Blind Faith Gone Wrong

It’s not rare for me to find myself at odds with my Christian brothers and sisters over politics. When Bush was in office I was just as asleep as many of the people I now know. Luckily, I snapped out of it (Someone who didn’t know is reading this in horror right now). Of course, by then we were already living under the Patriot Act, which helped usher in one of my all time favorite things – the TSA. Too bad I can’t sleep through that.

I think there is a good-thing-gone-bad at work. People, on whatever side of the aisle, want to believe that their leaders have their best interests at heart. They want to have faith in people. If, in the beginning of their political leanings, the Republican party seemed to match up with their ideals, than that is where they chose to stick their faith. If they generally continued with the same belief system, they assumed that the Republican party also still shared that belief system. Unfortunately, there ended up being a whole lot of blind faith going on. It’s gone way too far. I have more personal experience on the conservative side, but I think we can all say that this goes either way. I know people who will fight tooth and nail for Obama, no matter what crazy thing he does. The reason would be the same vice versa if Bush were in office – they can’t be wrong. They especially can’t be wrong if that means the other side is right.

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Meaningless Words in Politics

by Ron Paul

As we enter the fall political season, we will hear a great deal of rhetoric from both major political parties and their many candidates for office. It’s important for us to remember, however, that words can be made meaningless by misuse or overuse. And when we as citizens allow politicians to obscure the truth by distorting words, we diminish ourselves and our nation.

For example, we’ve all heard politicians use the words “democracy” and “freedom” countless times. They are used interchangeably in modern political discourse, yet their true meanings are very different. They have become what George Orwell termed “meaningless words”. Words like “freedom,” “democracy,” and “justice,” Orwell explained, have been abused for so long that their original meanings have been eviscerated. In Orwell’s view, such words were “often used in a consciously dishonest way.”

Without precise meanings behind words, politicians and elites can obscure reality and condition people to reflexively associate certain words with positive or negative perceptions. In other words, unpleasant facts can be hidden behind purposely meaningless language. As just one example, Americans have been conditioned to accept the word “democracy” as a synonym for freedom. Thus we are conditioned to believe that democracy is always and everywhere benevolent.

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Our Founders’ Supreme Court Litmus Tests

by Gary Galles, reposted from the Mises Institute

Justice Stevens’ forthcoming retirement from the Supreme Court has triggered instant buzz and opposition research in Washington, beginning with the short list passed over for Sonia Sotomayor. But the focus on politics has crowded out almost all discussion of our founders’ intent for America and the implications for interpreting the Constitution that Justices pledge to defend.

Fortunately, we have an extensive record of our founders’ views. But the purposes and limits they believed in, and the litmus tests they applied, are far different than those being discussed today. Consider some of their words:

Patrick Henry: “[L]iberty ought to be the direct end of your government.”

James Wilson: “Government … should be formed to secure and enlarge the exercise of the natural rights of its members; and every government which has not this in view as its principal object is not a government of the legitimate kind.”

Thomas Jefferson: “A sound spirit of legislation … banishing all arbitrary and unnecessary restraint on individual action, shall leave us free to do whatever does not violate the equal rights of another.”

Benjamin Franklin: “An equal dispensation of protection, rights, privileges, and advantages, is what every part is entitled to …”

Samuel Adams: “[W]ithout liberty and equality [under the law], there cannot exist that tranquility of mind, which results from the assurance of this to every citizen, that his own personal safety and rights are secure … it is the end and design of all free and lawful Governments.”

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