Friday, May 28, 2010

Its Fundamental

For any of you that have read this blog over the past two years it’s no surprise to know that I am a Liberal. A Progressive. A Democrat.

And proud of it.

Perhaps I haven't defined why?
If you don't care, move on there is nothing to see here.

But if you are even vaguely interested, heres why I am a Liberal/Progressive/Democrat.

Because I believe that the government can do some good.

I spent 13 years in the United States Navy. Since then I have worked with agencies of three different government departments as well as a state agency and a number of private companies mostly in power generation or the manufacture of medical devices. And through it all I have been largely impressed by the professionalism of the federal civil servants I have worked with and with their dedication.

Maybe I am delusional. I have been called worse. But in all that I have done, I have seen people who were doing their best every day to make this country better. In the end, I have far more trust and faith in government bureaucrats than I do in politicians

And I believe that government can be a force for good in our lives.

And that, from my observation, is the fundamental difference between me and most Republicans/Conservatives.

They believe, it seems to me, in the fundamental incompetence of government. They seem to believe that the government, outside of national security, is basically a drag on the economy. That is my perception anyway. I had one Conservative tell me that they believed in tax cuts with or without spending cuts because that put more money is their pocket. And they didn't even recognize the truth that, long term, tax cuts that aren't paid for take money out of all our pockets and out of the pockets of our children and grandchildren and probably their grandchildren as well.

So, to me, the difference is fundamental.

Can the government do some good or is government somehow inherently either destructive or incometent.

I believe it can do some good.

8 comments:

Smaktakula said...

Well said. It sounds like you developed your politics from the inside out--that is, your politics are based on your personal beliefs.

Too often these days it's the other way around.

Uncle Walt said...

Thanks,

I never thought of it in those cause and effect terms. To me, my beliefs ARE my politics.

Which if funny to hear me say since I often criticize basing policy on beliefs at the expense of facts. I guess thats why I work at having facts to support my beliefs. Imperfectly no doubt, but that is my goal.

Debbie said...

Yes the government can do some good, there is no question. The question should be 'what' should the government be doing? What does the government have a Constitutional right to do, and where has it stepped outside that Constitutional guideline?

Debbie
Right Truth
http://www.righttruth.typepad.com

jenniferw said...

My politics are inextricably linked to my beliefs too. Liberals/progressives are overwhelmingly devoted to secular humanism. As such, they remove an important moral component from life. "Moral" as in, there is a God to Whom we will all answer. How else can liberals sanction and promote the slaughter of tens of millions of innocent unborn children ... not to mention the immorality and promiscuity that leads to such appalling statistics? Cut and dried, my friend. For me, abortion is the deal breaker. What good is money -- in whomever's pocket -- if you have no soul?

Uncle Walt said...

Debbie,
I have been away from my blog for a while so I appologize for not responding sooner.

I agree that the question is what should the government be doing. I suspect that you and I would have a different vision of the limits on the Federal Government imposed by the Interstate Commerce Clause and the 10th Amendment. But what I think the government should be doing is protecting its citizens.

Thats more than just protecting us from enemies, foriegn and domestic, thats also protecting us from the ravages of businesses that will behave in ways that are fundamentally dangerous to us all in their pursuit of profit.

So that means, to me at least, that it is not only allowable, but necessary, for the government to regulate the financial markets, to regulate what is put into out food supplies, to regulate the impact that business activities can have on the environment, to regulate the way that businesses can treat their employees.

Does the Federal (and State and Local) government overreach on some occassions. Yes they do. I find no justification for Seat Belt laws, nor for laws outlawing marijuana. I object to laws that have virtually criminalized smoking in public. I object to the state enforcing a religious based definition of marriage on the civil contract called marriage.

I suspect that you and I agree on some of those complaints and disagree on others. Those disagreements are the nature of politics.

So what is the government doing now that you find to be excessive?

Uncle Walt said...

JenniferW,

As an atheist, I find your argument that morality is exclusively linked to a belief in a god to be almost silly. There is no evidence that I know of that atheists are more or less likely to commit acts that harm others. I know of no evidence that people of faith are actually nicer to their fellow man than people like me.

I respect your faith, I don't share it.

As for what good is money if you have no soul, I like money as a tool. It allows me to afford food and shelter and the occassional treat for those I love. Its not, for me anyway, a goal of its own, but it makes some things possible for me that would not otherwise be possible.

And in my experience greed and the pure lust for money is not restricted to atheists but is common among people of faith as well.

As is immorality and promiscuity that you object to. It is a tenant of your faith that people are sinners. That would include me. But I don't see any evidence that immorality is more or less common among people of faith than among the rest of us.

Steve Harkonnen said...

So Walt, I gather you're not a statist. That's interesting, neither am I.

As a conservative I can see where you're coming from. But for the past how many years, how many presidencies have really failed all of us, no matter what side of the fence we sit on?

Conservative, yes I am, but I'm from the old order of paleoconservatism and often find myself arguing amongst my own kind. but more so Liberals.

So why only thirteen years in the Navy? I guess that is for separate correspondence. But I nearly got out as well, and at seventeen years, but wife persuaded me to stick it out, so I did and picked up E7. I was surprised when I learned you were in. Thanks for your service, shipmate.

You must be posting over at "The stupid will be punished" blog. I bet that's where I picked you up from. If you have not been there, check it out, it's a pretty decent blog for bubbleheads even though I served in the surface navy as a Radioman/IT.

Uncle Walt said...

Steve,
Welcome to my blog shipmate. I have been on The Stupid will be Punished and a couple of other blogs for former squids though I don't think I have joined in any of the conversations yet.

I found your blog when I started cruising a bunch of conservative blogs and have commented on a number of your posts.

I am not sure what your definition of statist would be, that being said I am a capitalist and a nationalist who recognizes the limitiations of both. Unfettered capitalism is a disastorous concept that creates immense amounts of human suffering while making a small group of people rich. Capitalism needs limits and rules and enforced honesty and transparency. How many limits and what rules are, of course, some of the central questions in American politics and have been as long as we have been a nation. I suspect that I am in favor or more and broader regulations than you are. In the end I trust beauracrats far more than I trust politicians or corporations.

Glad to see you here, look forward to more comments.