The Left/Right divide in a nutshell

No Time for Civility

    The United States is being held captive by an ideologically driven president, not because he has the support of the people but because the opposition is too cowed and browbeaten to offer more than token resistance and threadbare platitudes.

[..] Thus the left has an easy sell when they promise that they, in charge of the government, will guarantee a substantial standard of living for all.

Never mind that the centralized approach to governing by a dominant ruling class has ultimately failed throughout the history of mankind, whether it was designated as a monarchy, oligarchy, or dictatorship, or in the modern era, adherents of Marxism, socialism, or communism. For these philosophies to succeed, they must have an economic underpinning that can provide the foundation for massive social spending.

Conservatives, on the other hand, have a much harder sell. They must tout the fact that only limited power granted to government combined with a capitalist economic system can produce sufficient wealth to underwrite a social safety net for the public and finance the wealth and security of any nation.

Capitalism does by its nature celebrate the success of the individual, not the collective. Individuals, separately or together, driven by the motive of self-enrichment, produce goods or services desired by others. In the process, jobs and wealth are created, thus benefiting society as a whole.

This is an intellectually difficult argument to make when set side by side with the blissful and easily manipulative premise that the government will take care of everyone. It is made doubly difficult when those who advocate conservative principals and are the titular leaders of the movement view the task as nearly impossible, the populace incapable of understanding and their political opponents as invincible.

In times of great prosperity it is a given that the people will prefer to focus on personal pleasures and entertainment and ignore, to a large degree, where a nation is headed, leaving that to its leadership. But those who should have fought with the left on the battlefield of ideas chose instead to get simply get along while they too reaped the benefits of unprecedented peace and prosperity. It was far easier to believe that the good times would last forever and overwhelm any damage an accelerated shift to a powerful central government would create.

All civilizations will at some point begin a painful and accelerating slide into insolvency and ultimate obscurity. It is at that point when some societies begin to wake up from their stupor and question their leaders as to the how and why. Unfortunately it invariably takes a crisis of massive proportions and the potential loss of a way of life before the population becomes alarmed. The United States is now at that critical juncture.

Yet the leaders of the conservative movement and its political party, the Republicans, are still unwilling and apparently unable to forcefully take on their opponents. The left and their political party, the Democrats, are loath to recognize the cliff just over the horizon. They are instead reveling in winning the game of one-upmanship and regurgitating the rhetorical flourishes that highlight the kabuki theater that has been the relationship between the two political entities over the past 80 years.

The times, however, have changed beginning with the mid-term election in November 2010 and the grassroots emergence of the Tea Party movement. The majority of the American people now recognize the reality of the country’s situation and the folly that are the machinations of the governing class in Washington D.C.

President Obama, despite a well crafted and media driven cult of personality, is falling miserably behind in his handling of virtually all key issues. Despite an innate poll advantage in sampling that favors Democrats, 60% of voters disapprove of his actions regarding the economy, on the deficit 64% object and with health care 57%. More than 69% of likely voters say the country is on the wrong track; just 23% approve of the direction the nation is taking.

Nonetheless Barack Obama has made it clear he is drifting further to the left rather than the political center, a move which could further alienate independent voters who abandoned him and the Democratic Party in November. However, based on recent votes by the Senate Democrats backing his most unpopular policies, among them the repeal of ObamaCare and the EPA carbon regulations, it is apparent that the Democrats are willing to follow Obama anywhere he might take them. The Democrats and the left are so certain that the Republicans and many Washington based conservatives will revert to form that they are willing to risk re-election to back their President whom they believe will win easily in 2012.

The United States is being held captive by an ideologically driven president, not because he has the support of the people but because the opposition is too cowed and browbeaten to offer more than token resistance and threadbare platitudes. The surrender on the government shutdown, the premature waving of the white flag over the issue of raising the debt ceiling, and the woeful lack of support of the Ryan budget plan by the leadership of the conservative movement and the Republican Party have emboldened Obama and the Democrats. They are comfortable in the knowledge that their opposition will always play by the Marquis of Queensbury rules while they are willing to revert to a street brawl.

Despite the protestations of Obama and his sycophants in the media, the United States has stalled and tipped over into a long-term death spiral. It is no longer sufficient for the opposition party to use excuses such as they only control one House of the Congress or that they need to capture the White House to make a difference. If they do not have the stomach for a fight now, when the handwriting is so clearly on the wall, why would they then when matters will be much worse and more difficult to cure? Their inaction and passivity could well re-elect President Obama.

There is not the time to develop and staff a third party throughout the fifty states before the current crisis becomes a catastrophe. The Republicans in Congress, those running or contemplating a run for the presidency, the titular heads of the conservative movement, the conservative media, and the Tea Party movement must adopt a much more aggressive stance and demeanor toward the left and its allies, be it the media, unions, or their elected politicians. Their playbook is 80 years old, dog-eared, and open for all to see. The left and Obama will cower and retreat when confronted with a new and fearless conservative movement.

