(CCU Student) Outside of the encapsulated paradise, Adam and Eve fled once man chose the path of sin. Regardless of interpretation, personal exegetical views, or interpretation, reasonably prudent readers of the Bible (Christian or non) can agree that when sin was first experienced—reality immensely shifted. Further extensioning, the presence of sin insured economic systems would ALL be fallible in some regard.
Two modern paradigms I would like to bring up are North and South Korea. Interestingly, one being the least free economic system in the world, the other being amongst the top three least government controlled economies.
Radically opposite but not quite, people in the North live in an ubiquitous society where deification, animalistic-dehumanizing, incarceration, and public execution are nationwide tools used to instill obedience, fear, and extend loyalty. People in the South are economically free to act as Adam Smith, Ayn Rand, and self-deterministic thinkers would advocate.
Although the two radically oppose each other on many levels—they still have two things in common: (1) sin and (2) levels of economic fallibility. What does this mean and why should we care? It means hoity-toity critics proposing liberation theology need to take a step back and examine the root cause of tyranny by undertaking the opposite root (or route): selecting donation to charities, aiding the poor, funding operations for those who cannot afford them, but by no means should we trust a state to dictate whether I do so and to what extent. It means Christians need to acknowledge that free-systems of government propagate extenuating social freedom to evangelize; while further understanding that there WILL be places to point fingers towards 'unholy' scenarios.
An example would be the exploitation and biblically unethical forms of business practice that can be exerted in a non-command-economy; however, while that system may allow such actions of free will, it never puts one's life in grave danger; unlike the 97% controlled economy in North Korea, the blanketed poverty of Equatorial Guinea, the subjugation of women in the Middle East and North Africa, the pompous corruption in Venezuela, and the list goes on.
Face it, there are trillions of ways countries can operate, but only a handful of directions the economy can shift: more control-----------less control. Economically, the examples of econometric statistics from centuries of data prove people live better when this paradigm shifts right (directionally). Fallibility? Indeed, but what an easier environment to share the gospel and teach your children wholesome values. How do you feel about somebody telling you how to raise your children, pay for operations, or whom to send papers to? Think about what less restriction could do to advance the Christian faith!
Do not be ashamed of what you believe. For if the chips are thrown on the table, your personal convictions need not be tested, shifted, or torn. Remember results of free debate between non-believers and Christians. Such a debate would never be had without risk of fatality on the other end of the spectrum. Furthermore, let us acknowledge the fallibility of economic systems, and use our contextualization skills to fight for what works best on a macro level, so we can begin sharing the gospel on a micro level. These are merely thoughts, provocations, and questions—but keep remembrance of what the wise, C.S. Lewis said, "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
(Denver Post, Sept. 5) “McInnis: A Jobs Governor,” say the bus benches and billboards that were to give the former GOP congressman a lift toward November after he won in August; only he lost. Still you see the slogan everywhere, as sad as a Christmas tree in spring, a reminder of how strange politics can be. (And stranger yet if the Dan Maes candidacy also ends, a possibility when I wrote this.)
Meanwhile the finalists for senator forge into fall with their own bizarre blemishes left over from summer – Democrat Michael Bennet alleged to have been a corporate looter, Republican Ken Buck scolded for joking that “I don’t wear high heels.” (Has declining to cross-dress ever before been deemed politically insensitive?)
If such malefactors at the top of both tickets weren’t enough to make nonvoters of us all, my fellow Republicans have the opportunity to lose sleep over the shockingly moderate coloration of Tambor Williams, Maes’ designee for lieutenant governor.
Becoming Light Guv is usually a disappearance sufficient to one’s face on a milk carton. But suddenly Ms. Williams, unlikely ever to take office and powerless if she did, was held up as my party’s bogeywoman of the center, sinister as Hillary Clinton. Come on.
Overall, it’s painfully evident that in 2010, even more than in most election years, few of us are going to get what we want. But can we at least get, as the self-help guru Mick Jagger once promised, what we need? I think so.
