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Independence Redux

Posted by ColoradoPatriot at 8:41 pm - July 8, 2009.
Filed under: A New Independence Movement

I’ve been disappointed with the response I have received from my earlier post on Sarah Palin and what her seeming withdrawl from politics may mean for the cause of individual responsibility and freedom in America.

Most have treated it as an opportunity to opine on her chances and what her exit may mean to the party and/or its/her chances for 2012. I think, however, my disappointment is in my own lack of clarity.

Perhaps I could put a finer point on it and hopefully spark a conversation on the idea I’m looking to develop:

How can we, as conservatives, help promote and develop within our Ameican society a sense of self-sufficiency and self-reliance that will further the ideals of our Nation’s founding?

We’ve seen over the past decade or so how Republicans as well as Democrats have escalated the size, cost, and intrusion of the Federal government. Yet far too often we trouble ourselves with the details and tactics of politics and getting people elected or ousted. Secondarily only do we concern ourselves with the anti-liberty policies these people pass (and by then, far too late).

In the end (frankly, in the beginning), it really comes down to promoting these ideals that will move the proper agenda forward. Believe me, with the right thinking again in America, the question of who is elected will hardly be a matter of concern.

So the question becomes: What sort of work can we do to develop a new sense of self-sufficiency and self-reliance in our Nation? What can we do to promote the concept that the answers to our problems lie within the individual rather than in the government?

How can we begin A New Independence Movement in America?

Thoughts?

-Nick (ColoradoPatriot), from HQ

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25 Comments

  1. The true conservative agenda is a winner. Too often we are forced to support one candidate for President who isn’t much more than a faux conservative. I’m hoping for 12 candidates to choose from in 2012 on the Republican side. But it also depends on your opponent.
    No doubt Mr Obama will want four more years to complete anything he hasn’t accomplished in his first term. The fact that we will have a very liberal President with a very liberal record to defend has got to help tremendously in a center right country. This latest poll that ID’s Americans as 40% conservative and only 18% liberal gives our kind of candidate a tremendous advantage from square one.
    It appears though that Mr Obama as an opponent will also be a great advantage. Today his polling has hit a new low.
    Now 37% STRONGLY DISAPPROVE of Obamateleprompters performance. A full 5 points higher than strongly approve. He is losing independents at an alarming rate for Democrats. His falling polls may start to cause more Democrat defections from Obamas socialist agenda of natl heathcare and more wasted pork spending.
    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — July 8, 2009 @ 9:33 pm - July 8, 2009

  2. Believe me, with the right thinking again in America, the question of who is elected will hardly be a matter of concern.

    From my comment in the other thread:

    As for looking for heroes, those I seek are those who understand that I want to return to a society where we don’t depend upon the elected. It’s a contradiction, but only because the only way to change the political culture is to elect those who can effect such change.

    What sort of work can we do to develop a new sense of self-sufficiency and self-reliance in our Nation?

    Promoting self-sufficiency is about removing obstacles to it and removing incentives not to pursue it. The philosophical complexion of our current political class insists (and depends) upon maintaining and increasing barriers to self-sufficiency and theirs is a self-fulfilling mandate because the more they do, the greater the supposed need (the more crumbs thrown on the sidewalk, the more birds appear). But it also works the other way: we will have more independent, productive citizens when we have policies in place that encourage them. That means electing people who understand this.

    While it’s human nature to want freedom, it’s also human nature to shirk responsibility and conservatives have the added disadvantage of combating those who exploit the weakness and fear of the irresponsible. Freedom is risky and demands hard work. It’s much easier to depend on others.

    This might be a disappointing answer, but your questions are of such a general nature that it’s hard to guess what you want to read in this thread.

