Sunday, November 30, 2008

Let Us Try The Conservative Solution

I have pretty much shown in a number of posts that government involvement in marriage, in making drugs illegal, and in running schools were the innovations of radicals. Those solutions to the problems they addressed don't seem to be working well.

So why don't we do the conservative thing and go back to the old ways? And if those don't work we can always try something radical again.

Cross Posted at Classical Values


RavingDave said...

MSimon, I would like your opinion on a group of "SoCon's" wanting to use the force of government to shove their morality down everyone else's throats.

They started their escapade in Ripon Wisoonsin in 1854, and they called themselves "Republicans."

They felt slavery was immoral and needed to be abolished.

Now I know how much you detest people using the force of government to moralize at others, but how do you feel about it in this particular case ?


M. Simon said...

Actually if you follow Lincolns career he was not into shoving anti-slavery down people's throats.

He was against extending it to places where it had not already taken hold. Rather in concert with the times. It was the Southern Democrats who could not accept that.

In fact the Emancipation Proclamation did not come until 1863 IIRC and it only freed the slaves in "enemy" territory.

If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union.

Lincoln was philosophically an abolitionist. Governmentally he was a pragmatist.

Rather like Reagan. Reagan focused on economics and just paid lip service to social issues.

What we need in the Party are more pragmatists like Lincoln and Reagan.

Reagan was not as obsessive about anti-abortion legislation as he often seemed. Early in his California governorship he had signed a permissive abortion bill that has resulted in more than a million abortions.

RR on abortion

Also from the same link:

In May 1967, the Therapeutic Abortion Bill began to take shape. It was a measure to allow pregnant women to terminate embryos prejudicial to their "physical or mental health." Reagan had to admit that he agreed with "the moral principle of self-defense." If 100,000 California women were desperate enough to undergo illegal abortions every year, he could at least make it safer for some of them.

He signed it into law. Only as abortion became an extension of welfare, would he wish he had paid more head to the bill's manipulative language. The very word "Therapeutic" was a medical euphemism, sanitizing essentially bloody procedures.

I might note that if you have been following along the bill is essentially the Reform Jewish position on abortion. With mental health very broadly defined.

Now there are things that can be done to lower the abortion rate without dealing with abortion at all. One of them is lower capital gains taxes to increase economic activity. And where have Republicans as a whole let us down? Economics. Bastards.


RavingDave said...

All that you say is true, but it misses the point. Do you support Abolutionists imposing their morals on others through government force ?



Anonymous said...

Good one -- c'mon Msimon...let's hear you rationale on this.

M. Simon said...

Lincoln did not outlaws slavery in the Union States because to do so by fiat would have been unlawful. His doing so in the Confederate States depends on whether you consider those States to have been in the Union while they were in a State of Rebellion.

In any case Amendments 13, 14, and 15 ratified Lincoln's decisions and extended them to all the States.

Now we needed an Amendment to outlaw alcohol as that was thought to be something beyond Constitutional power of the Federal Government without such an Amendment. So the question is: Where is the Drug Prohibition Amendment?

As to the other issues: they belong to the States.

The real question is: what is the winning combination for Republicans?

Small government Republicans seem few and far between these days. Both in theory and in practice.

Judging by recent election results neither outlawing abortion nor continuing drug prohibition seems to be in the winning category.

So far 24% of the States have decriminalized Marijuana despite Federal Government objections. 26% have medical marijuana laws and 38% of the states have either decrim laws or med pot laws on the books or both. Every 2 years another State or two is picked off. You know - pot prohibition doesn't seem as popular as it once was. You would think a smart party would get out in front of that parade.

Republicans are a regional party and the region they control is shrinking.

Is there a future for a Christian Democrat Party (Republicans as currently constituted) in the US or is the party better served by moving to its limited government (Goldwater) roots?

But it is of no matter. A few more election losses will settle the issue one way or another.

I also think the coming war with Mexico will help settle the Drug Prohibition issue.

Time is on my side.

RavingDave said...

Yes, I like history too, but i'd rather know whether YOU agree in principle, with government imposed morality (in the case of slavery) or not.



M. Simon said...


The principle is simple: you own your own body. Slavery violates that principle. Slave owner Jefferson recognized that as a defect in the original Constitution.

In fact the: you own your own body principle is the core of the (majority) Jewish position on abortion. Until the baby is exiting the womb the mother owns it.

So let me give it to you simple and straight: Crime is where you do direct harm to another. Vice is where you do harm to yourself. Crime the government should deal with. Vice is beyond its power to control in a free society. Attempts to control vice almost always leads to increases in crime.

Milton Friedman explains it here:

The Drug War as a Socialist Enterprise by Milton Friedman

RavingDave said...

MSimon, i'm sure you know what is zeitgeist, and i'm sure you know what is anachronistic. Why are you applying new morality to that very different age ?

It still avoids the question. The people having the new morality forced upon them obviously didn't agree with your assesment, the point is, do you support forcing other people to accept your morality at the point of a gun ?


M. Simon said...


You must be confused. Who exactly is pointing the guns to enforce their moral vision?

I will give you a hint. Who was it that enacted alcohol prohibition?

Not to worry. When the narco state of Mexico goes to war with the US of A some clarity might ensue. Or not.

As I said in an earlier comment. So far 38% of the States have enacted a medical marijuana law and/or have decriminalized marijuana. So 38% of the States have called off the guns. The tide is turning. The guns are slowly getting called off. It is the will of the people.


M. Simon said...

Actually David it is an old morality. It is the morality prevalent before 1914 re: drugs. It is the morality prevalent before 1920 - 33 re: alcohol.

It is quintessential American morality. Leave Us Alone or more forcefully expressed Don't Tread On Me.

Scary huh? I find it to be a breath of fresh air. Henry David Thoreau would understand. You obviously do not.

With luck the Republican Party will wake up. I'm doing my best to subvert the Cultural Imperialists of the Party. And to tell the truth - considering the e-mails I receive from time to time - I'm having some luck. Former Cultural Imperialists are coming over to my side.

RavingDave said...

I'm going to stop bothering you with this question. I dare say there is no way that I can phrase it so that you will answer it.


M. Simon said...


If you can apply the morality you want to your own life how is that having some one else's morality imposed on you?

For instance does the existence of Kosher butcher shops force you to keep Kosher? Are Kosher Jews forcing their morality on you?

What you object to is that your culture is no longer dominant. Join the club.


As to the slavery question - it would be anachronistic to apply modern thought to events of 1,000 years ago. But in 1787 it was a known defect in the Constitution and adopted as a compromise with the States that depended on it economically.


As you point out the zeitgeist had changed by 1787. Even Jefferson knew that.

And we are now in another period where the zeitgeist has changed. The appropriate rules will follow.

No one is going to make you smoke pot, or marry a guy.

Now if only such rules could be adopted re: public schools.