Wednesday, September 22, 2010

We Need More Elitism

I subscribe to an elitist form of politics. That is, I believe that political issues are complex and require extensive research to understand. I believe that there is rarely a black and white issue. My elitist thinking leads me to two resulting preferences. First, I have a healthy respect for the opposition as I know that political solutions are not easy to come by and therefore good people can disagree. Second, I tend to gravitate towards leaders who have developed an understanding of policy. In my view, politics should not turn into amateur hour.

This kind of thinking also leads me to oppose the current populist faction of the GOP. It has always been good politics to make "regular" people believe that they have a hand in policy. But for the first time in recent history, we have an entire movement that has moved beyond the facade of people power. The Tea Party literally has placed into power leaders who in a different era would have never been considered. Much of the current GOP civil war is between these two factions: the populists and the elitists.

Having that in mind, I direct your attention towards a new conservative website, America Speaking Out. Tim Mak is reporting that the ideas behind the new Contract with America will be pulled from this website. The website is intended to provide a platform where people can submit ideas on how they would like Republicans to govern should they enter office in 2010.

I want to make it clear that I do not doubt that such a website might serve some function. There are many bright people who don't happen to serve in government or academia. Furthermore, the real purpose behind the website may be to allow politicians to pretend like they are attentive to the masses or to gauge public opinion.

But let's look at the first three "ideas" under the job creation section.

Stop the outsourcing of jobs from America to other countries that do not pay taxes into the U.S. and stop the tax breaks that are given to these companies that are outsourcing. If there company is in the United States, hire people in the United States. That would create more revenue for the government as the American workers would pay taxes and the companies would be paying taxes to America as well.
Let us take a lesson from our past. Hoover ordered the deportation of ALL illegal aliens in order to make jobs available during the Depression. Truman deported over two million illegal aliens after WWII to create jobs and Eisenhower deported 13 million Mexican Nationals so WWII and Korean Veterans would have a better chance at jobs.

It is illegal to hire illegal aliens (TITLE 8 > CHAPTER 12 > SUBCHAPTER II > Part VIII > § 1324a). Enforce this federal law to make more jobs available for citizens.

Of course, I don't have space here to put every idea submitted at America Speaking Out. You will just have to go over there and read them yourself. However, my point is that public policy should not be highjacked by an angry mob. The populist movement in the Republican party has sought to twist intellectualism. The professor who has spent a lifetime of research seeking to understand health care is all of a sudden a less capable thinker than some regular joe who has never thought about the subject until he was enlightened by Glenn Beck (who incidentally has no formal education).

I am not saying that we should subject ourselves to the intellectuals and let them rule the country. There are many values that some intellectuals are too smart to grasp. Life is not a science lab.

But I will oppose any anti-intellectual movement, whether it be Republican or Democratic. We need to bring back the William Buckleys of the conservative movement. If our ideas are better, then we don't need to hide behind populism. Governing is a tall order. I just hope that Republicans entering office in 2010 will show leadership and not just capitulate to the masses.

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