Welcome, 2008

Nearly everybody complains that politicians are dishonest–yet the most dishonest ones stand the best chance of winning. (For details, check out the front runners in this year’s race).

Nearly everyone agrees that education is a paramount value, and that public schools range from mediocre at best, and intellectually savage at worst. Yet, politicians of both parties are fully supported in throwing ever billions and trillions more dollars at the socialized system of education we still have.

Nearly everyone agrees that lying is terrible when it’s done to you; but polls (and the experience of many) suggest that most people lie routinely.

Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged, which details (among other things) the collapse of a society at the hands of government bureaucrats, is ranked second only to The Bible in a survey of books that have most influenced people’s lives. Yet, the vast majority pressure today’s government bureaucrats to “do something” to make the real estate market suit their needs better. Rand’s novel heavily criticized the “do something” or “there ought to be a law” mentality of the bureaucrats, yet this is the attitude political leaders must convey in order to survive.

Everyone wants to fire the lawyers and the politicians, yet the vast majority of those same people vote for, support and finance them. The people, it seems, despise the professionals they hire to do the things they demand.

Is it time for the people to fire themselves? It seems to me this was the whole purpose of a Constitution based on a bill of individual rights. The Constitution is the way for the people to tell their government, “No matter how much I scream and yell, or threaten not to vote for you, honor the rights of the individual and the Constitution above all.” The Constitution says nothing about health care, education, welfare, subsidies to farmers, subsidies to charity or religious groups, voucher subsidies for religious schools, mandated day care, mandated child health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, No Child Left Behind…need I go on? The days of the Constitution are long over. It’s merely a sentimental echo, or an excuse to redistribute more income across special interest groups. Jefferson and Madison would not recognize our system of government today. I remain hopeful that the concept of individual rights can and must be rediscovered; but I labor under no delusion that we have anything like that today. In that sense, it doesn’t really matter whether Hillary, Mike or Barack becomes our next President. They are the symptoms–not the solution.