Saturday, October 16, 2010

When You Think of Politics, Think of Sour Milk

So, have I mentioned that I'm a Libertarian?  Anyway, I was sitting around with a bunch of other Libertarians at lunch yesterday.  We had gathered to join House candidate Brent Wangen for his monthly Delaware Days.  Brent gets together every month with members of the community to talk about his campaign, elicit opinions from the electorate, and just generally talk politics and government over a cup of coffee or a bite to eat.

As often happens at these gatherings, the discussion eventually turned to the dominance of the political landscape by the incumbent parties, the R's and the D's.  This despite repeated failure by both parties to deliver on their rhetoric of better, more efficient government.  Brent paraphrased the lines from a Maxine cartoon from a while back.  Maxine was talking about remarrying spouses that you had previously divorced.  Brent's version was intended to comment on Americans' tendency to bounce back and forth between failed Republican administrations to failed Democratic administrations and back again to Republicans.  Brent's slightly revised version of Maxine's comments went as follows.

Two years ago, we threw out the Republicans because they screwed up so badly, and we put in the Democrats.  This year, we're getting ready to throw out the Democrats and put the Republicans back in.  It's kind of like throwing out a bottle of sour milk, finding it in the trash two years later, and thinking, "Gee, I wonder if this will taste any better now."  (Crystal clear insight courtesy of Maxine)

The point is, since as far back as the middle of the nineteenth century with the birth of the Republican Party, we've been bouncing back and forth between one failed big government party to the other one, and back again.  It's time to try something different.  Libertarians offer a real alternative to the two big government parties.  And don't kid yourself.  The Republicans and the Democrats are BOTH big government parties.  The Democrats may be better at growing government than the Republicans (think New Deal, Great Society, and  now Obamacare), but the Republicans are no slackers either.  (Think No Child Left Behind, the unfunded Medicare Part D, the biggest increase in entitlement spending to date at the time, and TARP which started under the Republicans.)  And as we Libertarians are very fond of saying, "The lesser of two evils is still evil."  The Democrats are the party of tax and spend.  The Republicans are the party of borrow and spend.  Or to put it a different way, the Democrats want to tax you and spend your money.  The Republicans are OK with taxing your children and spending their money.  Because what else is deficit spending other than an inter-generational transfer of wealth.  Or in plainer language,  stealing from our children.

Another analogy occurs to me about our tendency to repeatedly forgive the large political parties that continue to disappoint us.  It's as if American voters are all suffering in an abusive relationship  The abuser only has to apologize and promise they'll change, and the abused person is willing to forgive them and take them back again.  The Republicans and the Democrats both make condescending arguments to the American voters reminiscent of, "No one will ever love you the way I do."  And the unfortunate electorate sheepishly resign themselves, yet again, to the inevitable disappointment.   This failed relationship always seems to end in tears.

The message here is, "Wake up America!"  You have been in an abusive relationship for the past 150 years.  It's time to break free.  Alternative parties are the answer to America's failed, co-dependent relationship with its political leaders.  Break out of the trap this election year.  Take a good whiff of the bottle before you take another swig.  Vote Libertarian on November 2nd.