Since the election of Donald Trump the field is ripe for fellow troll hunters if you’re into constitutional political philosophy like I am. In today’s blog post I offer the nomination of our new Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. Another fantastic subject for use as troll bait is the president’s ending of the National Endowment for the Arts. Really. You can just mention either of these things, completely without context and the trolls will bite. Reel them in and do battle as you see fit. And have fun!
However today I don’t wish to talk about trolls. I’m going to talk about people whom I love and respect, who just happen to be somewhat liberal.
I have always maintained that there are two types of liberals.
There are those behind the liberal-progressive-socialist-communist or whatever they call themselves today movement, who can’t openly say who and what they are, because they are so evil society would reject them. This kind of person wakes up in the morning and their only thought is, “everybody dead, then I can be safe.” They are the driving force behind genocide. Their goal looks like power or money but is not complete unless you take into consideration what they would do with that power. The answer to this question is simple and obvious, yet very difficult for anybody who possesses even the slightest nugget of sanity to confront. They want you dead. Period. There is no reason for this other than the fact that you exist outside of their own will. They are quite insane, sometimes very clever, and very covert in their methods. They can smile at you with seemingly obvious sincerity and tell you that what they are doing is “for your own good.” They are “trying to help make society better” but somehow it just doesn’t work out that way—so you should give them more power, so that they can be more effective at changing things for the better.
But like I said, I do not wish to talk too much about that.
The second kind of liberal is really not a true liberal at all. Vladimir Lenin referred to this kind of liberal, rather insultingly, as “useful idiots” who would put the chains of slavery around their own ankles. It’s not that they’re bad people, they want to help, it’s just that they’ve bought into the wrong concept of what help is. Particularly when it comes from organizations wielding huge amounts of political power. They don’t view power as something that can be used with hostile intent, because they wouldn’t use it with hostile intent themselves; and after all, it is the People who wanted them to have that power and they can just vote them out and take it back. Right?
As a result they look at anybody who thinks political power may run out of control, to the People’s disadvantage, with suspicion of paranoia. That things like war, deliberately inflicted poverty and starvation, not to mention genocides, have been the lot of mankind’s history never really crosses their minds. Why? Simply because that’s not what they would do if they had political power. They’d use it to fix things the way they should be—of course—because that’s what anybody would do.
The propaganda line espoused by the modern “political scientists,” that “right wing” means fascism rather than limited government, has been very well played and effective at scaring off the so-called liberals who have good intent. To them, “right-wing” means Hitler, and really, who wants that?
You’re looking at people who have been told since birth that if the government doesn’t provide it, you’re against it. If you don’t support the Department of Education, you want people to be ignorant! If you don’t support the National Endowment of the Arts, you hate artists! If you don’t support SNAP and school lunch programs, you want children to starve!
It is only natural that they would not be on your side. But it isn’t natural because they are evil or stupid. It’s natural because that’s the information that they have been given. As such, they are acting on bad information. They are dancing the liar’s dance. They have fallen into Lucifer’s Pocket. They truly believe that those wielding government power are only doing it for their benefit, for the good of all, and can never have it used against them.
This makes things complicated for those on the conservative—and by “conservative” I mean small, and only small, government—side of the argument. The evil liberals say they want to help. The good “liberals” say they want to help. And the conservatives want to help. It’s kind of universal, and thus very difficult to tell them apart. Add to that that both sides say the other side is lying, and “political science” is such a mess that nobody can tell anything from anything, and there are people on both sides who are so confused about what side they are on and why, and you get the current mess we are in.
It is for these many and complex reasons that I resort to simple and observable, demonstrable axioms. For those of those who may not remember from high school what an axiom is, from geometry, it is something that you can just see for what it is which requires no proof. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, or any three points can be contained in a single plane, are examples of axioms. Any sane observer, regardless of personal preference, can just look and see the truth of axioms.
Politics can be reduced to such axioms. I like this approach because it dumps all of the arguments of the many confusing issues that the different sides of politics takes, and gives you a singular stable point from which to view what then becomes obvious.
As an axiom, to debunk the modern political scientist’s point of view that “right-wing” means fascism and “left-wing” means communism, I rather sarcastically suggest that the only practical difference between fascism and liberalism is that a liberal would shoot you with environmentally friendly bullets.
