In my life, the first game-changer was the realization of being a father. It made me seek out a voice to further those things I believe in. It becomes much more real when you become a father. I always had significant ideas about how government should get out of our way…to increase freedom and decrease dependency on a huge bureaucracy that proves every day just how ineffective and corrupt it is. So I decided to become significantly more active at that point. Laying out arguments for what policies could improve this country we live in. Going all in with a party that I don’t trust, because I see significant good in segments of that party that I thought could be empowered and those that I see as the problem in the party be removed. I continued believing that this was the best, maybe only way to effect change. Then, after I predicted that Mitt Romney, a good guy but truly a wishy washy moderate who would say anything to get elected who I never trusted (read many posts on the subject here) lost after I predicted that he was the most likely candidate to lose to Barack Obama, lost even in my home state after my reading of the electorate as being at least a minimal Romney win if not a Romney convincing win in the fashion Obama actually won by made me reevaluate everything.

 

If after the assault on everything our constitution stands for; the passage of Obamacare, the executive order changing immigration policy, the co-opting of the auto industry, the push for cap and trade through a department after failing to pass it through congress etc. If after that we still voted to re-elect the man responsible for these actions I must take a step back and look for reasons why I was wrong. So here are the reasons I believe I was wrong.

 

First: I believe that I underestimated the already building distrust of the republican party particularly after the nomination of Mitt Romney. I saw it every day on twitter..those conservatives who erroneously claimed that there is no difference between the parties and that a vote for Romney could even be construed as worse then Obama because he claimed to be a conservative in the primaries. While I believe that the claims were erroneous I do not for a second believe they have no merit. There is a difference between the republican party and the democrat party. A pretty big difference for most republicans with some notable exceptions. Even Mitt Romney, at his most liberal as governor of Mass. has clear differences from the democratic party, particularly the new democratic party mainstream. However, both parties believe in growing government. Both parties believe some gun control is necessary. The republican party, while being outwardly pro-life at most levels has never taken any real action in federal politics to limit access to abortion. They both support a progressive income tax and speak in class warfare terminology. Neither party has a problem with the status quo on the federal entitlement state, one wants to increase it, the other merely intends to fix it. So is there merit to their claims? Absolutely. Was I willing to re-elect Barack Obama because of these claims? Absolutely not.

 

Second: I believe that most, including myself, believed that libertarians/ron paul supporters would eventually come around on voting for Romney because of the alternative was so bad on so many levels. My guess is that a significant number of them either did not vote, voted third party, or even potentially voted for Barack Obama. For a reason why if a true Libertarian was to be on the ticket that I am not sure I would be able to vote for him. When voting for a president the thing that the president has most control over is national defense/homeland security/trade relations activities. Thus, in a presidential election the candidates views on foreign policy are a truly heavy weight on the scales of who to vote for. So, I now believe that I erred on that end as well.

 

Third: I, up until this election, thought that the uninformed voter electorate was a smaller portion of the electorate then I now believe it is. The exit polls show a stark contrast between what the voters say they wanted and what they voted for. This contrast can be explained in two ways, being uninformed, or being single issue voters on presidential elections.

 

Fourth: This reason is the reason that I have completely shifted how I think about politics. I believe the single largest reason why our politics continue to go the way it goes regardless of the party in power. Why is it that the republican party is to the left of what the democrat party was under John F. Kennedy? The key word is Culture. Culture drives politics. Look at Egypt. Two opposing forces joined together to overthrow a dictatorial monarch. On one side were those who believed in freedom, and on the other were those that believe that Shariah Law should be the prevailing law of the land regardless of the form of government. Joined together, but when they accomplished their first goal, the larger part of that culture won out easily. What happens from here on out is yet to be determined, but as we stand today it looks like they will be run by shariah and it looks like Morsi will have nearly the staying power of the previous dictator (and just because elections happen doesn’t make it a republic/democracy as Hugo Chavez/Vladimir Putin/etc are voted in every time) .

So if I believe that culture drives politics then what do I believe is causing the culture shift? There are many reasons. The most important one is actually based on individual overall philosophies that are largely driven by religion/faith. Yes, there are still an overwhelming majority that would classify themselves as Christians or Christ-following religiously. More people then ever before in this country are identifying as agnostic/atheistic/identifying no religion/Other. When you combine that with major mainstream church’s becoming more progressive in nature. Started with accepting the Bible as a fallible book and with the insistence on the majority of it being figurative rather then literal in interpretation. Caused mainly by their acceptance of the premise presented by evolution in the hierarchy of the church. They also tend to believe that the government, not the individual, should be tasked with taking care of the poor and downtrodden and that it is our Christian duty to vote in legislators to steal money from other people to take care of those they are unwilling to help themselves. So, with that a good number of self-identified Christians don’t even believe in the core tenets of Christianity and definitely do not agree with the philosophy Christianity begs of the individual.

 

The second major effect on culture is through the education system. And while there is a substantial automatic pull in a government run school system towards a larger government, I believe that that is secondary. The primary reason that the education system has slanted so liberal is quite frankly because the average conservative has little interest in teaching or administering the teaching of others without potential for monetary gain. We are capitalists after all, but outside of a few private schools capable of paying enough to attract top talent and those wonderful teachers who sacrifice much to teach at those smaller, less funded institutions there is just not a lot of draw particularly in public schools. So, over time between the full devotion to evolution as the origin of man and the teaching of the necessity of government for the massive need that is education it trains kids very early to trust government in a way that frankly the founders would be frightened of even contemplating. This has steered us left from the youth on up. It used to be a debate between Jefferson and Adams, now it seems like we are the Englishmen deciding what other tax to levy on those vile colonial revolutionaries.

