How Common is Common Ground?
“The happy truth is that conservatives and liberals can share a lot of common ground if they are allowed to do so. If you can read my ideas, and not reject them immediately because I am a liberal, we might be able to celebrate that common ground.” - Unknown Liberal Writer
Recently, we are hearing the term 'Common Good' bandied about in relation to social unrest, women's rights, cutting military expenditures, expanding educational subsidies, immigration rights, and controlling what we eat, how we recreate, and animal rights. It is used as the justification when the Democratic leadership is trying to raise taxes or fees (which is all of the time.) Or when they are trying to add more layers of regulations and nanny-state controls, all of which are payed for straight out of our pockets.
President Obama was quoted; "Some people who just control enormous amounts of wealth (class envy), we don’t resent their success. On the other hand, just as a practical matter, you’re going to have problems making sure we’re investing enough (redistributing wealth) in the common good to be able to move forward. I mean, the fact of the matter is relative (moral relativism) to our post-war history taxes now are not particularly high or particularly progressive compared to what they were in the late 50s or 60s." (Italics are mine)
Maybe not, but there is this little thing about discretionary income...the kind nobody has anymore! Obama ignores the enormous increases in sales taxes (local government demands), business fees passed along as price increases, as well the enormous burden of legal liability insurance (passed along too) in nearly all segments of the economy. The huge increases in energy costs, plus the increasing costs of an advanced education are leaving the lower and middle class with a giant abscess in their budget.
Liberals always seem to be the ones complaining that conservatives reject their ideas out of hand. Yet my experience is just the opposite. Liberals disrupt, or ban altogether, conservatives from speaking engagements on college campuses all over the country. It is the activist lefties who interrupt congress with demonstrations and protests, who orchestrate boycotts against those that they disagree with. Historically, socialists and communist regimes have been responsible for media censorship, mass book burnings and internet interference. It is the liberals who are trying to regulate TV news and radio broadcasts and the world-wide web. They are the ones who bitch about how conservatives rule the airwaves (which is entirely unsubstantiated). They think that the mainstream media is neutral and unbiased, because it most closely adheres to their ideology. Liberals see the world as naturally liberal and anyone who is conservative as deviant.
So their idea of 'Common' is not necessarily so common.
This whole notion of 'the Common Good' is a subterfuge for socialism. Please, before you call me a reactionary conservative who doesn't care about anybody but myself, hear me out...
I remember when I was sharing a house with several other students in college. We had a neat 3 story, 5 bedroom house just across the street from the beach. We all paid about $250 a month to make the rent. One of the students, whose parents were well off, was able to get his mom to co sign on the lease guarantee, so he was on the hook if anybody failed to pay their fair share.
We loved the house so much, we all worked together to make sure we always paid the rent on time.
The group was pretty diverse, some were serious students, some were just party animals trying to get through, but not too concerned about school. We decided to take care of our food collectively as I liked to cook and was OK with making a dinner meal every night for all of us. All other meals would be individually taken care of and the food for that, if used in the house, was each person's own responsibility (weekend meals were always self directed).
But it didn't take long for some people to complain that their food was being pilfered. Of course, everyone would deny it, so labels were put on the stuff, but never-the-less, someone was eating food they didn't buy.
The other thing we had to decide was how would the kitchen and the house be kept clean? Obviously, if you made something on your own, you were supposed to clean up after yourself. The daily dinners were divided up by day, so everyone had one day of the week they were responsible for washing dishes and cleaning up the house.
But guess what? The kitchen always seemed to be a mess, dirty dishes in the sink, dishes and clothes left around the house, and the floor always scattered with crumbs and loose stuff.
The bottom line is, not all people have the same values, health habits or disciplines. In the end, we had to put strong controls on anyone who used the kitchen at all! If we found someone was not keeping up or was pilfering other peoples food they would either be fined or told to leave.
The common good was only as common as each individual deemed it to be.
So what am I saying? The notion that everybody should carry the weight they are capable of carrying (from Karl Marx, "From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs") is just an excuse for some people to simply avoid any responsibility.
I am not willing, nor would you be (I'll bet) willing to put in long hours just to have the majority of my earnings redistributed to someone who is just not motivated to do anything! And no one will convince me that those kind of people don't exist. If there was any good lessons I took from my college years, it was that communal living is a pipe dream.
Real world experience eventually makes wild-eyed student Marxists into political conservatives.. Once they see that paycheck getting pilfered every week, they will change their communal tune real fast!
Dumb and Dumber Students
(I had to repost this because of the recent flag controversy at UC Irvine)
First posted 12/3/14
Couples who get married make a pledge; to honor their partner for life. To be by their side in sickness and in health, to never violate their trust and to be the best person they can be so that their strength comes from both of them being better as a unit, especially for their kids, than either one could be as an individual.
From that pledge comes Marriage. The institution we, as a civilization, have entrusted to raise our children and to promote the human race. Great idea.