See that? It’s true. Fascism and liberal-progressive-socialist-communism, whatever they go by today, have both been big government efforts to exterminate large numbers of people. For all intents and purposes they are the same thing. It’s an axiom that big governments, no matter the specifics of the form, are susceptible to the perpetration of violations of human rights up to and including genocide.
Sigh. But I digress. It’s difficult to talk about one without explaining the other. It’s difficult to talk about those who want to help, compared to those who want to help who you think are misguided, compared to those who want to harm while pretending to help, without describing each of the others.
There is a quote, widely and incorrectly attributed to George Washington, "Government is not reason; it is not eloquence—it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master; never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action."
Regardless of who actually said it, it is philosophically correct, and a very usable, undeniable axiom. Government is force. Initially government, as defined by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence, are people who are authorized by the People to use force against other people who are not willing to comply with the laws necessary to our security, so that we may be free to exercise our own rights. “That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” They don't do that so much anymore as they have now been charged with providing anything we whimsically define as our "rights" directly; all subject to their rules and regulations.
Now we have people authorized with the use of force for non compliance providing educational standards; holding people to that standard for their right to practice their trade. The fundamental question is, "What does force know about education?" Apparently nothing. But such is the cost of taking money from people with guns, who have the authority of the People, to use those guns to back their policy.
I’m going to do a very rare thing here and throw the Constitution completely out of my arguments. Set aside all constitutional specifications on limiting the government and look at the underlying principles and see why they are there.
You wanted the federal government to provide money for education. You asked for that when someone whom you trusted was in office. Now you complain because Betsy DeVos is heading the department and you don’t trust this president. Well here’s the axiom that applies to what you missed; any power given to one president is inherited by his successors, who will then use that power the way they want it, or abolish it entirely. It follows that the axiom, government is force, will follow naturally from that. Then instead of doing what Former President Obama was saying he wanted to do with that power, you have what current president Trump will do with that power.
The same thing applies to artists through the National Endowment of the Arts.
I have a niece, whom I love very much, who is a school teacher and also sings like an angel. She’s really very talented. She is also the reason I wrote this post for my blog. She was very upset about President Trump’s dumping the NEA. Okay, from the second kind of liberal’s viewpoint I can see that. Certainly art—and I’m an artist myself—is highly beneficial to a society. Certainly artists need and should be promoted for the advancement of our civilization. Who could argue with that?
The thing is that money for the NEA, no matter how little of the national budget is consumed by it, is still taken from the taxpayers by the government, thus under the threat of force, and subject to the government’s rules and regulations, prior to being handed over to the benefit of someone else. This by extension makes art the subject of government rules and regulations for the receipt of that money. So if a president happens to be insulted or harmed by the work of the artist, he could cut the money through the NEA that was going to support that artist.
My niece counterpointed this by saying that the NEA wasn’t regulating art, and such a person should not ever become the president of the United States to begin with.
Well, he is. And guess what? He’s not going to do what you want him to do. He’s going to do what he wants to do.
Regardless of all the who’s and why’s of all government programs the bottom line is that the reason Donald Trump is such a threat to people is because they have given the government, now led by Trump, power over all things important to them; thinking that someone like Trump would never be in charge of it. Had they not given the government the power they are now worried about him having, they would not feel threatened in those areas by him.
But instead of thinking it through they decided they wanted what they supposed were the benefits of big government, with giving consideration to who might be in charge of it next. So, Donald Trump is a threat to you specifically because you gave him the power to be a threat to you. Congratulations. You’ve created Frankenstein’s Monster. Now he is in control of your, life, your health care, your art, your retirement, and everything under the sun you think the government should do.
In light of these axioms; government is force and any power given to one president is inherited by his successors, who will then use that power the way they want it, or abolish it entirely—it is necessary to ask a question of my fellow Americans. What do you want the government to do?
You could request that a government do anything and everything for you and certainly you could come up with a lot of well reasoned arguments to give them such power. Just keep in mind that any answer you give to this question will be by definition the area of authority they would have to use force against you when the next president is in control of your life—I mean those powers.