Category Archives

Archive of posts published in the category: Politics

Progressives and the Constitution

Progressives also challenged the notion that the Founders’ principles were timeless truths, arguing instead that they were products of their time and context, insufficient for addressing the complexities of a rapidly industrializing society. This perspective fueled their efforts to redefine rights from negative protections against government interference to positive entitlements granted by government, aimed at securing social and economic well-being.

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Political Realities

Progress emanates from the work of a very few, unpredictably and contrary to conventional wisdom. The protection of freedom and individual rights for these few benefits us all more than the rights accruing only to the majority.

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Losing the Working Class

Married to a binary one-dimensional interest spectrum, the Democrats only consider the economic interests at stake and even then, only consider the immediate consequences.  Perhaps the working class is responding to more than their immediate economic interests, and are reacting to cultural differences, urban crime, and the illiberalness that has infected our institutions.  Throwing money at a problem that is not economic at its source will not persuade the working class.

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The Great Lie of American Politics

“But that’s the great lie of American politics (and of democracy at large): that the people cannot fail but can only be failed.”

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We The People

“That’s the real conservative sensibility at work: If progressivism is about making incremental improvements in the direction of utopia, conservatism is about avoiding catastrophe. And if democracy is a hedge against Caesarism, constitutionalism is a hedge against democracy—against the horrifying things that the people will do when you give them political power without checks and accountability.”

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The Durham Report

“Likewise, we now know a lot of the Democrat congressmen on television were lying about information. They were fed falsehoods from the deep state and regurgitated them without basis on television. The entirety of the bureaucracy not just picked a partisan side but then weaponized their powers to undermine a President.”

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The Old New Deal

“Regardless, measured against the intended point of the New Deal—getting us out of the Great Depression—the New Deal was a failure. Indeed, many people—I’m one of them—would argue that the New Deal prolonged the Great Depression. But while the New Deal was a policy failure, it was a huge political success.”

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The Fourth Branch of Government

“During my 12 years in government I often saw career bureaucrats push their preferred policy passions irrespective of agencies’ rules, federal regulations or the law.”

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The Limits of Good Intentions

“Good intentions are fine, but good intentions and a $27 trillion economy will get you a lot farther than good intentions alone.”

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Political Observations 2023 01 09

When the parties are this closely divided, small, sometimes extreme elements can exercise far more power than their numbers would justify.  The solution is either to win with larger margins to relegate extreme minorities to the sidelines or to secure strong party leadership that can control errant minorities.  The latter, at the moment, is like putting the toothpaste back in the tube.  We apparently are one of the few countries where the political parties exercise no control over who runs under the party label.

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Political Thoughts 2022 10 22

The independents increasingly decide elections but are muted in the primaries. We nominate candidates in the primaries that fare poorly in the general election, voting based on who they are not rather than who they are. This dynamic leads to political volatility.

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The Dangers of the Academic Bubble

Many of the departments of higher academia are plagued by a lack of intellectual diversity.  The atmosphere of ‘wokeness’ and cancel culture is just a form of intellectual McCarthyism.

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Republicanism and Aristocracy

The third aristocracy identified by McLaughlin is a cultural aristocracy embedded in media, entertainment, higher education, and increasingly in corporations and public school.  To the extent that this aristocracy projects values and rules that are in conflict with a large portion of the population, there is a reaction similar to the reaction to the previous political and economic aristocracies.

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Taming the News

Successful journalism is less likely to be measured by objective truth, clarity, and illumination than by clicks and shares. Clicks and shares are generated by outrage and fear mongering. If your first response to an article is outrage or vindication, put it aside for a few days; you are being played.

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The Evolution of Republicanism

We will always have elites in a technical world and we are free to choose the elites we respect.  What has happened is a segment of elites  does not return the respect, inviting contempt.  When these elites lose respect and this leadership becomes entrenched and unaccountable, the people or the new republicanism seek clumsy tools to influence these institutions.   This is a sound warning from the author.  

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Books That Changed My Views

ronically the system that recognized the permanence of human flaws, the Lockean influence on the American Constitution, has proven far less oppressive than the systems that believed in the malleability of human nature.

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Principles and Ideology

Principles are not accountable to ideologies; ideologies are accountable to principles.

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Radical Omnipotence

“I care less about whether the top personal income-tax rate is 39 percent or 36 percent than I do about whether we can pick one and stick to it for a few decades at least, and, more generally, about ensuring that we do not undertake big and disruptive changes to the policy environment without real consensus and careful deliberation. But instead of that conservative approach, every time a party achieves a temporary majority in Congress or control of the White House, its leaders promise revolution and a radical reordering of taxes, regulations, incentives, terms of trade, and everything else they can think of. “

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Policies and Outcomes

“That is the great Democratic tax strategy: create tax subsidies for businesses and then, two elections later, complain that businesses take advantage of tax subsidies. “

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Biden has Become a Scapegoat

Our political elite took supply for granted.  They confused dollars with goods.  Demand stimulus is a very short term and limited tool.  If we get into debt to stimulate demand, what happens when we pay it back?  Debts are always repaid – one way or another- even if you are not a Lannister.

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