The Source of Rights

The Constitution has two important functions: to protect the republic/ democracy that represents the people and to protect the people’s individual liberty from the abuses of democracy.  Democracy is not the end, it is the means and must be limited.

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Our Liberal Culture

Behind the brilliant design of our Constitution is an accurate understanding about human nature and its permanence.  This is the reason it has endured in spite of the difficult and contentious compromises that birthed it. 

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Political Observations 2022 01 14

Identify politics was doomed from the start and we are about to watch it unwind.  We will discover that people are more than their race or sexual identity.  Zogby noted years ago the car in your driveway and that balance in your 401k was a more accurate predictor of your vote than your race or sex.  The left’s obsession with race and identity does not affect the conditions most voters face.

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The Contempt Speech

“A president shouting that 52 senators and millions of Americans are racist unless he gets whatever he wants is proving exactly why the Framers built the Senate to check his power”

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The Backfire of Cancel Culture

Instead of cancelling or blocking controversial opinions they would be wiser to address them with factual evidence , but that would require real work and an open mind that another legitimate viewpoint is even possible.  Just blocking or canceling them is much easier.  Without intellectual diversity at a publication and a sense of journalistic ethics these institutions lose the trust and will render themselves irrelevant.  

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The Limits of Federalism

“The kind of federalism the founders espoused was not a freewheeling endorsement of state sovereignty — they had seen how dreadful the results of that might be — but a federalism that restrained power where they had seen its worst abuses: in the states. As Hamilton would write in Federalist 15, “[w]hy has government been instituted at all? Because the passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice, without constraint.” It is such constraint that requires not solely federalism, but a nation.”

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Addiction to Entitlements

The lesson- entitlement programs are essentially irreversible and very difficult to contain.  We should be very cautious about starting any new program no matter how small, fighting the urge as Daniel Henninger framed it “that any tear in the social fabric should be mended with permanent entitlements or subsidies”

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Permanent Crisis

We need to realize that crisis are inevitable.  Ideologues will debate causes long after they pass, but it does not matter if the cause is excessive individualism, unfettered free markets, limited government, excessive government, globalism, the administrative state, or utopian socialism. Any theory of human action in a complex interrelated world will fail occasionally; but we fail a critical test when we equate the ‘failings’ of an ideology with the ‘failure’ of an ideology.  To understand our beliefs we need to know their limits.

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Vichy Capitalism

The regulatory burden rarely get the coverage of tax policy because it is complicated, hard to measure and reporters are lazy- yet the combination is the total friction cost on business.  Increasing the regulatory burden while stimulating the money supply may be the simplest and best definition of stagflation.

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The Only Loyalty that Matters

“If you are not used to the intellectual compartmentalization required of an American politician, it can be jarring to hear, e.g., Senator Sanders demanding “revolution” at 10 a.m. and denouncing “insurrection” at 10:15 a.m”

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The Neo Progressive Turn

“You don’t get to be “against the rich” if the richest people in the country fund your party in order to preserve their government-sponsored monopolies. You are not “a supporter of free speech” if you oppose free speech for people who disagree with you. “

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MIT Wokeness

a just, democratic society requires equal opportunity, equal justice, and equal responsibility; it does not require equal outcomes.

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The Twentieth Century Challenge to Enlightenment Individualism

Man’s collective identity was expressed politically in socialist ideologies and economically in corporate structures.  Technical advances empowered the collective, rendering the morality and individual prudence ill prepared to contain.

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The “Woke’ Bastardization of Progressivism

The term ‘Progressive’ has come to mean something Theodore or Franklin Roosevelt would never recognize.  A pejorative for dysfunctional policies detached from any accountability or reason.  While I have come to appreciate the aims of Progressivism at its inception, I still recognize the inevitable flaws of permanent government solutions to every conceivable social problem. Perhaps this ‘woke’ bastardization of the term ‘progressive’ was the inevitable outcome from a movement that was incapable of articulating any limits on government power.

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An Excess of Democracy

There was more than just the lack of power that the central government needed to function properly that the current alliance circumvented.  There was also an abuse of democracy that mere modification of the Articles could not address.

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The Threat of Revolutionary Justice

Threats to intimidate and undermine our legal institutions is no different from undermining our electoral institutions.  Systemic racism and CRT and all of their iterations seek to undermine these critical institutions.  Social justice is a poor substitute for real justice, and can easily become its opposite.

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A Carefully Constructed Republic

The critical point is not that we are simply a republic and not a democracy, but that we are a very carefully constructed republic, reflecting an understanding of human nature, with numerous firewalls that are designed to prevent the democracy from degenerating into anarchy and tyranny.

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Oligarchical Solialism

“The technocratic future is already upon us. And it has little need for the labor of the lower classes—or the messiness of democracy. These same people have amassed the power to control and disseminate information far more subtly and efficiently than Mussolini, Hitler, or Stalin.”

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The Information Oligarchy

“..the biggest problem with having the flow of information so tightly concentrated in the hands of so few is not that it allows posts from hate groups or divisive political operatives or skinny teenagers. It’s that a tiny handful of oligarchs are dictating what is knowable, or what views are valid.”

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Hyphenated Capitalism

“Hyphenated capitalism is no capitalism at all. The better name for it is socialism lite.” Nikki Haley

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