I was listening to some talk about conspiracy theories earlier today, talk about the conspiracy theories surrounding 9/11, among other things. This got me thinking about the generally conspiratorial air that seems to linger around modern day politics. A few very recent examples from the health care bill.
All of it blistering bullshit, but all of it designed to do one thing. Undermine the effectiveness of government, and of the democratic party in particular by painting every action of this government as an assault on America and it’s values. It created an air of non-validity to every program in government, fueling something that is prevalent in American society in general. Distrust of those in power.
But when you do that, should you not also look at the people putting out the message? Check the messenger and the message out? If for no other reason than to make sure that the message being sent is in fact genuine? In each case, from the famously wrong death panels, to the equally wrong Federally funded abortions, to the false payroll tax increase to Mike’s mandatory suicide psychosis. These people have done nothing more than undermine ALL government, and there is government that is good. Plenty of it.
Medicare. Medicaid. DOJ. LOC. Social Security. SBA. A ton of others. Every time you undermine one portion of government, especially something as key as this, you by extension undermine the underpinnings of good government and the good programs like these and a hundred others that do good for the people of this land all over this land.
I am torn here, though. It is a thought of mine that rather than attack, attack, attack, and undermine the good that can be done, and that is done every day by our government, that these people and those like them put down this incivility and learn to be more respectful in both tone and argument. It is another thought of mine that we are free to argue and yell about perceived injustice as loudly as we like. How can I reconcile these two thoughts without caving into cognitive dissonance? Four Words.
Freedom is not license.
Just because you are free to spout off on any subject at any length, does not mean you are free to lie. No one is free to shout fire in a crowded theatre, to use a famous example. This is exactly what these four people have done. There is no danger of any of these things happening, no danger whatsoever, and yet here we are hearing them shout ”FIRE” in our theatre. Causing a panic unnecessarily. Stirring people not to protect freedom, but to protect license to destroy trust in the republican form of government and by extension anyone who stands as a symbol of authority.
Authority, when abused, should be fought. These people, each of them are in positions of power and authority, and each has gone out of his or her way to create an anti-government conspiratorial air. The Democrats here in this particular example seek to create a more equitable health care system for all Americans, while the Republicans, using their offices as bully pulpits, have spouted lie after lie in order to discredit that which will make America a better place to live.
The Republicans here seem to be going out of their way to create a government as conspiracy subculture within the American people. Evil? No, just sneaky, underhanded, and utterly disrespectful of the good offices of a government they work in and the people they work for.
There are more thoughts interwoven into this one, which i will write on at greater length another time.
That’s about it from here. Later!
Today’s Nuggets, By John Adams, Via Marksquotes: Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclination, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.
Fear is the foundation of most governments; but it is so sordid and brutal a passion, and renders men in whose breasts it predominates so stupid and miserable, that Americans will not be likely to approve of any political institution which is founded on it.
[D]emocracy will soon degenerate into an anarchy, such an anarchy that every man will do what is right in his own eyes and no man’s life or property or reputation or liberty will be secure, and every one of these will soon mould itself into a system of subordination of all the moral virtues and intellectual abilities, all the powers of wealth, beauty, wit and science, to the wanton pleasures, the capricious will, and the execrable cruelty of one or a very few.