 

The third thing that I see is the massive control of media over the past 5 decades. Since the inception of the Television liberal thinkers have flocked towards this avenue of information. They have gotten big time degrees from big time public and private universities trained in making liberal talking points seem like unbiased journalism. This, however, was more prevalent a problem prior to the internet and cable tv, but even most cable tv “reporters” (not talking heads because they self identify usually) are heavily slanted liberally because of their worldview and educational background. So, for decades we’ve been hearing liberal talking points over and over every day for so long that to many, its become more then just reasonable, it has become common sense truth.

 

The last thing was actually something potentially originally done as a way to promote conservatism. The heavily entrenched government influence over marriages. Tax rates, regulations, welfare programs all have differing standards depending on ones marital status. Was originally intended to promote the family unit, fight single parent home environments, and stimulate economic activity. It has become a wedge, a tool to try to change the culture by all sources previously mentioned. Over the years there have actually been significant penalties for being married, particularly for low income earners. Single? Have a part time job? Ok, you get benefits. Married? Both of you have the same part time job? Ok, you don’t get benefits. Single? Ok, the tax rate goes up at 200k for you. Married? Both making 150k? Well, your 50k above the tax hike line so you must pay more because you are married. So many things to promote or penalized married individuals and it all does the same thing, it leads to divorce, rushed marriages, marriages of convenience, and many other possible outcomes. But, this breakup of the family unit, particularly with the benefits for low income earners has led to an astonishing number of single mothers with multiple kids with multiple fathers who don’t make enough to support themselves and their kids. This, again, is a culture issue because sex has been glorified to a point that people believe that immorality has no effect on them personally or on the society as a whole, which our founders warned us. Our republic was never meant for an immoral people, nor was it meant for a people without faith in divine providence.

 

Europe started down the road we’ve been on going downhill when similar things happened in Europe. The death of the church, the liberality of the church’s that are left, and many of the things stated here. So my conclusion, is that without attempting to change culture I cannot wish to change politics in any meaningful way. This also means that the republican party as it persists today has left me ideologically to a point of potentially no return. The change of culture would render the republican party moot. I no longer believe no matter how many great conservative statesmen we get into the house and senate that the entrenched leadership and bureaucracy that is the Grand Ole Party will ever allow conservatism, true conservatism not Rockefellerism with makeup to control or direct the party and as such they are no longer necessarily enough to even start to combat the things that have already happened. Will I vote democrat? Absolutely not. May I vote for republicans in the future? there is that possibility. I will never contribute one solid cent of my money to the Grand Ole Party and my vote is no longer to be expected. If you want me to vote for you, it is no longer enough for you simply to have an R next to your name running against a D. We simply need more then just the status quo, allowing things that have happened in the past to continue unchallenged once it is deemed that the other side won the battle. You want to embrace Obamacare and tell me about ways that you can make it a free market solution? I’m sorry you won’t have my vote. You want to tell me how abortion should be dropped and while you are personally against it you cannot speak on it because you will lose the election? Sorry you won’t have my vote. You want to ridicule those that believe in a young earth, that children of rape are still a blessing, that believe that evolution is more faith then fact? I’m sorry, its not very likely you could ever win my vote.

 

The two party system we currently have is completely incapable of representing a diverse nation as the United States of America is, and with two parties it is sure only of one thing that the government will take care of its own and will only take action to increase ones power and staying ability. George Washington warned us of a two party system. He warned us of a populace that lacks religious morality and its promotion being taken from government in his farewell address which I will leave an excerpt of that address with you as I close.

 

‘This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.

It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution in those entrusted with its administration, to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart, is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position. The necessity of reciprocal checks in the exercise of political power, by dividing and distributing it into different depositaries, and constituting each the guardian of the public weal against invasions by the others, has been evinced by experiments ancient and modern; some of them in our country and under our own eyes. To preserve them must be as necessary as to institute them. If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed. The precedent must always greatly overbalance in permanent evil any partial or transient benefit, which the use can at any time yield.

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice ? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?

Promote then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.

As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible, avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it, avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertion in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear. The execution of these maxims belongs to your representatives, but it is necessary that public opinion should co-operate. To facilitate to them the performance of their duty, it is essential that you should practically bear in mind that towards the payment of debts there must be revenue; that to have revenue there must be taxes; that no taxes can be devised which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant; that the intrinsic embarrassment, inseparable from the selection of the proper objects (which is always a choice of difficulties), ought to be a decisive motive for a candid construction of the conduct of the government in making it, and for a spirit of acquiescence in the measures for obtaining revenue, which the public exigencies may at any time dictate.

Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be, that good policy does not equally enjoin it – It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and at no distant period, a great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence. Who can doubt that, in the course of time and things, the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages which might be lost by a steady adherence to it ? Can it be that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a nation with its virtue ? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature. Alas! is it rendered impossible by its vices?’

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