Saturday, December 17, 2005

Soul Searching

Giving birth to a blog is rather like birthing a child. You have to figure out what to name it and in which direction you wish it to go. It makes you reexamine your core convictions. You can't effectively impart them to anyone else if you aren't totally sure of them yourself.

Over the past ten or fifteen years, my own core convictions have changed very little. What HAVE been changing, gradually but surely, are my beliefs about how those of my convictions should implement our goals. I have grown from wanting those who think like me to regain control of the government, and to get it, once again, to force people who disagree with us to do things our way regardless of the fact that they don't want to, to seeing what it feels like to be on the receiving end of such tyranny. And tyranny, indeed, it is.

I should have been considerate enough (following the teachings of the Christ in Whom I place my faith) to realize it wasn't right to try and force my will on those who disagreed with me. Those who have been libertarians all along have, alone, had the courage and generosity of spirit to show such consideration. But I'm still light years ahead of all too many of my fellow-liberals. Even though they now know how it feels to be on the receiving end of tyranny, they still retain the fantasy of regaining throne and scepter.

For years, as I grew increasingly more libertarian in my convictions, I nonetheless thought that I could remain a Democrat and help our struggling (and increasingly out-of-power) party wake up and turn in the right direction. We've been losing, lately, a whole helluva lot more often than we've won. But the only changes the powers-that-be in the party show any interest in making are cosmetic ones. How do we "repackage our message" so that we seem to be taking a fresh direction when we are really unwilling to learn or change at all?

Becoming a Republican is quite out of the question. I have flirted with the notion of joining the GOP, getting active in Log Cabin and trying to wrest control of the Republican soul back out of the clutches of the Devil, but I do not agree with the Republicans on much of anything -- except that upon which they no longer agree with me. That the government that governs best is that which governs least, and that human beings can only be truly good, noble and charitable when they are left free to do so -- rather than when they are forced to. That the only effective way government can encourage moral responsibility is not by coddling those who choose to be irresponsible -- allowing them to duck out of their problems by blaming them on scapegoats --but by making them accountable for the choices they have made and thus giving them the opportunity to learn from their experiences. It is only too clear that the great majority of Republicans no longer stand for any of these convictions.

I still believe the government has no business legislating morality. Telling others what to do -- when you demonstrate no interest in doing it yourself -- has never been an effective means of doing anything except discrediting the very convictions in which you claim to believe. But where did this whiny, irresponsible, shift-the-blame attitude, so common to modern "conservatives," originate? Why, they learned it from the liberal Democrats of generations past -- and present!

I do not believe in the death penalty, but when a hardened gang-banger and convicted murderer is executed, I can summon forth little sympathy and very few tears. Time and again, liberals have taken to the streets to protest the punishment of people who are little more than skid-marks on the underpants of humanity, while paying no attention whatsoever to the plight of those victimized by violent crime. In my home state of Arizona, a convicted murderer is crying foul because the State Bar refuses to admit him. Call the waaaambulance, please! And by ALL means, let's make sure we "get guns off the streets" by disarming all law-abiding citizens (the only people who obey gun laws, or laws of any other sort) with laws that actual criminals (the ones who use guns to do bad things) will simply disregard.

I am tired of this. I'm sick of being told my basic human rights are being championed by people with no moral sense whatsoever (especially when it's true). And especially when the behavior of those in "progressive" politics makes it amply clear, time and time again, that they will betray me every time it becomes convenient. Liberals are no longer liberal, conservatives are no longer conservative -- they're all going nuts. And why?

Because of the tremendous size of our government at every level, and of the power that puts in the hands of those who win the political prizes. People will do or say just about anything to get ahold of that power -- and to keep it out of the hands of the equally-unscrupulous people who would use it to destroy them. The only way out of this insanity -- the only way, indeed, to get liberals to go back to being truly liberal, conservatives to being genuine conservatives and truth to be spoken and heard -- is to take as many powers and functions as possible out of the hands of the State and place them back in the hands of the people, where they belong. When people must once again use CIVIL AND RESPECTFUL PERSUASION to sell the case for their convictions, then the truth -- the very best of those convictions -- will again rise to the top.

It is mighty tempting for me to go on voting for "progressive" Democrats who claim they'll save me from the pack of fascists that now run our country. Those in charge have made war on me not because of anything I've done, but simply because of who I am -- and if they are not stopped, they will destroy me. I can't blame a lot of my fellow liberals for continuing to cling to the Democratic Party like barnacles to the bottom of a ship. All I can do is warn them -- hopefully before it's too late -- that the ship is sinking.

Nobody -- NOBODY -- should be able to do to others what our Leviathan State now gives them the power to do. Jesus emphasized the importance of what we now call The Golden Rule. It
was, indeed, the summary and essence of not only the Gospel, but the Ten Commandments. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." There is but a single political party now living that Rule, and a small (but, thank goodness, rapidly-growing) group of people demonstrating their willingness to personally follow it. They are the libertarians -- both large "L" and small.

They are the real defenders and guardians of what makes America great. May God bless them, one and all.


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