Joe Frank, the late night NPR weirdo, renders his imaginary average American characters and situations with a wandering laser beam, creating fascinating strangers. Last night he started talking philosophy, gave me the opposite reaction and I just had to shut it off. We’re all not good at something it seems.
For a while I’ve been wondering how I can give credit where credit is due to the neo-cons. I’m generally loath to give them and inch, considering their tendency to ridiculously abuse any opening. It would be SO helpful if they would just say what they mean, for example.
I can’t tell, was it a mistake or an accident that the neo-con led welfare reform in the 90’s, made practical by President Clinton, actually produced a liberating experience for a lot of people formerly trapped on the dole? Who knows?
Time and again the neo-cons are so quick with rhetoric cloaking obviously mean proposals with heroic images it’s impossible to tell which they’re more snowed by, and they’re anything but consistent. What about this not “legislating from the bench” idea that seemed so important a few years ago. Politicizing the judiciary now seems to almost be their central purpose! Why is that?
I don’t think there’s any more long standing neo-con objective than to reduce government spending and return to simpler times. It wouldn’t have occurred to me perhaps, and they have made a big point of it, but why, at the same time, are they also leading promoters of the things complicating all our lives, amplifying our impacts on the earth and adding to the tasks of government, this endlessly accelerating economic growth?
They’re not the only ones, but they have sure stuck their noses in it, and it doesn’t make sense. They promote a return to simplicity and exploding complication at the same time.
I think what happens is that we get the one message from a fear of loosing our freedoms, and the other from our big and little greeds, and somehow stick it all together. Real smart! With all due respect, we’re all perfect idiots sometimes, perhaps especially when it comes to the important things.
Life is too confusing and we really do need someone less involved in the passions of our own inspiration to help set us straight. Shrinking government is a very good idea… a great idea.
Government is essential for some things, and can deliver with excellence, but we’ve all seen hopelessly inefficient and counter productive bureaucracy and felt powerless to do anything about it. Maybe we could introduce budget competition between work groups within the same department, using peer reviewed performance measures.
Lets look at the problem and do something. Lets also look squarely at what’s actually making government’s task more complicated.
It’s the boundary problem. We’re all continually increasing our spheres of influence, living in a finite world, and dealing with the overlap requires more and more complicated coordination with 3rd party oversight, government.