Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What I Want to Do

"Republicans don't want to DO anything!" the prototypical democrat likes to whine. "They're naysayers. They vote no on everything. They've become the party of no."

The label of the "Party of No" has become far too prevalent (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-weigant/republicans-embrace-party_b_512452.html) in recent years. The use of the title slowed during the government's expansion under Bush, but now that Republicans are fighting Obama with renewed dedication to small government principles it has resurfaced in the ObamaCare, stimulus, and education battles. Of course, the simplest rebuke to so silly an insult is almost self-explanatory: Republicans are not the party of no; they're the party of no to bad ideas.

But to formally dispel this myth and the misconceptions it accompanies, I'd like to state clearly just a few of the things that small-government supporters like myself want to do.

Firstly, I want to help the poor. Not just by lower taxes and job creation, either. I want to give them money, food, and medicine, free of charge. I want to give them extra assistance and attention to help them pull themselves out of poverty. Not only that, I want to give them a tremendous education, a chance at college and a way to make a life for themselves. In impoverished third world countries, I want to combat famine, drought, disease, and oppression with active and well-funded foreign aid programs.

Secondly, I want to help the oppressed. I want to help racial minorities, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transsexuals overcome the societal obstacles they're confronted with. I want to combat racism, and make our children race blind. I want to respect, cherish, and celebrate the unique ancestral differences which make all of us who we are and which form the nuances of American culture. I want to eliminate the verbal abuse and social obstacles that face homosexuals, all forms of race or gender discrimination in the workplace, and the wage gap. 

I want to teach children, when they're old enough, about sex, it's dangers, and how to do it safely when the time comes. I want to teach them about drugs and alcohol, their dangers, and decrease the numbers of young people who abuse them. I want to fight childhood obesity, and adult obesity while we're at it. I want to encourage people to exercise more often, eat smarter, and lead healthier lifestyles.

After that, I want to establish a safety net for the unemployed, which pays them weekly stipends so long as they demonstrate that they are actively seeking work. I want to strengthen the safety net for the elderly, to ensure that our seniors do not go hungry or homeless because they are too old to work. Additionally, I would like to create complimentary health care programs for the children of parents who lack health insurance and cannot afford the treatment.

Next, I want to create plenty of recreational parks, natural parks, museums, historical centers, and wildlife reserves for people to enjoy. I want to celebrate the arts in museums, in schools, and on television more than they are presently. In fact, I want to provide artists with all the funds and resources they need to continue producing beautiful works of art which generations of people can enjoy for years to come. Same with doctors; I want fund new medical research so that we might tackle cancer, AIDS, and all of the most devastating illnesses known to mankind. I want to build tons of sports arenas, and fund active sports programs for our youth. I want to keep our kids out of gangs, and keep guns off the street.

There are many other things I would like to do as well, but I think you get the point. Contrary to what most politicians would have you believe, I'm not opposed to any of this. I share the same goals they do; in fact, it's almost as if I read that list straight off a prominent Democrat's To-Do List. What, then distinguishes me from their ranks?

The difference is that I want to find and encourage people to help me do these things, while Democrats want to force people to do them whether they want to or not. I want to fund these activities through charitable contributions or the purchase of products and services on the free market, while Democrats want to fund them with tax dollars taken by force from rich people. I want to carry them out with volunteers, nonprofits, or businesses, while Democrats want to carry them out through bureaucracies. I want to convince as many people as possible that these goals are worthwhile and get them to contribute their time an money towards accomplishing them, while Democrats want to convince 51% of the country that everyone should be forced to do so. In other words, I don't want the government to have anything to do with any of these activities, while Democrats want the government to facilitate each one.

Because of the political tension surrounding many of the things I listed and due to the the seemingly endless tendency of the government to take on new tasks over the past 80 years, most readers were probably confused when I said I wanted to do all those things. One probably assumed, in context, that my wanting to "do" these things meant I wanted the government to do these things. And that conclusion, that natural, offhand presumption that if these things are going to be done the government must do them, is the single largest problem in politics today. Whenever we have a problem, we are programmed to turn to the government to solve it. We have forgotten the just and proper role of government brainstormed by the Framers, the role of protector of our freedoms, rather than resolver of our hardships. The former is the role of government which created one of the freest, most prosperous, and most powerful nations in history in a mere 150 years. This tendency to rush to the government to solve all our problems is deep rooted, but we must defeat it nonetheless if we are to reclaim our status as the land of the free.

I am convinced that if we relinquish our sense of entitlement to other people's things, respect each others unalienable rights, and do our best to help our fellow man, we as a human race can do each of the things I listed above. And I am equally convinced that we as a government should not attempt to do any of them, and that if we do we will will be inefficient and ineffectual at doing so. If we shift our focus from "solving the the worlds problems through government force and coercion" to "solving the worlds problems through voluntary cooperation", we will have much more success, and create fewer new problems in the process. I'm all in favor of that.

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