As a small child, I remember standing and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance every day in school. I was as proud to say it then as I am now. In fact, it puts a chill in my bones even today when a large public event recites the Pledge. It means a lot to me.
My point is, we made a solemn promise. Just like a married couple, we promised to be allegiant to our Flag (as a symbol of our Country), and in recent years we seem to have let our commitment slip. Not by giving up our citizenship, but by neglecting to protect the things it stands for, and letting people desecrate it under the guise of political free speech.
I am ashamed of myself and my fellow Americans. We have let our 'marriage' to our Flag and our country become estranged.
Do we have irreconcilable differences? I hope not.....
As I watch the young people of the University of Irvine (or Ferguson Missouri ) ban the US Flag because it might OFFEND someone, I think it may be time to renew our vows.
Our leaders who, for the most part, are anti-war pacifists, indoctrinated during the second half of the 20th century, are simply incapable of defending our country. As graduates of Harvard, Yale, and many other institutes of higher learning in our country, they have been thoroughly trained in left-wing ideology and social pacifism. They call themselves Progressives, because no one will listen to a Communist.They are excellent students of Karl Marx, Fidel Castro, Saul Alinsky, and Bill Ayers, all of whom are avowed Communists. These homegrown America-haters who dominate the halls of academia, taught our current generation of leaders to never capitulate to the military-industrial complex' view that we are under attack and that our very existence is threatened. Though the facts are ever present, Progressives cannot allow those facts to contradict their template that 'Love is all you need.' A philosophy that is especially true when the State is in charge, since Love is about all anyone will own.
Most of our leaders from both parties, have embraced the term 'War on Terror' but the Obama administration has made it clear to their cabinet administrators to avoid the term whenever possible. 'It is pejorative and racist,' since, I guess, most people will associate 'Terror' with the Religion of Peace.
We citizens watch the news to see how the War on Terror is going, and pray for and thank our armed services personnel for their great sacrifices, while Progressives simultaneously hold anger and resentment toward the former Bush administration and all Conservatives because they inherently want war.
Last night I watched a couple of talking heads scream at each other about the Israeli concern that if Iran gets a nuclear weapon, it could spell the end of their existence. The woman representing the administration kept saying, 'So you want another war?'
The person defending Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli position that Iran cannot be allowed to have nuclear weapons, was unable to get her to focus on the question. She insisted on making the issue about 'Either you want another war or you don't.'
I took her position to mean, 'Let the rest of the Planet go to Hell, but the US cannot afford, nor does it want, another war.'
As a citizen, I find this disturbing; no, infuriating!
Our administration needs to recognize that there is no War on Terror; there is a War on America.
The War on Terror is just a euphemism to pacify the electorate, so the administration can focus their legislative efforts on social activism, gay marriage, racial and sexual injustice, police violence, redistribution of wealth, and legalizing drugs. We need to demand that they recognize that the Islamic Jihad is aimed directly at us, and that the Islamic Caliphate will not be satiated until we, along with Israel, are destroyed.
As soon as possible, we need to increase the offensive nature of our efforts to take control of the situation, announce our intentions to DEFEND ourselves vigorously against the War on America that has been declared by Radical Islam. The best defense is a strong offense, so we need to join with our committed allies like Jordan, Israel, Greece, Iraq, France, Australia, Britain, Germany, Norway, and Libya among others, and take the battle to them.
We need to assemble an Army of Special Operations Teams to go wherever they need to go to hunt these animals down and kill them!
Stopping attacks against the Homeland is all well and good, but letting the enemy surround your position, cut off your supply lines, and bombard the media with propaganda is a sure formula for failure.
In the overall scheme of things, no intelligent person can reasonably say the Islamic Jihad is being contained or in any way diminished by our current administration's military strategy. By any measure, our current efforts more closely resemble a video game than an all out war.
The civilian controlled military has been fighting with not one, but both, arms tied behind their back. They are handicapped by hundreds of 'fairness' doctrines and 'socially sensitive' protocols, to the point of near emasculation. Democrats oppose nearly every strategic initiative recommended by the Pentagon. They have telegraphed our withdrawals to the enemy, they have decimated our intelligence, they have reduced our defense budgets and decommissioned nearly half of our overall international presence. They view the Jihad as a criminal endeavor and are trying to defeat it with anti-gang social programs. They have subjugated our allies to attempt to appease the enemy, only to see the savage armies increase in size, reach and barbarity.
As one third of the Planet smolders, Obama gives our oldest and most trusted Middle East allies the cold shoulder and dismisses their effort to protect themselves from a modern day holocaust as 'reactionary overkill.'
If I didn't know better, I would think George Orwell was the Director of Communications in this White House!
In the meantime, the Islamic Caliphate is marching on, gaining momentum, while broadcasting their ultimate objective:
'Death to America!
Death to Capitalism!
Death to Obama!
Death to the Jews!'
Pacifism may be fine as a personal life choice. But when incorporated into a worldwide strategic policy, it has always resulted in catastrophe. Unfortunately, our current leaders seem incapable of learning from history.