    Comment by Ignatius — July 8, 2009 @ 10:19 pm - July 8, 2009

  3. I agree with Iggie to this extent. I dream of the day again when we are not subjected to seeing our leaders on tv on a daily basis. Telling us what they are going to do for us, and to us. It is tiring and discouraging. People need to go back to being independent and striving to be great. Without interference from any government. I swear any one running for President who simply said…..”look I’m going to try to get government out of your lives. With the exception of providing a safey net for the poor and incapable, and keeping Americans safe at home and from foreign attacks, you are once again free to be prosperous.” That man or woman would immediately get 40% support from Americans. How did we get to the point where the government is going to demand that 70% of the people who are pleased with their current health care ins MUST instead opt for a government system or be fined. How in the world did we arrive at a place where before you sell your home you must comply with new requirements that it be ENERGY EFFICIENT? The phase “as is” won’t mean a thing anymore. These are our freedoms people and they are being eaten away.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — July 8, 2009 @ 10:35 pm - July 8, 2009

  4. Ignatius:
    It seems you’re coming at this from the opposite direction I am. That being that you’re suggesting (I think) that we first elect those politicians who will disavow the patronizing and overbearing nature in the first place and that that will perpetuate to an electorate who no longer relies on such policies. That’s an interesting approach. But how do you get such people elected in the first place when the electorate is itself (it seems) so reliant on such pandering as it stands? I’m open to ideas here, and am not looking to shoot anything down.

    Gene:
    As for your hypothetical questions, I’m not sure. I really don’t know how we got here and it makes me very sad, honestly. And as for my feelings of sadness, I know many who honestly look at politics as an us-vs-them type game. They get bummed out when their guy doesn’t win, and celebrate when he does. As for me, I am truly dismayed that the very spirit of America seems to be suffering these days; not because Obama won, but because of what his policies are doing to the Nation (and to the very idea of what our Nation is).

    Case in point, I’ll ask my own rhetorical question: When did the first answer to our problems reflexively come to lie in government actions and not in our own abilities? Sad indeed.

    Comment by ColoradoPatriot — July 8, 2009 @ 10:48 pm - July 8, 2009

  5. I have a few ideas that may seem to be off the beaten path but I’m throwing them out there for discussion:

    1. Term limits – There are hundreds of qualified individuals for each and every post in American government. We need to enforce a notion that work in government is a service and not a platform for influence peddling. I don’t think the founding fathers ever envisioned a professional class of politicians and I think there was a reason why.

    2. Further restrictions on lobbying – When you remove the influence of business from government you help guarantee fairer competition and a more realistic “free” market. We see how encouraging the mix of business and government has caused the recent crisis in health care, insurance and the housing boom. Government wouldn’t have to regulate business if it were free from the influence of it.

    3. Regulation of political parties like trusts – We have two political parties that control essentially most of the power within government and yet they only formally represent less than 1/3 of all Americans. They self-enforce their own influence and help guarantee the control the parties have in elections and the influence they control from government positions. They money they can raise nearly guarantees no third party candidates stand a chance.

    4. Further restrictions on money a candidate can use for elections – if we want more free and fair elections and the chance of promoting change, not candidates who promise change, we need to remove the influence of money from elections and encourage ideas. The smartest poorest candidate will always lose to the dumbest richest candidate

    5. Ensure a fair and enforced election code – no more hanging chads, no more electronic voting machine fraud, no more controversies about how different counties count absentee ballots. There should be one set of standards that everyone can agree on to make the process fair and undebatable.

    It seems to me, conservative or liberal, that if you want to encourage self-sufficiency you take responsibility for your government, how that government is formed and how that government processes it’s business and bring it back to the people. We’ve created a system where a very elite group of people with a very elite amount of money has the most say about the workings of the broader individuals in society. And instead of trying to take back that influence we generally encourage it by supporting these parties even more in a faux struggle of conservative vs. liberal ideologies. I know the things I suggest are not probable nor even very practical, but there’s a huge difference between a capitalist country and a democracy. Both the right and left would rather not look at that because of the wonderful material comforts we receive by being one and not the other. But I personally think that’s where it has to start.

    Comment by Countervail — July 8, 2009 @ 11:16 pm - July 8, 2009

  6. I think we need to choose leaders who are effective speakers. Often times, I just shake my head when I listen to conservatives speak. They’re just not speaking on a level that most people will relate to and understand. They come across the wrong way. There also seems to be a reluctance to challenge what the left says. Always seems like the right is just responding to what the left puts forth without aggressively challenging it. The Left is constantly pushing their agenda, seems we on the right are just content to fight back when it gets to be too much. We have to continue to push our message about why certain decisions matter to people in their everyday lives.

