Mr. Lung’s Invisible Hurdles

My friend Mr. Lung, while an excellent writer and a true baseball devotee, has the misfortune of often face-planting when his thoughts turn towards the political arena.  Here’s an accurate representation of Jeff’s political discourse:

I say this because although Mr. Lung may have made one or two valid points in his original “coming-out as a Libertarian” post, his argument this past Friday mainly left me feeling embarrassed for him.  I don’t have time to go back and correct all of his logical and factual fallacies one by one but there is one point that bears discussion.

Let’s take these two statements:

Tell that to the folks paying $4.25 for a gallon of gas, the people who can barely afford groceries, who are meanwhile raped for 20% of their income in taxes to fund programs they’ll never benefit from.

and:

They hate us because of our longstanding foreign policy which is to invade, overthrow and then set up puppet governments and act as dictators to protect our interests in oil.

You don’t get it both ways, my friend.  Despite what your new friends on the fringe of either party may tell you, avoiding foreign entanglements by drilling at home or investing in alternative fuels is not going to change the price you pay at the pump.  Sure, over the course of a generation or two you can make those changes but in the short to medium term, your choice comes down to either securing fuel supplies in whatever clusterf**k part of the world they happen to come from or paying $6-8 a gallon like our friends in Europe.

I’m going to simplify all of this for you.  Government is a social contract in which the governed (including you and I) agree to give up a portion of their individual sovereignty for the good of the whole.  There are different levels to which this premise can be taken from the socialism of the Nordic states to the relative autonomy of the European Union.  Both extremes have their problems and both have their benefits.

In the US, we have eschewed the extremes and held to a longstanding tradition of slowly moving from one side of the equation to the other as necessary but never moving too far from the center.  From FDR’s New Deal to Reagan’s supply-side economics, programs come and go as they are needed.  It’s often painful, it’s occasionally embarrassing and it doesn’t always work.  But you know what?  If you don’t like it you can go out and vote for someone who promises change or even run for office yourself.

Many Americans prefer to lament the “broken” system, though, and sign up for whatever -ism fits their current worldview.  It’s simple, it’s available and it allows them to refrain from accepting any personal responsibility.  So tell me, my friend, how are you any different?

-A

2 Comments

I’ve taken a real interest in politics, and I’m looking forward to the upcoming election. Still wondering who the GOP will choose!
-Virginia
http://southernbelle.mlblogs.com

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