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Posts Tagged ‘Limited Government’

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Source: The Aspen Institute– Columnist David Brooks

Source: The New Democrat

If you just arrived on Planet Earth yesterday and were an adult and two of the first things you observed were supposed to be what it means to be a Conservative and Liberal and what conservatism and liberalism are supposed to be, you would probably think Conservatives are simply bigots who hate anyone who isn’t of European especially Anglo-Saxon background, who isn’t a Christian especially a Protestant and who isn’t male. That conservatism is simply an authoritarian bigoted political philosophy that is about conserving everything in society for Europeans especially English-Europeans in America and especially Protestant males.

And that Liberals are simply statists. In some cases democratic, but in many other cases communist who believe European-Americans are all bigots, unless they come from the Northeast or West Coast and were educated there as well. Who hate European-Americans again unless they come from one of the coasts and were raised there. The Northeast and West Coast, that is and believe the role of government is to take care of non-Europeans in America and to punish Europeans for being successful.

That Liberals are supposed to be people who believe that anyone who doesn’t look at the world as they do are basically idiots who need to be babysat by government. That freedom is dangerous and it only gives people the freedom to make mistakes. That free speech is only the freedom to offend non-Europeans. That capitalism and property rights are selfish. That even education and self-inprovent are dangerous things, because it means that people would be able to obtain the power and freedom to live independently and be able to think and act for themselves.

Now, I just gave you a pretty good idea about what conservatism and liberalism aren’t. What it doesn’t mean to a Conservative and what it doesn’t mean to be a Liberal. The anti-conservative views when it comes to conservatism and the illiberal views when it comes to liberalism. Now, how about what it actually means to be a Conservative and what conservatism actually is and what it means to be a Liberal and what liberalism actually is.

I agree with David Brooks about one thing which seems to be a common theme when I hear him speak, at least about public policy and philosophy. That conservatism is about conserving tradition and a certain way of life in America. Which is different from saying that the role of government is force a way of life on the rest of the country and force everybody to basically live as straight fundamentalist Protestant Evangelicals. Which is what Christian-Conservatives who today are basically Christian-Nationalists believe, that the problem with the America is personal freedom and individualism and that Americans shouldn’t have the freedom to live their own lives and have their own lifestyles.

My personal view of what it means to be a Conservative in the political sense, comes from Mr. Conservative Senator the late Barry Goldwater. Who said that he wanted big government out of our wallets, bedrooms, boardrooms, and classrooms. He wanted big government out of our personal and economic affairs. He believed in limited government and federalism and that the role of government was to protect Americans from predators both foreign and domestic, but not try to protect Americans from themselves and punish Americans for their own personal decisions. And that a big role of government was to conserve the U.S. Constitutional and our constitutional rights. Not conserve some fundamentalist Protestant Christian way of life and to force everybody to live under the same religious and cultural values.

For me as a Liberal, defining Liberal and liberalism is very easy for me. A Liberal is someone who believes in liberal democracy what some people might call classical liberalism, but what I just call liberalism and liberal democracy. That government should be limited and there to defend our constitutional rights and civil liberties, including our property rights. That everyone in America is the same at least in the sense that no one is better simply because of their race, ethnicity, or gender and that everyone has the same civil rights and are all entitled to the same equal and constitutional rights. Liberals believe in limited government, the U.S. Constitution, civil liberties, individual rights. A safety net for people who truly need it, but not having a government big enough to manage people’s lives and to force everyone to live equally from an economic standpoint. Socialists believe in forcing equality on everyone. Liberals believes in quality opportunity for everyone, which is different.

Now, if you just watch Fox News and MSNBC, you might think Conservatives are from Mars and Liberals are from Saturn. Two completely different planets with very little if anything in common. Thousands if not millions of miles way ideologically. But if you look at the American political spectrum Conservatives are on the center-right and Liberals are on the center-left. Ideologically they’re political opponents ( not enemies ) but have the most in common ideologically of any two political factions on the American political spectrum. With the Socialists ( both democratic and communist ) and the Christian-Nationalists, having the least in common. Conservatives and Liberals both believe in the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, our federal form of limited government. But differ when it comes to government’s role in the economy and national security. But don’t live in two on two different planets ideologically. As much as Fox News and MSNBC may disagree with this.

The Aspen Institute: David Brooks- On Conservative and Liberal Values

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Source: The Nation

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

I believe to listen to Gore Vidal speak or read any of his material, you first have to know where he’s coming from and what his political background is. He doesn’t view individual rights and freedom like most Americans do. He has more of a social democratic or democratic socialist approach to how looks at politics, rights, and freedom. He was as far to the left as Henry Wallace who ran for President for the Progressive Party back in 1948, Senator George McGovern, who ran for President three times for the Democratic Party, or Senator Bernie Sanders today.

So when Gore Vidal talks about rights and freedom, he means the right not to go without the basic essentials in life.

The right not to starve.

The right not to want.

The right to health care and health insurance.

The right to housing.

The right to work if someone chooses to, but that work shouldn’t be required even for people who are mentally and physically able.

And for people who literally choose not to work in order to support themselves, those people are also entitled to the same rights that I just mentioned.

The rights that President Franklin Roosevelt proposed in 1944 in his second Bill of Rights speech. What would be called today welfare rights and perhaps back then as well. The rights for people to be taken care of instead of everyone going out there and making their own way in life and creating their own individual freedom for themselves. Which is very different from what the Founding Fathers created for America even though they didn’t tend individual rights for all Americans and not just Englishmen of wealth. Those individual rights that all Americans have regardless of their race, ethnicity, or gender, apply to all Americans because that is how the Founding Fathers (Founding Liberals, really) wrote our Bill of Rights.

All what was consistent with Gore Vidal and is also consistent with the Socialist-Left today that Noam Chomsky and others argue, is that America doesn’t even have a two-party system, let alone a multiple party system. That we have a one-system that has people called Democrats and others called Republicans. Who are both controlled by big business in America and the National Security State.

Gore was somewhat conspiratorial to say the least. And even though he was a helluva lot smarter than your everyday JFK assassination conspiracy theorist and a very intelligent and funny man in general, he had his own conspiracy theories as well.

The Nation: Gore Vidal- Speech at The Nation in 1990

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Source: Foreign Policy Magazine  

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

I read this article called It’s Time To Found a New Republic from Daren Acemoglu and Simon Johnson over at Foreign Policy Magazine. And it wasn’t just the title of the article that caught my attention. It’s Time To Found a New Republic, if they spent more time on the title maybe they would’ve called It’s Time For a New Republic, Time To Create a New Republic, The New American Republic. When something is found you don’t need to fine it, because it’s already there.

But getting pass the wording of the title of their piece most of their article was about American history and the progressive movement. Starting with the Progressive Era of the early 1900s and going up to the New Deal of the 1930s and the creation of the our national infrastructure system of the 1950s. And then towards the end they were had some policy proposals.

Ranging from a national basic income, which I disagree with, to ending partisan, racial, and ethnic gerrymandering which I’m in favor of. When I saw the title of their piece I’m, thinking maybe they were talking about creating a new form of American government. That the problem with American society (as they might see it) is the structure of our government all together. Perhaps they don’t like our Federal system based on limited government and would propose replacing that with a unitarian style of government that you see a lot of in Europe. Where most of the governmental power in the country is based with the national government. Instead of spread out between the national, state, and local government’s.

Just to comment on Daren Acemoglu’s and Simon Johnson’s economic proposals. I don’t believe the problem of income inequality (if you want to call it that) has to do with our government structure and how power and responsibility is spread out. Not that they were arguing that either necessarily. But it has to do with the skills gap and opportunity gaps in the American economy.

If you live in rural America and grow there, or you’re raised in a rough part of an inner city your chances of doing well in America are far lesser than if you come from a middle class neighborhood in a city or from the suburbs. Also if you have parents or even one parent who are doing well in life, not necessarily rich but doing well enough for you to be raised right and have you what you need to do well growing up, your chances of doing well in America are much better if you come from a low-income family in a low-income neighborhood, where your parent or parents are just struggling to survive.

So you want to reduce income inequality (again, if you want to call it that) you have to reduce the inequality that’s part of our education system and have an education system where more Americans can simply get a good education. Regardless of where they live and where they grow up and who their parents are. And of course regardless of their race, ethnicity, or gender. Which should go without saying anyway.