    The other thing would be to rest control of the public schools away from the teachers unions/left. In my opinion, there’s quite a bit of indoctrination occurring there. We really should make a huge push for vouchers, for real education reform. Get a number of students out of the public school system, make trade schools more of an option, and force public schools to be competitive. We’d be introducing free market and real world ideas into the education system and that would have a positive effect politically as kids would see how the world really functions and be better educated, as schools have really dumbed things down.

    Comment by keegan — July 8, 2009 @ 11:19 pm - July 8, 2009

  7. #4 CP I think it started in earnest during the depression. Things were so bad, if you look at the stats and the pictures of the time. The discouraged, stunned faces is heartrending. But once the depression was overcome, ten years later, it then became easier and easier for polititians to claim they could fix things, government could fix things. I mean, it then took 60 years to get us to here, but I believe it started then.
    A polititian thinks if government can help during a catastrophe, why can’t a little govt help be good during a small recession. And the people have become numb to the result of govenment intervention in their lives. I think a caring Republican could use the black community as a real life example of what happens after 50 years of govenment intervention in their lives. The human cost has been extraordinary, beyond the cost to the treasury.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — July 8, 2009 @ 11:25 pm - July 8, 2009

  8. Countervail:
    I like your gusto, but take an objective look at the nature of each of your proposals:

    1) Term limits: Federal Government restricting our choices
    2) Lobbying restrictions: Federal Government restricting our rights to lobby and coalesse behind shared principles
    3) Regulation of parties: Federal Government further regulating the political process
    4) Money restrictions on campaigns: Federal Government restricting our free speech (in the form of our political dollars)
    5) Universal voting regulations: Federal Government enforcing what are Constitutionally mandated as States’ responsibilties

    I admire that you are honestly participating in the thought exercise, but look at how even your solutions perpetuate the concept of needing GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION to solve our issues.

    I’m hoping for something more intrinsic to the psyche of the Nation. Not building more rules and enforcing them through the hand of the government, rather imbuing the spirit of American individual responsibility within the citizenry.

    We don’t need the government to do these things. We are not the subjects of a monarch whose every whim we follow because we so admire him. We are free and brilliant people who can make these right choices for ourselvs. Aren’t we?

    Comment by ColoradoPatriot — July 8, 2009 @ 11:30 pm - July 8, 2009

  9. #6 keegan is onto something too. I think one of the advantages of the Gingrich Contract with America was it really wasn’t a debate or an argument with the Democrats. It was a promise a statement of 10 things a Republican Congress would do. Simple, no argument, no shouting. Reagan tended to go over the heads of the media and the Dems as well. A republican candidate who talked about the sure fire winning ideas….tax cuts for the producers, school vouchers, a simplified tax system. These are sure fire winning ideas and just a start. Come up with 7 or 9 more. Countervail has three that I agree with, term limits end lobbying and a fair election code. Any ideas that have 60-70% support are no brainers.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — July 8, 2009 @ 11:31 pm - July 8, 2009

  10. Gene: NOW we’re getting somewhere. The plight of the inner-city is a superlative example of what I’m talking about.

    Where you’ve had government-run lives for a half-century (or more!), you see not only the continued material degredation, but also the depravity of spirit.

    Perhaps by highlighting these examples and explaining effectively that the crux is not that someone’s “keeping them down”, but rather emphasize the need for residents of such areas to “lift themselves up”, we can shift the context altogether.

    This will mean perhaps that we need to not even use our usual criticisms of the government’s hand-outs (thinking ‘out-loud’ here), but again rather spend our efforts emphasizing the great feeling of self-reliance.

    Comment by ColoradoPatriot — July 8, 2009 @ 11:38 pm - July 8, 2009

  11. CP it is the corruption that is forcing new and creative ideas to end the destruction. There already are limits to some freedoms, two terms for the President, age limits etc. The corrupt political class is forcing the hand of the people. We may lose an Orin Hatch because of term limits but we’d also lose 400 crooks creeps and criminals. They are at a point where someone like Sarah Palin is going home instead of trying to fight and change things. When I looked at the 20 people running for President in 2008, I wasn’t impressed with either parties combatants. None of them were truly impressive. This is going to take real reform, not nibbling around the edges. I’ve called for a velvet revolution and I mean it. These people spent $800 billion dollars, it didn’t work to stimulate the economy, as 48% of our representatives said itwouldn’t, and now they are saying, “never mind, let’s do it again!”

