Adam’s Blog

That’s my thing, keepin’ the faith, baby. –Joe Friday

A Gentleman’s Perrogative

Posted by Adam Graham on February 19, 2007

Dennis Mansfield has a post up talking about the areas he’s changed in. I don’t think he’s pulled a Romney. If we’re not changing; we’re not growing and if we’re not growing, we’re dying.

However, do I agree with his positions? No. Is that because I’m younger and haven’t been around the bend enough? Perhaps, but other people have gone the way as they age, so let’s keep it to the issues.

I no longer believe in the “3-Strikes You’re Out” philosophy against felons that I championed for years. It’s hogwash. People can and do change. I see it weekly in my volunteering at the jail. Is there any life too terrible that Christ cannot change it? No.

Perhaps, it’s here we get into a Seperation of Church and State as the two have different functions. I remember Alan Keyes said several years back, “The end of the state is justice, but justice is not the ultimate good for the individual.”

Mansfield is right that God is able to save the worst of sinners. But salvation isn’t the job of the state, justice is. Under a 3 strikes system, people are given 2 chances to stop committing violent felonies, and are then secured for their good and society. Now, let me be clear, I don’t favor three strikes for every offense, but certain violent crimes, yes. Jesus can change them, but the state still has a job to do.

My firmly held belief in the early 90’s that the ACLU and its supporting groups are bent on the destuction of our traditional way of life – is in error. To ascribe basic malevolent intentions to any legally sanctioned and recognized group is the height of fear-mongering. Do I disagree with them on many issues? Yes. Must I honor them, as individuals? Yes.

I would agree the ACLU is not malevolently trying to do anything. They believe they’re doing what’s best. But, they’re like Bizarro from the Superman comics. Bizarro was a good-intentioned guy, but didn’t understand what he was doing was actually harmful. He thought it was good.

I would, however add that his statement on “any legally sanctioned and recognized group” seems a tad overbroad. Certainly the Ku Klux Klan is not an illegal group under our constitution, but they certainly have some malevolent goals. There are some groups that are terrorist fronts that are legally recognized with malevolent goals.

Am I able to see life through the “lenses” of homosexual men or women who wish to NOT have their personhood attacked – either physically or emotionally? Yes.

Huh? I agree that homosexuals shouldn’t be assaulted or insulted. Not certain what he’s saying beyond that.

Am I as confident in all my positions as I once was as a conservative? Not really. Many neo-con positions are not anchored in love and respect. I no longer stare into the vaccuum of their eyes and pretend to see expression. Not every conservative position works.

Again, I got lost in the nuance of what’s being said. The question, “Does every conservative position works?” really depends. Some might consider my support for a community college “unconservative” but I see long term savings and benefits to our community. In practicality, the position of not raising the minimum wage until Democrats get in power and hike it up by 40% seems a tad dumb. We know that:

1) We’ll have a minimum wage.
2) It’ll eventually be increased.
3) There’ll be no attempt to abolish it.

Given that set of facts, what exactly is the point in not raising it a slow managable rate rather than letting businesses get socked with a high immediate increase.

Strict conservatism is most important at the federal level where the Constitution gives strict guidance on what we may and may not do, and wanton violations need to be arrested not encouraged.

Do I bleive that ‘the less government, the better”? Hmm. That is a pretend question, isn’t it? The real question is: Do I believe that conservative government is always the best government. No, I do not. Real government is government that reflects the public opinion of the day. Yes, true human rights must rise above public opinion, such as the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Here, I got lost again. First the question is about less government, than conservative government, and now to real government. Whoa. What a trip.

Well, I don’t think he means “real” in terms of actual government. Because if all this stuff the public doesn’t support were just imaginary, than we’d have to pay a lot less taxes.

If he’s saying “the best government” reflects the opinions of the day, than I’d have to disagree with him. While the people should get their way (and this segues into the next point), just because they voted for it doesn’t mean it’s the best. There are things people vote for that are dangerous, silly, or even idiotic. We can be manipulated and not fully understand what’s going on; all the costs and risks.

One key example is social security. If people understood:

1) The definitive coming doom of the system.
2) That current recipients could keep their current benefits.
3) Future retirees would have a better return.

People would rise up and demand changes be made. But there’s not that understanding. However, politics is part of the real world and some things work and some things don’t.

Do voters really make wise choices? As a right-wing leader, I held the proposition that voters were often misled. Prop 1 in ’94 comes to mind. In 2000, when the voters voted for Butch Otter over me for US Congress, they made an informed decision…and a correct one, as it turns out. Congressman-then-Governor Otter has been a fine representative of the people of Idaho.

