Tag Archives: republican

Crashing The Liberal Elite Pity Party.

By: Chris Warren.

All government plans large or small are seldom the original work of the congressmen and senators who vote on them. An army of consultants and researchers are brought in and paid very well to help shape a concept into actual written policies and laws. The process can take years and the end result is usually at least hundreds of not thousands of pages long.

Not long ago economist Johnathan Gruber was just another healthcare policy nerd almost completely unknown outside of Washington DC. Guys like him very seldom become public celebrities. Gruber is the rare exception. Behind what he said when he thought no one was paying attention (and kicked him straight into the headlines) is a bigger idea that has nothing to do with his area of professional expertise.

Having been paid millions in consulting fees to help the federal government and numerous states implement the historic healthcare law that he was a point man on, one would think that Gruber above anyone would believe in his own creation and be proud to explain the benefits of the law on its own merits and how it’s going to help every American.

What actually happened needs little explanation because it was all carefully documented in a series of videos starring Gruber himself speaking at various conferences and meetings. The theme of the speeches is that Gruber admits the legislation was purposely rigged to confuse and mislead and hide the fact that most of us were going to get screwed by this law. In his own words, American voters are “stupid”. He piously goes on to declare that the deception was worth it for the greater good of getting the law passed.

And therein lies the lesson. Gruber has validated what so many Americans already know: Government, particularly the liberal Democrat kind, believe they are intellectually and morally superior and know what’s best for everyone. They toil for the ungrateful heathens. Their dishonesty is warranted because we of the ignorant masses are not complex enough to process or appreciate the gift of government oversight. There is no problem that cannot be solved with tax dollars and legislation. It is the very reason the Democratic Party exists.

Republicans have for their part largely avoided the big government label. The reasons why should not make them feel proud. Everything is relative in politics. Republicans are indeed a big government party; Democrats are a bigger government party. It’s a completely fair observation that Republicans have their own brand of overbearing “nanny state” attitudes stamped into their positions, it’s just that the Democrats have gone out of their way to make it a deliberate part of their platform. Or more cynically, the Republicans are better at hiding it.

It’s been floating around in the media that the current Congress (2013-2014 session) is the “least productive” in history based on the number of laws passed. Only a big government stooge would think passing laws just for the sake of saying you did something counts as “productivity.” I’m taking it in the other direction: The less they get done the better. As the 2014 midterm elections have proven, Americans are in no mood for Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid blessing us with more of their great ideas. My definition of productivity is the liberal elite having the least possible number of opportunities to screw with my life.

In the midst of beating up the political parties, it’s worth noting that American voters are themselves complicit in the bullshit. Congress’ approval rating is lower than a sewer rat, yet somewhere in the neighborhood of 90% of incumbents managed to get reelected in the 2014 midterms, and many of them did it without even a serious challenge in the primaries last spring. Where is the incentive for congress to change? Why should they be expected to bust their ass to do a good job if there is no penalty for screwing off? At some point voters forfeit the right to whine about elected officials. I’m not sure where that point is, but I bet we’re real close to it.

Polls show that even though Americans disapprove of congress by enormous margins, they tend to like their individual representative. That may explain why they keep getting reelected. Congressional reps are like toddlers who are cute and adorable until they are placed in a group with other toddlers. Then they turn into wretched evil quarreling beasts. It’s sad that the analogy fits so well.

So we are trapped with two major political parties, one only marginally better than the other but both nonetheless think they can run our lives better than we can ourselves. Gruber’s loose-lipped remarks, disrespectful as they may be, are unusual only in that he had the arrogance to utter them in front of a camera and a microphone and think he fooled everyone. His confidence that he was righteous in doing so is standard progressivist behavior, although they usually pull it off with a little more finesse. According to liberal doctrine, Gruber’s offense was not his disdain for ordinary Americans, it was his exposing the calculated deceit.

Let Go Of Gays And Guns.

By: Chris Warren.

National mid term elections are less than ninety days away, and along with them thousands of local offices and issues will also be on the ballot. Polls claim most Americans are in the middle with only a small vocal minority on each fringe, but I’m not seeing it. The definition of an independent/moderate in American politics seems to be anyone who hates both sides equally. Does that count?

Each side is trying to come up with a scheme that picks off votes from the middle, assuming there actually are any. There might be some persuadable citizens on local issues, but for the national elections, there’s very few votes to harvest. To clarify for my readers outside the United States: Americans don’t vote for the best candidate. We identify the candidate we dislike the most and vote for whoever he or she is running against, even if under any other circumstances we would not hire that person to run a popcorn stand. Crazy Americans!

