Thursday, August 27, 2009

Technology and Politics

by Smitty

With the advent of the webby-clouds, you can go to YouTube and watch a politician argue with itself over time, lining up beautifully contradictory statements on a topic. This collects a few links of historical interest and ponders technology and politics over time.

FDR had some ideas that seem swell in the abstract:
In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all regardless of station, race, or creed.
Among these are:
  • The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the Nation;
  • The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
  • The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
  • The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
  • The right of every family to a decent home;
  • The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
  • The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
  • The right to a good education.
What kind of an evil person are you for failing to agree that these "truths" are "self-evident"? You've had 65 years. How is it that you have not "accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights" as some kind of stare decisis? Why must you continue to waste time and public resources in this resistance to such a common-sense set or proposals? Aren't you ashamed that your country doesn't join with the rest of the "civilized" world in embracing these concepts? What about the children harmed by your narrow-minded, hide-bound opposition, you Bad Person?

Set aside the Constitutional issues, and the general financial insolvency of the results of the spiffy ideas of FDR. My curiosity is whether having the Internet available in the 1930s would have enabled a patriotic resistance to the implementation of these ideas at a federal level.

[Note that I'm not attacking these ideas as such. It would be quite interesting to see a distribution of states of various adherence to these concepts and see which dogs hunt, and which ones not so much. (The resistance of some to that kind of empiricism is telling).]

As implied by the full title of The Glorious Cause, the American Revolution was a slow-burn affair, with its pamphleteers. I recall from having read it a couple years ago that there is thought to have been a breakdown in thirds between those who supported independents, those who didn't care, and those who, unlike the modern left, did in fact go to Canada rather than deal with a pack of conservatives setting up a government emphasizing individual liberty.

A thrust of the Progressive movement has been the creation of the permanent political class, an American aristocracy, if you will. Also, it has a funding mechanism that could probably use an audit by now. The result has been to diminish the States as relevant in addressing issues. My Congresstool, on Tuesday, bemoaned the 800 families who've gone bankrupt as a result of health care costs in the last year (I think that was the scope of the remark) without mentioning Richmond as a source of any leadership.

I wonder to what degree the current crisis presidency and Congress realize that, if the US Constitution is to be defeated, the deed must be done now. Like a tiring magician, I think that the radical left realizes its ability to control the audience attention is fading. The serial failures of the Obama administration and the 111th Congress to manage public attention, drawing it away from the pesky details of sucking the remaining independence out of the States, is telling. Stage magic requires a pliant audience.

What about between now and the next election?
  • This Saturday the Tea Party Express gets under way. Pray for peace as that trek unfolds.
  • We have gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey in November.
  • There is the wild card of the Massachusetts Senate seat. Do we get some vulgar display of legislation, or does the 2004 law stand, and they vote the seat?
  • ???
  • The 2010 election season starts up.
It's going to be exhausting. And, yet, your alternative is knowing that you stood by while all that was good about the country is replaced by a cheap imitation. Such is untenable.

Victor Davis Hanson bears quoting, in closing:
History tells all of us that nobody gets a pass. Your [country's] perpetual existence is not guaranteed. If you do not believe in yourself, and believe that you're better than the alternative, and have the educational skills to come to that empirical judgment, then there is no reason for you to continue, and often you won't.

1 comment:

  1. "Like a tiring magician, I think that the radical left realizes its ability to control the audience attention is fading."

    This reminds me of Thomas Mann's, Mario and The Magician

    Obama is the magician, Mario the "idiot" public, and the captivated audience the liberals.

    The image at the end was the Magician crumpled up on the floor, as if it was only a pile of clothes.