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — July 8, 2009 @ 11:40 pm - July 8, 2009

  12. Gene…we were doing so well. Again, let’s not work within government. How do we affect peoples’ hearts?

    I’m not talking about politicians or parties. I’m talking about an idea that has taken root in our Nation that the answers (even so many we’ve seen here as a response to my pleas!) lie in the Government rather than in the Individual.

    I wonder if I’m simply not expressing myself clearly enough.

    Comment by ColoradoPatriot — July 8, 2009 @ 11:43 pm - July 8, 2009

  13. Promoting self-sufficiency is about removing obstacles to it and removing incentives not to pursue it.

    hear hear!

    Not only should we make it easier to be self sufficient, and less easy to be dependent — we should make it harder to be dependent.

    to accomplish this, we need to undo a great deal of what the left has done to make it easier to be dependent — the problem is, they have done an enormous amount. And its not just legislation:

    They have dominated the schools, where they teach their values, not ours. We have to change that.

    They dominate the news where they control the message and push their values. We have to change that.

    They own almost the entire entertainment industry and pop culture. Where they also teach that caring people vote for big government and only selfish, mean, hateful bigots oppose it.

    We need to educate people and show them how the bigger government gets, the more it takes from them, so the harder time they have making ends meet. We need to show them how the more power government has, the less power they have.

    We need to make dependence a dirty word again. We need to highlight those that are perfectly healthy and perfectly capable yet who are mooching off of taxpayers who are having trouble making ends meet.

    In short, we need to organize. We need to find people and organizations that are already doing these things and support them, we need to start organizations where none exist.

    We have to make time to help, and give money to others who are doing the work that needs to be done and doing it effectively. The more money they get, the more people they can hire to do the work that needs to be done. The more people they hire the more work they can do, the more they can advertise, the more money they can bring in, etc….

    Identifying the groups that are doing the crucial works is the hard part. I have no idea who they are on the conservative side.

    And how do you get more conservatives to go into education, entertainment and journalism? I dont know.

    Comment by American Elephant — July 8, 2009 @ 11:44 pm - July 8, 2009

  14. The destruction of the black community is horrific. I grew up in metro Detroit. Today it is a bombed out city. There are urban leaders who want to return 60% of the acreage to farmland so that it will be easier to provide services to the residents who haven’t escaped. A Republican who espoused school vouchers and urban enterprise zones would get the votes of every black mother and grand mother in these cities. Imagine a mother raising two kids by herself who has to send them off everyday to Detroit schools. Only 25% of incoming freshmen graduate in Detroit High Schools. Imagine the terror as she wonders if her children will get shot or raped before they get home safe.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — July 8, 2009 @ 11:47 pm - July 8, 2009

  15. Sarah Palin did not run away from her job. She is freeing up the state of Alaska from attacks by the Obama supporters who have been sent out to take her down.

    Sarah can do so much more for conservatives outside of the office of Governor.

    She is breaking our of the gate to fight for what is the exact opposite of what has been done for decades by politicians.

    I don’t think her speech could have been clearer.

    We just need a whole lot more Sarah Palins to say the same thing: we are taking back our lives and we want to take back our constitution and country.

    Congrats guys on the Advocate recognition. Well done!

    Comment by Libby — July 9, 2009 @ 12:31 am - July 9, 2009

  16. Gene…we were doing so well. Again, let’s not work within government. How do we affect peoples’ hearts?

    Well how can you do that if one can’t tell people the reason why things are the way they are as you suggested above? As you know, I think it’s important to be frank. One needs to identify the problem, point out what and/or whom is responsible as well as pointing out the alternative.

    Just like children, alcoholics, drug abusers etc., they need to know what is/will happen when you go down a certain path and provide a clear alternative.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — July 9, 2009 @ 12:49 am - July 9, 2009

  17. CP:

    I guess your concerns bring up a larger point. Isn’t self-sufficiency in a democracy about following the rules that we agree to and doing what’s right?

