Conservation is Patriotic
Think of the patriotic songs elementary school children are taught to sing after reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Note how many of them talk about our Land and its beautiful features. Despoiling that land is unpatriotic, just as it is unpatriotic to trash our constitution and our better traditions.
Note also how the Boy Scouts are both about instilling patriotism and appreciating nature. This is not a coincidence.
The converse is also true: civil war is bad for the environment. It’s double plus bad if that civil war takes place in a superpower with all sorts of dangerous military hardware, nuclear power plants, and giant tanks of volatile chemicals.
The Marxists and Mansonites rioting in the streets these days are itching to destroy what’s left of our positive connection with our past, and seem ready to start a civil war as well. This is worrisome. And even if the current unrest never gets beyond the riot stage, it undermines the moral authority of the United States. We are making fascism look good. Chinese fascism. Fascism that is willing to endure some dystopian levels of pollution near term in order to create a world dominating economy.
What happens if the developing world follows China as their model?
It’s Time to Repair our Republic
Flag waving and cheer leading isn’t going to bring our country back together. “Land of the Free” rings hollow if you pay attention to the size of our prison population. For black men the fraction that has done prison time resembles the numbers in Stalinist Russia. We need some serious criminal justice and welfare reform. We shall present many ideas on this site on this subject, ideas which will reduce crime while reducing overall levels of punishment.
But we also need to look at our democratic process itself. How can it be that we have so much unrest when we have a democratic republic? Doesn’t our government represent the Will of the People?
Our election system boils our choices down to two parties, limiting us to a one dimensional spectrum of political choices. Sometimes The People yearn for some choices outside that spectrum. If the two parties don’t adjust the spectrum, people resort to rioting, conspiracy theories, or political apathy.
Let’s look at core political values in more than one dimension. Let’s start with liberty – the amount of government or lack thereof – as one dimension, and equality as a second dimension.
Note how the mix of small government and populism is poorly served by either major party. Once in a while we get a politician in that quadrant. Jimmy Carter was there. He did quite a bit of deregulating and supported decriminalization of cannabis. Donald Trump has positioned himself rhetorically in this quadrant, but his actual policies are mix of populism and subsidies for the Already Rich. One of our goals here is to create a coherent agenda for limited government populism, and build a movement to make it happen. Whether that movement should be a faction within the Republican Party or a new party is to be determined.
Let’s look at another pair of political values: liberal-conservative for the left-right axis, and brown-green for the vertical axis.
Building a Republican faction in the empty quadrant here might be more challenging. President Trump is all in with fossil fuels. A third party might be the better option.
Maybe. A strong third party at the Presidential level is indeed, quite dangerous. When Teddy Roosevelt went third party we got stuck Woodrow Wilson, possibly the worst President in American history. On the other hand, at the legislative level, especially the lower houses, a third party could fix two significant defects in our republic.
Congress today is no longer a functioning deliberative body. Instead of bargaining and compromising, the two parties grandstand and delay. Real legislation happens only one one party gets a strong enough majority. This is the opposite of national consensus building. If a third party held the balance of power in our legislatures, the parties would have to talk with one another. Bargaining and consensus building would happen across the aisle.
Another major problem in our legislative races is gerrymandering. Many districts have become uncompetative. This leads to professional politicians and corruption. We need a political party that can challenge the Democrats in California and in urban districts. Given how negative the Republican brand has become in these areas, a third party might have more chance of winning than any Republican.
Finally, we will look into restoring federalism. Different people want different types of government. We can do better than nationwide majority rule.