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Stu Cvrk @STUinSD
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Thread: Then Versus Now, and What to Do About It

1. Compared to the erudite foreign policy establishment, the cultural [il]literati, and the grand conservative thinkers among the #NeverTrump wing, I see things in simpler terms.
2. This is particularly true in contrasting what we do these days versus yesteryear. There are a lot of things we used to do that we don't anymore, many of which play directly into "national objectives" and the national psyche.
3. For example, we used to teach self-reliance; the welfare state teaches dependence.
4. We used to practice charity; the state has assumed that function to the detriment of those receiving it (the state can't do anything about man's spirit).
5. We used to have lightly regulated free enterprise; now we have the government picking winners and losers on the basis of campaign contributions.
6. We used to have citizen legislators; now we have a "professional" political class (how has that worked out?).
7. We used to believe in (and have) a low-tax, low regulatory government and an understanding that the least government that is closest to the people is the best; now, the political class believes that the federal government can provide virtually everything for everyone.
7A. Are there no federal programs which have failed to achieve their goals that should be retired? I can think of a LOT of them that should be shut down and or returned to the states per the 10th Amendment!
8. We used to have healthy debates on whither and where public monies should be spent; now, the federal budget in particular is so gargantuan that no one can grasp the redundancies and waste therein while politicians argue for more taxes and more spending,….
8A. …as well as the priorities for spending all those taxpayer dollars.
9. We used to be taught the Federalist Papers and de Toqueville in 8th grade civics, as well as a reverence for the Constitution; now, the political class seeks to escape those shackles at every turn while developing convoluted arguments ….
9A. …that the Constitution needs to be an "enabling document and not a restrictive one" that ultimately lead to the despotism that the Founders feared most.
10. We used to be taught public manners and to practice civic courtesy everywhere; now, the culture has been coarsened to a point where virtually anything goes and nothing shocks anymore.
11. Lastly (although the list could go on), we used to worship and believe in God; now, the political class has virtually excised religion from the public square (and how has that worked out?). The Marxists are winning the culture wars, folks!
12. Now given the aforementioned comparisons, what should our national objectives be if we wish to regain some semblance of the Republic envisioned by the Founders? I'll give you my 2 cents to chew on, all of which are long-term:
13. Promote self-reliance for all American citizens. Teach it in the schools, enable it through limited government. Reduce transfer payments to a lifetime limit (x number of years total), except for the truly indigent.
14. Repeal “affirmative action” (sic) laws throughout the land. Restore merit as the only measuring stick for employment and promotion decisions.
15. Hold people responsible for their actions, especially the political and mandarin classes. Enforce racketeering and corruption laws (and pass tougher ones with teeth). Public shaming also has a place.
16. Pass a constitutional amendment limiting federal spending (both on and off book) to the historical average of percentage of GNP before 1960.
17. Reform the tax code (I prefer a flat tax with no deductions although would rather see the income tax replaced by a national sales tax).
18. Limit the federal government to constitutionally-specified functions; return all other matters to the individual states (that means "infrastructure" and other Marxist-inspired lingo). Retire failed programs. Reduce federal subsidies to near zero (except for R&D).
19. Promote civic courtesy and good public manners; publicly shame and ostracize those who don't.
20. Excise all foreign influence (especially money) from the political class. Rescind all domestic campaign finance restrictions, remove all subsidies from non-profits (except for religious organizations), repeal McCain-Feingold ….
20A. …(and get rid of all non-profits orgs except for religious-affiliated and private charities), and require all domestic political contributions be instantly publicized the moment they are made.
21. Sponsor a series of widely-publicized nationwide and regional conferences and debates over many months in many venues on national defense policy, the conduct of war, commitment of forces overseas, alliances, objectives, etc., ….
21A. …leading to a national consensus that can be manifested by the political class. Do the same for domestic policy (might require a Constitutional Convention to delineate/realign federal-state responsibilities).
22. We argue about spending federal monies on this and that, and what the priorities should be. The fact of the matter is that transfer payments are crowding out all federal spending due to simple demographics and unfunded obligations.
23. Why do you suppose the state of California is contemplating taxing TEXTING, of all things? Because the state is way beyond broke!
24. If we don't solve that problem both nationally and at the state level, we'll only be arguing about smaller slices of the pie and eventual large-scale bankruptcy.
25. Yes, I'm an altruist and an optimist (the obverse is unthinkable to me!). But we’ve got to start SOMEWHERE, and that involves waking people up. What are you prepared to do toward that end? ///The end.
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