Sunday, December 17, 2006

Dependence on Government

Dan Riehl extends the Democrats' thinking on Iraq (if we stay, the Iraqi government will grow dependent on us and not fend for itself) to social programs in this country (if the government gives you welfare, won't you grow dependent on it) and wonders why they don't see the parallels.


"Ms. Cornelius" said...

The real problem is: you cannot GIVE democracy to anyone. It's not like a sweater.

Real democracy comes from a people's DETERMINATION to govern themselves, and to be willing to sacrifice to do it.

David Foster said...

Ms C, it also takes some outside help in many cases. The US never would have obtained its independence, for example, without assistance from the French Navy. African Americans in the old South would not have obtained their freedo without assistance from the Union Army. French people in the 1940s would not have freed themselves from Naziism and Petainism without large-scale external forces.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Ms. Cornelius. Two things.

1. Why couldn't the Republicans ever wrap their minds around that simple and fundamental truth? They speak of freedom as God's gift to the world and then appoint themselves as the hand of God. Sounds like a faith-based initiative that could blossom only in a theocracy. And the US really isn't supposed to be a theocracy.

2. How's the good doctor doing these days?

Darren said...

Wow, anonymous, you have it all tied up nice and tidy. You state categorically that US policy is "faith-based" and then imply we're a theocracy. Logically, you know that doesn't hold water. So why do you say it?

You're not furthering the discussion here. You're just shooting randomly, and hoping you hit something. Not what I'm looking for on this site.

Mrs. C's comment was food for thought. David suggested that Mrs. C's comment ignored some key points. Both were exceptional.

Your comment is far from that standard. I would encourage you to rise to their level.

Anonymous said...

Why couldn't the Republicans ever wrap their minds around that simple and fundamental truth? They speak of freedom as God's gift to the world and then appoint themselves as the hand of God."

The Declaration of Independence:

"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 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"

Note that the Founding Fathers specifically state that it is the Creator -- God -- who is the source of rights, and not some intellectual liberal elite or UN committee. Also note that the Founding Fathers specifically state that governments exist to secure the rights endowed by God.

So the Republicans are, according to you, espousing the same principles upon which this nation was founded. That implies that you do not share the values upon which this nation was founded.

"Sounds like a faith-based initiative that could blossom only in a theocracy. And the US really isn't supposed to be a theocracy."

First, you obviously do not know what a theocracy is. Look it up, please. Now please find where in the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Federalist or Anti-Federalist Papers that this nation was founded to be an atheist state.

And please don't try the Establishment Clause -- which states only that CONGRESS shall make no law. There is no separation of church and state as liberal religion holds it in the Constitution of the United States.

Anonymous said...

Dependence on one's government is a fundamental requirement. If the citizens of a govt. are not dependent on that govt. what is the purpose of the govt. A govt. provides what is needed by its citizens that a free market system can't naturally achieve. Now some people abuse our many social programs, but the programs still serve their purpose of doing what the free market system cannot. I completely agree with the Democrats on this one, either we're going to have to make Iraq a colony till it grows enough to break away, or if we don't want a longstanding financial and political commitment to it, we need to let it go. They don't see the parallels because apples aren't quite oranges.

Darren said...

Then we disagree.

Anonymous said...

God doesn't exist.

Anonymous said...

Let's see if I follow (throwing in my own summative and cutting-to-the-chase comments):

Democrats are inconsistent because... on one hand, they want to remove support in Iraq, because it could cause dependency. While on the other hand, they want to give support through welfare, even though it causes dependency.

Now, would it then be inconsistent of Republicans to, on one hand, they want to remove the support of welfare, because it could cause dependency. While on the other hand, keep support in Iraq, even though it causes dependency.

I'm no donkey, but this (semi-straw man) argument seemed necessary to address.

drewz5 said...

disagreement being a key step in democracy.

Darren said...

Republicans had the Congress for a dozen years, and the White House for almost 6 so far, and didn't "remove the support of welfare". So I'm not sure your argument holds.

Anonymous said...

Whose government are we talking about? Democrats do not want Iraqis to be dependent on the US government. Right? So, why in the world are we even talking about consistency? Where is the inconsistency? Concisely: Democrats are accused of dependency of US citizens on welfare (not the rule but a major problem) versus non-US citizens dependent on the US government. Actually, Democrats seem very consistent in their dedication to US citizens (Buy American!). Sure they create social programs and people do become dependent on the government, but so do Republicans—anyone remember Nixon and the Native Americans? Heck, was it not Wilson, the Democrat, who said we were making the world safe for Democracy but the Republicans who were isolationists and blocked US entry into the League of Nations saying we needed to take care of our own first—oh, wait, what do we do with Theodore Roosevelt? Geez, upon review, Democrats started WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. I guess they are inconsistent. So, too, are Republicans—ahh!. Or, maybe, just maybe, the parties have evolved, not flip flopped, but changed and people today identify with the party as it exists today, not yesterday.

Essentially, we are all dependent on the government. Are we reliant on Homeland Security, the Government, or a strong military, made possible by the government, to support a free market as someone already keenly pointed out. Seems to me, the debate is over the who, why, where, and how (or how much). On one hand, Democrats support it for many (social programs)—to a fault and Republicans support it for a few—to a fault. On the other hand, Democrats support it for a few (get out of Iraq) and the Republicans for many (World Democracy). Augmented further, Democrats want “human rights” for all, but want out of Iraq, and Republicans want Democracy to March forward but ignore Saudi Arabia. AHHH!