If the battle is fought on those terms over the next nineteen months and the electorate chooses to re-instate Obama and the Democrats, then the choice of the American people will be to participate in the decline and fall of the United States. It will not be because the opposition did not do all it could to save the country. As it stands today, the conservative movement and the Republicans are more to blame than the left for the state of the nation due to their past and current passivity, pessimism, and obsession with civility.

April 20, 2011 | 12 Comments »

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12 Comments / 12 Comments

  1. I got botted yet again. No complaint, just a notice. If what I wrote is considered too long, maybe the purpose of the “spambot” is, in effect, to encourage brief, unthinking comments such as Katz’s. It’s so hard to program these things.

  2. Sorry for the wordiness, Ted — and for my impatience.

    Strangelove, I looked at the article you linked to. It begins,

    “By Robert Scheer

    The debate over Republicans’ insistence on continued tax breaks for the superrich and the corporations they run should come to a screeching halt with the report in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal headlined “Big U.S. Firms Shift Hiring Abroad.” Those tax breaks over the past decade, leaving some corporations such as General Electric to pay no taxes at all, were supposed to lead to job creation, but just the opposite has occurred. As the WSJ put it, the multinational companies “cut their work forces in the U.S. by 2.9 million during the 2000s while increasing employment overseas by 2.4 million, new data from the U.S. Commerce Department show.””

    Robert Scheer seems to have pulled the rug out from under the “tax cut” philosophy.

    Concerning my own piece, I realized something while writing it: Capitalism and Socialism really ARE the same thing. The only difference is WHO the “Central Planners” are. In Capitalist societies, the central planners are oligarchs such as the Federal Reserve members and the Secretary of the Treasury. In Socialist states, it’s the Party Central Committee. Neither system actually redistributes the wealth, as Torah commands us to. All they do, is concentrate the wealth. I wish posters here would note this fact, when using meaningless terms such as “Right Wing” and “Left Wing”.

    By the way, neither Ted nor anyone else has commented on my suggestion about how to redistribute the wealth. The key to redistribution, is that it should only happen about once every fifty years, but that it must be COMPLETE. Our leaders have actually tried such redistribution after a fashion, in the form of tax rebates; and Donald Trump proposed a modest form of it with his one-time “Rich Man’s Tax”. Trump got ridiculed for his very sensible suggestion; and the tax rebates were denigrated because people used the money to get out of debt and plan for their retierements (i.e., to actually try sensibly to get out of poverty) instead of spending the money and getting deeper into debt. The rebate idea was good, but it needed to be far bigger — bigger even than Trump’s “Rich Man’s Tax”. It needed to be big enough to set America on its feet to prosperity, so it needn’t be repeated every few years. Isn’t it amazing, what clever ideas God comes up with? And how stupid we are, in not following them? Ted asked me to suggest how to redistribute the wealth. The problem is not really one of lack of a sensible plan: The problem is pure greed and anti-God obstinacy. God has a work-around for that, and it won’t be pleasant.

    Thanks for your supportive comment.

  3. Ed Katz is like the typical troll I see on other sites. Enter a discussion, make a stupid comment, offer nothing to contribute to the dicussion, then flee.

    Bland has contributed more here than I can, as he pointed out some things I wasn’t aware of, but I will stand with him and make a few points regarding the propaganda laden article.

    I see the greedy tentacles of Ayn Rand in the article. Without government controlling corporations, rather than being in bed with them, we end up as we are today. The power of the purse has given them no accountability for the enviornment, job production in America (go where it’s cheapest), reason to pay taxes, corrupt power over the people, a bloated military to support their world-wide hegemony (the New World Order). These all seem to be what the RapePublicCons support, many unwittingly.

    Case in point. Fascism has come to Michigan. Benton, MI has been taken over by corporations. The will of the voters has been eliminated with the total disenfranchisment of their elected officials. The empoverished towns park and beach, which was donated to the town in 1917 in perpetuity, will be, against the will of the people (unless they can somehow prevent it), converted into a golf course and upscale housing. F the poor.

    Obama has caved to the right continuously, only now has gotten a backbone and is not moving left, but holding his position.

    “Syncophats in the media” is as about as accurate as the “leftist MSM”. The MSM leaves out lots of important info that the people could use to make better informed decisions.

    “Marquis of Queensbury Rules”, “civility”! Never heard them complain about that when the teabaggers were disrupting townhall meetings 3yrs ago, held mass demos with racist, lying placards, untruths and violent rhetoric expounded by conservative pols and right-wing media. Lots of projection in that article. By the way, those non-violent “street brawls” were the people rising up in rightious indingnation over the lies they were told during the Republican campaigns. Many of the participants are now former Repugs.

  4. Ted, I would not have let the last comment to stand, but I got cut off from being able to edit it. What I said is true, of course. I have never seen that person contribute anything worthwhile, yet he drops by out of the blue with his filthy mouth. What can I call such a one? As for the “botting” business, I give you the benefit of the doubt, that it is the work of a mindless robot; but you it gets very frustrating at times. I’ve had posts swallowed up on a regular basis; but after actually looking at them, it turns out that they’re postable. Tell me if you wouldn’t be annoyed at something like that.

  5. I got botted again. Ted, when you ask me to post something, as you did, please have the courtesy to post it.

  6. Ted Belman said,

    “How do you propose to distribute the wealth?”

    Any way that’s practical, Ted. We have to follow Torah, if we want to prosper — You ought to know this. In the case of the US, we don’t have any more Indian lands to give away, so we’ll have to find it some other way.

    Let me ask you this, Ted. As it stands, you have Bill Gates as one of the richest men in the world. Bill had a good eye at seeing the value of something, and he went for it: He understood the future there was in software, then went to IBM, bought a tie off a man in the John so he would impress Big Blue, then kept a poker face as he struck a deal as he got the rights to MSDOS. That was a clever move, and he deserves some compensation for it. But how MUCH compensation? Does his talent at keeping a poker face merit his having control of more money than the GNP of many countries? Don’t you think there are at least thousands of Bill Gateses out there, who can actually get our economy MOVING, to the benefit of everyone, but they’re too busy flipping hamburgers at McDonald’s?

    Bill Gates was a risk-taker and a bluffer, and there was some value in this. We admire risk-takers; but what about bluffers? Do you know, that Bill didn’t even OWN DOS at the time he struck the deal with IBM? He was ALL bluff! Once he struck the deal, he went to the man who actually DID own DOS, misrepresented what the invention was really worth, and bought it from him for a song. Who actually gave us the PC? Was it Gates? Or was it the man who actually wrote the code?

    Capitalism rewards poker players, but it does not reward real imagination and talent. We’ve been sailing along for decades, turning over our wealth to poker players; but now the pot is full of chips, and they aren’t worth anything. We don’t need more poker players. Our REAL talent is either fleeing the country, or flipping hamburgers. God knew this from the beginning, but the advocates of capitalism can’t seem to get it into their heads.

    Ted, I don’t know a country in the world, other than China, that has as many really clever people as we do; yet it appears that none of them, including you, is able to come up with a scheme to redistribute the wealth. I’m not very clever, but let me tell you, since you asked, my own humble opinion: DO WHAT THE #1 COUNTRY OF SMART PEOPLE HAVE DONE: COPY CHINA!

    Here’s how China redistributed the wealth:

    1. In the early 1950s, they took over everything.
    2. In the late 1950s through early 1970s, they tried all sorts of schemes that failed, then came up with the “brilliant” idea that they had to redistribute the wealth.
    3. They redistributed the wealth.
    4. They prosperred.

    I suggest that we do steps 1, 3 and 4. We are not an agrarian country like China or like ancient Israel; but I’m sure there is someone in our great country that can come up with a scheme.

    I have only a suggestion, and perhaps not a good one: Recall all US Dollars, and redistribute a new currency equally to every American. Is that too radical? Remember, not too long ago, those dollar holders would have been reimbursed with gold or silver. It’s not my fault, that today they would be reimbursed with thin air. We did the switch-over, because we listened to your capitalist gurus instead of to Torah.

    The laying fallow of the land every seven years was considered too shocking to the ancient Israelites, so God imposed a solution: He exiled the Israelites for the number of years His people had neglected, and let the land lay waste. Then He let them return. Agriculturally, this did not make sense; but the problem wasn’t agricultural: The problem was a thick-headed, capitalist-minded people who insisted on continually giving more and more to those who already had it.

    Now you have my answer. Chag Matzoh sameach.

  7. Ted, I dare say that Felix Quigley disagrees, and so do I. You’re making a straw-man argument for Capitalism, by comparing it with Communism. The end of Capitalism is a centrally-planned economy, just like the end of Communism — only in Capitalism, the central planners are an oligarchy of the rich (not too different a crowd from the Federal Reserve). Opposing both of them, is the Bible economic system, which ensures private ownership FOR EVERYONE.

    According to the never-actually-practiced Law of Moses, the land was to be returned to the original owners every 50 years. The closest thing to this happening was the history of the lands of the United States, for its first 250 years or so, from Plymouth Colony to the Industrial Revolution. The land was not re-apportioned every 50 years, because it didn’t have to be: New land was being constantly made available as the Native Americans, who required a phenomenal amount of land to maintain their lifestyle, were forced into reservations and fed there by the more advanced agriculture of the colonists. By the late 19th century, the good land had all been taken. Farmers abandoned their farms then, to pursue livelihoods in logging, mining and manufacturing, the realm of the capitalists. The result has been the boom/bust American economy, complete with great depressions and, now, an unrepayable national debt.

    Capitalism is NOT the answer to our problems, but the cause of it. Unless the wealth of this country is redistributed among all Americans, giving the truly talented people among our lower classes a chance to prosper, we are headed toward ownership and rule by a Nazi-style capitalist clique, complete with slave labor and extermination camps.