This is another toughie. Voters do make wise decisions often. Do they always? No. Voters are often intimidated, manipulated, etc. into voting for things. Voters are a collection of people and people are sometimes wrong. Voters are swayed by many things (including candidate yard signs, slick commercials, etc.) and under-informed.

The voters do not always “get it right” but the voters always have the right to choose and because God is sovereign, the voters haven’t stopped His will.

Does Rush Limbaugh dispense truth? No, not really. Rush is an entertainer who a while back somehow began to believe his own press releases, it seems. He is an entertainer. He openly says he is not a born-again follower of Jesus, he never served any time in the US Armed Services, his peronal struggle with opiates did little publicly to help others struggling with the same drug. He is not a faith-based conservative but he’s not “a big fat stupid idiot” like the left would want you to believe, either. Would I follow him into a fox-hole during a fire-fight? If he got “real”, I might.

Rush Limbaugh is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get. There’s truth and there’s error. It depends on when you listen and what the topic is. But what Dennis does here is a bit of an ad hominem. He gives us three pieces of information:

1) Rush is an entertainer.
2) Rush is not born again
3) Rush didn’t serve in the Armed forces
4) Rush has abused opiates.

From this, we can then conclude, Rush doesn’t dispense truth. It doesn’t follow. Rush is definitely an entertainer, but I believe he’s honest to share the way he sees it on the issue.

I also think that Mansfield should give Rush some credit for trying to help others after his drug incident:

I have received many e-mails and comments on my back injury and recuperation from CQ readers, giving me their personal stories and advice based on their own experiences, and I have found all of it tremendously helpful. I have been grateful for all of the correspondence, but I would like to acknowledge one correspondent whose personal story and outreach to me touched me very deeply, especially considering his experiences with his own difficulties.

I wrote last week about the excruciating pain that the disc rupture caused and the painkillers that doctors prescribed to ease the situation. Some of you wrote to caution me about Vicodin and Percocet and their addictive qualities. One person in particular wrote to me about his own addiction, and in particular gave me solid advice on physiological conditions that would indicate an addictive response from my body. Given the very public nature of his addiction, his note had one hell of a lot of impact on the decisions I have made this week.

That man is Rush Limbaugh.

I know that some people think that conservatives all take orders from Rush, but we’re really not that lucky. I have corresponded with Rush’ staff on a couple of occasions where they wanted to quote my blog — they are extremely scrupulous about asking permission — but other than that, I have never written directly to Rush nor him to me. He read my post and wanted to make sure that I took precautions with pain medication in order to avoid the problems that he faced in very public (and very overblown) fashion.

It takes a special kind of person to reach out in those circumstances to a man unknown to him just to help protect that man from a danger he might not see. That correspondence informed my decisions in the hospital to hold down my pain medication and to transfer to Ibuprofen as soon as possible. I’ve been fortunate; my pain since the surgery has allowed me to rely on the over-the-counter analgesic instead of the Vicodin and Percocet. Had I never heard from Rush, I might not have had the discipline to make that decision.

Now to be fair, I shouldn’t offer critiques of another’s ideological changes without discussing my own, so here goes:

  • I was against English only until the Quebec seperation vote convinced me of the danger of balkinization. That sold me on the concept. I know this is moving to the right, but it’s still a change.

  • I was propogandized on extreme environmental stuff, and had strong environmentalist thoughts. I grew up and learned what was a real concern and what was bologna. Most of what the media taught was bologna.

  • I used to favor sodomy laws, but as I grew up, I became more uncomfortable with such laws and what it would require for them to be enforced. The government doesn’t belong in the bedroom. (Liberals extend this belief to the Courthouse, and an abortion clinic, etc. I don’t.)

  • I used to be a very strong hard liner on the War on Drugs, but my thinking has been changed by several things. First, I searched the Constitution in vain to actually find something that authorizes federal agents to do anything drug laws allow them to do other than interdiction and stopping drugs from crossing state lines. It’s properly a state issue, though at the State level, I strongly favor keeping drugs banned.

    But I’m also open to Medical Mairjuana provided the medicinal benefits have been demonstrated. Because of the federal government’s refusal to even consider the possibility, we’ve created a silly system (particularly in the Medipot states) where we don’t have studies to back up most of medical marijuana’s claims, but we have prescriptions being handed out and people growing their own as medipot supporters claim it as a virtual panacea. I’m sorry, but that’s just stupid. It’d be like handing someone the ingredients for oxycotin and “letting them go and mix some up.” I also think industrial hemp is a good idea.

  • I’m less argumentative than I once was. I rarely debate scripture because it’s usually so pointless. (Titus 3:9) I also know that I don’t have to have the last word or answer every question.

    You can disagree and provide additional thoughts at your leisure.

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