June 05, 2008


I read a comment from someone over at RWN that frustrated me. The commenter was very civil and tried to be constructive, but what he/she said just doesn't hold water.

In my humble opinion, it hurts our country when we group ourselves and others into groups of "conservatives" and "liberals." In my experience I have met a lot of liberals, and a lot of conservatives, and I seem to get along fine with all of them. So, instead of listening to some "study" that suggests liberals are Satan's army of darkness, why don't you just try to remember that they are people LIKE YOU who only believe what they believe because they think it is what is best for their country. Instead of attacking their character, attack their ideas, debate with them on why they believe war is bad, or why we should spend tax dollars on certain things. Attack their ideas of big government, but make sure you don't advocate a different form of big government (sorry, if you don't want to spend money on health care, education, and welfare, then you can't want to spend a lot of money on war, it's called hypocrisy, besides, anyone who wants to spend lots of money and have a big government is a lefty, not a righty, so you may be at the wrong page.)

He/she lost me right there at the end.

The Constitution of the United States of America "provides for the common defense" of the American people. And (if my understanding is correct) Article I Section 8 allows the federal government to raise money for a standing Army and Navy.

Again, if my understanding is correct, there is nowhere in the Constitution that allows the federal government to raise money for health care, education, and welfare. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

So this is where that commenter lost me. Those two things are not equal. Liberals wanting federal health care, education, and welfare is absolutely not the same thing as conservatives wanting military defense.

One is specifically laid out in the Constitution and even mentioned in the preamble. The other is not. There is no hypocrisy here.

It seems like a quibble with this comment, but I think it's actually a huge deal. This commenter thinks that this is comparing apples to apples, which I think shows a gross misunderstanding of the original intent of the federal government and our Constitution. It's disingenuous to say we want health care, you want missles; see, we all want to spend money.

And this, I think, is what causes a huge disconnect between the right and left. Those of us who try hard to conduct ourselves as Constitutionalists have a big problem with things that go beyond the scope of the original document. People like this commenter don't even seem to have any historical grounding in what the federal government can or should do. So anything goes, and funding war is the trade off for not funding education. (Which doesn't even hold water either, because, for example, the US spends more on education than defense.)

National defense is not even on the same plane as all these other extras that people think the government should fund. To paraphrase Jules, it ain't the same ballpark; it ain't even the same sport. It's a shame the commenter has no grasp of that.

Posted by: Sarah at 05:43 AM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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1 "People like this commenter don't even seem to have any historical grounding in what the federal government can or should do." That really is a big part of the problem; there are a ton of people out there that really have no sense in the nation's history, or respect for the intelligence and forethought of those who came before them; for example, those who founded this country. If "reject authority" is your motto, then literally - anything goes. Because, according to many of these people, everyone is "equally" qualified to judge and modify our form of government, no matter what knowledge (or lack thereof) they have of history and law, or how little regard they have for long-term effects and consequences of such actions... *rolls eyes* Drives me nuts sometimes.

Posted by: Emily at June 05, 2008 07:07 AM (jAos7)

2 The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 06/05/2008 A short recon of whatÂ’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

Posted by: David M at June 05, 2008 07:33 AM (gIAM9)

3 "Left" and "Right" and not unchangeable Platonic Forms; the meaning of these terms changes over time. For example, leftists in the 1930s-1950s were not hostile to economic development: they thought it could be better done via socialism, or strong government regulation of private business, but they didn't think the improving standards of living was a bad thing. Today's "progressives," on the other hand, are often hostile to economic development. For both New Deal liberals in the U.S. and Stalinists in the Soviet Union, hydroelectric dams were major points of national pride. Many "progressives" would prefer to blow them up.

Posted by: david foster at June 05, 2008 11:05 AM (ke+yX)

4 If you haven't read Jonah Goldberg's book on fascism you probably should. It is enlightening. I remember some of the stuff he brings up, I was a child in WWII. I think a long time ago I sent you a copy of the Humanist Manifesto. What brothers me is that many people do not realize they are working right out of it. History has been so twisted and bent to conform to "progressives" point of view it is sometimes unrecognizable to me. Our nation's history is not being taught well, even world history is not being taught well. Points of view are being taught, and they are all the progressive points, which in my day was called communist or socialist. Years ago I subscribed to a beautiful garden magazine(or so I thought) called Harrowsmith. In it was an article by the Greens party of an European nation stating their plan to take over the Democratic party and bragging they had already done so in, if I remember correctly, Wisconsin. It was so alarming to me I made a copy of it and it is tucked away with all that other stuff I can't find. Their plans seem to have worked very well, with the complete cooperation of most of the country's media.

Posted by: Ruth H at June 05, 2008 02:36 PM (w9ltj)

5 ^^^Yes, yes, yes. This is a great book; very interesting and informative. My dh got the book on CD and we listened to it in the car. Well worth it.

Posted by: Emily at June 09, 2008 09:30 AM (jAos7)

6 My husband bought the book and took it with him to Iraq. He finished it, so I just have to wait for him to send it back!

Posted by: Sarah at June 09, 2008 01:41 PM (TWet1)

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