Suppose the campaign was a supermarket. You could breeze in for a Lotto ticket, a six-pack, and a gossip magazine – resulting tomorrow in the lottery not paying off, a hangover, and Brangelina as remote as before. This is the dreamy wish-fulfillment approach to elections that too many Americans, left and right, indulge in. Embarrassingly juvenile, really.
As grownups, though, you and I know better. We’re going to the store with a list, smart shoppers ready to turn last week’s earnings into next week’s eating. We’ll go easy on the junk food, heavy on the healthy stuff, and if the menu in coming days isn’t quite the banquet of our dreams, at least we’ve kept our self-reliance and our self-respect. We’re not chumps for anyone’s ad pitch.
Election Day will bring less frustration and more satisfaction (apologies to the Rolling Stones again), no matter where you’re located on the political spectrum, if you use Labor Day to make up your campaign shopping list in this fashion. The eight intervening weeks will also be less of an ordeal, because you’ll have a calm, cool sense of seeing through all the flimflam.
The aisles to avoid are the ones with entitlements, benefit goodies, borrowing from our kids, laws that play favorites, victimhood, appeasing aggressor, inflammatory wedge issues, hero-worship of my guys, demonizing the other guys, future scenarios with utopian fantasies or dystopian horrors. That stuff is junk no matter which party peddles it, and both sometimes do. It will only make a sick body politic sicker. Don’t even feed it to your dog.
Seeing through the flimflam isn’t the same as preventing it, of course. Some candidates and ballot issues perpetrating the above will win. Some opposed to it will lose. But your shopping list is good into 2011 and beyond, as a guide for holding all those darned politicians accountable. Do it!
And if your list includes the healthy restraints of divided government in Denver as well as Washington; the rebirth of competing media voices in our state; some soul-searching by Colorado Republicans and Democrats alike, after a sloppy show this year; a state Supreme Court chastened by voter vigilance; and a return to reality-based politics following the Obama euphoria of 2008 – well then, I can practically guarantee you a delicious, nutritious midnight supper on Nov. 2.
Friday, 27 August 2010 08:42 by Admin
Ken Buck's views and experience make him "the right man to take on the mess in Washington" as a senator from Colorado, argues John Andrews in the August round of Head On TV debates. And John says the outsider candidacy of Dan Maes for governor, already successful beyond all odds, "might surprise everyone" against John Hickenlooper. But Susan Barnes-Gelt predicts a 20-point blowout for Hickenlooper, along with a narrow win for incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet. John on the right, Susan on the left, also go at it this month over a trio of tax-cutting ballot issues and the Denver mayor’s animus toward autos. Head On has been a daily feature on Colorado Public Television since 1997. Here are the four scripts for August:
1. BUCK OR BENNET FOR US SENATE?
Susan: Mid-term elections typically favor the out-of-power party – for 2010 that’s the R’s. However Colorado is fundamentally moderate, and independent voters will be turned off by Ken Buck’s flip flops and Tea Party sympathies and murky record of integrity. It’ll be close, but Bennet wins.
John: Appointed Senator Michael Bennet has voted in lockstep with Barack Obama and Harry Reid on one awful bill after another – taxes, spending, socialized medicine, and the list goes on. Bennet’s money saved him in the primary, but the revulsion of swing voters toward all things Democratic will doom him in November.
Susan: Michael Bennet is a lot of things: smart, thoughtful, disciplined and experienced. A quick look at his record confirms that he’s neither ultra-liberal – which is why the uber-progressives supported Romanoff – or a knee-jerk follower.
John: Bennet supported Obama on the huge wasteful stimulus. It failed. He supported Obama’s health care takeover. It’s become an embarrassment. Wrong man, wrong message, wrong moment. Ken Buck is tough, principled, sensible, and real. He’s exactly the right man to take on the mess in Washington.
2. THAT WILD GOVERNOR’S RACE
John: Bill Ritter and the Democrats have really failed Colorado. Bad show on the economy, the budget, energy. John Hickenlooper, Mr. Tax Increase, Mr. Sanctuary City, would be no better. Voters are fed up. Hence the Tea Party candidacy of Dan Maes and the maverick move by Tom Tancredo. This is wild.