    I get the gist here that many people simply believe that reduction in government, “small government,” somehow equals good government. I believe that good government equals good government (and thus self-sufficiency within that structure). And I don’t see that politicians, as a professional class, are generally in it for the good of mankind. Government is a necessary evil but making it smaller doesn’t necessarily make it better. It may simply make it work for no one and a government that doesn’t work for the people it serves is not a government. It needs to have restrictions placed on itself to ensure it works properly and the way you do that is make politicians accountable to the people. Politicians are not one and the same as government; the people make up the government so the government can support the people.

    But to respond to your notes about my ideas I counter with these:

    1. Term restrictions only limit duration, not choice. If you are encouraging self-sufficiency, you then also need to promote the idea that no one is special enough to hold office beyond a term of service however that’s defined. For a country founded by breaking away from a monarchy and having an amendment to the constitution regarding term limits on the presidency, it seems natural that we should hold the idea of term limits, regarding elected officials as fulfilling a term of service, central to the idea of the working of the country. Even the Greeks and Romans had term limits and term restrictions have a history in our own country to the late 1600s. Democracy should encourage increased participation in government, not institutionalize and strengthen incumbent officials chances of remaining in office.

    2. Again it’s about following the rules we agree to and doing the right thing.When you remove lobbying to government, you remove the need for oversight by the government and lessen temptation to break lobbying laws by politicians. You actually eliminate government when you do this. But I’m also not suggesting we restrict lobbying by companies, they simply would have to lobby people and not government the way it should be. Make businesses accountable to the people.

    3. There is an inherent involvement by government in protecting and promoting political parties already. The influence is already there but in reverse. It’s a proposition to get government out of the political party business. I’m suggesting investigation into ways to reduce or remove their influence in government. When you restrict the functions and influence of the parties you lessen the money and resources government peddles back to them, you put people first, not political parties.

    4. It’s an inherent danger to confuse money equaling free speech. Speech is about ideas and the expression of those ideas. The system we have today encourages impressions and the spin that accompanies them. I don’t see how a 30 second commercial with a limited message that’s played over and over costing millions of dollars equates to an expression of free speech that’s really what we should be considering in choosing elected officials. But yet it’s a major influence in how people choose elected officials. If we don’t want to restrict people spending money on free speech, why not at least require the bulk of it be funneled into collective forums that ensure equal and fair consideration of candidates.

    5. Actually that’s not the case. While the constitution provides for states to control their own voting “the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Place of Chusing Senators.” It’s in the context of the constitution to set federal mandates regarding elections which it does already anyway.

    Comment by Countervail — July 9, 2009 @ 1:31 am - July 9, 2009

  18. I think that the independence is tied to smaller levels of dependence.

    An example I’ve read about is home schooling. In Kansas I think it was, a bunch of families found out they were all home schooling. They started banding together, sending their kids to each other’s houses since it was “Bill, you’re the history expert, while I’m the guy using trig at the factory, and Sue, you’re a computer programmer.” By focusing on their specialties they made a ‘mini school district’ for their kids.

    As to when it started? Yeah, I’ll peg the depression. Though running paralleles I think W is Hoover to Obama’s FDR. Lets just hope people realize it this time and we don’t need a world war to shake us out of complacency.

    Comment by The Livewire — July 9, 2009 @ 6:50 am - July 9, 2009

  19. #4 CP, yes, I’m approaching the problem from within government because I believe that’s where the most effective changes can take place. It’s a fantasy to think that if we change hearts, the lines at the welfare office will disappear. (Not that that is your argument, but I’m proposing a simplistic opposite of my simplistic answer above.) Fighting the dependency culture is a complicated issue and I believe that change must come from all angles, both within and without government.

    One of the problems we face is the centralization issue, meaning the federal subsuming of state and local responsibilities, thus removing accountability through layers of bureaucracy (and for most Americans, via geography). But the problem is deeper. France is a republic, but one that practices the direct democracy of national referenda. Since we don’t have such a system (more to our good than not), issues such as term limits must be handled by the very people who would pay the price for their passage. It cannot be accomplished at the state level because many voters would see this as limiting the power of their elected officials and limiting the amount of pork flowing back to them, so a red state such as Texas might approve them while Vermont would be absolutely against them. Congress is the only way to do this, so back to my original point: elect officials who see the need to reduce government’s size and power and encourage politicians who want to serve rather than be served.

