Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Philosophical Dominance

If the polls hold, the Democrats will have won the popular vote in four of the past five presidential elections. 


Tom R. said...

Speaking of philosphical, I submit the following for your collective consideration:


Throughout much of my time in politics, I have been described as too philosophical, too focused on fundamental values and principles. People have gone out of their way to comment upon how well I articulate my philosophical principles, but always end their comments with, “But, we need someone who is practical, someone who can do what is necessary.” Underlying this comment is the belief that that which is principled and right is not also necessary and good. I always rejected that misguided belief and stuck to believing that the philosophical and the practical are one in the same, advocating both the right and the good.

Today, the pundits tell us that America stands at a crossroads. The 2008 Presidential Election is a crossroads election, the struggling economy is at a crossroads, our position as a world leader is at a crossroads. Everywhere one turns, one is reminded of this crossroads or that crossroads, this choice or that choice, this candidate or that candidate, this direction or that direction.

I agree. America is at a crossroads. The new twist is that, for the first time in my adult life, most Americans recognize that the country is at the crossroads where the philosophical and the practical intersect, where doing what is right and principled is the very same thing as doing what is necessary and good.

Philosophically, I have always advocated and fought for a limit on government spending. Now, limited government spending is the only practical way to save the financial future of this country and, maybe, the world. Philosophically, I have always urged that government activities be restrained and limited to just those things that are legitimate functions of government. Today, restoring government to its proper roles is the only practical way to restore our fiscal and financial health. Philosophically, I have always espoused minimal government interference in the free markets. In 2008, government interference has taken on monstrous and deadly dimensions that must be reversed if we are to survive economically.

This is no time for half-measures or, even worse, more of the same. Now is the time, perhaps the last time that will be afforded this generation, to make the philosphically correct, the practically necessary and the right decisions.

America possesses the finest system of government ever devised by man. It has the people, resources, know-how and will to compete and thrive in virtually every environment. What it can not do, however, is survive in the artificial economic world it has created for itself. No country can and no country will.

Our entire economic model is a fraud, based upon unsound principles and artificial government intervention. The government perverted the housing market by both requiring and encouraging risky loans, and now all of us are being required to pay the price. A $700 billion bailout, direct government investments in our nation’s banks, government loans to giant insurance companies and all that is still to come are only the beginning, overt layers of the price tag which the American taxpayers are being forced to cover. All of this money which our leaders so cavalierly throw at the problem they created in the first place does not exist; it must be both printed and borrowed by the government. The weakening of the dollar and inflation are the inevitable results.

And, this newest example of government largess is just a microcosm of how our government has done its job the past many decades. Our economy is built on a house-of-cards that is ready to crumble. Our national debt, even before these latest deficit expenditures, is $10.5 trillion, and has increased at a rate of over $3.8 billion every day this past year. Again, the only way our government can afford to operate is to print and borrow money. Both are egregious violations of our leaders’ sacred responsibilities and lead, not to be over-repetitive, to a weakening of the dollar and inflation. With each borrowed dollar your government spends, the dollars you earn, save and spend become worth less. With each new dollar printed by our government, your existing dollars lose purchasing power.

Each of us is the victim; each of us is the loser. And, the most remarkable aspect of all of this is that each of us know it. We instinctively and intrinsically know and understand that we are robbing our future to maintain our present. We instinctively and intrinsically know and understand that this pattern of national behavior can not continue. We instinctively and intrinsically know and understand, not only that our current course of conduct is unsustainable, but that it will, eventually, end in financial collapse and ruin that will make the Great Depression pale in comparison. Thus, each of us knows and understands, both philosophically and practically, that we must stop. We must stop the deficit spending; we must stop the market interventions; we must stop the bailouts.

Still, and most alarming of all, we do nothing. We seem content to accept the even-still inflated values of our homes, stock portfolios, retirement accounts and, even, our salaries. We seem content to hope that the collapse comes after we are dead and gone, apparently guilt-free over the economic mess we are intentionally and unabashedly handing our children and grandchildren, as well as their children and grandchildren. We are seemingly content to pass the cost of our misdeeds on to the next generations while wrapping ourselves in a sordid security blanket of “I got mine.”

We do nothing. We continue to elect men and women to Congress who lack the simple fiscal discipline to say “NO.” We continue to re-elect men and women to Congress who bribe us with our own money by sending a little pork here, granting an entitlement there, providing a tax a incentive over here, etc ad nauseum. This is not a partisan indictment; men and women of both parties, with a few, rare exceptions, are equally guilty. There is plenty of blame to go around.

Thus, I return to where I began: the philosophical and the practical have met. If we are to survive, we must restore the sacred and time-proven principles of a balanced budget, a restrained and limited government, and no governmental intervention in the market place. This is the only practical way left to us. It is also the right way, and, quite frankly, always has been.

Mark R. said...

You just keep drinking that Kool Aid. Without getting into a discussion of the lack of any major philosophy regarding the Democratic Party your statement about dominance is total trash and cannot be backed by the facts.

In 2004 only 55.3% of the US population of voting age actually cast ballots. Of this percentage Bush II received 50.73% and Kerry received 48.27%.

In 2000 only 51.3% of the US population of voting age actually cast ballots. Of this percentage Bush received 47.87% and Gore received 48.38%.

In 1996 only 49.1% of the US population of voting age actually cast ballots. Of this percentage Cinton received 49.23% and Dole received 40.72%.

In 1992 only 55.1% of the US population of voting age actually cast ballots. Of this percentage Clinton received 43.01%, Bush received 37.45% and Perot received 18.91%.

In 1988 only 50.1% of the US population of voting age actually cast ballots. Of this percentage Bush I received 53.37% and Dukakis received 45.65%.

In 1984 only 53.11% of the US population of voting age actually cast ballots. Of this percentage Reagan received 58.77% and Mondale received 40.56%.

In 1980 only 52.6% of the US population of voting age actually cast ballots. Of this percentage Reagan received 50.25% and Carter received 41.01%.

Since 1980 no Democrat has received over 50% of the popular vote. So much for dominance. Over the same period republicans have received over 50% of the popular vote 4 times out of the last 7 elections. There clearly is no evidence of a Democratic party philosphy dominance of the American population of voting age as is evidenced by the facts. If anything the republicans have been more dominant.

Don't count your money before the dealing is done. Remember the polls are often times wrong.

Baxter said...


My statement was 100% correct and backed up by your data. I went back five presidential elections. If you want to go back further and cherry pick, so be it.

I agree that next Tuesday is not a given. I will not be celebrating until Tuesday night (if then).

Baxter said...

Tom -

Again, welcome back. You have elevated the level of discourse with your return blog.

Thank you!

Mark R. said...

Your statement is baloney because of the use of the word dominance. It is clearly not dominance to garner less than 50% of the popular vote. I woulod call it more like "winning ugly" or "squeaking by".