My disrespect for big government liberalism should not be interpreted as approval for what the Republicans are up to. The best thing I can say about Republicans is that they are not nearly as incompetent as Democrats, but that’s not a compliment; it’s more like congratulating the valedictorian from the worst school in the country.

Keeping in mind the mission of Twenty First Summer as the “thoughtful, positive, relevant” blog, I’m not going to spend the next several hundred words lighting up in a whiney screed about how the country is going to hell, even if it actually is (cough-Obama-cough). There is an old trope in American politics that says a policy neither side likes is probably the best. That is exactly the path I intend on taking here.

I’m not a political scientist. I’m not a lobbyist, consultant, or analyst. I’ve never held public office nor worked for a candidate, or even slapped a campaign sticker on my truck. I have come up with two plans, one for liberals and one for conservatives. Whichever group most effectively embraces their respective plan will win over voters who would normally not even consider supporting them, and more importantly, make them loyal backers for life:

Conservatives should abandon their opposition to gay marriage.
There are a lot of gays who like much of what conservatism offers, especially regarding economic and tax issues. As a demographic, they have higher incomes and pay more into the system than they receive from it. They’re getting pretty sick and tired of being the cash machine for the schools, lazy public employee unions, and every feel good handout program on the liberal wish list. Many states and municipalities have already established their own recognition of same-sex marriage, so in these places making it the law of the land would not be a culture shock. Only in a weird, ironic world of bizarro do so-called small government conservatives use the kludge of big government to deny others that which hurts no one.

As right wing hero Thomas Jefferson famously said, “The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” He was speaking in context of religion but the idea can and does apply to same sex marriage. Here is my challenge to conservatives: How does your gay neighbor getting married “injure” you and “pick your pocket or break your leg” in a way that traditional marriage does not?

Conservatives will often cite morality as a reason they are against gay marriage. The problem with this angle is that morality is about one’s own personal beliefs and not about pushing them on others. The Jeffersonian standard still applies. Parents who don’t want their kids exposed to the gay lifestyle can explain it the same way they would any other objectionable behavior. The world is a big huge place. Not everyone is like you.

If the Republicans change their platform to support gay marriage, or at least stop fighting against it, I am certain they will win more elections. There are a lot of gays who really, really want to vote Republican, but the same sex marriage issue is a deal breaker.

Liberals should give up on gun control.
There is something inherently flawed about a position that punishes honest citizens who didn’t do anything wrong while violent criminals go about their business. That is the absurd corner liberals have painted themselves into by joining the cult of gun control. Like a gambler who thinks if he rolls the dice just one more time Lady Luck will deliver a jackpot, Democrats can’t leave the table out of superstition that the next one will be a big win.

After twenty-plus years of beating this topic to death and a “grassroots movement” funded almost exclusively by a single neurotic billionaire sugar daddy, liberals today have less gun control than what they started with: Conceal carry is allowed in all fifty states and interest is growing, especially among women and minorities. Many firearms training classes have weeks-long wait lists. Even well known leftist cheerleaders have conceded that the gun rights movement has enjoyed a surplus of legislation.

Liberals will commonly cite polls that indicate Americans support gun control and use the data as a rationale for more restrictions. Here’s where their conclusion goes wrong: Because someone has an opinion on an issue it does not automatically follow that they care enough to vote or actively fight for the issue. I bet I could take a poll and “prove” that  95% of adult Americans are against letting five year olds eat cake and ice cream for breakfast everyday. But how many of those adults are willing to call or write their congressman and demand that there be a law about it, or make it a voting point? And so it goes with gun control.

For their part, gun rights activists absolutely will turn out in large numbers to call, write, protest, and vote. There have been high-profile elections to prove it, and the pro-gun people have shown over and over how serious they are about taking it far beyond responding to a poll question.

So, a reality check for liberals: What are you trying to prove with your recalcitrance? Your own data shows support for gun control is a mile wide but an inch deep and the issue is loser for you over the long haul. If you stop trying to marginalize law-abiding gun owners, a big pile of them will even vote for you!

Both Republican and Democrat heads may explode to find out that the Pink Pistols is a little-known but very headstrong group of gay, gun rights supporters who are just dying to throw their vote behind someone. And oh, by the way, they have a lot of friends and family too. The first political party to cast off their ridiculous devotion to a cause they can never, ever win will gain a huge, lasting advantage.