Anonymous said...

Do the intentions of the founding fathers matter how we run our country today or define democracy or freedom or liberty. On one hand, we have an
awe-inspiring and wonderful document in the Constitution and numerous articles, decrees, laws, etc which further espouse the American dream of democracy of which I am a fan. On the other hand, we are faced with some uncomfortable facts wherein the founding fathers were white, upper-class, slave holders (hence, they not only maintained no citizenship for slaves, but also second class citizenship for women and the working class). Still, their personal dispositions and livelihoods, for me, are secondary to the law they established and the principles of democracy we stand for today. I believe in the notion the Constitution is a living document and each generation defines what democracy, freedom, and liberty is. Essentially, the legacy of which I am most proud is the one supporting such notions. If Jefferson evoked God to define natural rights in the Declaration of Independence (perhaps history’s most elaborate complaint list) he also warned against evoking God in government and argued for separation of church and state, see his “Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom” (broken into three parts so you can cut and paste).

Actually, the establishment clause, one could argue, when contextualized, makes perfect sense. Here is a group of people with an ancestry in which the state persecuted religion (i.e. Puritanism and its many sects). Of course, they wanted the two separate. With notions of Protestant individualism espoused by Baxter, Hutchinson, and even Penn and especially those of the 2d Awakening, such as Beecher, institutions were inherently flawed. This is a bedrock of Republicanism today and their disdain for large government. A theocracy, not only heresy according to the New Testament as interpreted by Luther, would eventually be corrupted by fallible human beings thus the two needed to be separate. Man found salvation by grace alone and not through rites, rituals, and laws set up by the church and state. Still, we can see the founding fathers reacting against their Puritan heritage because they denied the concept of “the city on the hill.” The Puritans had no problem creating a theocracy. Thus, the founding fathers, with violence between the Baptists, Anglicans, Catholics, Methodists, etc. wanted to make sure no one religious philosophy dominated the government and ruled by majority.

No one is foolish enough to deny Judeo-Christian thought influenced many of the original founding fathers. Such was the social and cultural milieu of the time—and I argue still overwhelming guides the US today (rightly or wrongly—why else flip out over Janet Jackson’s nipple or gay marriage). Still, we have Jefferson and Adam’s correspondences in which Jefferson records his belief in a non-Christian concept of God. Likewise, Thomas Paine, one of our least appreciated founding fathers, was aggressively anti-Christian (perhaps why he is so ignored). All of this, however, is pointless. Again, no one is foolish enough to deny the Founding Fathers evoked some kind of concept of God and most were Christian. Still, I, personally, want no part of their old time religion in which they used to justify slavery, gender bias, and class warfare. What I do want is their sense of Democracy, freedom, and liberty that has grown beyond them—hopefully for the better.

Finally, the 14th Amendment is that inconvenient one for all who support the notion of one religion or philosophy to guide this country, especially moral philosophies.

URL divided into two:

Section one states, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Does liberty include personal, political, and social rights and privileges.

Anonymous said...

"God doesn't exist."

Prove that statement.

Now, would it then be inconsistent of Republicans to, on one hand, they want to remove the support of welfare, because it could cause dependency. While on the other hand, keep support in Iraq, even though it causes dependency.

I'm no donkey, but this (semi-straw man) argument seemed necessary to address."

Unfortunately, you didn't address anything but an idea you cooked up in your head. Republicans do not want to keep support in Iraq. They want to finish the job in Iraq.

Unintentionally, however, you did provide the major reason Europe has become a continent full of adolescents. They have depended upon us for their defense for sixty years -- and depended on their own governments for their livelihoods for the same length of time. I'd be all for pulling every soldier out of Europe and forcing the Europeans to grow up and take responsibility for their lives, except that it would be the death of us, eventually.

Anonymous said...

Prove God does or does not exist? Ha! This is only a blog. Who in the world could ever know who he, she, or it is? Heck, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and others cannot even agree among themselves over the nature of God and the purpose of man in the world. Even the most ardent Christian when pushed into a corner will tell you it is faith, quote Jesus saying “blessed are those who haven’t seen but believe,” and then point to the notion faith is actually a gift of God you pray for according to Paul in his letter to the Corinthians.

Declaring God does not exist or even dead for that matter is pointless—as is asking someone to prove it like she is Josh McDowell or C.S. Lewis. What is relevant is the concept of God is alive and well in the minds of many and the world, contrary to Weber or Nietzsche, is as enchanted as ever. Otherwise, God would not talk to our president, right-to-life would not be a major movement, and stem cells would fall off trees. And how could anyone explain the popularity of DC Talk—really, they are horrible.

I have no problem with someone believing in God, professing it, or even sharing it with me in a park as I try to cut through the crowds to take my nephew shopping and hear I am going to hell if I do not believe and, once more, it will burn, burn, burn—“hold on tight Timmy, we are going to walk a little faster.” Really, go ahead. So many millions of people find whatever it is they are looking for in religion (forget U2). Most are good people. People who fly planes into buildings or restrict civil rights scare the crap out of me and I want nothing to do with them.

A Kids in the Hall comedy sketch features a 1950s-style news report declaring God dead in the Nietzschean sense and—to top it off—his body was found and he was of remarkably tiny stature.

You can check it out at You Tube (no foul language):
URL cut in half: