Tuesday, September 02, 2008

What voting is....

Adapted from a comment elsewhere on this blog

I have supported the Republican Party for stretches in the past because I thought they were marginally less bad than the Democrats on most issues, and somewhat less bad on a couple of issues. At the moment I no longer feel there’s enough difference between them to bother voting for one or the other. I haven't been under the illusion that the parties are for anything OTHER than themselves for a very long time.

In all my life, I have never been helped by the Democratic Party. I haven't been helped much by the Republican Party either, save on the issue of tax breaks. (Interesting aside: When I got a tax break from W., Democrats said I was rich. I had to be rich, because they said only the rich got tax breaks from W. When the Democrats took back both houses of Congress after the 2006 election, I became poor. Nancy Pelosi promised to give tax breaks to those poor middle class citizens making between $100K and $500K a year by "reforming" the Alternate Minimum Tax. Since I didn't make enough to pay the AMT, I had to be poor. My income was climbing steadily through that time. So somehow according to the Democratic Party I had gone from rich to poor, had managed to get tax breaks that I didn't deserve because I was too rich, and then couldn't get any more tax breaks because I was too poor, all while making ever greater amounts of money. Someone somewhere is deeply confused about things.)

But neither party has done anything to improve my life substantially – that I have done myself, or I have had the help of individuals as individuals. Political parties just haven't mattered.

Regardless, I don't feel the need for the government to help me in all cases. On some matters it is incontestably their responsibility - police work, for example. Unfortunately, they haven't been that good at it this year.

Foreign policy is another matter that falls under the government’s rubric - it is the rare individual that has foreign policy clout. (And given the results that we've seen from George Soros and Arman Hammer perhaps we'd be better off if fewer did.)

But health care? The government has some interests there (vaccinations, sewage treatment), but that doesn't mean they should pick up the tab for my doctors visits. In fact, a not-to-careful examination of Medicare demonstrates that the more government has interfered with health care, the more expensive it has become. (The size of Medicare and the complexity of the billing and approval procedures have meant that even people who don't qualify for Medicare or Medicaid are subject to its dictates. This is why doctors’ offices have such large administrative staffs these days.) I have no doubt that any thorough cost/benefit analysis of Medicare would show that it has done far more harm than good.

In another area where government has held the reins, education, the Democratic Party hasn't exactly shown itself to be brilliant. I'm too lazy to look it up now, but at the recent Democratic National Convention a working group of several hundred Democratic delegates basically admitted that they've been wrong on education for decades, and that their slavish devotion to the teachers' unions have been harmful. I'm glad they've finally admitted it, but how much damage has been done in the meantime? Again, large government involvement has been no panacea.

Over and over again we've seen large organizations run over individuals. That includes churches, businesses and governments - especially governments, as they're the biggest of the big. This is backed up by even a cursory reading of history, in any time frame since agriculture led to civilization.

But people keep telling me, and the Democrats keep telling me, that MORE is always BETTER, especially if the DEMS are in charge. That just doesn't follow. Instead it looks like just another chance for those holding the strings to get rich. For example, the way Joe Biden has enriched his family by funneling lobbyist money to his son in return for earmarks and sweetheart legislation. He's supposed to be a man of the people, but Joe's just another crook, like Harry Reid and his land scams, Pelosi and her self-serving tax breaks, or Ted Stevens' innovative home repair program. And it is impossible to believe that Obama went into the "go along to get along and look how far he's gone" Chicago morass and come out of it clean. It's easy enough to surmise that he's dirty as hell even if one doesn't know about his dealings with Tony Rezko or the scam he and his wife ran to get her a huge raise while screwing indigent patients, all the while sticking it to the US tax payer. (I'm not even going to bother adding links for the Obama stuff. It's too well known, and I'm tired of digging it up continually.)

So don't tell me that the Democrats have anything OTHER than their own pockets in mind when they're running for office, and I won't tell you the Republicans are a bunch of sweet innocent lambs. Voting is just a matter of deciding which crooks will either (a) screw the country the least, or (b) toss us some crumbs. And that's all it is.

1 comment:

Pastor_Jeff said...

Voting is just a matter of deciding which crooks will either (a) screw the country the least, or (b) toss us some crumbs. And that's all it is.

Sigh. And 'Yes.'

I can't say I'm excited about putting Republicans in charge. When they got control of Congress back in '94, there were hopeful signs that they really took Option A seriously. It didn't take long for them to become just another party of Option B. But I still think overall they're less dangerous than the Democrats, so I'll keep voting R as a defensive measure because the political, financial, and constitutional havoc that would be wrought by a Democratic Congress and Administration working together is truly terrifying.

One thing that's encouraging about Palin is there's some evidence in her (admittedly short) experience that she's a small-government conservative.

But neither party has done anything to improve my life substantially ...

Regardless, I don't feel the need for the government to help me in all cases.

There's an important distinction there. Political parties are only theoretically about using government power to improve people's lives. In reality, they're about getting elected and using gov't power to keep enough people happy so they stay in power.

The Constitutional idea of gov't existing to "establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty" is now sadly passé, and both parties are largely in the business of getting elected and throwing enough crumbs to enough people who will keep voting for them.