Friday, August 21, 2009

3 political epiphanies

From a Warren Bluhm talk to a small group Thursday - hence the Wisconsin-centric references ...

Here are three moments in my life that stuck a light bulb over my head and made me say, "Yes, this is what I believe ..."

+ When, sitting in the bleachers at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in the fall of 1978 listening to gubernatorial candidate Lee Sherman Dreyfus, I heard him say the now-legendary words, "Government has three duties: To deliver the mail, to defend the shores, and to get the hell out of my life."

+ When, watching the inauguration of Ronald Reagan in January 1981, he said, "In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem." I have since come to realize that statement goes far beyond "this present crisis" and applies to virtually every crisis imaginable.

+ When, covering a talk by Libertarian Party presidential candidate Andre Morreau at St. Norbert College in 1992, he said, "Both parties want to be your parent. Democrats want to be your mommy. Republicans want to be your daddy."

Both major parties are The Party of Big Government - they just have different priorities about what Big Government should achieve. And by attempting to accomplish goals for "the good of the people," they miss a basic point: Government is an instrument of force, not social justice. Its only tool is coercion - taxation eventually enforced at the point of a gun.

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