Friday, July 27, 2012

POLITICAL LABELS. WHAT DO THEY MEAN?



How about political labels?  I have tried to label myself but to no avail.  I think my best effort is that I'm a libertarian, but not of the Ron Paul stripe.  As with all politics there are many stripes of the same label.  I recoil from Paul's foreign policy as I'm acquainted with history.  From the very beginning of our country we've been involved in foreign policy.  The French Revolution kicked off in 1789.  Washington was elected in 1788 and took office in 1789.

Interestingly enough, he decided to remain neutral in the French Revolution despite the crown's entreaties to the contrary.  That set off a major dispute within the American nation.  Those who decided on neutrality were vocal in that regard.  Those who disagreed were vocal also.  It was all tamped down by the respect for Washington and his desire to remain neutral.  However, we were involved whether we wanted to be or not.  The Franco-American Alliance of 1778 nearly obligated the U.S. to support the French monarchy.  After all, turn about is fair play, right?

We need to have a foreign policy as it relates to the responsibility of government to protect the people.  That is the most important responsibility of government.  Bar none.  Everything else pales in comparison.  The government owes we citizens protection.  After that, it's up for grabs.  Those who want to insert the responsibility to make sure everyone succeeds are misguided.  The Constitution ensures equal opportunity.  It doesn't ensure equal outcomes.  The Founding Fathers never saw that responsibility and it isn't there.   

So I say I'm a small government guy who wants as little government as possible.  I place myself in the Thomas Jefferson mode of being very suspicious of government and its power.  I put the quote at the top of my blog for a reason.  I feel that the Constitution is the only bulwark against a power grab by those we elect.  I wish I could trust our leaders but I have spent a lifetime distrusting human nature and my cynicism is well earned I feel.  I have seen human fraility on a monumental level.  I don't feel bad about saying that I don't trust anyone in power.  We, as citizens, must constantly be aware of those in power and their use or abuse of power. 

I don't want to get into personalities.  Suffice it to say that "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely."  There isn't another way to put it.   I think when it's all said and done, Jefferson got it right.  Read what he said throughout his life.  Read the Kentucky Resolutions.  He wrote those in response to the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 that stifled speech against the government.  He wrote those anonymously because he faced imprisonment.  These acts, more than any other thing, were responsible for the formation of political parties.  Jefferson and Madison were appalled by the Federalists' attempts to stifle free speech.

They were right.

6 comments:

Z said...

"The Constitution ensures equal opportunity. It doesn't ensure equal outcomes. The Founding Fathers never saw that responsibility and it isn't there."

So well said, L&O. And I'll bet you teach that exact thing. I hope they 'get it'.

I know you teach the Constitution, but I'm not sure most teachers do. Once our kids have begun to think it's just an old bunch of papers written by old men and "I'm not sure what's in it, anyway," America will be a country we don't recognize. ANd not for the better.

God bless this country and PLEASE let things turn around..and quick!

Excellent post, my friend.

Law and Order Teacher said...

Z,
As always, thanks for the visit. Your opinion is a big thing for me. I think political labels are interesting and should be seen as a reflection of the candidates.

Ducky's here said...

Those who want to insert the responsibility to make sure everyone succeeds are misguided.

---------
They are also virtually non-existent. It 's a belief that the fringe right barks about but isn't operative. I hope you don't spread that nonsense to your students.

What leftists like myself often DO believe is that a market economy must be regulated in order to ensure a measure of equal opportunity.

Unfortunately the review isn't available online but pick up a copy of this week's New York Review of Books and read the review of What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets by Michael Sandel.

It is an outstanding book which goes to the heart of liberal thought and enumerates a good deal of what was not known about markets at the time of the founders who were not omniscient(see Jefferson's idiocy about private militias and their stellar history but that's for another day).

Law and Order Teacher said...

Ducky,
My thought would be that "a measure of equal opportunity" does exist. The regulations to ensure that it exists are myriad. That's the difference between you and me. I believe we all can succeed as I have seen a lot of people succeed from very bad circumstances.

And I've seen people from circumstances that should have allowed them to succeed not. As for what I teach to my students is contained in the constitution. I'm a confirmed originalist.

I don't go with the living document deal. I believe that the general outline presented in the document serves our government well, provided they follow the original intent.

Thanks for the visit.

Z said...

L&0..please, you never need to thank me for my visits..it's an honor to read your words, ALWAYS.
I LOVE that you're blogging again and are commenting again, too... your input is so valuable.

We have probably 30% blacks at my high school...some VERY rich and paying the full $18,000 PLUS, some VERY poor and getting assistance with almost the whole fee PLUS...

THEY ALL DO WELL in school...ALL.
ALL are treated equal, ALL worked very hard to get to my school. ALL. Some are from single parent families, some are from circus families with multiple dads and moms....ALL these kids do well.

Yes, equal opportunity does exist, when it's taken advantage of. I hear of that Black principal in Illinois..Marla something? ...she got DISCIPLINE back in the schools (honestly, I felt tears coming just now as I thought of her) and her kids did GREAT! (mostly Black)
How's about Jaime Escalante here in LA, STAND AND DELIVER, who took mostly Hispanic kids who were LOSERS in every way (but in their hearts) and made them believe in themselves and they DID GREAT in their SATs!? AND IN MATH!

Yes, if one wants to succeed, one WILL succeed...

In the meantime, because of liberal lack of discipline and teachers more interested in their union bucks than the kids...a friends' TX teacher-friend just retired because "the black kids come in slippers and robes, and stand in the hallways blocking you and you'd better not say 'can you move?' until THEY are ready to move...and they do NOTHING in class but create problems"....

Do white kids do that, too? OF COURSE>>>but the experience for this TX teacher, sadly, was Black students (I lose that term loosely)

Are they taking advantage of their opportunities or are they slacking off and blaming it on WHITEY?

you bet.

Law and Order Teacher said...

Z,
Thanks for your visit (sorry). I have seen so many kids succeed in spite of their circumstances. I'm sure it's very attractive to blame anyone else for your failure. But it's not going to wash when others succeed. Sorry but success is internal. Contrary to liberal belief students succeed when they want to. Who knew.