Regular reader/commenter 1706to1790, in response to Once Upon A Time, A Leader writes:
First and foremost: I like and truly respect Mike McDaniel. His is the only blog I regularly follow.
What exquisite taste he has, don’t you agree, gentle readers?
Beyond that, I don’t agree with everything he says. Like myself, I keep in mind that he’s human and sometimes is influenced by things he shouldn’t be. Primarily, I think he’s too influenced by the faux patriotism of Conservative Ideology (which can be as noxious at Liberal Ideology).
My bad: I’m an independent and no longer fooled by any ideology. Ideologies are not true philosophies but convenient substitutes suited primarily to convincing otherwise decent, intelligent people of ‘The Way.’
In that way: I disagree with the idea that G. W. Bush was anything but another convenient figurehead for Conservatism. Barack Obama is slightly worse in that he’s a self-styled figurehead for Liberalism.
I’m fine with crediting “Dubya” with defeating Saddam but on his watch and by Conservative “policy” criminals were allowed free reign to wreck the U.S. economy on a scale not seen since the 1930s. I say that as one who actually met Alan Greenspan and was a student of his economic thinking.
As you always do, gentle readers, this stimulated thought (after I quit sobbing and kicking my legs on the floor). I know; that’s dangerous. I do my best to avoid turning this scruffy little blog into the continuing adventures of Mike McDaniel. I occasionally patronize such blogs, but I can’t read them for long. As Ebeneezer Scrooge said:
It’s not my business. It’s enough for a man to understand his own business and not to interfere with other people’s. Mine occupies me constantly.
I don’t, for a moment, think that most people that patronize The Manor do so to learn the daily, trivial travails of my life. As Dr. Evil so concisely put it:
The details of my life are quite inconsequential.
But the question remains: what am I, what what, what what?
I’m sure most people would toss SMM on the “conservative” blog pile without giving it a second thought, and in so doing they might be mostly accurate. I do not, however, consider myself a conservative, even though many of the political principles I espouse tend to fall into that category. Even so, I’m not completely comfortable with that particular label.
I am liberal to the degree that the word is correctly defined. Webster:
liberal: adj, belonging to the people, 1. suitable for a free man; not restricted, 2. giving freely generous, 5. tolerant of views differing from one’s own; broad-minded,
Contemporary liberalism surely does not accept the definition. The entire point of the Leftist movement is to deny men freedom, giving power instead to a government run by leftists. They surely give freely, but only with other people’s money and only to corrupt organizations and individuals who will funnel considerable of that money back to democrat politicians. Contemporary leftism is the antithesis of actual tolerance.
Contemporary liberalism is much more akin to socialism/communism. Communism is best defined as “socialists in a hurry.” Socialists tend not to murder their opponents, but they delight in destroying them financially and personally, even in imprisoning them. I suspect many long for social/political conditions that would allow them to simply rid themselves, once and for all, of troubling people who won’t accept the one true faith. Liberals who once proudly wore that label have long since abandoned it because they came to realize that most Americans see “liberal” as right up there with “hemorrhoid,” “large festering boil on the posterior,” or “cancer” in desirability. Now, they are “progressives,” for who can be against progress?
Considering what such people consider to be “progress,” as it turns out, most Americans.
I am not an independent, at least under what seems to be the current definition. Rand Paul is generally thought to epitomize that train of thought, and while he espouses at least some principles with which I generally agree, he all too often dives head first into the flaky pool and happily dog paddles about.
My most constant principle is constitutionalism. It is my guide in analysis and in voting. I believe that government’s power is derived from the consent of the governed, and that such power must be strictly limited. I know: crazy ideas. I also understand, as the Founders understood, that once people realized they could vote themselves money from the public treasury, our long slide downward into totalitarianism had begun, and so it has.
I also happen to believe that America is exceptional, and that it is because its people are exceptional. We are the one indispensable nation, the shining city on a hill. We are now seeing, in blood and wholesale destruction, what happens when America is weak and withdrawn, when we can’t tell our friends from our enemies, when America does not stand for liberty in the world.
Even so, millions from around the world still vote with their feet. Even while they criticize America, they’ll do just about anything to live here.
So when I vote, I vote for the candidates I think will do the least damage to the Constitution and the rule of law. That is, generally, Republicans, though I do not for a moment imagine that Republicans hold all political virtue. Don’t get me started on what I think of contemporary congressional republicans. Absolutely don’t get me started on John Boehner or Mitch McConnell, or John McCain or Lindsey Graham or… you get the idea.
The fact that I must vote based primarily on who I think will do the least damage—which means every one of them will do some damage—is a stunning indictment on the current state of our representative republic.
Consider Jeb Bush, who many consider the republican front-runner for the presidency. He is, judging by his stated intentions and principles, at best, a squishy conservative, who, if elected, will essentially throw open our southern border, giving democrats a permanent voting majority. Of course, one shouldn’t make immigration policy based only on immigrant’s likely voting preferences, but progressives surely think and act that way. Immigration policy must be predicated on what is best for America and Americans. It must strengthen, not dilute sovereignty and national identity. It must demand and enforce assimilation, for it not, why do people come here? To be something other than Americans? To recreate the hell holes they escaped at risk of life and limb?
Even so, virtually any republican—no matter how squishy–would be far superior to Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton or anyone put forth by progressives. Salvation for America, even arresting our steep downward slide, will require men and women of extraordinary character and will, people who venerate the Constitution. Our national debt will destroy America, and worsens every day, and that’s far from our only problem. I’m not sure the kind of people necessary to save us exist, at least not any that will run for office, or that can possibly be elected, but I hope.
As to me, I’m pleasantly goofy. I suffer from being human, and sometimes allow passion to run away with my reason, but it returns when I call it in a sufficiently stern voice. I am more than aware of my many failings, and I do my best to restrain them. Sometimes I fail. That you, gentle readers, return from time to time, may be an indication of my relative success.
In the meantime, however, I’ll continue to blather away in these pages in the hope I might provide a perspective, perhaps some worthy ideas, others may not have considered. That others elsewhere around this small, blue planet might be inspired by those ideas, and might, perhaps, use them in arguments, is deeply humbling.
And as to the Constitution and America: Semper Fidelis!