Saturday, August 22, 2009

I Get It Now.



Thank you to a local independent political hopeful who strongly believes in the capitalist system in theory and the Constitution in practice...I finally understand the basis of the health care reform debate and many other philosophical struggles that have seemed to be based in nothing but fear.

There is fear, of course. Only fear could make someone believe that yelling over others at town hall meetings or packing a gun is appropriate behavior for a discussion of the issues.

But for rational, thinking people who are opposed to what they call "big government", people like the gentleman I spoke with last night about this subject, the bottom line is clear: the government's role is constitutionally very limited and that's the way it ought to be.

"But shouldn't the government, in exchange for the taxes we pay, offer a basic level of service that not only protects us from attack but maintains our health so that we can pursue life, liberty etc?" I asked.

"No." He was emphatic. "I'm not trying to not be compassionate. I truly believe this. If you can't afford health insurance, that's too bad. I've paid into Social Security for twenty years. I get back what I put into it."

I didn't ask him how he feels about Medicare, which he is undoubtedly using. I didn't have to. He told me the worst thing that ever happened to this country was FDR.

"He began the role of government as caretaker. That's not in the Constitution."

"But isn't it what it ought to be?"

"If that's what you want, then change the Constitution. I'm all for that if that's what the people want. But until they do, no. Government is supposed to exist to defend us in time of war. That's about it."

He and I agree that the current political system doesn't work. And perhaps that common ground is what makes it possible for us to discuss this dispassionately. I don't think he's evil incarnate and he doesn't think I'm a tax and spend liberal. But we have a basic, fundamental difference of opinion.

"So what you're telling me," I concluded, "is that my vision of a government that provides basic services for its citizens in exchange for tax dollars..."

"...isn't the way it works here," he continued.

"But what if I think it should?"

"Then you should move to another country. That's socialism."

And I think he's got something there. Maybe the ideal America I envision isn't what it was intended to be. Period. Just because I was born here doesn't mean that the system of government I studied in school is one I agree with.

What an amazing thought. Somehow I assumed I belonged here.

5 comments:

TedMarks said...

Send me that gentleman's name and address; I want to nominate him for public office, perhaps the Presidency.
Ted Marks

JamaGenie said...

The Framers envisioned a government "of the people, for the people" and "men created equal". In the purest sense, that's socialism. The current system is the result of 200 years of tweaking the Constitution t the point that the way government operates (not works) now bears little resemblance to the Framers' vision.

I don't remember the exact quote, so forgive me for butchering this: 'a society is judged by how it treats its old and sick". At this point, America gets a D-.

Susan said...

I'm thinking it's time for an examination of just what the Constitution does say. Really - who even looks at it?
That may be my project for the near future.
And yes, Genie - how many amendments are there now? Some of them are very welcome, but how contorted is that original document now?

AllanWikman said...

Thank you, Ted, but he outright refuses to be distracted from his sole civic mission: literally to return governing of his NYS county to its people by becoming Ulster's very next county executive, January 1, 2012.

Then, voiding every last Ulster County-originated unnecessary "regulation" upon commerce and industry. And lobbying those crooks in Albany to do likewise to State-originated strangleholds.

Nor would he ever pursue another "political" position. This is radicalism, populism at its fiercest. Major media stuff.

This guy has 19 specific, measurable, planks in his platform. As he achieves each (the failure of any of which he voluntarily offers to dock his salary one-nineteenth ! )the media will be compelled to spread the "impossible" word.

Of the 3,400 other counties nationwide, some are bound to invite him to come show them how his team is doing this outrageous return of government to the people, from whence it derived in, when? 1776.

THAT is HOW we shall do it, nationwide. Not in my lifetime, but it shall happen.

When he "ran" the first time (2008), he, all by his lonesome - no committee - no helpers - collected 1,776 signatures when he needed but 1,500.

The political parties promptly hired a goon to submit sufficient "challenges" to keep him off the ballot. Drawing procedures for such from the 800 or so page ILLEGAL, though "passed" by the legislature, NYS Election Law, and similar foul practices boss-intended to protect incumbents - of ANY PARTY, he "convinced" Ulster's Board of Elections to disallow the brash insur-gent (sorry, I just had to do that - it's a first).

The would-be candidate, unable to find an election-lawyer (an absolute must), wrote his own briefs, took the matter to Supreme Court, represented himself, alongside Ulster County attorney, Josh Koplovitz, and lost his case.

In an editorial that week, The Daily Freeman excoriated the political system, invoking and spelling the candidate's name correctly 13 times.

Yes, Susan, let's immediately start a reading and voter-analysis of the Constitution...word by word. But NO LAWYERS in the room. Or I'll leave.

As a postscript, the "trouble" with understanding the document is that the courts resort to so-called "case law," and "precedent" in its "INTERPRETATIONS." Most extreme liberals fully agree with this insisting the Constitution is out of date, needs modification to keep up with changes in society.

But that is like a mother and father insisting to the police that their wild children are merely keeping up with the times.

No morals. Nothing to live by.

The Constitution was and is by far too few, intended to be the bedrock, the base, the guiding arm of American society. As you said, I am only too eager to see a Constitutional convention to consider the whole bloomin' Constitutional Library.

Maybe it'll happen some day, but I predict from beginning to end, states' ratification, will take twenty years.

Look what's happening with ONE (Health) BILL.

The Supreme Court and the federal bench, nationwide, have made the writings so arcane and the "law" so difficult for "lay persons" to keep up because, how would lawyers LIVE if "just anyone" could have at their right hand everything they needed to handle their own legal interests?

But, here's something you might pursue: Article III, Sec. 2., end of paragraph three reads, "..and under such regulations as the Congress shall make."

I've heard like-minded folk much wiser than I claim that what's happening with the Supreme Court is that Congress has the power to LIMIT its jurisdiction. But is not.

Back to the Health Bill. There's plenty of cost-competition.One reason the 45 or 50 million uninsured can't afford to buy inexpensive insurance is that the Congress has prohibited interstate sales by "corralled insurance companies." Another thing you might look into.

Susan said...

Okay, Allan, I published it all, but this really requires your own blog.
Did you leave any words for the rest of us? :)