Saturday, April 17, 2010

We Have to Debate the Teapartiers!

Maybe I don’t read the right blogs, but I haven’t seen anyone rebutting the absurd positions of the teapartiers. It’s bad enough that, with the same money and know-how that built the neo-con movement they have quietly orga-nized demonstrations in some 600 cities across the country on tax day. The left has neither buses nor a message for those who may be swayed by the tea-party line.

The only positive outcome of fewer taxes and less govern-ment is that we wouldn’t be able to wage war. perhpas forgetting that, the teapartiers refer to the original intent of a constitution that was written when we got around in horses and buggies on dirt roads; when the average life expectancy was about sixty; and when most Americans were lucky to get a grade-school education. None of the things our taxes pay for today existed then.

The Constitution was written by enlightened gentlemen, most of whom did not have to earn a living; many considered it normal to own slaves and almost all were wary of “democracy” and “equality”. Women belonged to their husbands, and didn’t vote until 1920.

In a sparsely populated land rich with natural resources, the inhabitants of the thirteen original colonies could indeed do with a minimal federal government. Though resentful of central power, each colony kept its legislature pretty busy.

The rigors of colonization in a new land required neigh-borly solidarity - but also the ability to go it alone on the frontier. Most of the Framers wished to remain unentangled in battles between European powers, and hoped that free trade would mold a peaceful world.

After France helped us defeat the British, who were also their enemies, Americans greeted the French Revolution by singing the Marseillaise. But when the Terror struck, France became a symbol of license and violence that never really faded from the national conscience. Today, after fifty years of social democracy in Europe, American leaders, with the assistance of local school boards often peopled by conservatives, continue to keep Americans ignorant of its achievements. Europeans pay high taxes, but the money they “get to keep” as President Bush would say, is not required for health care or education.

While American senior often have to choose between their medications and food, those in Europe - where governments make sure you cannot lose your pension - have only to choose between vacation spots or subsidized medical spas.

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