Thursday, February 19, 2009

Justice and Accountability: New "Very Old" Ideas for the Republican Party

New ideas are actually dangerous for Republican success. It is much better for us to fall back on proven ideas that have been tested by time. I think life is too short to be the philosopher who creates winning ideas and the bright person who puts these ideas into action. Although these ideas are timeless, they can still be fresh and useful if we demonstrate how they apply to contemporary circumstances. Here's a couple of the best ideas I can offer:

1. Break Big Bills Into Smaller Bills: The huge HR1 was so big it was impossible for voters to hold members of Congress responsible for their decisions. Accordingly, one ideal approach for Republicans is to be the party that "restores the power of Congress" by seeking to create and enforce rules that prevent future omnibus legislation. This tool would also improve the accountability of the President too, since it would be possible to understand what he or she is signing into law or subjecting to veto.

2. If Affirmative Action Isn't Wrong...Then Nothing is Wrong: Affirmative action has been a disaster on a number of fronts. It reduced the self-confidence and worth of the people who benefit from it. It causes under-prepared students to fail when they might do better in a different environment. It creates hostility and anger that - in my experience - never really goes away. To suggest that people just get over affirmative action is part of the myth used to defend this unjust policy. The question I like is why should an asian be disadvantaged compared to a latino because of what a white person's ancestor did to a black person's ancestor?

3. Pain is Good: It is physically impossible for a social system to survive without the harsh lessons taught by reality. In this sense, Republicans can be the party that says that pain is a good thing when it motivates a drug addict or an alcoholic to make changes in their lives. The threat of pain does more than any feel good program to bring human behavior into line with positive mutual outcomes. This means that we should not get in the way of the natural and instructive pain (and shame) caused by carelessness, business failures, teen pregnancy, unemployment, alcoholism, and drug use. Pain protects us from even worse outcomes and Republicans should be embracing it as a secret of national and international success. A pain-free society will naturally become a failed society.

13 comments:

  1. Great thoughts, and if not new, timely applied. #2 is simply what Dr. ML King preached, and #3 is I'd say a correlary to "teach a man to fish". I'd be honored if you could place them into our 2010vision blog. This could work...

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  2. The hard sell will be to get people to see that "pain is good" is different from "Republicans hate the poor/blacks/drug addicts etc."

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  3. Agreed. Pain doesn't signal "good." That's why it evolved to be painful. Pain signals "Danger." That's why it's useful. You couldn't abolish pain even if you wanted to.

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  4. The Republican party is long past dead precisely because of thinking like yours. 1. A Party that suffers from delusions about how to manage a budget that is for sure. What did you give us? Idiots the lot of you.
    2. This is pretty much a non-issue, but as you guys are always looking for someone who is getting treated "More fair" than you to scapegoat, go ahead and try to attack affirmative action. You will wind up an even smaller Party of nothing but old white men and religous zealots.
    3. Right again with the worry about how your money is going to help the people who don't work as hard as you do. Sure just put the drug addicts on the street with no help. Can I dump them off in your neighborhood to scavenge? Oh I know you want to lock them up in privatized prisons.

    You guys are all gonna be at your own house party pretty soon and it's going to be a small one. Bring your tea bags.

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  5. The philosophy of Bastiat, great suggestions...just need folks with the stomach, fortitude and will to see them through.

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  6. I agree with you that these huge bills should be no more, but the line item veto would accomplish that, would it not? Also, where you say pain is good, I would say self discipline. I don't think the idea of pain and suffering works. Look how little it's done for the democrat party when they tried to sell 'sacrifice' to the American people.
    Ang

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  7. I totally agree, esp. about affirmative action. I'm doing a project on it in school and it's just exposing even more of the atrocities...

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  8. All too true.

    Think on this idea... in response to this article, there are certain things that people can do to become successful.

    The solution to poverty is not to try to make the poor's lives easier in poverty, it is for them to pick themselves up and rise from poverty. All it takes to get out of poverty are 1) morality/ethics/manners, 2) willingness to work harder then you ever have before, 3) enough brains or a good enough adviser to realize when to change what you're doing, and 4) persistence. You don't even need to know how to read, though that makes it a lot easier (also see #2 again).

    What would it take to teach (mostly young) people this information and get them to put it into practice? Would it need to be done by churches, or political parties, or is it a proper function of government? Is there any chance that schools could be led to teach such things? You know, the science of success?

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  9. I agree, we got ourselves in this, we need to go through the pain to get "ourselves" out of it without borrowing money from overseas or tax money. Our economy will fix itself. But it will be painful.
    http://randysright.wordpress.com/

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  10. Just the pain of hearing Obama speek will
    cost American's more than they think, for the asprain to get rid of the headace he is causing.

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  11. Nice so far. Try this on: "Human energies are born of difficulty." -Conrad Richter

    And: "We're always beating ourselves against things, and I think that's so much the American spirit." -David Plowden

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  12. @ beaglescout

    If what you say is in fact true, then are all those who currently live in poverty lacking in morals, lazy, and stupid? Does that include the children who enter our school systems without a home, without food, and without the parental support to help them when they need it?

    You're claim that people "don't even need to know how to read" to get out of poverty is entirely false. A person cannot even fill out a job application for McDonalds if they are illiterate. This is the largest fallacy of your claim. The ONLY WAY to eradicate poverty is through education. This education includes strong instruction in all course subjects, giving students the opportunity to achieve, providing an environment that encourages student success, and ensuring the safety of every child while they are in the school building. Telling a child "just work harder" without giving telling them what that means or giving them the help where they need it is lunacy.
    You want to know the science of success? It's when we share our resources so that every child can get an equal education. Guess it would be too much to swallow if your tax dollars were paying for the education of that poor, lazy, black kid from the inner city, huh? Don't even try to say that it doesn't matter what socioeconomic status you were born into. It's much easier to get to the top of the ladder if you were born at the uppermost rung.
    Attitudes like THIS, are what continue poverty. You're poor because you deserve it! Makes me sick.

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