It’s remarkable to me how many people are asking me about my assessment of the 2016 presidential field. I suppose I should be flattered, and to some degree I am, but I have largely lost my appetite for American electoral politics. I also think our republic is riddled with deep structural fault lines that cannot and will not be repaired by means of a national election.
I also feel somewhat excluded from partisan debates, as I’m deeply disgusted with both Democrats and Republicans, although I’m ideologically far closer to the GOP than the party of Obama. But the ideological excesses of the Tea Party combined with Republican recalcitrance to do anything significant on immigration make it difficult for me to find anyone in the political arena who shares my point of view.
And then I read this article – “The American Disease” by Orson Scott Card.
I agree with this article.
That doesn’t sound as significant as it ought to sound. The fact is, I agree with all of it. I agree with every word. Indeed, had I decided to sit down and effectively summarize the entirety of my current political unorthodoxy, I would not have been able to do as fine a job as Card does with this essay.
Let me share just a few of my favorite excerpts:
Card on Obama
Barack Obama is not the cause of America’s ills. He is only the most visible symptom.
We think that because he has spent his term systematically weakening the power of the United States in the world, his removal from office will make us strong again.
Not likely… The disease is already so deeply rooted that washing out one handkerchief is not going to cure anything.
Card on foreign policy/global warming:
When Barack Obama is no longer President, our children will still be taught… that if we weren’t so aggressive and arrogant, all the other nations would be nice.
That this is obviously false, after six years of Obama’s “nice,” apologetic foreign policy, will not change the ideology.
Since there was never either truth or evidence supporting this belief, contradictory evidence will hardly make a dent in it, any more than twenty years of global cooling has made a dent in the “climate change” panickers.
Card on leftist economics:
The Leftist ideology does little harm to the economy — as long as it’s just talk, and business is left alone to do its job.
Thus someone as deeply ignorant of economic laws as Barack Obama and his entire administration think that they can fiddle with the economy and redistribute it “fairly.”
No, they can’t. Their “fairness” is, in fact, sabotage — literally, putting a wooden shoe into the machinery so it grinds to a halt. The irony is that when the whole thing crashes, the people who are hurt the worst are the very poor people whom the Left meant to help.
Card on the GOP:
There are smart Republicans who understand the economy, the process of government, and foreign policy, but they are constantly and savagely attacked by the fake “Tea Party” Republicans as RINOs — Republicans In Name Only… The Republican Party deserves to fail, has chosen to fail, and this deathwish continues in full force.
They could have elected Mitt Romney in 2012 and stopped the national nightmare by installing in the White House the most competent man to be a major party nominee since Dwight Eisenhower.
But the evangelical Christians stayed home in droves rather than vote for an evil Mormon — thus remaining “pure” but refusing to govern.
Card on Republican opposition to immigration reform:
In practical terms, the “no amnesty” litmus test for Republican candidates is a political mistake… But I think the harm it does is far deeper. It’s a hypocritical, hateful attitude, that the poorest of the poor should never be forgiven for the crime of going wherever they had to, regardless of risk, in order to feed their families.
It poisons the Republican Party the way support of slavery poisoned the Democratic Party before the Civil War.
Card on Republican refusal to compromise:
But when every compromise that leads to good government is treated as an indelible stain on a candidate’s record, how can the Republican Party nominate anybody with the capacity and wisdom to begin to repair the damage to America caused by eight years of the disease of which Obama is the symptom?
Card on our 2016 choices:
Both ideologies are insane, self-contradictory, and destructive, and we give power to either of them at our peril…The Democrats are poised to offer us the proven incompetent, dishonest Hillary Clinton. The Republicans are selecting from a menu of people crazy enough to pass their purity tests.
There is a cure for our current ills. It’s for one of our political parties to grow up and decide to govern for the public good, seeking, not purity, but consensus…And since both Parties are grimly determined to purify their faction rather than unite the nation, we have no reason to hope for any improvement.
Again, I recommend that you read the whole thing. He doesn’t get into entitlement spending, which is the specific problem that will ultimately break us, but he addresses the philosophical reasons that created that problem in the first place.
So when you ask me what think of the current political landscape, maybe you should be asking OSC instead. I cannot recall stumbling upon any other opinion piece that so perfectly encapsulates my own positions without qualification or exception. It’s pretty cool, albeit more than a little bit spooky. Is this guy reading my mind?
Say, where did I put my tinfoil hat?