Saturday, December 4, 2010

Brooks v Ryan Debate - No Winner, We All Lose

Paul Ryan recently had a public debate with David Brooks and, not surprisingly, it was a total waste of time. Both parties agree on so many fundamentals there wasn't much to debate. Ryan avers that, contrary to the beliefs of some, he does not favor eliminating the social safety net (i.e. Social Security and Medicare).

That's a pity, because he surely knows that it's not only impractical in it's present form (which he wants to change), but immoral and unconstitutional in any form.

There are a dozen arguments I might make to support that claim. But, even accepting for argument's sake a government role in charity, I have to wonder why no one ever says it should be limited to the local or, at most, State level. Still, in this political climate, I could hardly expect Ryan to say otherwise.

There was one interesting result, though. David Brooks revealed himself to be just what I have long claimed he was: a Fascist. He said,
The argument he then put forth related to what he termed "narrative." He likes the Ryan-Rivlin plan. What he is concerned about is how Republicans have framed the argument: big vs. little government.

Instead, he wants to talk about culture, specifically whether government does things to enhance the public culture (e.g. encouraging independence and literacy) or undermine culture.

He thinks Republicans are too alarmist about the debt and too eager to draw lines in the sand that will lead to gridlock.

The Obama officials, he assured the group, aren't European welfare state proponents, they are just liberals who want a little more redistribution.
Set aside the obvious falsehood — or, in Brooks case it might be unconquerable stupidity — that Obama and his cronies aren't seeking to establish a European social democracy; Obama's every utterance makes it clear that's exactly what he wants.

Brooks made it clear – though he probably isn't aware of it — that Fascism is precisely what he favors. Anyone who believes it's a proper role of the Federal Government to "enhance the public culture" is either a communist or a fascist, and I don't believe Brooks is a communist.

That's the real problem here. Only a narrow sliver on the right believe there is absolutely no legitimate reason the Federal Government should be 'directing' the country, economically or — revolting thought — culturally. And that's why the debate was a waste of time.

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