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Saturday, October 23, 2004

Eeyore and Mrs. Samurai

Mrs. Samurai recently found out that a very nice friend was planning to vote for John Kerry. When asked "My heavens, why?!", this friend, whom we will call Eeyore, responded with her concerns (to put it mildly) about the Republican party. Mrs. Samurai responded to these concerns in the hopes of opening Eeyore's eyes to the truth of the two-party scam. We thought you might enjoy this interchange as well. Can you handle the truth?

Eeyore: The Republican Party, in all honesty, hasn't got an inch of ground to stand on when they talk about standing up for life. This government cares only for the richest people in our society, and is willing to sacrifice everything and everyone else in the attempt to ensure that the interests of that top percent are protected.

Mrs. Samurai: In theory, Republican policies would benefit most of society by minimizing government interference, thus allowing a vibrant economy so people have decent jobs, and minimizing the tax burden so a one-income family can live comfortably. Charity would stay where it belongs - in the community. Unfortunately, Republicans do not live up to their supposed philosophy of minimal government.

Furthermore, Republicans want to be re-elected. That can't happen if they only "help" the top few percent. Even if it's self-serving, every Republican administration tries to help the economy be better so lots of people - including the non-rich - are doing well and will vote for them again.

Democrats, on the other hand, claim to care for the little guy, but the social programs they institute backfire. We now have a multi-generational welfare class. We also have the minimum wage, NAFTA and GATT, which put so much burden on businesses located in our country that jobs have flown out across our borders. The Democratic party has seriously betrayed the very people they claim to be helping. The Democratic party doesn't like to talk about it, but, there are many big businesses who support Democrats. Even Martha Stewart is a Democrat!

Eeyore: I don't think Bush or the people around him care, underneath the pro-life hype, for the person that that fetus is. When the baby is one day old does she have that same right, even if her parents don't have health care? What about at a year? Does she have the right to eat and have a roof over her head

Mrs. Samurai: I have to agree with the Founding Fathers here. We have the right to life, liberty, and the PURSUIT of happiness. Not the GUARANTEE of happiness (or health care, or a roof over our heads, etc.). Before there were so many government programs, there were lots of charity hospitals and free clinics. These places are closing down under the weight of government regulation. I have a doctor friend (a Republican, by the way) who got in serious trouble for trying to see the occasional poor patient free-of-charge. Outrageous!

Eeyore: What if her father has a minimum wage job at Walmart and her mother, with two other preschool children, is unable to work?

Mrs. Samurai: Minimum wage laws have actually forced a decrease in the wages that could be earned by people who are not brand-new to the work force (i.e., teenagers). Our awful tax burden has created the situation where many families cannot survive well on one income. Democrats and Republicans alike have contributed to the decline in real wages over the last few decades. I don't know which party has been the most deceitful.

Eeyore: If a child, heaven forbid, is not American, does she have the right not to be bombed in an attempt for America to secure the oil that lies under the earth by her home, so that people can continue to drive SUVs and other new cars?

Mrs. Samurai: We do not belong in Iraq, but I don't buy that we went there over oil. It's bigger than that. There are a lot of forces in our government pushing for increased involvement in the Middle East, particularly the pro-Israel-at-any-cost segment. And don't forget that the Democrats got us into Vietnam and also bombed Kosovo and aspirin factories. Again, neither party makes us or the rest of the world safer.

Eeyore: Does a child have the right not to have to breathe foul air or dirty water that's been polluted by the companies owned by those fat cats who found it so much to their advantage to sing her praises in the the months before she was born?

Mrs. Samurai: Be sure you include many Federal politicians of both parties in your "fat cat" moniker. I was an environmental engineer for several years before having kids, so I've got some background here. A large amount of the pollution to date has occurred because government has ALLOWED industries to pollute government property. The U.S. government has been a terrible steward - under both parties. Private property ownership encourages cleaner practices because people want to protect what they own.

If you still suspect that we need government to make sure we don't pollute, consider this: Cars built in the 1960's polluted less than those in previous decades. Did the EPA come down on the auto manufacturers? No - the EPA didn't exist yet. The cars became cleaner because that's what people wanted, and that's what they got as soon as the technology existed.

Big corporations are a problem in many ways. But it's important to know that they have flourished in our country precisely because there is a powerful Federal government. There is an incredible regulatory burden on business, and smaller businesses are at a decided disadvantage when trying to keep up with them. Big corporations have tax advantages over smaller businesses as well. The reason big corporations give so much to BOTH Democrat and Republican campaigns is that politicians at the Federal level have a lot of power to grant favors. If we could significantly scale back the Federal government, then these people would have no big favors to bestow and smaller businesses would have more of a chance to flourish. As citizens and consumers, we would in turn have more influence over them.

Eeyore: In other words, you can't be for life if you protect the first nine months of a person and then damn to hell all the months and years that follow.

Mrs. Samurai: Just because someone doesn't think a government program should take care of a lot of these needs doesn't mean they don't care about these people. Many of us know from experience that government programs hurt a lot of the people they are supposed to help and that private charities are generally more efficient and successful. As Harry Browne said, "If there seem to be ten thousand people who can't help themselves, pass a law to help them and there will suddenly be ten million who can't help themselves. The new law will provide the incentive to qualify as needy."

Eeyore: I cannot support all of the Democratic positions (the stand on abortion, and stem cell research, for example). But I do not support the Republicans on anything. Even the way they talk about abortion seems to me to be so hypocritical that I feel offended by their rhetoric. They use the emotional issue of abortion to mask their true feelings about the value of human life.

Mrs. Samurai: I think your condemnation goes a bit too far. I know an awful lot of Republicans personally who are amazingly compassionate people. Granted, there can be a big difference between the upper echelons of a political party and the rest. That's true for both parties. The guys at the top get their supporters to believe they are going to help them, but it's a lie. I am offended equally by the rhetoric of both parties!

Eeyore: Our country is in the most dangerous position that it has been in during my lifetime, if not in its history. If Bush gets in again, I don't think we will ever recover as a nation or as a world.

Mrs. Samurai: The Democrats are great at scaring people with their rhetoric, but Bush is simply the result of more than a century of the centralization of power in the Federal government by both parties. We have a professional class of politicians and bureaucrats whose main goal in life is to keep their positions, not to do what's actually best for people. The Democrats and Republicans play a game where they pretend to have huge differences so we feel like we're making a choice when we vote, but things never really change for the better under either party. I always thought everyone accepted the axiom that "power corrupts." How can we keep giving them more and more and expect something better to come of it?

Vote Libertarian!!!

The NH Browns cast these pearls at 01:23 ET.  [permalink]
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