Friday, October 14, 2016


When it comes to politics, it seems to me there are really only two questions: what is right, and what works.  With regard to the first question, as Thomas Sowell pointed out long ago, the question you have to ask before answering it is, politically, who gets to DECIDE what is right?

Liberalism is the idealistic notion that many different answers to that question can coexist peacefully, because we adopt a policy of enlightened and genuine tolerance on the one hand, and grant people regular access to the process of law making, and grant geographically disparate groups the right to govern themselves as they see fit on the other.

Where we see an irreconcilable political split nationally, it is because of perversions of our system.  The Supreme Court never should have asserted itself in Brown v. Board of Education.  It is not that the cause was not just, but that that was never their business.  It was the business of policy makers in Kansas.  It is absolutely the case that protests and non-violent tactics were appropriate, but it was not the job of the Supreme Court to issue national mandates.

And look at our schools.  Are they not functionally segregated in many cities even in 2016?  The solution was not achieved.  The outcome they wanted, for which they were willing to prostitute the sanctity of the Court, was not achieved.  They failed, and whatever moral arguments they may have offered to justify their abdication of their responsibility to protect the rule of law in this country--which is to say the dignity and wisdom inherent in our Constitution--failed with them.

Even before that, Social Security never should have been ruled Constitutional.  Roe v. Wade, for its part, is farcical from a legal perspective.

Who rules our nation is a large question because we are not one nation: we are many nations, and those nations differ fundamentally in their beliefs.  As I have been saying for some years: let Texas be Texas and Oregon be Oregon.  Let people vote with their feet.  You cannot make one nation of many, and expect there will be no violence of sentiment.

And in terms of what works, that is an EMPIRICAL question, is it not?  What I would submit is that rhetorics of morality have corrupted the notion of efficacy.  The claim is made over and over that because something SHOULD be true, that it is true.  It may be that higher education (so called) "should" be free.  But it is pointless to make the claim without understanding the systems in place, and having a realistic understanding of the logistics of making this happen.  Anything less is childish pouting, which of course has become trendy.

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