Those who are both pleased and pissed off with my propositions are the exact people I hope to reach. I am an unapologetic Libertarian, gun nut, and sympathetic to gays. It will be a great moment when I can step into a voting booth and not have to shun one belief in order to support the other, or better still, when gay marriage and gun rights are so commonly accepted that they don’t need to be campaign issues in the first place.



DREAMing of a Solution.

By: Chris Warren

My dad, who is not a sophisticated guy (I mean that as a compliment), once observed that the American court system does not do what’s fair, it does what’s legal. In a perfect world there would be no distinction between the two. When courts aren’t fair we sympathize with the situation, but in the back of our minds we concede that “life is not fair” is part of…life. It’s further complicated by the fact that fair is largely a matter of viewpoint, whereas legal is a lot easier to pin down. We tend to stretch these boundaries when dealing with children as they are sympathetic figures deserving of a light touch.

If a child is introduced to a bad situation by an adult, then the responsibility of bailing the kid out of trouble goes to other adults who presumably know better and have the child’s best interests in mind. It is not a time to fuss over whose fault it is or how “unfair” it is that someone else has to right the wrong. In that spirit, we need to make fair and legal the same thing and find a way to let young illegal immigrants who grew up in the United States stay here. People who know me are aware that I strongly empathize with people from other countries and cultures and have blogged about this issue before.

The biggest problem with immigration policy in the United States is that both the left and the right attempt, and fail horribly, to correct the intractable maxim that sometimes there is no truly fair option, just varying degrees of unfair. Conservatives are cold and disconnected for not seeing that deporting people just to wave the law & order badass banner  is an ugly scene. Being legally right doesn’t make one morally right. Going the other way, liberals are manipulative users. They profess to care about immigrants, but only for selfish political reasons. For over a generation, Democrats have played up this issue solely for votes and believe with a cult-like intransigence that everyone is entitled to be here no matter what rules are broken or what the unintended consequences are. We have borders and laws for a reason.

Imagine a young person who was brought to the United States illegally as a child. They did not make a choice to come here on their own and may not even be aware of their immigration status. They grow up in American culture, hang out with American friends, speak English as their first (and possibly only) language, have no criminal history and little if any familiarity with their home country.

This is not a way-out there hypothetical scenario. There are tens of thousands of kids living in the USA who fit this description. I would like everyone who thinks this person should be given a one-way ticket back to their country of origin to answer these questions: Is your legal argument for kicking them out of the USA greater than the moral argument for letting them stay, and furthermore, is your argument so strong that it’s worth ruining a young life for? Are you willing to look this kid directly in the face and personally tell them they are being deported? What if this person was your neighbor, or your own kid’s best friend, or your future son or daughter in law? Exactly what “problem” is solved by shipping them out?

The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM) has been floating around Congress since 2001 and has bipartisan support. I understand that in the world of politics the devil is always in the details. There are plenty of things in DREAM I’m sure I do not like, but I do believe in the basic premise of the legislation, which is to give people who came here illegally & involuntarily as underage minors a chance to stay and be productive members of American society. “Amnesty” is a loaded word in American politics, but it’s exactly what’s needed when the law is so blatantly unfair that a greater moral imperative is created to warrant changing it, or for minors who did not intend to break the law in the first place and played no active role in how they got into their situations.

Twenty First Summer is not a public policy blog and I am not knowledgeable enough on this topic to attempt a dissection of the DREAM Act and all the things that are both right and wrong with it. All I know is that kicking promising young people out of the only country they know and identify with for the “crime” of being brought here as minors by someone else is inhumane and should not be allowed to happen. I’m not coming at this from a right or left perspective. I’m looking at it as a question of “Is this moral?” For me the answer is a no-brainer: It’s disgusting and wrong. I’ll let others sweat the political details.

As President Chris, my first goal would be to stop the flow of illegal immigration to begin with. Then, pass some form of the DREAM Act and make it wholly separate from how the legal system will treat adults who are not innocent bystanders and came here fully cognizant that they were breaking US laws. That would be my compromise: Go easy on the young people in exchange for locking down the border and throwing the book at the adults.

Our default should be to find a way to help the children, not run them out like unwanted pests. The United States likes to brag about how we as a nation care for our kids. The DREAMers are “our kids.” They are Americans in their hearts if not in the law; they deserve to be protected and held close like the treasures they are.