Archive for June, 2023

The Seesaw

Saturday, June 17th, 2023

We’ve had this lingering disagreement about voting; half of us say it’s too easy to vote, the other half tremble in fear over these “schemes” of “voter suppression,” thickly suggesting such schemes are race-based. But whether they are or not, the narrative says they’re always awful because everyone should be allowed to vote, in fact encouraged to vote. So half of us say there are too many voters and the other half say there aren’t enough and there are never enough.

We’re also divided on the ideas in circulation. Roughly half of us say there are too many and we need some restrictions. “Misinformation” shouldn’t find an outlet anywhere, CNN did the wrong thing giving Trump such an “outlet,” the First Amendment does not and should not protect “hate speech.” The other half of us say there cannot be an idea so dangerous that we have to keep it from being at least discussed; if it’s reckless, toxic or stupid, that should come out in the discussions. We should fear the censorship more than we fear the ideas.

Now I haven’t conducted a poll, but it seems to me like there’s a near perfect “seesaw” arrangement here. The people who say there are too many ideas being discussed are the ones who say there aren’t enough people voting. And the people who say there are too many people voting, point to some ideas we should be able to at least discuss, and we’re not allowed to discuss them. So those who say there is a deficiency of voters and a need to “harvest” some more, say there is a glut of questionable ideas and a need to restrict them. Those who say there is a glut of questionable voters and a need to restrict those voters, say there is a deficiency of ideas being discussed and we need to look at relaxing the restrictions we’ve placed on those.

To me, it makes a lot of sense that voters should be qualified. On what critical matters are we voting? How to spend money…and many of these ways are new and innovative, unheard-of just a few years ago. And on raising the “debt ceiling” so the country can become more insolvent. It’s lunacy to insist people should have a say in such things when they’re not paying into the system.

On the other hand, if the ideas to be discussed have to be filtered and conditionally declared off-limits, with posts flagged and removed, accounts suspended and closed…there has to be a decider. And I notice these deciders are not elected. I’ve seen them in action, learned of their decisions and the restrictions they impose, occasionally been affected directly by them. They don’t have my faith. I join ranks with those who say, if the idea really is all that bad, it should come out in the wash. We ought to be able to at least explore it and compare notes on it. We ought to be able to at least talk about it.

People who oppose me on both positions, and there’s no shortage of the ones who do, paint themselves into the awkward corner of insisting we need to hear from every last person in the country who can fog a mirror with their breath, to make sure no one’s left with their voice unheard. But when we’re done hearing from all these voices, there’s only a limited range of ideas they should be allowed to consider, or speak of, or hear of, let alone support…

The one thing that can possibly explain this: Vanity.

It’s like a wife, so vain that she wants the entire zip code polled on whether or not these pants make her butt look big. And make sure everyone capable of writing their own name can participate in the vote, leaving no one unheard. So that all can cast their vote…no honey, it looks just fine.

Ask the Questions

Saturday, June 3rd, 2023

The older people get, the more they see conservatism is the right way to go. Liberals protest that’s because old people find comfort in old things and are afraid to try anything new. The truth is, when something new works, that’s an exception and it’s rare. As a general rule, if it worked we’d already be doing it. And it’s the older people who can see it because this is a pattern of averages, and it takes time to see it. You have to watch a few plans put into practice, notice across the years what succeeds and what doesn’t.

Now obviously, if we accepted “new things are no good” as policy to be implemented and enforced across the board, in all contexts, without any exceptions asked for or granted, it would be counterproductive. But guess what? We don’t. Nobody advocates for such a thing. A conservative is not an unreasoning, strident extremist lobbying for the patent office to be shut down because everything worth inventing has been invented. Rather, a conservative asks questions. He refuses to grant the new thing the benefit of the doubt.

It is the liberal who is the strident, unreasoning extremist. “A new thing! Let’s get behind it!”

Anyone who says no, is their enemy.

Anyone who asks inconvenient questions about it, is the enemy.

Anyone who notices the wrong thing about it, is the enemy.

Anyone who politely inquires about the prospect of a sandbox test, a limited scope of implementation, contingency plans in case it doesn’t work, rollbacks…in fact, anyone who merely hesitates to say yes. Is the enemy. Because liberalism is not an ideology at all. It’s a cult.

The conservative merely asks the questions everyone should be asking: If this is such a great idea, how did we get to this point where we haven’t already been doing it? There may very well be a good answer. Like any responsible adult, the conservative wants to know what it is. Maybe the idea is so good we should have been doing it a long time ago, and we need to look at our traditions and our processes. But someone should be asking the question.

And then there are Prof. Sowell’s: Compared to what? At what cost? What hard evidence do you have?

Liberals have successfully sold the idea to the public that they have a lock on “nuanced” thinking and “open-mindedness.” It isn’t so. They’re the ones who refuse to ask the questions above, along with any other. They don’t question the direction of their travel, just like a bullet doesn’t question its trajectory — they just keep on going until something makes it impossible to go any further. And then, like the bullet, they deliver a high magnitude of kinetic energy that destroys things. But they don’t critically think or question, that’s a myth, one of the most successful and stealthy myths ever plied upon the American people.