Seamanship Quotation

“In political activity, then, men sail a boundless and bottomless sea; there is neither harbour for shelter nor floor for anchorage, neither starting-place nor appointed destination.”
— from Michael Oakeshott's
Political Education” (1951)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Senator Ted Cruz’s citizens’ arrest

America just had a horrible experience with Florida’s single-minded George Zimmerman, who caused mayhem allegedly to keep other Americans safe.

Senator Ted Cruz is trying to convince Republicans to act like vigilantes in Washington and with the same righteous zeal. A nation asleep must be saved from itself as well as from suspicious young men in the neighborhood.

Indeed, fear of young people also drives his nightmare.

Conservative pundit George F. Will captures Cruz’s case for doing whatever it takes to stop the implementation of universal health insurance:  

“It is two minutes until midnight. On Jan. 1, the ACA’s insurance subsidies begin, like a heroin drip, making Americans instant addicts. The Obama administration knows that no major entitlement, once tasted, has been repealed.”

The heroin that’s been cooking in Washington for three generations, of course, is fine for veterans, the disabled, children of the very poor, Congressmen and Congresswomen, most public servants, and anyone over 65. They can manage it; and, anyway, those individuals who overdose, after all, were doing something for America before they grew old.

Ted Cruz proves again that you can be brassy, Ivy School–educated, called a conservative populist and not understand your civilization’s history or trust the people you’re paid to represent.

The word “entitlement” is being thrown around now with the same promiscuous dread that “greedy,” “inattentive,” and “shiftless” were whispered by aristocrats to express their unease about the mischievous idea of extending the vote to the wider population.

The aristocrats, at least, were afraid of a new idea.

After more than a century of experience with wide-open mass democracy, however, the Cruzes and Ryans of Washington still believe that although they can learn from their mistakes and live within their means, the insatiable, myopic masses cannot.

It’s easier to recommend an icy shower than take one.

Still, in Canada, Europe, and the United States, popular public services are reformed and replaced by governments that survive and go on to get re-elected. With a compelling case against business as usual, people will accept weekly garbage collection, user fees, de-control of rents, less protection for labor-intensive industries, elimination of electricity rate subsidies, and, for instance, tighter conditions on unemployment, pension, and health benefits.

Universal health insurance needn’t limit the freedom of future national governments to make fiscally responsible decisions and should make America a healthier place to live.

A democracy that can manage nuclear weapons, Senator Cruz, will survive Obamacare.  

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