As well as having an adult educational system in this country where low-income adults whether they’re currently working or not, can advance in the American economy by finishing and furthering their education and getting themselves a good job that leads them to economic independence.

As well as having that system available for workers who already have a solid education. High school diploma plus some vocational training and perhaps a college degree, but now find themselves working in a field where those jobs are disappearing or where they’re no longer able to make the money that allows for them to live comfortably. And allow for them to further their education perhaps even in a new field for them.

The problem with the American economy has nothing to do with our form of government. Or our Federal Government is too small, our state and local government’s, have too much responsibility, or middle class Americans are undertaxed and have to much personal and economic freedom and have to make too many decisions on their own.

The problem with the American economy and why we have income inequality (if you want to call it that) has to do with education and skills. We need to move pass the idea that schools should be funded based on the property values of the people who live in those communities . Which has to do with property taxes. And sending kids to school based on where they live, instead of what’s the best school for them.

And get pass the idea that if you start at a low-wage low-skilled job because you’re low-skilled, that you’re stuck working jobs like that indefinitely. Because you can’t afford to go back to school or simply don’t have the time for it, because you’re working multiple low-wage jobs just to try to survive.

You close the skills and education gaps in America, you reduce poverty, because you’ll not just have more Americans working as long as you have pro-growth economic policies in place that promote economic development and growth, but you’ll also have more Americans working good jobs. Which will also improve your long-term economic and financial outlook of the country. Because you’ll have fewer Americans on public assistance.

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Source: RCO 64

RCO 64: The American Form of Government

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Source: The Independent Institute 

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

According to Wikipedia the definition of social justice is, “justice in terms of distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within society.”

People let’s say on the farther left (Social Democrats/Democratic Socialists) take the definition to mean that there should be distribution of wealth in society. That wealth should be distributed based on what people need to live well. Not based on what people earn. And of course the central government usually a unitarian government in most social democracies (one large government for the entire country) will collect most of the wealth in the country and dish it back out in the form of welfare state payments to the people based on what the government believes people need to live well in society.

So the people not just living above poverty, but living somewhat comfortably, but short of being wealthy and perhaps even upper middle class. Socialists (democratic and otherwise) don’t believe in rich or poor. They want equality of outcomes where no one is wealthy or poor, but able to live well. This type of economic system is how Scandinavia operates and the states there and to a certain extent even in Britain. (Even when the Conservatives are in charge)

The libertarian notion of social justice is to put it in plain terms is that what’s mine is mine and what’s yours, is yours. To paraphrase Libertarian Economist Walter Williams. Meaning what the people make for themselves is exactly that. And shouldn’t be subjected to taxation especially to help pay for the people who don’t have much to live on and are in living in poverty as a result.

To go back to the Wikipedia definition of social justice. Liberals (in the real and classical sense) concentrate on the opportunities portion of social justice. Liberals believe in an opportunity society. Where everyone has the ability to make a good life for themselves. Where everyone has access to a quality education even if they live in poverty. And if they live in poverty that their parents or parent, has the ability to finish and further their education so they can get themselves a good job and make a good living.

Get off of public assistance, buy a nice home and live in a nice community where they don’t have to worry about being physically harmed when they go to the grocery store, or are coming back or going to school. Where they have a basic fundamental sense and reality when it comes to their own economic and physical security. And then what the people make for themselves financially, they’re able to keep most of that and pay back in taxes what it takes for the government to function effectively and to do only what we need for government to do well for us, that is also consistent with strong economic and job growth so people are encouraged to be productive and make a good living for themselves and their families.

And yes you need an effective government to invest in what makes economies strong so as many people can benefit from capitalism and private enterprise as possible. Not to run the economy or to run business’s, or tax and regulate private business so much that the government essentially owns and runs those companies.

But to see that everyone can get a good education. Where kids aren’t sent to school simply because of where they live, but what’s the best school for them even if that might mean a charter school or private school all together.

Where economic development is encouraged so you don’t have ghost towns essentially where the only people who live there are people who can’t afford to live anywhere else. Where gangs and organize criminals run the communities.

Where you have an modern infrastructure system so companies can get their products to market (to use an old phrase) and also to encourage more private economic development.

A responsible regulatory state to protect consumers from predators and worker from abusive employers.

And a limited effective safety net (not welfare state) that serves an economic insurance system for people who are out-of-work, or lack basic skills to get themselves a good job. But also empowers low-skilled individuals to get themselves on their feet by finishing and furthering their education and learning a trade so they can get themselves a good job.

Where Liberals separate from Socialists has to do with government’s involvement in the economy. Socialists want government to take most of the national income and dish it back out based on what they believe people need to do well. Where Liberals differ with Libertarians is that Liberals believe that the people should be able to to keep most of what they earn. But that Liberals believe there is a real role for government even in a free society and that being part of a free society is like being part of a club. Where you end up paying for the services that you consume and even some of the services that don’t personally benefit you.

Independent Institute: Kyle Swan- Social Justice in The Classical Liberal Tradition

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“Without the emergence of the Christian-Right in the 1970s…”

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Without the emergence of the Christian-Right in the 1970s and 1980s, there is no Reform Party USA today. Why, because what is the Reform Party and what’s the point of it? The Reform Party is what the Republican Party use to be and what they believed in. Before they recruited the Christian-Right and broader Far-Right out of the Democratic Party and into the GOP. They use to believe in fiscal responsibility, economic freedom, strong but limited national defense and foreign policy that’s not designed to police the world and they were tolerant or federalist on social issues. Not believing that the Federal Government or government in general, should be used to tell how Americans should live their own lives and make their personal decisions for them. That was the GOP of the 1960s that Dwight Eisenhower essentially created in the 1950s, that Tom Dewey tried to create in the 1940s. That also had a growing conservative-libertarian wing in it led by Barry Goldwater and others.

If Donald Trump takes down the Republican Party in November and they lose the House as well as the Senate and he decides to take his movement with him and perhaps launches a new third-party and perhaps some nationalist party, the Reform Party could become relevant for the first time since Ross Perot launched this movement in the early 1990s. Along with the Libertarians and this is how the Republican Party could become a national party again that can win the presidency, because it would have the members and voters, to compete for the presidency and not need gerrymandered House districts to hold a majority in the House. Or low turnout elections to win a majority in the Senate, because again they would have the voters to be able to compete with Democrats everywhere. Or perhaps the GOP dies and the Reform Party emerges as the new Center-Right party in America. And brings in Libertarians and Northeastern Conservative Republicans.

The Reform Party, to me at least represents the Republican Party when it wasn’t owned by the Christian-Right and broader Far-Right in America. A party where the Ku Klux Klan and other Far-Right European-American nationalist groups, didn’t feel at home in. Because it was a big-tent party that welcomed African-Americans, Latin-Americans, Jewish-Americans, women, Catholics, immigrants, etc. Where it was the party of Abraham Lincoln, Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and yes even Barry Goldwater. Not Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, David Duke, Donald Trump, or the Tea Party. A party that could not only competed in the Northeast with moderate-conservative Republicans, but in the Midwest and the West with Conservative-Libertarians and even California, but in the South as well. And could win high turnout elections, because it had the members and voters to compete everywhere with the Democratic Party. That is no longer the case for the GOP today.

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Source: History & Politics Hub-Andrew Sullivan 

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat 

Conservatism similar to liberalism, it depends on what you mean by it. Unlike with libertarianism where most people who follow politics probably have a pretty good idea what libertarianism actually is. And a big reason for that is how simple it is. Libertarians do not want government in their wallets or personal lives and be left alone unless they are hurting innocent people. But conservatism like Liberalism is a bit more complicated than that.

More people tend to get labeled conservative even if these people who are supposed to be Conservatives disagree with each other on what it means to be a Conservative. For instance Barry Goldwater who I believe is the father of modern classical conservatism, or at least modern conservative libertarianism who was famous for saying get big government out of my wallet and bedroom, he would be a Conservative today.

But someone like Rick Santorum or Michelle Bachmann who are both called Conservatives or Dennis Prager even, yet even though they probably tend to agree with Senator Goldwater when it comes to economic and foreign policy, but they would sharply disagree when it comes to social issues. Because they meaning Senator Santorum, Representative Bachmann and Mr. Prager believe in serious restrictions when it comes to what people can do with their personal lives.

If your idea of a Conservative is someone whose against big government both as it relates to the economy and as it relates to people’s lives and what people do in their privacy, which is what I believe and I’m a Liberal, than Andrew Sullivan is your Conservative in this debate. But if your idea of a Conservative is someone who believes in a strong national defense, small government as it relates to the economy with low taxes across the board, but traditionalism as far as Americans should live their lives and that government should even enforce that on society, than Santorum and Bachmann would be your Conservatives.

Because someone who also believes in a traditional way of life and when Americans moves away from that it is bad for the country a way of life from let’s say back in the 1950s and that we need legal restrictions on what people can do in their personal lives for the good of the country, to me at least would be a big government Republican or rightist. And Dennis Prager would be your Conservative in this debate if that is your idea of conservative. But he’s not a Conservative in the sense he believes in conserving freedom both economic and personal. As he is in conserving a certain way of life, even if that means in restricting personal freedom.

Again it goes to what you mean by conservative, but conservatism in a political sense is how Barry Goldwater and Ron Reagan even described it as, conserving freedom and allowing for people to live their own lives and making their own decisions. In other words conserving freedom, not that it is the job of government to decide how people should live their own lives. And for people who live differently and have different values, they need to be in prison for that.

History and Politics Hub: Dennis Prager vs Andrew Sullivan- Defense of Marriage Act- 1996

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Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat

 

Source: The Fiscal Times: Opinion- Bruce Bartlett-The Coming Revival of Liberalism

Before you discuss liberalism I think you first need to know what you are talking about. Because generally speaking Liberals in America tend to be stereotyped as being in favor of big government and higher taxes, centralization of government, they worship the Federal Government, Federal control, anti-success, anti-wealthy, anti-business and at times today even anti-capitalism. As well as being anti-military, anti-law-enforcement and today even not liking Caucasians and perhaps men in general. Want the Federal Government to run our lives for us and anti-America as well. And if I didn’t know any better when I hear a lot of Americans who are either very partisan on the Right or are ignorant about liberalism, I would have to assume that they are talking about Communists or at least Social Democrats that are common in Europe. And that it is the Conservatives who are in favor of capitalism, low taxes, economic freedom, limited government, strong defense, protecting the streets and so-forth.

I just laid out what liberalism isn’t and before I layout what liberalism is, I just want to point out that the fact it is both Liberals and Conservatives believe in capitalism. Both Liberals and Conservatives believe in a strong defense and are in favor of effective law enforcement. As long as it is consistent with our civil liberties. Both Liberals believe in limited government even at the Federal level. Both Liberals and Conservatives believe in low taxes at least for middle class workers and both Liberals and Conservatives love America. Want Americans to succeed and be able to do well in life on their own and not be dependent on public assistance. I’ve said this before, but it’s not so much that Liberals and Conservatives differ as far as who believes in freedom and who doesn’t and loves America and who doesn’t, because both factions believe in the same things. But we tend to differ on how to accomplish those things. Rather us differing on whether we should have freedom or not. Whether America is a great country or not and or whether we should have a limited government or a big expansionist government with no ends and limitations.

So if you are a Liberal you believe in freedom both personal and economic but that freedom should apply to everyone. Not just a privilege few and that we should all have the freedom to live our own lives and be able to take care of ourselves and not be dependent on government to take care of us. But where government comes in is to see that all Americans have those opportunities to be successful in life. And that gets to education, job training for low-skilled workers and unemployed adults. And effective and understandable regulatory system that protects workers, consumers and even employers from unfair practices by others. And that we all pay our fair share of taxes, but  not to the point that it discourages us from living in freedom and having to live off of government. But just to the point that it funds the limited government that we need. To do the things that we need government to do for us.

And the reason why I believe that liberalism is on the way up or as Bruce Bartlett puts it, ‘The coming revival of Liberalism’, is because Americans tend to believe in these things. Both economic and personal freedom. Which is why high taxes and big government are still unpopular in America, but big government across the board is unpopular. That Americans tend to want both their economic and personal freedom. As we are now seeing with the unpopularity of the War on Drugs, War on Terror, gay marriage on the rise, legalization of marijuana coming to a state near you, as well as gambling. And this is something that Republicans have to be aware of and successfully deal with if they are going to have any power in the future at. Least at the Federal level and not become a long-term opposition-minority-party.

TYT Interviews: Bruce Bartlett Steps Into TYT

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