    Another example of this subsuming is the creation of more and more federal departments, ostensibly to handle duties previously considered in Congress. Again, voters have less say in such matters because the representatives they elect are simply shifting responsibility to the executive branch, whose officials are appointed rather than elected. The Presidency has gained a great deal of power this way.

    So the problem is structural as well as philosophical. How do we address such issues? Well, you’re never going to find a Democrat in favor of getting rid of the Department of Education… So although I’m as disappointed in Republicans who don’t take a small government approach as the next person, overall the GOP is the best vehicle we currently have.

    Some might simply throw up their hands and say that it’ll only change when our education system changes, but then my arguments are only more applicable, not less.

    Comment by Ignatius — July 9, 2009 @ 10:05 am - July 9, 2009

  20. The answer might be the following: It is a simple fact that most people are incapable of learning from history or from theoretical reasoning. They only learn from direct, painful experience. The era of big, tyrannical, intrusive government will end as soon as people perceive/anticipate more harm and pain from its presence than from its absence. Thankfully, the government is on a collision course with reality. Before too long, due to fiscal constraints, the government will be unable to deliver substantially on any of its bogus promises. At that time, the average person will discover that he is getting raped via taxation and a disastrous economy, all the while getting absolutely nothing of value in return. He will perceive that government serves no one except government employees, and he will be damned if he is going to serve as the host for these parasites. His voting preferences will change accordingly.

    Comment by Matteo — July 9, 2009 @ 1:14 pm - July 9, 2009

  21. Very interesting post and thoughtful discussion. There are so many issues here that seek to minimize indepence. My first thought is to get out from under the thumb of local restrictions. For instance there are many restrictions placed on what I can do with my own property. I would like to subdivide my 30 acres. Can’t! Town council won’t allow it. Want to start a little side business on MY property, can’t! Town council won’t allow it. Want a few cows, chickens, sheep…Can’t! Town council won’t allow it. Local restaurant wants to add outdoor seating. They can’t! Town council won’t allow it.

    I suppose independence must start locally, but there is so much more.

    It is hard to have an independant citizenry when the state and federal governments are busy bowing to arabian princes, begging for oil all the while prohibiting the people from drilling their own. Talk about an immediated economic stimulus.

    Where are the people. Seach me, but there is a problem here. My town council make the rules. They are beholden to the State of New York for perks, kickbacks and cash. New York is of course insolvent, but for the Feds and of course the Feds are in the pocket of oil barons and chi coms.

    How about a tax revolt?

    Comment by GoCon — July 9, 2009 @ 3:01 pm - July 9, 2009

  22. This has been without question one of the very best disussions I have ever read on the web.

    Essentially it has focussed on my very special concern: How do Americans take back control of our govt?

    I believe that presidents come and go, but Congress is forever, and that is the heart of the problem.

    And in the heart of hearts is the professional politician, who gets reelected 95% of the time, and who lives only to get reelected forever, regardless of the needs of the country and its apathetic citizens.

    The answer, I believe, is a “Citizen Congress”, IMPOSED by voters who NEVER REELECT ANYONE IN CONGRESS, thereby creating a one-term Congress, without the use of a constitutional amendment.

    Don’t tell me that Congress needs ‘experience’! Our country was built on inexperience! A Congress of freshmen who can’t take reelection for granted would be a trove of creative new ideas, mostly small government ideas.

    50% of Americans never vote, mostly because they hate politics and politicians, and 95% of these non-voters would vote for challengers only. They could sweep the field! How can we mobilize these non-voters to vote against incumbents? Remember, it makes no difference who they vote for, as long as it is never for any incumbent!

    America would be changed forever, and immediately!

