Mar 222010

As the final vote for the Democrats’ health care reform bill got closer, the frantic attempts by Republicans to stop it reminded me of a rather apt G.K. Chesterton quote.

“The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected. Even when the revolutionist might himself repent of his revolution, the traditionalist is already defending it as part of his tradition. Thus we have two great types — the advanced person who rushes us into ruin, and the retrospective person who admires the ruins. He admires them especially by moonlight, not to say moonshine. Each new blunder of the progressive or prig becomes instantly a legend of immemorial antiquity for the snob. This is called the balance, or mutual check, in our Constitution.”

Despite having written that 86 years ago, Mr. Chesterton hit the nail very much on the head. I didn’t know if I should laugh or scream as I watched Republicans motivate their base in opposition to socialistic/corporatist expansion of government involvement in the health care market, as they perversely and hypocritically decried the Big Government nature of the bill in one breath, and panicked old folks with the specter of losing their Medicare coverage in the next.

Republicans fought hard against Medicare in 1965. Why are they now defending it? How long before they’re defending Obamacare? Truly, “Each new blunder of the progressive or prig becomes instantly a legend of immemorial antiquity for the snob.”

Will the GOP ever have new ideas (e.g, those of Cato Institute, Mises Institute, or Acton Institute)? Or will they always be the party of welfare state stasis and warfare state expansion?

  • Yea, they talked about Obama bringing socialism to the US, we already have a piece in Medicaid/Medicare. The Republic-rats will fight back and forth until the country implodes by the whirlwind of their fight that will also swallow up any other political party that needs to enter. Dr. RP tried and failed to change the direction of the GOP, what’s next?

    (anyway, my new blog is here.)

  • Barrett Archer

    My, you certainly have moved around a lot.

    Wanted to say this about an argument you made in favor of legalized prostitution in 2006:

    We’ve both had the experience of this debate. I’ve had it so many times that I’ve compressed the entire pro argument for dismantling “prostitution” laws, and other “Libertarian” contentions down to three words: “I Am Mine”.

    Labels aren’t something I like. Conservative? Liberal? Democrat? Republican? Those words have so many connotative meanings that they’re useless. Those are just distractions. Think about how distorted the words “freedom” and “patriot” have become since the advents of Operation Iraqi Freedom (an invasion and occupation, antithetical to freedom at the core), and the PATRIOT Act (a whole mess of jingoist legislation, the polar opposite of patriotism).

    I’m sorry to say to anyone who is disposed to extremist compromise that somebody has to win, and it’s the majority. If they slip up, well, it’s not the end of the world. Part of becoming one with words written on paper is experience, and it’s sometimes an excruciating teacher. Changes are inevitable, and we have to try things to learn if they’re workable in reality, not just on paper.

    If the majority says hey, let’s try this health care thing, go for it. My hang up is that everyone shouldn’t be forced into a certain way concerning their bodies, because again, I Am Mine. Anyone who wants to try alternative medicine should be able to. Remember that not so long ago, Walter Freeman was cutting up patients’ brains in lobotomy procedures and the major media outlets praised it. I believe Newsweek heralded the procedure as “medical wizardry”. Lobotomy was mutilation, not a miracle. The miracle was that so few thought to scrutinize sticking an ice pick / leucotome into tens of thousands of heads worldwide and scrambling their brains forever. It’s disgusting.

    Always consider what’s behind the veil. Why did it take several thousand pages to define a public health fund? Maybe somewhere in there one can find a “big f’n deal”.

    Empathy & Sagacity.

    • “My, you certainly have moved around a lot.”

      Not really. I spent about 7 years at Ales Rarus, and I only messed around with blogs at for a little while. ;P

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