In a continuation of the discussion with a friend who is an Obama supporter, I pointed out some porky and inappropriate spending in the Porkapalooza "stimulus" bill. And he said the most amazing thing:
"You've got to think that for every bad item listed, there are probably nine that make sense. I can't prove that, it's a hunch."
And this from a friend who claims to be a believer in the philosophies of Robert Heinlein (RAH, the person whom I most admire). Heinlein's writings supported a belief in self reliance and personal responsibility, coupled with a distrust of government. He also had some interesting thoughts on the roles of men and women, but more about that later.
Anyway, my friend then said something with which I agree - "I worry, though, when people start talking about "adding safeguards" to make sure money is spent "appropriately." It usually involves forcing a belief system on someone else. Of course, the alternative is that they spend the money on new fleet cars. But when federal money has all kinds of strings attached to public schools, for example, administrators and teachers have to jump through hoops to keep what little money they're entitled to. Bureaucracy just sucks. I think everybody agrees on that, unless they have a government job, and even then..."
Great, buddy! You are on the right track! But you support Obama? He wanted to avoid a political discussion and said - "I think it's hard whenever there are people who seem to be intelligent who reach different conclusions with the same data. Makes people argue more vigorously because they can't seem to understand why the other person didn't already think this already."
To which I said:
I agree that smart people can come to opposite political views. It doesn't make them more or less smart. People of good conscience can disagree. I do find SUBSTANTIALLY less tolerance on the liberal/progressive side of the equation, hence Bush Derangement Syndrome.
I can tell you are smart by the quality of your posts. What I have trouble with is your internal inconsistency. You claim to be a believer in RAH's philosophy, but you voted for an out and out socialist. This isn't a theory any more based on BO's voting record and political past, it is an easy to draw concludion from the "stimulus" porkapalooza. I think it was pretty clear in the election that McCain favored smaller government that BO, so I find it intellectually inconsistent that an RAH believer could support Obama.
Look at what you just said: "You've got to think that for every bad item listed, there are probably nine that make sense."
Why on earth would you possibly think that? Even if something in Porkapalooza was a good idea, it is vastly unlikely that it would be a good thing for the FedGov to do. 9 out of 10 ideas in that sense are going to be BAD. Yet I bet you have said that you support Porkapalooza.
And yet you say that bureaucracy sucks. You can't be tolerant of socialism and be a supporter of BO and think that. Because he will massively increase bureaucracy at the expense of freedom. That is how bigger government works. They say that they are protecting you, but you must give up freedom to obtain that protection.
I believe that our current society is too "safe" and insufficiently free.
I bet you do to.
But somewhere along the line you drank the Kool Aid.
OK, I will leave you alone. You have said a couple of times that you don't want to engage on political stuff, and I will respect that. But I think you need to re-examine what you believe. I don't think you are supporting politicians and causes that are reflective of what you say you believe. So you either need to recognize that your beliefs have changed or change the politicians and causes you are supporting. Cuz you head and your heat are fighting with each other.