Friday, October 11, 2013

A Critical And Honest National Debate Is Needed Now More Than Ever

By Dave Dargo

The first U.S. presidential election in which I could vote was in 1980. Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter and John Anderson were on the ballot. I was twenty years old and lived in Maryland "inside the beltway". Growing up in the Washington, D.C. area meant that the national political news was local news.

We had just had a miserable four years under Carter, preceded by some pretty dreadful years under Ford. Ford had his "Whip Inflation Now" campaign and Carter had his disastrous energy and economic policies coupled with equally disastrous foreign policies that left us with a "Crisis of Confidence" and malaise.

Reagan won the 1980 election and tackled, with a newly elected Congress, the deep economic and foreign policy problems we faced. Many of us still remember the immense foreign policy debates that went on and the insults thrown at Reagan as a war-monger. The Berlin Wall fell, the Soviet Union fell and a great economic boom started.

The 1980s was a decade of tremendous political debate on the future of the country and what it meant to be an American and what America, as an ideal, meant.

The debate we see today, in my opinion, is even greater and more important. I've written many times about my feelings about the true power of the federal government and how I believe it has overstepped its bounds.

Today, there are those of us who believe in limited national government. We believe the U.S. Constitution gave very limited power to the federal government for a reason. We want to return the national government to its proper role as defined by the Constitution.

On the other side is one political party that believes the national government is the answer to all problems and seeks to expand the powers of that government through bribery of their constituents and economic slavery. There's another political party that seeks much the same but at a smaller scale and slower velocity.

The U.S. Constitution gives the House of Representatives the power of the purse. There are many ways to legally affect change in this country. One of the legitimate ways is for the House of Representative to withhold funding from the executive branch. Doing so may carry enormous political cost. Failing to do so may carry enormous moral cost to future generations who may miss out on America's ideals.

The debates we are witnessing today are sad. There's a small group of lawmakers who are proposing their ideas and defending their positions. There are huge numbers of people who have resorted to personal insult and refusal to even discuss the issues. Those, on either side, whose only argument is a hurled insult do a disservice to the reasoned national debate we so desperately need.

I stand for limited national government and personal freedom. I believe in the presumption of liberty rather than the presumption of constitutionality when judging the validity of a law. I believe in the individual's right to liberty to make their own decisions and to own the results of those decisions. I don't want a nanny state, I don't want to be looked after by a collective and I don't want to be told what I can and can not do when it has no impact on others.

I want an open and honest debate about the future of our country. Democracy requires a free and open market of ideas. Despotism requires lies and half-truths to maintain the support of "useful idiots".

I don't mind if you disagree with me, just be honest about your cause and your methods to achieve your desired results.

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