Whipped up about nothing (2012 election, part 2)

When it comes to trusting the integrity and insight of a statement on a 1 to 10 scale, you might put words from your pastor or a “Slippery When Wet” sign in the hallway near 10, and email spam near 1. Well, right down there near 1 is where I’d put anything emanating from the Republican or Democratic parties, or any advocacy group or pundit that acts in a cheerleading role. At best the parties provide half-truths, such as “created 5 million jobs” without noting that 6 million were lost and the fact that they didn’t create any (private sector i.e. sustainable) jobs in the first place. It’s all a big game of shading the truth to attain and maintain power.

People are whipped up about this election, as if this is some titanic philosophical struggle. A lot of it comes back to a lack of perspective. You, me, Barack Obama, and Mitt Romney are going to die, and then comes the judgment (Heb. 9:27). However, people are under the influence of the major parties, who work most effectively through hysteria-inducing pundits and “independent” advocacy groups who toe the line once the latest nominee/hack is chosen. These are the people who’ve convinced many that, as every four years, it’s the most important election of our lifetime. That may turn out to be the case, but we have no way to know that ahead of time.

Furthermore, the framing of this as some titanic struggle for the soul of America is pure nonsense. The stakes are indeed high, but both parties have thrown their chips on a number that can’t win. The rhetoric differs, but there really is no practical difference between the candidates. Neither candidate has any plan or intention to truly cut spending. The deficit is going to keep escalating. The debt is going to grow massively, especially the off-budget entitlement debt. Defense spending will grow. The regulatory agencies that control so much of the economy will continue to grow. The violations of civil liberties will grow. Both candidates are Keynesians who support the existence of the great counterfeiting operation known as the Federal Reserve.

The government will lose none of its authority. This is what counts. In the 1940s the journalist John Flynn noted that a totalitarian government is one that acknowledges no restraint on its powers. The government doesn’t do everything, but it reserves the right to do as it pleases; all it needs is an appropriate crisis, as we saw in 2008. Electing Hack A instead of Hack B isn’t going to change that. Both candidates demagogue any attempt by the other to cut spending. Democrats savaged the Ryan plan, which doesn’t really cut anything anyway, while Karl Rove’s PAC criticized Obama’s plan to cut military spending (which Obama duly abandoned in the last debate).

Ah, yes, you say, but we should live in the real world and choose one of the choices, bad as they are. To which I say, why choose between two non-solutions? It’s like playing rock-paper-scissors and guessing apples. Or maybe strawberries.

Yes, but Mitt is the lesser of two evils, however slight! To which I retort, consider the 20th-century church battles with modernism, and note that those who did the real damage were the moderates. Supporting empty rhetoric saps a true opposition. The party that participates in compromises with the radical party toward greater levels of spending and regulation is the party that validates and legitimizes it, and that ultimately dampens discontent toward the state. It smooths the road to perdition. I think the winner of this election is going to be a disaster. If a currency crisis or some other disruption hits, the party in power is going to be discredited. If it’s the Republicans, then “free markets” (in other words, freedom) will be discredited (just as in 2008) since Republicans have been falsely carrying the “limited government” banner for decades.

So what about abortion? Well again, Mitt Romney isn’t pro-life. He’s been pro-choice most of his life. He isn’t going to do anything about it just as the Republicans didn’t do anything about it when they held all the branches of Congress. Those of us who hate it will still be forced to fund it. Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the country, will still get their money. Hospitals performing abortions will still be subsidized, as will the entitlement state. There is an abortion apparatus, and there isn’t enough political payoff to go after it even if someone had the courage and heart that Romney lacks. The Republicans had Congress and the presidency for years and they could not defund Planned Parenthood. There are powerful interests in the party who want it. It’s just an issue to run on in some districts. You vote on a meaningless measure that will never get through both houses of Congress, everyone gets the scores they want from the advocacy groups, and then everyone goes out for a beer.

All either party cares about is one thing, the same thing they’ve always cared about… “And nine rings were gifted to the race of men… who above all else, desire power.”

If they held an election and no one voted, that’d speak volumes more than participating in this racket. Voting only encourages them because it is an act of assent. Even if you reject this, I think it’s unquestionably true that governments rule by consent, and abortion will end when the people are persuaded that it should end. It does a great deal of good to remind our fellow citizens that abortion is evil. It’s this pounding of the drums that leads to change far greater than putting our trust in political power-mongers who are only using you to achieve their libido dominandi. You don’t hear much about gun control these days because public opinion has shifted.

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