Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Moving Daze - Even as we are given to contemplate origin, humans are wont to consider destination. Throughout the time when I was writing this book, I have contemplated destination, and destiny. As I stated elsewhere, my own sense is that America's best future lies in adherence to the conservative tenets that directly led to her preeminence. And in as much as I have seen those tenets abandoned or maligned, I have had abiding concern for America's destiny. Up to now, this blog has been a journal of grievance and indictment, and has held forth on subjects as varied as race, education, feminism and the Iraq War. I readily concede that much of it is but a layman's opinion, formed out of a specific interpretation of selected facts. But my sense is that those who would take issue with my opinions have no quarrel with me in particular but rather with history, or more precisely, with history's unflattering appraisal of their views as they have been applied.

Through it all, my thoughts have hewed fairly closely to conservative orthodoxy while attempting to cut through the thickets of illogic and hedgerows of non sequitur that the Left has cultivated. Indeed, as a belief system, liberalism is much like a plant, specifically, a plant that has overgrown its pot (or even more correctly, a weed that has overrun its garden; kudzu comes to mind.) In as much as plants take in carbon dioxide and produce oxygen, so does liberalism take in reality and produce dogma in its effort to sustain itself. But unlike oxygen, liberal dogma in fact creates an unhealthy environment. And an overabundance of leftist ideology, like kudzu in a garden, has deleterious effects on America’s body politic.

I can hear a few of you as you read this saying "Leftist ideology, blah, blah, blah."

For sure, the charge that I have made is an easy one to lodge, but it is perhaps a difficult one to sustain. At different points in time, both liberal and conservative governments have experienced manifest success and abject failure. In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan both won the Cold War and lost precious time and needlessly put lives at risk with his diffident response to the incipient AIDS epidemic. His predecessor Jimmy Carter furthered the cause of peace in the Middle East through the Camp David accords between Egypt and Israel, and led America into an energy crisis, economic malaise and double-digit inflation. The record of most presidents, especially two-term presidents is usually neither an unalloyed blessing nor an unmitigated curse. The same is likely true for leaders of executive branches at the state and local levels. Indeed, all politicians from both parties operate in less than ideal environments, and no executive is able to fully implement every part of their agenda. So how would a person propose to confirm that conservative administrations are preferable to those guided by liberal principles?

Perhaps if one could construct an experiment that would examine the lifestyles of residents of areas that are led by conservatives and liberals. One could attempt to randomize participants into areas of conservative and liberal governance in order to assess the overall quality of life both groups. It would have to be established as a study parameter that political leaders in both areas would be able to implement their respective agendas with minimal interference from the opposing party. Things such as per-capita crime rates, tax burdens, school performance, and other criteria could be assessed as indicators of the impact of each type of leadership on the lives of the inhabitants of each hypothetical area.

By way of such a trial, we might then have a window through which to view the impact of conservative and liberal ideas on real people who must live under each system. If people were able to freely express their preference, this might provide enough information to put the question to rest. Of course, such a trial would need to enroll large numbers of volunteers in each area in order to establish the validity and predictive value of the results. Such an effort would seem to be difficult at best to coordinate and supervise, something akin to herding cats. And without large populations, any information gathered from such a study would be meaningless.

Of course the story of local-level liberalism and its effects is long and sordid; frequent readers will gather that this is but a prelude to another post that makes the case against governance by the Left. Over a series of posts, we will examine the record of progressives in charge, and we will see that the liberal experiment in leadership has been more error than trial.

No comments: