February 2010

What's in a Name?

From time to time a question is submitted for my consideration. Answers are not always forthcoming in a timely manner as I do have a life outside of writing, politics and my vivid imagination of global conquest. Recently I was asked if I would consider changing my political affiliation over to the Republican Party. After all, it was surmised, my political “ambitions” would never be fulfilled with an “L” behind my name. Where do I begin?

Let me be very clear on this, or at least as clear as my abilities may convey. My ambitions do not lie with politics. What I may or may not wish to achieve in this lifetime are quite basic and mundane to say the least. Obviously I wish to provide for my family. Outside of that, I wish to retire before 60 and acquire 100 acres in order to build my small ranch home, raise livestock, grow a garden, hunt and fish. I want to ride horses and in a pickup truck, not a limousine. I want outside dogs, not inside ankle-biters. I want forest and streams, not phone poles, bayous and mosquitoes that can carry small children away. I can do without the sailboat if I can have a greenhouse and live off the grid. I wish to return hither from which I came. That pretty much sums it up.

My ingress into the political arena was not a result of ambition. It was a result of desiring to keep my children free. One in my age group or older would be hard pressed to consider the modern era even remotely similar to the country of our youth. And while I loved my grandparents very much, I am sometimes grateful that they did not see the nation that we have become.

Taxes, and Tigers and Bears. Oh My!

I recently read an article in The Daily Bell that really bothered me. The article is an "Exclusive Interview" with Nelson Hultberg. There are several phrases that indeed cast light on the reasons that alternative parties never truly take hold. This particular phrase really caught my eye.

"Marginalization" is the flaw of the Libertarian Party and the Constitution Party. This takes place because these two parties attempt to instantly implement an ideal vision of how society should be constructed through the political process. They ignore the fact that politics is a game of incrementalism, that it is not an arena in which an "ideal society" can suddenly be voted into place. Because they try to do this, they are perceived by the public as not living in the real world.

For example, whenever they are asked what tax policy they advocate for the country, Libertarian and Constitution Party members reply that the income tax should be totally abolished and government should be stripped down to a minimal state funded by tariffs. Now this is a wonderful "ideal" that could perhaps be achieved in 100 years. But it's not a credible political platform to be gained through a political campaign. Libertarian and Constitution Party members are blind to the damage this does to their image in the minds of the voters. As a result, both parties are marginalized as utopian. They end up getting at best 1% of the vote every year and remain obscure fringe voices.

And further down he states: