The Objective Eye

"Every movement that seeks to enslave a country, every dictatorship or potential dictatorship, needs some minority group as a scapegoat which it can blame for the nation's troubles and use as a justification of its own demand for dictatorial powers. In Soviet Russia, the scapegoat was the bourgeoisie; in Nazi Germany, it was the Jewish people; in America, it is the businessmen."
- Ayn Rand, "America's Persecuted Minority: Big Business" (1961)

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

OK, Mitt - We're Clear On Your Religion, But...What About...?!

Now Playing: Les Petites Notes by Liane Foly. Sublime, and...very Christmassy

Today GOP Presidential contender Mitt Romney gave his speech on religiosity and Mormonism, ostensibly to clear the air in defense of his and every American's right to his own creed. Fine, that's his bag, whatever.


Am I the only one out here driven to shirt-rending paroxysms by the pin-drop silence on, errm, that thing called politics?


'Last time I checked, the American people weren't suffering from any marked lack of religiosity. On the contrary, religion-fueled altruism has been making alarming inroads into public policy - most recently in President Bush's asinine decision to freeze subprime mortgage rates so that the 6% of Americans irresponsible enough to get themselves into hot water on real estate can get a free ride, courtesy of a forced bailout by...the rest of us. The examples of the wreckage done to public policy by smarmy altruism are legion - another of them, not surprisingly, is precisely Presidential candidates evading the hard, crucial issues in favor of cultivating religious populism.

Could it be that there might be other things to which Presidential candidates ought to be paying attention?

It's been nearly a year since Romney declared his intent to seek the Presidency, roughly six months since he and the rest of the GOP lineup wrapped themselves in the mantle of "Reaganism," and we have yet to hear a peep out of him on what he plans to do - nay, even what, if anything, he thinks should be done - to get control of our leviathan government.

Where is the clarity and uniquivocal dedication to reversing - not "slowing the rate of growth of," but reversing - the out-of-control size, scope, cost and intrusiveness of American government?

- Where are the goal-oriented, uncompromising plans to attack - and dismantle - entitlements head-on?

- Where are the goal-oriented, uncompromising road maps to the full divestiture and privatization of Social "Security" á la Chile and... Ethics?

- The commitment to counter, head-on, the Democrat-Socialists' health care nationalization scheme with the exact, polar opposite: a full separation of medicine and State, on Ethical and practical grounds?

- To link, in principle and in legislative practice, all government action to the limited sphere stated in the Declaration of Independence, namely: "...To secure these rights (Life, Liberty, Property,) governments are instituted among men..."?

- To end, once and for all, the litigation cancer that is destroying our rights and freedoms via litigants' end-runs around the Bill of Rights?

- To replace the multi-rate Income Tax with a sales tax having - take note, Mr. Thompson - a single rate for all with no exceptions?

- To drain the industry-killing swamp that is environmental regulation?

- To end, once and for all, our involvement with - and physical hosting of - the international septic tank that is the "United Nations"?

- To blow apart the retro-Marxian fraud that is anthropogenic "global warming" and the toxic retro-Medievalist industry that's grown up in support of that fraud?

- To obliterate every last trace within American law of the atrocity known as the McCain/Feingold/Shays/Meehan Campaign Censorship Act of 2002?

- To obliterate every last trace within American law of the atrocity known as the Kelo v. New London decision, i.e., to abolish "Eminent Domain" nationwide, totally and permanently?

- To pull America at least up to the level of bureaucratic Japan, socialist Britain, and Ahmad-In-A-Jar's Iran(!) on privatizing the Postal "Service"?

- etc.


Romney gave his speech on religious liberty for the ostensible purpose of clearing away the negative perceptions of his Mormonism (primarily among Evangelical Christians, an eagerly-sought voting block for him.) But all Romney has done is underscore the fact that he is a virtual carbon copy of G.W. Bush: A man of deep religious conviction who...hasn't got the slightest shred of political vision, much less of philosophic grounding.

Romney's - or any other candidate's - professions of religious belief tell us nothing except that he has an ethical credo. Swell. But without a cohesive, integrated political agenda, the only conclusion to which we out here in Realityland can arrive is that Mitt Romney's sole focus in running for the Presidency is to promote religiosity.

Sorry Mitt, but we've kinda-sorta got some other, rather pressing problems on our plate, and the President sits at the head of the table.

Obviously, it is precisely that set of religious core premises that makes it impossible for Romney to formulate a cohesive philosophic framework for individual rights and a properly-limited government. As I wrote to Fred Thompson's campaign a couple months ago, how do you propose to dismantle unjustifiable government programs, agencies, regulations and taxes, when your ethical credo - which you're promoting as your highest purpose in seeking office - holds that self-sacrifice for the sake of others is a primary virtue?

What we need is political vision, specifically in the vein of "Reaganism," only with real teeth on government downsizing and significantly less compromise with the purveyors of intellectual poison (e.g., Democrats.) The above examples are goals that sound radical in an age of craven "moderate-ism," but they are valid, achievable, and long, long overdue. Even if we had a President willing to set those goals and fight for them we wouldn't get them in total, nor in many cases even in part. But the point of goal-setting is to advance relentlessly in the direction of those goals without expectation of overnight success.

Absent even the articulation of those policy goals by the Presidential candidates, we can know one thing with certainty: The battle to recapture core Americanism will be dead at Square One.

So far we've got the full, detailed dope from Romney on religion, and meanwhile we're...dead at Square One.

We're waiting, Mitt...





Postscript, 12-07-07:
Yes, what we really need are this-worldly metaphysics, reason in epistemology and egoism in ethics, but the context here is the current crop of GOP Presidential candidates, none of which is likely to embrace objectivist philosophy any time soon. We have what we have to work with, dismal as it is...


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