Susan: Wild? It’s ridiculous. Tom-I’ll quit/you quit Tancredo v. Dan-stranger-to-the-truth Maes are a joke and the very public Hickenlooper endorsement by fiscal conservative Repub’s Mizel, Maffei and Hamilton, is just a drip of the coming deluge. I’m betting Hick wins by 20 points.
John: Colorado is a big diverse state. Coloradans politically tend to be in the center or to the right. A limousine liberal from downtown Denver is the wrong fit for governor. Hickenlooper is defined by tax increases and evasive about his hard-left past. Tancredo will fade. Maes might surprise everyone.
Susan: Operative word – might – Not a chance the guy with a record of failed business enterprises who can’t keep his campaign books straight, who borrows money to pay his mortgage is going to be Colorado’s next guv. Maes, mights, WON’T!
3. HICKENLOOPER VS. THE AUTOMOBILE?
John: The automobile is the greatest freedom machine ever invented. Mayor Hickenlooper’s wacky vision to replace our personal cars and trucks with government transit and bicycles is one more reason he shouldn’t be governor. Colorado doesn’t need fewer roads as the mayor believes. Nor do we need the fatally flawed Fastracks plan.
Susan: Please don’t tell me you agree with Repub candidate Dan Maes belief that Hick’s support of alternative transportation is part of a wacky international left-wing communist scheme. And when did the Mayor say the state needs fewer roads? It’s both and, not either or.
John: According to John Hickenlooper, the mo-ped mayor who wants to be our next green governor, the big question is, quote, “How do we wean ourselves off automobiles?” That’s the same Hickenlooper who already led the metro area into a fiscal sinkhole called Fastracks. I wonder if this guy can even spell “mobility.”
Susan: Hick – is he a limousine liberal, a moped-mayor, a fast-track fanatic or a bike-lane louie? Regardless, he is on the move. Republican candidate Dan Maes can’t get his foot out of his mouth or his campaign in first gear.
5. BALLOT ISSUES 60, 61 & 101
Susan: Colorado voters must vote NO on ballot issues 60, 61 and 101. Deceptive, job killing proposals, devastating to small business and guaranteeing increased K-12 class sizes by halving the amount of property tax allocated to schools. Bi-partisan economists estimate Prop 101 will cut state revenues by $2Billion.
John: Those three tax cut proposals look pretty good to me at a time when ordinary Coloradans could use some relief. 60, 61, and 101 simply restore the fiscal guardrails of TABOR that liberal judges and politicians have pulled down. State replacement is guaranteed for local education dollars. This helps small business.
Susan: And the replacement is . . .? Monopoly money? Are your son, the Denver policeman. These initiatives guarantee job losses, negative business growth, higher unemployment, dismantled higher ed and degraded roads, highways, state parks and public safety. Perhaps access to medical marijuana is too easy?
John: The world economy is gravely threatened by taxes, spending, and mountains of government debt. Colorado is right in the path of that. Those three tax relief measures, 60, 61, and 101, are strong medicine to fight an epidemic that could run our state bankrupt. The fiscal madness has to stop. I’m voting yes.
(Denver Post, Aug. 1) The other day in Starbucks I overheard Reagana, a personal trainer and Tea Party mom, debating with McDole, her CPA and a moderate Republican. “You can still support McInnis after everything we know about him? With Colorado on the brink, you’re telling me he’s the governor we need?”
Doggedly but without enthusiasm, McDole pointed out the GOP veteran’s experience as a legislator and congressman, his litany of endorsements, his feisty campaign style and fundraising prowess. As for plagiarism, heck, Joe Biden did it, Dr. King did it, and look where they are. Passing off that judge’s writing as his own – no big deal.
But Reagana said it came down to trust. Scott McInnis took $300,000 from a Muslim foundation for this glorified term paper. It looked to her like sharia sympathizers buying influence with a politician. Poor judgment for starters, and now with the stolen intellectual property, weak integrity as well. “He’s lost my vote.”