    Nelson Lee Walker of tenurecorrupts.com

    Comment by Nelson Lee Walker — July 9, 2009 @ 6:01 pm - July 9, 2009

  23. I personally support the idea that legislative service be done similarly to jury duty — a pool picked at random of all eligible individuals.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 10, 2009 @ 1:26 am - July 10, 2009

  24. Countervail:
    I need to comment on the proposals you put out there:
    1. Term limits – We have Term Limits in California. It, along with the proposition process has left the state in a mess. Because legislators and the governor are term limited, the real power has shifted to the staffers that really control the legislature. These staffers have all the institutional knowledge and pull the strings in the background.
    The reality is, we always had term limits, it was the ballot box. Note: that with Term Limits, the GOP is a nothing party in CA.

    2. Further restrictions on lobbying – This is a core violation of freedom of speech and puts individuals/small business who form up in to associations and hire lobbyists to petition our government. Do you really think that Big Business needs lobbying groups. If you’re a chairman or CEO of a fortune 500 company, do you need a lobbyist, or can you just pick up the phone of several congressman and get them to talk to you. You’re right that this mix of business and government has created havoc, but that’s because of we as a society have become dependent to one extent or another on government to bail us out.

    3. Regulation of political parties like trusts – The reality is, the 2 party system has created a political environment that is stable and fairly reliable. Those nations with lots of political parties have political systems that can change on a dime and create havoc and chaos in their governments, which bleeds over into economic affairs.

    4. Further restrictions on money a candidate can use for elections – This here is where transparency would be the most effective tool to control power through money. instead of going through all of the requirements of campaign finance laws and in my opinion stiffling my political speach, why not just require the campaigns to have to list who their donors are and the amounts they gave and have it accessible to the public (websites, gov offices, etc.). Then let us the voters decide. remember, we get in leaders what we deserve.

    5. Ensure a fair and enforced election code – Logistically, We already have these, there called state election codes. For all Californians, they are uniformed and provide us with a method of electing our representatives to send to Washington. The same goes for Coloradoans, New Yorkers, etc. We all need to remember that we have a federal form of government that reserves all powers to the state except for those that are specifically stated in the Constitution. This is also why each state has control over other laws such as capital crimes, driving codes, ect.

    Comment by HCN — July 10, 2009 @ 4:54 pm - July 10, 2009

  25. But how do you get such people elected in the first place when the electorate is itself (it seems) so reliant on such pandering as it stands?

    Nick, you had it right the first time: Change the ideas in the culture. Problem is, it’s slow and difficult work. But it’s how the Left won, the first time. It took them well over a century. First they took over the philosophy departments (Hegelians-Marxists coming over from Germany in the 19th and early 20th centuries). Then the Left took over Hollywood, the media, the rest of academia (except the hard sciences), the high schools and elementary schools. That created the climate from the 1910s to the 1930s to today, where everything is presented in the media and the culture from a Statist slant, and students citizens – even some relatively well-meaning people on this blog – don’t know crap about real American history, or capitalism’s role in it. The only way to win is to fight the same battles in reverse – becoming educated, standing up to tell the truth and encouraging others to do so, challenging the sick moral premises of the Left. Loudly and at the jugular.

    Because the coutntry is still 40% conservative despite the Left’s best efforts, in terms of politicians, it might not take very much: a politician who will tell it like it is, without flinching; without conceding the sick moral premises of the Left. That’s how Reagan got as far as he did. And lack of that, or caving into the premises of the Left, is why Bush was domestically a failure who only grew government, and McCain after him, and anyone the so-called “moderate” Republicans will put forth.

    When did the first answer to our problems reflexively come to lie in government actions and not in our own abilities?

    In terms of the political scene, it began with the so-called “progressive” (actually anti-capitalist, regressive and Big Government) Republicans of the early 20th century, and took another step up with FDR who wanted to nationalize virtually everything. Roosevelt was a great liar and had a vigorous opposition pointing it out, but it didn’t matter because – again – he had so much of academia and the media on his side, or rather on the side of statism / Big Government.

    Sadly, it may be that we need an economic disaster to re-open people’s eyes to the fact that leftism just doesn’t work… and it may be that we are about to get that disaster, over the next 3-7 years.

    Often times, I just shake my head when I listen to conservatives speak… [there] seems to be a reluctance to challenge what the left says.

    …at a moral level, or the level of fundamental premises. Exactly so. And that is why conservatives and other pro-capitalists fail.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 13, 2009 @ 1:31 am - July 13, 2009

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