Friday, July 17, 2009

Blog Wars: My Challenge to a Young, Black Conservative

This is a repsonse to The Hip-Hop Republican, Lenny McAllister's blog:
GG's Lenny McAllister Tells Us Why?

Why can’t you defend your party? Rattling on and on about values and Lincoln and diversity of ideas is intellectually dishonest and doesn’t do the job. I truly respect your right not just as a black person but as an American to be a Republican. You owe me no explanation. But if you’re going to build a defense, your case needs work.

Ideology is made up of values. And legacy is made up of history. A party, however, is made up of people and policies. And you have registered with a party. You vote for elected officials within that party and support the policies of that party. So your defense of the party should begin there.

Talking about values is irrelevant. Many of them are universal and have far more to do with humanity than a particular political ideology. On a side note, I don’t think that Faith and Family registered in the past several elections so I don’t understand know how you conservatives repeatedly claim them as your own. Nevertheless if you want to list those and other values to define social and fiscal conservatism, fine. That is not the same as being a Republican.

As far as history goes, I don’t give a rat’s behind that Lincoln was a Republican. He also suffered from clinical depression, wore a really tall hat, and had a pet turkey. So what? Legacy and tradition are never good stand-alone reasons to make decisions and they certainly don’t recruit. On the contrary, remembering that Lincoln was a Republican should challenge current Republicans to act more like Lincoln, not current Independents and Democrats to respect a party that behaves in a manner completely antithetical to said icon.

Last but not least, please stop telling me “Black people shouldn’t all belong to just one party”. That still doesn’t make your party right. Choosing to be a Republican for the sake of variety within the black body politic is an insult to our ancestors that fought and died for you to exercise your vote. They did so with the intent of advancing justice and equality – not just some theoretical ideal of political diversity.

I am tired of you telling me to ignore the sick, dangerous people and policies of your party and to instead just look at…well…you. “Hey,” you say, “I know that I support harsh immigration policies, block large investments in health care reform and education, don’t believe that women have the right to choose what happens to their bodies, and so on. And I know that many of the leaders that I support and vote into office are racist, sexist homophobes and use religion to spread intolerance and fear. But I’m cool.” Apples and oranges. In fact, it just makes me all the more confused as to why someone so “cool”, who professes to care about the needs of the poor and believes in choice and freedom and values diversity, would choose to be a Republican.

So stop trying to sell me and my fellow black people a fake bag of goods. On balance, I support Democratic policies and while I have issues with almost all politicians, I can at least say that I am not regularly embarrassed or appalled by the words and actions of the people that I vote for. If you can’t say the same (which it seems to me, you’re having a difficult time doing right about now…), stop defending the indefensible and just fix it.


  1. Whew! You ripped him a new one, but it was really eloquent! I saw you on a PBS story and have been meaning to check out your blog ever since. Boy am I glad I found you! I'd love your perspective on the Gates/Crowley thing, although at this point, we probably all wish the media would give it a rest. I had something to say about it. Check it out if you feel like it: Andie Radford is my pen name.

  2. "Talking about values is irrelevant. Many of them are universal and have far more to do with humanity than a particular political ideology."

    I disagree. Talking about values is essential; it's step number one. Step two is understanding our underlying philosophies about the role of government. And step three involves transforming those values into policy based on our philosophy about the role of government. True, I may agree with you on the "universal" value of Family, but I guarantee we probably won't agree on the same policies, because you completely disregard step two, as though you have no philosophical underpinnings that guide your decisions. Seeing that you are a social justice activist, I know we don't have the same viewpoint regarding the role of government, therefore, we probably won't come to similar policy conclusions.

    You refer to "blocking large investments in health care reform and education." I bet you believe the federal government has the authority to "invest" in health care and education and anything else you can think of. However, I know that the federal government has no constitutional authority to take money from one group of people and give it to another for either of these purposes. You’ll probably disagree, because you obviously subscribe to a philosophy of unlimited government, whereas I believe in limited government, just as the founders intended.

    Are you aware of HR 3400, a Republican alternative to HR 3200, which provides solutions to controlling health care costs, expanding access, and maintaining the quality of health care? This bill is a direct result of a limited government philosophy. Are you aware of school choice initiatives like the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program, which provided vouchers to poor inner city kids in Washington DC so they could escape the DC public schools? This program is a direct result of a limited government philosophy.

    So it’s intellectually dishonest of you to refer to those disagreeing with your health care and education policies as “blocking large investments in health care reform and education”. No one is blocking anything. There are merely different suggested policies regarding health care and education under a philosophy of limited government vs. one of unlimited government.

  3. Something for you to think about:

    The slave masters of the antebellum South provided "free" health care, education, etc. to their slaves. The slave masters confiscated the work of the slave and forced him to take the master's provisions and policies for food, clothing, shelter, health care, and education. They provided everything to the slave for "free", in the same manner that government products are "free". The taxpayer has no choice and is subject to the guns and physical force of the police for disobedience, as the old slave was subject to the whip or worse.

