Memo to GOP: Give us a choice.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I agree with Paul Hsieh, who writes more generally and in more depth at Noodlefood about an issue I ran across here just yesterday as I went through some comments to my recent post on a shady "single payer" socialized medicine meeting held recently here in Houston. That issue is why the Republican Party does not deserve the support of individuals who understand the proper role of government.

John Faulk (or someone claiming to be him) -- a Republican who plans to run against Sheila Jackson-Lee -- stopped by to offer a comment in support of my view that this latest attempt to have the government run our medical clinics and hospitals must be stopped. Indeed, he even offered that "Sheila Jackson Lee has to be defeated...."

What I wouldn't give for a real ally, for someone who would stand up for my rights as an individual! Sadly, on checking out his campaign's web site, I almost instantly learned that he is not such an ally. Upon learning this, I thanked him for stopping by and explained why I cannot support him.
Thank you for stopping by, Mr. Faulk.

Not only does Sheila Jackson-Lee need to be defeated, but [so must] the whole idea that the state exists to do anything EXCEPT protect individual rights. Sadly, I see that you wish to misuse the apparatus of the state to enforce Christian morality. From your web site:

"As your Representative from the Texas 18th Congressional District, I would support an amendment to the United States Constitution to provide protection to all unborn children from the moment of conception by prohibiting any state or federal law that ignores the personhood of an unborn child. However, since amending the Constitution is an extremely lengthy process, I would introduce and co-sponsor the Federal Right to Life Act. This act would define 'personhood' as the moment of conception. Therefore, all unborn children would be protected without the need of amending the U. S. Constitution."

There is no earthly basis for considering an embryo a human life, and imposing this belief on others through the power of the state violates individual rights just as much as socialized medicine does.

I will not choose between a socialist and a theocrat. Both place other considerations above protecting individual rights.
I doubt this will change Faulk's mind, but if more people who want neither socialism nor theocracy would stand up and be counted whenever the opportunity presents itself, others like us will know that they are not alone (and feel more inclined to speak up themselves), and politicians will eventually begin to notice, as history has shown. (This is not to say that we don't also need work to change the culture in ways that will result in the concept of individual rights being properly understood by more people.)

-- CAV


James said...

Best is the enemy of better.

You find fault with both so you choose neither.

So, Sheila wins, enacts horrid legislation you must obey, and all you have to show for your choice is more complaints.

But go ahead and wait for that perfect candidate. Get will be awhile.

Gus Van Horn said...

On the contrary: "Good enough" isn't.

First, Jackson-Lee can be thwarted regardless of whether she remains in office.

Second, it is the attitude you are putting forth as "practical" that is responsible for enabling the GOP to get away with going from a party that offered some resistance to socialism to one that actively embraces government control of the economy (and everything else) for religious "reasons". If people who want freedom will settle for a candidate who actively opposes it, why should any candidate support freedom?

Insisting on candidates respecting individual rights is not the same thing as "waiting for the perfect candidate". But it does entail rejecting candidates who champion brand new encroachments upon liberty, as both Jackson-Lee and Faulk do here.

James said...

I can see how the losses of Republican congressional seats in 2006 were a merited punishment for a wayward party, but how have we benefited? Supposedly America was supposed to "wake up" and realize the danger of a Democratic majority, but I've yet to see that play out.

Within the "universe" of this district, either Sheila will be elected or John will be elected. To not vote is a voluntary abdication of your place in the process.

It is a lonely world indeed for the purist! I would suggest Mike Taylor to you, but I am unsure if he is still active.

Gus Van Horn said...

"To not vote is a voluntary abdication of your place in the process."

Not when you do whatever you can to make clear why you're not voting.

To use a rather violent metaphor, pretending that having one's left arm chopped off or having one's right arm chopped off is a choice is to abdicate one one's responsibility for self-preservation.

I don't know whether you meant it this way, but I object to the formulation, "your place in the process". I do not form some lowly cog in a "process" that I somehow belong to. This is America, and the state exists to protect my rights (i.e., it is "for the people").

In the sense that the state is "by the people and of the people", voting is important only when there is a real choice. When there is NOT a real choice, then it falls to those of us who understand that there is no choice to attempt to persuade others of that fact as I am trying to do here.

The fact that we have a theocrat running against a socialist in this district -- and two interchangeably bad presidential candidates -- indicates that there is a widespread failure on the part of most Americans to grasp the principles of proper government. Any of the politicians I am speaking of here would have been laughingstocks a century ago.

Except for making this point, in today's cultural climate, it is increasingly becoming a futile waste of time to discuss elections.

I have bigger fish to fry, and SOMEBODY is going to have to fry them if things are ever going to improve.

Not that I am exactly alone on this, but pioneers aren't afraid of being alone.

Jim May said...

If people resign themselves to voting for the lesser of two evils, they have no right to complain when evil is all they get.

Gus Van Horn said...

And to put this thread pithily, "Resignation is not a virtue."