My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Ending the Helicopter State: Step 3--Know Your History 

Liberal Progressives--and, for that matter, Conservative Progressives--love to feel. To emote. To be able to sympathize/empathize is the strongest of character traits for a Progressive.

Sadly, this is contrary to our best traditions. Thomas Jefferson was a great thinker, as was Abe Lincoln. The men who created our great institutions--the Declaration, the Constitution--were men of unparalleled ability to think. That thinking was deeply informed by great passions, but those passions were suborned to reason.

The Founders understood the dangers of unbridled passion. Why else would they have built in to the Constitution the multiple layers of checks and balances? Why else would they have gone to such lengths to reduce the power of the majority? They understood that unbridled passions lead to mob rule; the Senate was designed to mitigate that danger; the power of the Presidency was diffused to eliminate the possibility of dictatorship; and the whole purpose of the "Great Compromise" and of the Electoral College was to guarantee that simple majorities never ruled the day.

Passion is powerful when it is used to serve a higher purpose, but Progressives have elevated passion above reason, above Faith, above tradition--even above the rule of law. The Supreme Court ruling the other day is startling in this regard: only 5 of the 9 "most brilliant legal minds in the world" managed to find in the Constitution the radical idea that people have a right to have a gun. Never mind that the 2nd Amendment reads "Congress shall make no law abridging the right of people to keep and bear arms." Once upon a time two-thirds of the states ratified that idea; now we're down to 55% of the most important panel in the country. Progressives have changed things.

And they don't care that they've changed things--that's what "progress" is all about. Being tethered to outmoded, archaic ideas like Liberty, Marriage, Faith, or Authority are not for the Progressive: the Progressive MUST be free to act on whim and passion, and things like Scripture, Constitutions, and Laws are nothing but impediments to the pursuit of utopia.

So why, you might ask, should our side learn history? Because, quite simply, there is nothing new under the sun. Every idea that these brilliant and creative Progressives are trying to implement are ideas that have been tried before. Universal health care? check Europe. Government takeovers of industry? check Moussolini. Complicit or cowed media? check Cambodia. Budget deficits to choke a Great White? check the Soviet Union.

The argument is not for Progressives--the argument is for the third-party observer. You cannot convince the true believer that their way is wrong because it is a matter of Faith to them. But there are any number of interested parties who do not know all the facts, and it is this person that you must convince when you debate with a Progressive.

The Progressive will make great hay of their compassion and their desire to "do something;" you must be able to demonstrate where "doing something" has always led to a worse outcome. The Progressive will argue that the restraints of Constitutions make it impossible to solve the real-world problems of the modern world; you must be able to demonstrate where operating within the Constitution has solved similar problems in the past. The Progressive will accuse you of hate, bigotry, and lack of vision; you must be able to point out that those were the exact tactics used to stifle debates in the past and shut them down with the comparison.

The interested third party listening to your debate must connect with your argument on one level and one level only: competence. Anybody is capable of emotion; only a select few are able to channel that emotion into effective governance. Those select few have NEVER come from the Helicopter State side of the ledger. There is a long history of the Helicopter State failing, and we're watching new chapters of that history get written in Greece and Spain even today. The historically demonstrated incompetence of the Helicopter State is irrefutable, and it is on that simple fact that a good debate must hang.

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