The CPA shrugged. His ballot was in the mail already, marked for McInnis. He figured if polling found Scott too damaged by press attacks, the Republican power-brokers would maneuver him off the ticket after the primary and put in Ken Buck or Jane Norton, whichever lost the Senate race. Besides, scoffed McDole, we can’t nominate Dan Maes – no one ever heard of him.
No one but a majority of GOP delegates, the trainer jabbed. Maes defeated Mac at the state assembly after a year of campaigning. How arrogant for the media and party insiders to talk as if no private citizen dares aspire to statewide office. Tell it to the late Gov. John Love. Bayh of Indiana and Blunt of Missouri, legacy boys barely 30, won governor with no credentials but daddy’s name. Businessman Maes has the tools and the ideas, argued Reagana, and anyway Colorado NEEDS an outsider.
McDole fretted about a letter from some Longmont woman in the July 18 Denver Post. “Maes wants to protect TABOR, buck the unions, thin the state payroll, encourage oil and gas exploration, and pass an Arizona-style immigration law. She has it all on tape.”
Reagana clapped with delight. Saw the letter, loved the letter, what’s not to like? Even if Scott could beat Hickenlooper, which he can’t (but neither will he quit the ticket), do you think for a minute he would do all those things, as wired into the cautious establishment as he is?
Our state needs a new broom to sweep clean, she said, because we really are at the brink. California may soon be in for the kind of bailout Greece got, and other states will follow. We’re not on the short list, but we’re not healthy either – huge annual deficits despite the Referendum C tax hike, and a time bomb in the state pension fund. Protecting TABOR is a must. So is cutting taxes.
The CPA jumped to his feet in exasperation. Was there going to be a scene? I looked away and pretended not to listen. “Don’t tell me you’re for those three awful ballot issues, 60, 61, and 101? Wiping out jobs, paralyzing services – please!”
Yes, said the trainer, because with so many governments headed for a fiscal coronary, this is heart-attack medicine we better swallow. One reaffirms the ban on state debt, part of Colorado’s constitution since 1876. Another rolls back Ritter’s illegal property tax increase. The third takes about 2 percent off government’s annual growth rate. Foolhardy NOT to pass them.
“Maes and the medicine – that’s where you come down?” McDole was incredulous. He had forgotten my long-ago campaign for governor, asking voters to support Andrews and the amendments. Roy Romer won easily, but the passage of term limits in 1990 and TABOR in 1992 has benefited our state ever since. As for 2010, who can say?
(Denver Post, July 4) Hecklers, on guard. On this Independence Day, in a stormy election year when Americans are out of sorts, I’m fool enough to mount a soapbox and orate upon the proposition that “politics” should be an honored word, not a dirty word, in our vocabulary.
Politics deserves its bad name, you scoff. It’s a hustle wherein we are lied to and led on, defrauded and dumped on. H. L. Mencken nailed it, you say, when he groused that an election is but an advance auction of stolen goods. Will Rogers was right that just as “con” is the opposite of “pro,” so Congress is the opposite of progress. Fie upon the politicians, the parties, and all their tribe.
I concede your indictment up to a point. But before you let fly with the rotten vegetables, remember that the Greek derivation of POLITICS, 2500 years and counting, simply denotes those things concerning the community, or CITY, and its individual members, or CITIZENS. Can we write off those things? Not unless we’re prepared to live in solitude as hermits or in servitude as slaves. I’ll take my chances with politics, messy as it is.
Like any human endeavor, politics can be done in a noble way or a base way. July 4 commemorates the noblest political moment of all – our nation’s birth in genius, blood, and fire. But the Fourth also looks forward, reminding us how timeless our political challenges are across the centuries, powdered wigs and parchments aside.
Prove it to yourself today by reading quickly through the Declaration of Independence. The Framers, after a lofty opening argument on “laws of nature” and “self-evident truths,” enumerate specific grievances like hammer-blows to pound home the case for change. They deliver (speaking of indictments) a 27-count rap sheet convicting king and parliament of intolerable misrule.
It’s as gritty as a police blotter and, at many points, as current as this hour’s 9News crawl. You’ll notice amazing relevance of these issues from 234 summers ago, into a 2010 campaign over whether Betsy Markey and the Democrats or Cory Gardner and the Republicans control Congress; whether Colorado’s legislature stays with the Dems under Sen. Brandon Shaffer or shifts to the GOP under Sen. Mike Kopp.
Jot a number by each itemized act of tyranny, and follow along with my examples. Taxation without consent, top of the Cliff Notes but only Item 17 for the revolutionaries, remains a flashpoint for TABOR defenders today. Immigration and ill-defended borders, Items 7 and 27, fester still as the Arizona model beckons many Coloradans.
Bureaucratic bloat with “swarms of officers to harass our people,” Item 10, will be a target as McInnis or Maes battles Hickenlooper for governor. Judicial impartiality and accountability, Items 8 and 9, will animate this year’s Clear the Bench campaign. Redistricting, Item 3, will polarize next year’s legislature.
Correlating the colonists’ complaints to issues in present-day Washington is equally easy. Civil-military jealousies, Item 12; federalism, Item 2; trade, Item 16; and counter-terrorism laxity allowing “merciless savages” to plot “undistinguished destruction,” Item 27, all have their 2010 counterparts.
As the Bible observes, there’s nothing new under the sun. Ever since Samuel warned the Israelites in 1100 BC that they would regret forsaking decentralized rule under the judges for a centralized monarchy – because taxes might hit 10 percent! – the struggle between limited and unlimited government has raged.
Peruse the magnificent Declaration for five minutes before you sleep tonight, and you’ll know what the men and women of 1776 knew: Politics matters inescapably. Unchecked, political power will “eat out our substance” and “reduce us under absolute despotism.” But harnessed to “the consent of the governed,” it can uphold both liberty and community. The choice is ours.
(Centennial Fellow) As we observe the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence this Fourth of July, we should consider the unique form of government for which our Founding Fathers chose to risk “their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor” against the militarily-superior British. The definitive passage in the Declaration reads: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." In these 57 words, the Founders established that: • Our rights -- better understood as "freedoms" -- are given to us by a power higher than government. No matter what you believe about creation or evolution, you must acknowledge that government did not give us life. • Government's legitimate purpose is to protect the rights of the people. Just as government did not give us life, it did not give us our rights. • Government's legitimate powers are limited to only those given to it by the people. "The whole point was to show how government might arise legitimately, not to assume its existence," writes constitutional scholar Roger Pilon in "The Purpose and Limits of Government" published by Cato Institute. Pilon's insights are particularly useful because, as a libertarian, he does not advance a religious conservative agenda. Yet he acknowledges that the Founders' common view of "the laws of Nature and Nature's God" provide the cornerstone for all that follows: We hold these truths to be self-evident.... The signers of the Declaration didn't negotiate and compromise to define truth. They agreed that certain fundamental truths were obvious. For example: ...That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness... In that each of us exists because of the same creative process, the rights to which each of us are entitled are necessarily equal. Such rights are best understood as freedom from interference, whether by government or by other people which, of course, implies that others are entitled to be free from our interference. Freedom encompasses not simply the opportunity to make choices but the responsibility for those choices. Freedom does not mean that, because my choice seems superior, I can bend others to my will through the power of government, nor does it mean that when I make an irresponsible choice I am immune from consequences. ...That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Once the Founders established a broad universe of rights, they discussed government, its sole purpose to protect those rights. Again it is imperative to understand "rights" as freedoms — not as an entitlement taken at the expense of another. When government legitimately protects our freedom, it simply does that which we have a right to do ourselves. By contrast, government does not act legitimately if it secures my rights by taking the life, liberty or property of someone else. When the rights of two people may conflict and neither can fully exercise freedom without adversely affecting the other, the Founders reasoned that in these circumstances, the boundaries between competing rights ought to be drawn by the people whom government serves. However, "consent of the governed" does not empower majority rule to deny freedom to the minority. This concept of a vast ocean freedoms and tiny islands of government power bears little resemblance to our federal government today, which is why it is so vitally important that we understand the foundation of our government before electing someone to lead it. As Ronald Reagan warned, "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."
