Beck: So What?
Billy Beck answers Suprynowicz thus:
"Vice President Sarah Palin would mean Americans could actually end up electing a woman president without tapping a manipulative, soulless, stay-married-just-to-stay-in-power socialist."
My question: so what?
In the end, what is that but elevation of the trivial over the essential?
As I noted in this post, most American gun owners - as well as others in the ostensibly-rational conservative part of the political spectrum - have a great deal in common with victims of spousal/partner abuse.
Both groups - American gun owners and battered spouses - are so deep in denial of their predicament that they truly cannot see the essential role they play in their continued victimization. This "learned helplessness" can be summarized as "an apathetic attitude stemming from the conviction that one's actions do not have the power to affect one's situation."
Follow along as I substitute the term "gun owner" for the term "battered woman" in a standard discussion of battered women's syndrome:
Stage one of gun owner's syndrome occurs when the gun owner denies to others, and to herself, that there is a problem. Most gun owners will make up excuses for why their governments have abusive incidents, time and time again. Gun owners will generally believe that the abuse will never happen again.
Stage two of gun owner's syndrome occurs when gun owners truly recognize or acknowledge that there is a problem in their relationship with government. Gun owners recognize that they have been the victim of abuse and that they may be abused again. During this stage, most gun owners will take on the blame or responsibility of any abuse they may receive from their governments. Gun owners will begin to question their own characters and try harder to live up their governments' “expectations.”
Stage three of gun owner's syndrome occurs when a gun owner starts to understand that no one deserves to be abused. A gun owner comes to see that the abuse she receives from her governments is not justified. She also recognizes that those governments have a serious problem. However, the gun owner "stays" with her abusers in an attempt to keep the relationship intact with hopes of future change.
Stage four of gun owner's syndrome occurs when a gun owner recognizes that the governments have problems that only they can fix. Gun owners in this stage come to understand that nothing they can do or say can help their abusive governments. Gun owners in this stage also choose to take the necessary steps to leave their abusers and begin to start new lives.
Any question that most of the "pragmatic" RKBA advocates are located along the early stages of this continuum?
Any doubt that the pragmatists will replicate the very same results obtained by most battered spouses who choose to stay with their abusers?
Sharpening the pencil a bit, you might want to ask the staffs of Senator McCain and Governor Palin these questions, and think carefully about any answers you receive (including the likely answer of "silence/no comment/usual equivocal horsedung") before climbing aboard the GOP '08 express:
1) What is the role of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights with respect to government's power at both the Federal and state levels?
2) Do you support or oppose the Enumerated Powers Act (H.R. 1359/S. 3159), and why?
3) What is your interpretation, in detail, of the First Amendment's command that "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech"?
4) What prohibitions against government action are created by the Second Amendment, and why?
5) What is your plan, in detail, on how to track government operation of what a Yale law professor recently termed "the national surveillance state", report fully on that surveillance activity to the American people, and punish abuses of those surveillance technologies?
6) What is your plan, in detail, to eliminate the more than $52 trillion dollars in unfunded FedGov liabilities, as described by former Comptroller General David Walker?
7) How do you propose to reverse the tide of Federally-funded domestic police militarization and punish police officers who violate American citizens' Federal civil rights?
8) How do you, as the nation's Chief Magistrates, reconcile the clear language of the Second Amendment with Federal laws such as the National Firearms Act of 1934, the Gun Control Act of 1968, the 1986 Firearms Owners' Protection Act, and the 1996 Lautenberg Amendment?
9) By when in your first term do you plan to dismantle all enforcement efforts by the BATFE, and why?
10) What three Executive Branch departments do you plan to abolish in your first term, and why?
Of course, most McCain/Palin voters won't make the effort to even try to get answers to these questions from "their candidates".
And the fact that the Obama/Biden cabal, if they could be forced into answering honestly, would likely give even uglier answers is no rational reason whatsoever to vote for the "statism lite" GOP '08 ticket.
As to Palin and her ability to effect meaningful, pro-freedom change from the VP's chair, I leave you with the words of FDR's first VP, John Nance Garner.
Do you really think that a President who introduced and obtained passage of Federal legislation that restricts political speech during election periods, and who also supports warrantless electronic surveillance, is going to allow a libertarian insurrection from his Vice President, be it on guns or any other pro-freedom topic?
If so, then tell me how your position differs materially from the battered spouse who insists to her friends that "really, this time, he won't do it again."
You can vote against both major party candidates on a principled basis.
Those same principles do permit you to opt out of the majoritarian dash for your liberty, property, and life.
As Charles Heller reminds us:
Freedom does not exist on a left - right continuum. If the jackboot of government is on your throat, what matter if it is the left or right boot? You are either marching towards freedom or tyranny, and if you are standing still, then you are sliding backwards toward the latter.