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.