    Some "benevolent slave masters" provided "private options". They allowed the slaves to have their own small plot of land and farm it. The government claims it will confiscate massive amounts of resources for the public system, but allow the private citizen to keep his present option ("his own plot of land"). The present estimate is more than a trillion dollars or $10,000 per tax payer, assuming 100,000,000 taxpayers that shoulder most of the existing tax burden (see And when has a government estimate for the cost of a new program ever been close to accurate? In the past, all are far underestimated. Go to the congressional budget office ( and see the budget history and successive doubling every 5 years of the cost of Medicare and Medicaid from the late 60's to 1983 that led to the crisis in the early 80's. The government created the DRG (diagnostic related group) in the early 80's to control the cost of health care, which succeed in slowing the doubling of cost to every 7 or 8 years up until today. The DRG created hospital losses for Medicare/Medicaid patients, which were recovered by increased prices for private insurers, who cried foul at the time. The "fix" led to today's government/healthcare industry cartel, which the present government likes to call "free market" in order to mislead and direct blame for problems away from government.

    Are you dismissing this analogy now by thinking that modern tax slaves can vote? If you allowed the former African slaves to vote, would their situation have been different in the 19th century South? They were a minority in a culture with leaders who made elegant speeches that sold the benefits of slavery even to the slaves. Does this sales tact ring a bell? Did the slave masters leave any resources for them to realistically choose other options? Is this any different than the millions of Americans who would not voluntarily choose to pay for a government product were they not literally forced to by the guns of government, as the slave was once forced to by whips and chains? Does the right to vote for a slave master make the system moral? Soviet citizens voted for their communist slave masters, for example . Does voting justify the force and coercion of the peaceable? Is our system only to benefit the gang who happens to get elected who can then control the peaceable by force?

    Government needs to maintain the peace. Subdue criminals and provide for defense. Controlling the peaceful pursuit of private values - health, eduction, etc. is slavery. Stay completely out of every peaceable, voluntarily exchanged economic value or service. If some citizens believe in "public options", they are free today to garner peaceful, voluntary participation, pool resources, and provide the service. If a few thousand can not make a voluntary health commune work, how would forced participation of millions do better? Stop supporting immoral coercion of all Americans to support your Utopian visions. The ends do not justify the means, and immoral means in reality lead to horrible ends. It is not accident that the most consistent Socialist societies ended with millions of dead bodies.

  4. PS: I am not a Republican or Democrat or have any party affiliation. They all embarrass me. The NY Times moderator on their editorial page refused to post my health care arguments. I can only guess why, but he did post comments from outright communists and right wing lunatics. I think today's right and left are false alternatives, and that a consistent support of freedom rejects both. I read your CNN article, which led me to your blog. Hope that you are less biased than the NY Times.

  5. I couldn't have said it better myself, Alex.

    I hope Erica is open-minded and will consider all sides of the argument, which includes the fact that government intervention corrupts the process and strengthens the hand of special interests and corporations.

    Articles from sources generally favorable to big government point to these problems, whether starting in 1986 or with the current administration:


    "Internal Memo Confirms Big Giveaways In White House Deal With Big Pharma"

    "The Health Insurers Have Already Won: How UnitedHealth and rival carriers, maneuvering behind the scenes in Washington, shaped health-care reform for their own benefit"

    Its my hope that we can shine the light into the dark corners of ignorance about the true nature of government. For all the good that re-distributive policies do in the short term, the long-term consequences of having no principles or having the principles of slavery which Alex articulated so well are horrific indeed. I have challenged liberal friends to explain to me how on balance big government has been beneficial to us when it has done the following:
    - Social Security Ponzi scheme: Spent all the money, replacing it with worthless IOUs that it can never pay
    - Global financial meltdown - Injected toxic loans into the financial system backed and promoted by government sponsored enterprises (NY Times on where it all started. Sept 30, 1999 NY Times: Fannie Mae Eases Credit to Aid Mortgage Lending "In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980's."
    - Generated an $11 trillion current deficit that we can't afford
    - Created a $100 trillion unfunded liability that will bankrupt the country to the tune of $1.3 m. per family of four
    - Launched illegitimate wars un-connected to self-defense killing 100s of thousands of our own people and millions of the enemy (going beyond Iraq)
    - Undermined civil and individual liberties through the Patriot Act, FISA, Real ID, just to re-count Bush AND Obama's votes.
    - Launching an immoral and irrational bailout (opposed by over 100 economists from Ivy League schools in an open letter to Congress but rarely reported by media) for which we've got no change in lending status, etc. from what was happening before the bailout, but from which we now have far more debt.
    - Incarcarated millions of people for drug possession and prostitution (do we own our bodies or does the state?)

    So far there has been no response.