Mark Hillman is a Centennial Institute Fellow. He formerly served as Senate Majority Leader and State Treasurer. To read more or comment, go to www.MarkHillman.com.
(CCU Student) This past semester, I had the privilege of interning at the Colorado House of Representatives under Representative Steven King from Grand Junction Colorado. I hope someday to serve in public office myself, and when the opportunity arrived it seemed like a great chance for me to learn more about what is happening politically at the state level. I learned a lot about the political process when interning at the state capitol about procedure and how hectic even a local politicians schedule could be. The greatest asset for me was not necessarily learning about the ins and outs of the political system however. As a follower of Christ I had a difficult time reconciling how seemingly self-serving a profession in politics is with my faith. Yet having spent time at the State Capitol, I have personally witnessed how much of an impact a solid Christian politician can potentially have on his/her constituency. A great benefit of working in the state house during the session is you have an acute awareness of what your states major issues are and how our elected Representatives intend to fix these problems. I had the chance to help my representative research issues ranging from motorcycles, land rights, pay day loans, medical marijuana, and much more. The internship really showed me how interested this job could be with this wide variety of issues. The job was rewarding in the way that I genuinely felt I was learning about something new every day. I also came to respect the time our honest legislatures put in for us. Representative Steven King for example woke up at 4AM to get to the statehouse at 8:30AM from his home in Grand Junction. He sacrifices time with his family to stay from Monday morning until Friday afternoon in Grand Junction while occasionally running back and forth from his hometown just for a dinner, caucus, or family event. Seeing someone like Representative King helped me get past my greatest apprehension in getting involved in the political arena. Ever since I was twelve years old, I have felt an internal longing to serve in public office. At this point in my life I feel like that’s the path God wants me to be walking right now. Despite this, I have always had an apprehension to how self serving the profession seems. You cannot go an extended period of time without hearing about some politician using their power in a corrupt fashion to obtain personal gains. It can also seem like the political system is a giant deadlock where a Christian would be able to serve God best elsewhere. These politicians however have the power to get things moving in our system. I have seen some representative respond to constituents who are desperate because the government keeps stone walling them on their healthcare, licensing, education, ect. and these people who have nowhere else to go end up calling their elected representatives. These representatives can help things get moving with just a simple phone call or can have their office research the best methods of obtaining say an expensive surgery when they cannot afford health insurance make to much to be put on Medicaid. Even if a public servant gets nothing done at the legislative level, they can do some much for their community in their position if they put their minds to it. My desire to serve in public office has actually been enhanced because of what our Representatives have the potential to do behind closed doors. Like many professions, it is what you make of it. You can easily use the position for personal gain and privilege if that is the desire of your heart. However, if you truly have the desire to expand the kingdom of God from this position of power, the possibilities can be limitless. The bottom line is that I learned that you can do so much for God’s kingdom from these positions. However power corrupts and that is why politicians need to have a God centered approach when engaging in political activities otherwise it will become self serving. It satisfying to see that serving in public office can be one of the greatest ways to serve a community by using their office to flat our serve people’s needs. I can honestly now enter this profession with a clear conscience which is something that I could not have necessarily said before this internship. That to me is invaluable.
(CCU Student) For the past few years, Americans have heard countless mentions of change and changing America. In 2008, the people voted for a form of change that they thought they wanted. A break from the “old” way of doing things and a transition into a new day of prosperity and wealth for all. And after not even two years, we seem to desire yet another change. The eyes of the voters have been opened to how the Obama administration and other progressives operate within a shroud of secrecy. We were promised transparency and bipartisan efforts but instead have seen intimidation, back room deals, midnight meetings, and political maneuvering. And that was just to get all of the Democrats to fall in line. The opposition on the other hand, was completely shut out of the process of creating legislation. Americans have seen a glimpse of the progressive system and are beginning to realize that it is not what we want.
