Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Fruits of Altruism

Although it is old news now, I have a question inspired by that special congressional election in Mississippi that was the third special election in a row won by a Democrat.

Does not the unpopularity of Republicans show what a disaster George Bush's policies (supposedly thought up by Karl Rove) have been? Bush let Kennedy write the education bill; he passed the prescription drug bill, the biggest welfare state handout since Johnson's Great Society; he expanded government regulations, such as outlawing the incandescent light bulb; he increased steel tariffs; he sent spending through the roof. The theory behind all this is the very old mixed economy program of spending money to buy votes from various pressure groups. You might call it the Republican version of Clinton's "triangulation," or defeating the enemy by joining it.

What has this orgy of big government bought Bush and the Republicans? Bush is now hated by both the left and the right. Bush could have spared us the massive explosion in spending and regulations -- and who knows, he might have ended up more popular than he is today. I think even many Republicans will agree that Bush's presidency must count as a failure and a tremendous waste of treasure. His is not the template for future Republican presidents.

When a party spends money to buy votes, the least it should get is more votes. If they're too incompetent to get even that, then they deserve to lose. (So much for the myth of Karl Rove's genius.)

So why did Bush pursue a program so damaging to the Republican Party? Because it is a program of altruism. Bush, a committed Christian, thought all that government spending was the right thing to do. Bush was not primarily motivated by partisan advantage, but by morality. When people pursue their morality, they will follow it even it ends up destroying them.

This brings us to the lingering war, a huge factor in Bush's unpopularity. It took us four years to defeat the Germans and Japanese in WWII. Seven years after 9/11 we are still mired in the Middle East, as taxpayer money and military lives go to bring a state of semi-freedom to Muslims who have never known freedom. We are establishing a program of permanent American sacrifice in the Middle East because we no longer have the confidence and boldness to wage a serious war to destroy our enemies.

Politicians tend to take the easy way out instead of showing leadership and taking risks. It might be hard to understand at first, but Bush's war policy is the pragmatic, easy way out. Waging serious war in America's self-interest would incur the wrath of the world, the intellectuals, the media and the State Department. It would take a President with a spine of titanium to stand up to all that altruist opprobrium. More precisely, it would take a President with a philosophic understanding that America has the right to defend itself and to demolish its enemies. Poor little George Bush, who holds Jesus as his favorite political philosopher, is hopelessly incapable of such an understanding. Instead of waging serious war, he has package-dealed war with setting America up as the nanny state of the Middle East. Bush could not conceive of America reducing a nation to rubble without also spending trillions to clear the rubble and rebuild the buildings.

By the standards of altruism Bush is a moral, noble, great president. Unfortunately for America, the morality of sacrifice can lead only to failure and death in this world.


mike18xx said...

> This brings us to the lingering war, a huge factor in Bush's unpopularity....

Sorry; but I gotta say it: *Blarg.*

-- About all the popularity Bush has *left* is due to Iraq, among foreign-policy hawks.

Otherwise, Iraq is just the convenient, ongoing excuse trotted out by leftists who'd never support him anyway because Republican socialism isn't the pure, driven, Marxist variety offered by the Democrats.

(And then, of course, there's the usual many grains-of-salt one must chuck over one's shoulder when contemplating the veracity of polls.)

I'll throw sound money down that no Republican congressman losing his race in a special-election did so on account of Iraq. Local politics is....local. Republican candidates who were elected in the first place because voters liked their conservatism lose only when they because LESS conservative, or get caught with their pants down in some stupid scandal.

> It took us four years to defeat the Germans and Japanese in WWII.
> Seven years after 9/11 we are still mired in the Middle East...

False-analogy. It took us approximately 72 *hours* to "defeat" Saddam Hussain. It took us many years to clean up lingering Nazi cells in Germany after the bunker-barbeque nominally "ended" WWII-Eu. And your average German wasn't anywhere as committed as your average jihadist, who comes from a long lineage evolutionarily deselected of those with any spark of intelligence or empathy.

"Mired"? In the age of air-travel, all kafir everywhere are "mired" in Dar al Harb. Some are merely closer targets than others. Get used to it. -- President *Jefferson* had to get used to it with the Barbary pirates; and so will Bush's successor.

Myrhaf said...

The contrast between WWII and our current war is not an analogy, it's a comparison. Our purpose was different 66 years ago -- our nation was different -- and so we waged a serious war to destroy the enemy. Today our war effort is compromised by altruism. I've read that soldiers and Marines can't even escalate combat without first checking with lawyers. Imagine Patton reacting to that!

Based on the people I talk to, the war is not terribly popular.

mike18xx said...

> Today our war effort is compromised by altruism...

Altruism? It's compromised by *appeasement* -- Bush is in tight with the Saudis, whose own Wahhabist death-cult (supplying mullahs to Saudi-built mosques all over the world) is responsible for most of the ongoing mess everywhere.

And now, he's going to sell the Saudis nuclear technology....

> Based on the people I talk to, the war is not terribly popular.

The people favor wars in which the enemy is clearly defined, and obviously bad. A "war on terror" is just stupid marketing; whereas a "war on a death-cult which preaches our destruction as a central tenet of the faith" as least makes sense.

People intuitively understand this regards the effort in Afghanistan (whose "theater" is not an unpopular war), but not in Iraq -- where Bush witlessly permitted the new constitution to recognize Islam as an authorizing force.

Additionally, Bush just lays there on the mat like a puncher down-for-the-count when the MSM lies through its teeth.

Imagine, if you will, a scenario in which the totalitarian opponent is clearly defined, and in which every media organization which knowingly and fawningly peddles enemy propaganda is summarily ejected from all federal properties (starting with the entirety of Washington D.C., and the White House press-room in particular).