Republican by default

When I was a teenager and Clinton was elected president (oh, dark of days it was), it was good to be a Republican. For as a Republican, you stood against the higher taxes and government entitlements and waste that the Democrats wanted to foist upon the country in effort to build their “government is daddy” utopia. You could actually hold your head up high and say that you stood for something different than the prevailing wisdom in Washington.

But now, in a time when Republicans own the government, it is not so good to be a Republican. Indeed, for me, the victorious feeling I had when Bush beat Gore (and he did, so get over it!) and when the Republicans gained complete control of Congress two years later, has turned bitter and cynical. The party I was so gleeful to see gain power after so many years as a minority has squandered their moral authority in less time than it took Clinton to get caught in an “inappropriate” relationship with an intern.

Now the inappropriate relationship is that of the Republicans and big government.

I don’t care about deficit spending. If we need to spend more money on defense and homeland security, do it. The government should never be running a surplus, because that inherently means that the government is stealing from the taxpayer.

But I do care about waste and ever-ballooning government programs. Spending billions of dollars to find out if Mars was ever wet is a waste of taxpayer money. Billions of dollars being flushed down the toilet of the NEA is a waste of taxpayer money. Billions of dollars being sent to third-world countries is a waste of taxpayer money when that money does nothing but enable poor economic policy. And spending even more Federal tax dollars on education is a total and complete waste, when all of the research shows that the more money we spend on schools, the worse they perform — to say nothing of the inherent problem of making everyone drink at the trough of government welfare education.

It is sad to have to say why I am a Republican. I am a Republican because I am loathe to be a Democrat. I am a Republican, because if I voted for Democrats, I would be voting for even more wasteful spending, and side-orders of bad security policy and legalized infanticide on top of higher taxes. And I am a Republican because I am not extreme enough to be a Libertarian and I have to be somewhat pragmatic in the voting booth.

Oh, I know that there are still a lot of Republican representatives who are not big-spending, government bloating, vote-buying, NEA-appeasing weasels. And I hope that they knock some sense into the Republican leadership and get things under control. But until they do, I will be a Republican by default.

How old do you have to be to act responsibly?

How old do you have to be to act responsibly?

The recent unearthing of an interview with Schwarzenegger in 1977 has created a lot of buzz about whether or not it is relevant to his campaign for governor in California. [Article] But what interests me more are the methods by which this information is dismissed by his supporters.

The most common answer? “He was young.”

What a crock. He was nearly 30 years old when he gave the interview! He was certainly older than that when he finally started controlling himself. This gets me wondering — how old is adult? We are supposed to accept that something someone said publicly when they were three decades old is off-limits and shouldn’t be looked at to examine their character? You can say “it’s the economy, stupid” all you want, but the fact remains that at SOME point it must matter what people say and how they act.

Obviously our culture has pushed adolescence well into the twenties. Instead of expecting young men to become reasoned, responsible individuals in their teens, as was once the custom, degrading behavior is now excusable all the way into graduate school, where drinking and partying is the “social interaction” that is supposedly so necessary to human development. Now it looks like adolescence needs to be pushed into the early thirties in order to not be embarrassed by the disgusting, misogynistic opining of a body builder who wasn’t “liv[ing] [his] life to be a politician.” How about common decency? Not so common I suppose. But hey, can people change? Of course.

Yes, people can change. And they shouldn’t be judged by things they did in the past if they have really, honestly changed. But you would think that someone who has matured past animalistic activities would have something deeper to say than “I haven’t lived my life to be a politician.” What about living your life to be a father? His response really bothers me. I wouldn’t want to be so harsh about this, but this dismissive attitude is repugnant.

California Republicans are just happy that someone with an R after their name might actually win in October — either that or they just can’t get past how “cool” it would be to have the Terminator or the Kindergarten Cop in Sacramento. But unmitigated party loyalty is not an excuse for saying “he was young, it was 25 years ago” when something bad comes to the surface about their anointed candidate. Make arguments about the economy and about running as “the people’s governor.” That’s fine. But saying that a 29 year old man is just “young” is ridiculous.

So how old do you have to be to be expected to act responsibly?

Education welfare

Education welfare: A mildly interesting article about the school transfer option of the “No child left behind” education plan included this quote from an indignant citizen:

“I would have taken the option to transfer, but I didn’t have it,” Jackson said. “This law ended up costing me money out of my own pocket.”

Boo hoo. Imagine that — having to foot the bill for your own child’s benefit. We homeschoolers do this every day. Americans have come a long way… No longer the independent minded people we once were, most of us take for granted that the costs of education will be paid for by everyone else. Jackson is not happy that his son’s school is underachieving but can’t understand why he should be responsible for the costs of his child’s education. And yet, homeschoolers choose to pay for their child’s eduction “100% out of pocket,” and still pay the property taxes and federal taxes that fund government schools that fail.

Why I am a Utopian Reject

I do not mean to suggest that the world or the United States in particular is a realized utopia for anyone. Militant feminists are still trying to find a way to make men irrelevant, atheists are still trying to banish any notion of deity from public view, extreme leftists are still trying to impose their moral code on society, extreme right wingers are generally trying to do the same thing, moderates are still trying to figure out “why can’t we all just get along,” educational elitists from all points of the political spectrum would like compulsory attendance to their neo-fascist institutions to be more strictly enforced and rigidly executed to churn out even more followers they can exploit, and MTV is still trying to reduce the attention span of the average pimple-faced teenager to less than a nanosecond.

I am a Utopian Reject because there exists not a single idealized vision of human society that suits me (that is, idealized by modern ideologues), or of more importance, I do not suit any purveyor of utopia, whether liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, fascist or libertarian, spiritual or religious.

Being a Utopian Reject does not have anything to do with mindlessly protesting against establishment, abstaining from the electoral process (if you happen to live in a country with one), making your mind a god, or avoiding a bar of soap and a shower. Hippies may very well be societal rejects, but they are stupid and lack rudimentary reasoning skills — this is not what is meant by being a Utopian Reject. Multi-platinum musicians who never overcame teenage angst and feel guilty about being paid so much to be so worthless are not Utopian Rejects just because they feign intelligence in political or social matters, no matter what rhetoric they choose to parrot.

Purveyors of utopia from all political, social, and religious persuasions cannot overvalue the ignorance of the masses. No architect of utopia could hope to work with an independently wise and knowledgeable population and expect to make any progress. It is therefore the case that utopians almost invariably identify the same “problems” and the same “goals”– and only sometimes manage to concoct unique “solutions.”

I am a Utopian Reject because the utopian constructs of society designed to processes citizens like so much bologna into neat little packages largely failed on me. This is a mixed blessing, to be sure.

There are Utopian Rejects all over, in any political party or any religion. Most of them haven’t quantified their rejection from utopia. The more cognizant one becomes of their rejection, the more difficulty they have fitting into the round holes their square personalities have been hammered into.

Utopian Rejects don’t necessarily all agree on any particular set of values or truths, but all would agree that there really is no such thing as utopia.

I do not pretend to represent all Utopian Rejects, only myself. I believe in absolute truth, I believe there is right and wrong, and that most “gray areas” exist out of laziness in reasoning rather than some imagined equality of values. I do not for one minute think my mind is my god and I do not make a man or philosophy my final authority.