Bunker Mulligan "Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry." ~Mark Twain

May 31, 2004

I’m an Extremist?

Filed under: Society-Culture — Bunker @ 1:52 pm

I’ve been accused of being right-wing. I’m really not, except from the perspective of someone on the left. I am, simply, a believer in traditional values. In fact, thirty years ago, I would have been considered “preogressive.” It is a sign of how far our culture has shifted left that someone would consider me to be hard right.

I say I believe in traditional values. I don’t, however, insist others live the same values I live. The extremes both directions do that. I believe the Constitution means what it says. No interpretation necessary. The men who wrote it knew what they wanted to say, and said it. It is a living document, but it lives in the sense that it can be changed through a defined process. It is not malleable, to be changed by interpretation. And our government is supposed to follow the Constitution. Every bill, before it is signed, should be reviewed by the Supreme Court to ensure it complies with the Constitution. The biggest societal problems we have are a result of Congress making laws they are not authorized to pass. The government has no business being involved in social or cultural issues unless it is to enforce compliance with the Constitution. That is not a right-wing opinion; it is how our government was set up.

Here are some of the knee-jerk issues that tend to define people as fight or left, and my views on them.

Gay Marriage
Marriage is a cultural and societal institution. There is no reason for the government to be involved at all. In fact, the only way government is involved at all is through passage of bills affecting people based on their cultural status. State governments are involved through the issuance of marriage licenses. Why do I need the state’s approval of my marriage? If homosexuals commit to one another in a ceremony with friends and family, they are married. A piece of paper from the state serves only to provide access to legal status in other areas. It is a civil union just the same as a traditional marriage, and the government has no business being involved in either. Our Constitution doesn’t give the federal government any power at all in this. States retain that authority, and should never be involved in a social or cultural issue. That is fascism.

I believe abortion is wrong. I will not, however, impose my view on others. I’ve had to counsel couples who conceived without wanting to, and discussed my thoughts with them. I made it clear that it was their decision, and made sure the young woman involved understood that it needed to be a joint decision. The child was theirs, not hers. This is my complaint against the pro-choice advocates; they want the decision to be the woman’s only. Regardless, the states have authority to regulate medical issues, but the Feds don’t. The reason this is a political issue is that different states will choose to make abortion illegal, and the pro-choicers don’t want that. I also don’t believe it is a “health issue” which must be funded by the government.

Affirmative Action
I was an advocate of this forty years ago. Two generations have now been given these advantages and the time has come to eliminate them. It has done nothing but make things worse. Skin color has no bearing on the ability to work hard, or learn the ins and outs of being an entrepreneur. The playing field is level. You just must be willing to get in the game and take your lumps along with everyone else.

This simply follows Affirmative Action as a subset. State and local governments may wish to involve themselves in education, but our Federal Government has no mandate to do so. Every school district ends up with different funding depending on what the residents are willing to spend on education. But money isn’t the cure-all. As an example, the city I lived in before moving here had two large high schools. Both were funded identically, and had the same superintendent and school board. One was ranked near the top in the state, and the other was ranked near the bottom. Washington, DC, has one of the highest spending per capita in the country, but fails as a school district. The Federal Government can do nothing about any of this, and has no authority either. Communities must make decisions on such things because that’s where true knowledge of the situation exists.

Buying computers for students doesn’t do much good if they can’t read or write. And the quality of education was higher before computers were even invented.

Health Care
I’d really like someone to show me where this is in the Constitution.

Health care costs are rising. Surprise. So does everything else. Things were much cheaper fifty years ago. You went to the doctor only when you really needed to. Otherwise, Mom or Dad or Grandma took care of you and your illness. When you visited the doctor, you paid your $10 when you left. In the 1960s, doctors began accepting insurance claims. They then had to hire someone part-time to handle the insurance paperwork. As the insurance industry grew, everyone felt they needed health insurance. Doctors hired someone full-time to deal only with insurance. Costs went up. Lawsuits became popular, and another form of insurance became necessary–malpractice insurance.

Unfortunately, juries are willing to find for claimants even when negligence isn’t involved. I sat on a jury once where eleven of us voted to throw the case out. The twelfth kept saying, “He got hurt. Someone needs to pay him for getting injured.” Lawyers make fortunes finding jurors like that, and the rest of us pay for it in the doctor’s office.

For anyone who wants universal health care, I suggest you spend four years in the military. Going to the hospital is an unpleasant experience at best. When it’s “free”, everyone goes for everything. Have a splinter? Go to the emergency room. There is a reason hospitals in Canada and England have waiting lists for treatment.

International Relations
Why this is even an issue I can’t understand. The Federal Government is supposed to protect us from others, and be the unifying entity to protect our interests abroad. It isn’t supposed to request approval from any other country to do that. Obviously, good relations with other countries helps. But if they have interests in conflict with ours, our government must act in our interest, not theirs. The invasion of Iraq is a case in point, and used by many to pigeon-hole others as right or left. It is centrist to expect our government to do what is right for the US regardless of international opinion. If you are hard-core right, you would do this without even talking to other nations. If you are hard-core left, you wouldn’t do anything if another country thought you shouldn’t. Whether you agree with the war or not, the Federal Government did what it was supposed to do. A rare occurance, for sure.

I believe the government has no business being involved in your personal life. If you trample no one else’s rights, live on! When you endanger others, or prevent them from living their own life, the government needs to step in. Common courtesy and simple “Golden Rule” actions solve many problems. And prevent many others.

Now, all this sounds very right-wing to some of you, doesn’t it? That’s what I mean by how far our country has moved to the left. These are issues which wouldn’t even be questioned fifty years ago. Yet they are now considered radical right. But the biggest difference between folks like me and those on the left is that I don’t care if you agree or not. They insist you believe the way they do.

Otherwise, they call you a right-wing fascist.

1 Comment

  1. “The playing field is level.”

    “Health Care…where is this in the Constitution?”

    You’re a right winger, Bunker!

    Comment by La Shawn Barber — June 1, 2004 @ 2:17 pm

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