A rumination: Republicans, Democrats, ideas, and the Statist urge to power

by Tim Condon

Unlike some types of Republicans—often referred to as “Main Street” or “Country Club” Republicans—Democrats tend not to suffer from any dearth…

…of ideas underpinning their political activism. Nor does there ever seen to be any lack of numbers both willing and eager to labor in the armies of the political Left (as the recent election has shown). These people are motivated by very powerful ideas…and the sure knowledge that the the imposition of those ideas—by any means necessary—is desperately needed to improve the plight of humanity, or even save it outright (pick your crusade: from climate change, to world hunger, to AIDS, to environmentalism, to gun control, to diet-control to combat obesity, to anti-smoking laws, to unionism, even to the ephemeral but basic idea of “fairness”).

This urge “save” others most often manifests in a very basic urge to order other people’s lives. How are they to be saved, otherwise? It is virtually always coercive, and is always “for their own good.” And it seems to be universal, amongst almost all people, at all times. Today it is virtually always undergirded by a sure knowledge that government—one with all necessary power—is the proper tool to achieve and impose the beneficient ideas of the political Left, by any means necessary.

After all, let’s face it: Communism, Leninism, Stalinism, Fascism, Naziism, Maoism, Leninism, and all the myriad other forms of deadly statism did not magically appear and seize power with no support from anyone. They were and are eagerly embraced by massive cadres of people willing and eager to do anything—anything—to see that the compassionate and generous ideas they believe in are implemented…by being imposed on other human beings. Always for their own good.

You do not and cannot fight against malevolent ideas with platitudes, or general preferences, or feelings. You can only fight evil ideas with countervailing ideas—more true, and hopefully more powerful ideas. Republicans should know that all forms of statism are ultimately malignant. They should know that people have an inalienable right to pursue happiness in any way they see fit so long as it does not infringe upon the coequal rights of others to do the same. Some Republicans don’t understand these basic philosophical realities. But many more believe in the ideals…but don’t know why. That is, they lose in the realm of political ideas because they have no supporting philosophical superstructure explaining  why statism in all its forms is malevolent and and often murderous…and why people have the right to be free to pursue their lives as they see fit.

The political Left doesn’t see it that way. Because we are social animals, they argue, all must be at the service of all…and of course there must always be a wise elite cadre of leadership “at the top” directing the efforts of all, to the benefit of all. Their political vehicle to attain power is the Democrat Party.

The chosen vehicle of those of us who champion individual freedom and individual rights—both protected by government and protected from government—is the Republican Party.

Take your pick. In New Hampshire I have done so.

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