would ultimately tank the economy and hand the left a default victory.
You didn't know that's what happens when economies go south? Weimar Republic ring a bell?
You couldn't point out the obvious? That wars are expensive, and wartime spending must be accompanied with cuts elsewhere, rather than digging the debt hole deeper and deeper?
And you stood ready to abandon your most cherished principles when they rubbed up against your prejudices.
Federalism. The principle of devolving power to the lowest political subdivisions possible.
Individualism. The principle that people's lives should be under their own control, to the maximum extent compatible with a reasonable degree of public order.
Limited government. The notion that a government may restrict or regulate only what it specifically allowed to in the fundamental law of the land.
Oops! Runs up against local democracy voting to let cancer patients on chemo smoke pot - junk it all.
And how much time have you devoted to seriously weird irrelevancies like how uncomfortable you are with evolution?
Got news for you, the theory of evolution is the best friend conservatives ever had. It validates the bedrock principle that human nature is fixed and unchanging, across cultures and throughout historical time. Who cares where it comes from? The consequences are the same.
Libertarians, you stood fast to your principles. Too bad you never accumulated the experience necessary to adapt them to the real world.
Instead you chose to run meaningless presidential campaigns, election after election, with vote totals that stagnated or actively declined.
They were educational campaigns! I hear you say.
Yes indeed. You educated the public to know you haven't had a new idea in thirty years. Nor the discipline to join a party, do the scut work, and work your way up the ladder of leadership the same way everyone else does, by paying your damn dues.
But you "radical libertarians," survivalists, and anarchists, you've got the answer. Politics is corrupt, you're preparing for revolution and/or the collapse of society so you can rebuild on the ruins.
Don't make me laugh.
I've heard that garbage for 30 years, and only grow more convinced that you are the people least competent to survive in chaotic times.
How many of your are military veterans? Then where do you expect to get your combat skills?
Have you studied military history? The history of revolutions, successful or un-, and their aftermath?
Have you even read: Sun Tzu, Clauswitz, Jomini, Mao, Gen. Georges Grivas, Gen. Alberto Bayo, Jan Karski? Taken a few courses in college? You know ROTC courses are often open to non-ROTC students.
I remember at a libertarian conference in Texas years ago, a Radical Libertarian told me, "You know Sam Konkin just (gasp!) bought a gun!"
That's supposed to impress Texans?
Have you taken a combat shooting course to learn to use that gun? Mastered at least one martial art? Do you even make an effort to stay in shape?
I'm supposed to take you more seriously than a Dungeouns and Dragons fanatic?
And you Objectivists.
Your fetish with ideological purity is right up there with Hindu Brahmins. Did you ever consider the notion that disagree is what free men do?
For the sake of preserving your own freedom to believe what St. Ayn taught you, you've been unwilling to cooperate, or even associate, with partners who might (gasp!) believe in God.
All of you, you didn't have to love each other, or agree on everything. You could have fought like cats and dogs over specific principles of liberty - like the freedom to alter your consciousness with which drug, or what to call legal contracts between gay adults.
The problem is, you wouldn't even get into the same arena, so the synergy never happened.
Across the spectrum, the libertarian movement is theory heavy/experience light.
What we have now is conservatives with experience, but without a consistent theory of liberty. And libertarians without experience.
And theory without experience drifts into fantasy. Experience without theory just drifts.
Update: Here http://www.forbes.com/opinions/2008/12/19/bush-lame-bailout-oped-cx_jb_1219bowyer.html
You can find a succinct summation of how George Bush has vindicated free-market economic theory - by caving in to the Left just about every damn time they demanded some idiot social/economic policy guaranteed to tank the economy. And because it happened on his watch, they'll get away with it. It's "market failure" you see.