I spent Thursday afternoon at the Tea Party rally in downtown Denver. I stood amongst hundreds of fellow citizens who are fed up with a government that refuses to listen to the people and instead distorts the Constitution to meet its own desires and needs. Together we stood before the Capital building and spoke out for change.
Later that evening I was back at CCU, listening to David Barton of Wallbuilders speak on the Constitution and how it would in all probability take forty years to roll back the gains in government and policy made by liberals and progressives.
After hearing this, I began to wonder if rolling these changes back is possible in our current social climate. We are in the day and age where everything we need and want is at our fingertips. With the click of a button or the swipe of a card we can obtain almost anything. And it seems to me that this attitude is beginning to permeate into our political beliefs and system. So the question is: do we have the patience and resolve to see this through and win the fight?
It will take an enormous amount of resolve on the part of conservatives if we hope to truly fix the system and return to the government of 1791. We cannot expect to mend over a hundred years of progressive reforms over night. Just as they slowly chipped away at the fabric of our nation, so too must we slowly peel back the layers of their gains. For if we were to simply do away with that much legislation at once, our government and system could possibly collapse and implode.
It will take us time but we can win this fight. We must never be afraid as Americans to defend our rights at any cost. Just as the brave soldiers who are immortalized upon the steps of the Capitol, we must be willing to give it all in order to keep our nation, our culture, and our freedom alive.
('76 Contributor) As truth seekers we are obliged to review everything, including term limits, with the utmost objectivity. My complaint about term limits is that this reform is far too modest to save us from what ails our society. A point from the book Reinventing Government was spot on, "The New Deal paradigm of government is obsolete." Clinton was president then and made the book famous, but did nothing to build on its few sound points. I approached the authors (Osborne and Gaebler) to ask why he had not articulated what the new paradigm might be. No response.
The Reason Foundation countered the left-leaning book with Revolution at the Roots. In short it said "follow the 10th Amendment" and equally offered more words than vision and failed to articulate a new paradigm. Each side followed with another round of rebuttal books, lots of interesting reading and a few fresh ways to view a few things, but no one really touched further on the need for a new vision ... a new paradigm.
Because a practical new vision has not yet been articulated by either the left or the right, problems fester. Public anger and frustration grow ... and you know what I'm talking about. The welfare state (that obsolete paradigm) labors to irretrievably entrench itself, at the same time global free trade and global tax competition threatens to bankrupt all welfare states. My point is ... we have a lot more substantial things to focus on than term limits at this point. My Reform Party friends in the mid 1990s never gained the understanding, that it was the system that corrupted the people more than the incumbents were fundamentally corrupt. They were incapable of thinking any more deeply than kick the bums out. Writing for the elimination of term limits will bring attention to your name. That may be the only benefit. An activist movement to that effect will fail (particularly with the current mood on the street) ... with the net result of your time and mine being consumed and diverted from items of greater consequence and current relevance. It saddens me as much as it anyone that profound leaders such as Bob Schaffer and John Andrews were victims of term limits. Yet, your title "brain drain" both insults our population and suffers myopic vision. It infers a point that I know Bob would never claim himself, that he is, without contest, the most intelligent of the 700,000 people in his CD. Surely there must be at least a few in 700,000 who can match his intellect and leadership. Your title also degrades their subsequent achievements since leaving office as less important than being in office. At best, such an assertion is debatable and my personal view is with Jefferson's and what they learned in serving helps them to contribute to society in their later endeavors ... making their in-office contributions less substantial than their subsequent contributions to society. We should be on our guard of anyone who views serving in office as an end. Like success and happiness it should be part of the journey. None of us should allow ourselves to fall into the trap of worshiping the golden calf of government or our elected officials. This view is counter to the Declaration ... counter to freedom and liberty.
Dennis Polhill is a senior fellow at the Independence Institute and co-chairman of the Colorado Term Limits Coalition. Editor John Andrews thanks Mr. Polhill for his gracious compliment above, but maintains as always that every glance in the mirror gave Andrews an argument for term limits -- namely his own fallen human nature, not to be trusted with power too confidently or too long.