OF A POST TO COME promised to compare the governing approaches of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton with respect to two issues.
The growth of the power of government.
The protection of our rights.
The Growth Of The Power Of Government
Why is it a problem when government is powerful? Government exists to protect our rights. Yet the power we give our government makes government itself a threat to our rights. Therefore, we must choose between giving the government just enough power and giving it too much.
To give our government the resources it needs to defend our rights, we must give our leaders the authority to tax us and spend our money. Nevertheless, the more we allow our government to tax and spend, the more we work for government instead of ourselves. At some point, we risk slavery.
Some decisions which effect a people must be made jointly. Thus, government must sometimes make decisions we would otherwise make for ourselves. So it is that in a nation of free men and women, we have laws that restrict us from harming each other (traffic laws, for example). In a nation of slaves, however, the laws just list a few trivial decisions that the leaders permit the people to make for themselves.
Here is a table that summarizes where the candidates stand. Not certain the information is correct? Then check their web sites. I have only provided links where their positions are not available on their own websites.
What is ‘s focus for the use of considerate language? Well, she does not like certain insulting words, especially “retard”. Here we can sympathize, but we still need perspective. “Retarded” is a word that people use to describe people with learning disabilities. It is simply a word that describes a problem nobody wants to have. “Cancer” is the same sort of word. “Retard”, on the other hand, is a word that some people decided would be cute to use as an insult instead of “stupid” or “dumb”. Hence, the problem is the desire to hurt or insult, not the word.
Why do we insult people? Generally, this desire comes from a deficiency in character. In our pride (see the peacock above), we want elevate ourselves over others. Thus, we can get into these discussions over whether my stuff is better than your stuff, or whether my way is better than your way, or whether I am better than you. Hence, as The Pink Agendist, née Mr. Merveilleux indicates in the comment thread on ‘s post (see here), intent matters. Are we trying to help someone or put them down beneath us?
silenceofmind makes a different observation in the comment thread. He observes that ‘s post (see here) “is an ode to political correctness and is thus a disgusting insult to the free exchange of ideas”.
Political correctness is a method of shutting people up by shaming them into silence. Supposedly, the politically incorrect are mean and selfish because they don’t use the right words and believe the right things. Political correctness is ironic, actually. When those propounding the glories of their own beliefs angrily shame the “politically incorrect”, they are just engaging in another form of bigotry. To silence their opponents, they end up being at least as insulting and hurtful. Because they can put an end to communication, such exchanges risk unraveling our nation.
What is the alternative? Is it not liberty, the freedom to believe what we wish, the freedom to exercise our own beliefs? So long as we do not infringe upon each others liberty, we do not have to pay attention to people spouting senseless insults. We still retain the right to choose better company.
What about our personal conduct? How do we avoid insulting people? How do we avoid political correctness? To some extent we cannot. No matter what we do we cannot control what others think of our words. We can only work on what is in our own hearts.
21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.25 Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison.26 Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.
We can also strive for reconciliation, but that works only to the extent the fault is within our own heart. We cannot make our brother or our sister repent of the their sins. We can only repent of our own.
At A REPLY TO NOVADEMOCRAT, I got a very worthwhile comment from plainandsimplecatholicism. I hope you will agree that it warrants your consideration. I believe ‘s comment provides an excellent springboard for a debate on immigration. Hence I have included my reply to comment and invite others, pro and con, to add their own thoughts to the comment thread.
Why have I focused so much on this issue? Trump launched his candidacy with the attention he brought to the issue. Consider the angry nature of the debate. Consider that this issue could decide the election.
We can debate what Khizer Khan said at the Democratic Party’s National Convention until Dooms Day, but that won’t resolve the immigration debate. To intelligently resolve immigration debate, we have to talk about the ethics of immigration. Instead, we have one side beating the other over the head as bigots. At the same time, the so-called bigots are calling the name callers “politically correct”. Such a discussion is unlikely to produce good results.
What has done is calmly addressed the ethics of the matter, and I hope that strikes everyone as much more constructive place to start the discussion.
As the title suggests, that old post argues the military is not socialist institution. However, some people argue that the military provides an economic service. That is not really true. Who wants to be blasted into tiny little pieces? Not many people. Who wants to pay to blast people into tiny little pieces? Well, in some countries the people in charge don’t ask that question. Therefore, we reluctantly have to build our own military forces to defend ourselves.
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
This world in arms is not spending money alone.
It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.
The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.
It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population.
It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals.
It is some 50 miles of concrete highway.
We pay for a single fighter with a half million bushels of wheat.
We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.
(from Address by President Dwight D. Eisenhower “The Chance for Peace” delivered before the American Society of Newspaper Editors, April 16,1953.
Eisenhower knew war as a grim necessity. He knew military forces as instruments of war. He had ordered too many men into battle to see it as anything else (What Does Day Mean?).
Government itself is a grim necessity. Consider James Madison’s often repeated words.
But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. — James Madison from The Federalist No. 51
Both the military and the government are grim necessities. In fact, the military is just part of the government. Consider the first definition of government and an example word usage dictionary.com.
the political direction and control exercised over the actions of the members, citizens, or inhabitants of communities, societies, and states; direction of the affairs of a state, community, etc.; political administration: Government is necessary to the existence of civilized society.
Without military and police forces, there is no way for any governing body to exercise political direction and control. As George Washington found out during his administration, it is isn’t even possible to collect taxes (see THE MORALITY OF TAXING AND SPENDING).
Government exists because we are sinners. Too many of us are unwilling to leave others in peace. We need the threat of punishment to behave ourselves. Unfortunately, the people who hold the reins of power are also sinners. Therefore, each citizen must hold those who govern accountable.
Eisenhower feared the growth of the military industrial complex, but time has shown that he feared the wrong thing. We Americans have a horror of diverting the results of our hard work into the waste that is war. Unfortunately, we are suckers for social programs.
When socialists propose to increase the size of government, what they propose to do is make a grim necessity more dangerous and more difficult to control. For while it may seem wonderful to give politicians the power to solve the problems of poverty, healthcare for the needy, pensions for the elderly, and so forth, giving conniving human beings so much power is foolhardy. Don’t we all know that power corrupts? Well, that knowledge doesn’t seem to be evident from the way we vote.