Websites like The League of Ordinary Gentlemen are interesting if you want get an idea what young political thinkers are up to these days. Their claim is to create an eclectic mix of ideas, just working it all out, an anti-ideological group of political thinkers from conservative to libertarian to liberal. In reality it’s center, left of center, and left-left of center. Recently, their resident “libertarian”, Mark Thompson, bemoans the lack of wonkishness among conservatives:
What they are not doing, and largely are not even trying to do, is to drive the GOP agenda. They are, in effect, content to leave the GOP agenda as little more than “vote no on everything” and tear down whatever the liberals do.
I can see where wonking is necessary at times, but we’re in a dangerous situation where the missing art in government is to know when to wonk and when to stand on principles. It’s naive to think the Democrat majority is going to allow Republican influence to substantially change any legislation they propose.
Actually, to be fair to the Republicans, they have offered alternatives to the progressive onslaught, if you can call it an alternative. The fact is that the Republicans are being ignored by the Democrat majority. The Republicans are being framed as obstructionists, as if this is a bad thing. The implication from the critics is that the Republicans ought to be helping the Democrats craft better legislation. Well, like I said, they have tried, but it fits the left’s narrative if the Republicans are seen as rightwing obstructionists with a few good moderates crossing the line to help the cause.
Here is an article from the New Majority — David Frum’s effort to work with the system in order to influence the process. Pseudo-intellectuals have historically gotten this wrong — from Stalin to Hitler to Mussolini to Mao — but, of course, what’s happening in America will pale in comparison to the carnage caused by these madmen — however, what the broad-thinkers miss is the ideology driving these movements. It’s all some form of socialism that inevitably goes awry, because central planning is antithetical to our human nature. People flourish in freedom, having choices, not by central planning and social engineering.
Anyone who can’t see that the current progressive efforts to centrally plan the economy and engineer society to a predetermined end is blind, purposefully or through ignorance. The idealistic stance that progressives are ready and willing to work with conservatives to find win-win compromises for the betterment of all concerned is naive in the extreme. Progressives have no intentions to work with conservatives — they are bent on marginalizing conservatives and libertarians and sensible liberals so that their agenda can transform the country into an American version of socialism. Progressives temporarily have the power, and the mistaken idea that reasonable people will prevail if they get in their wonk-groove is beyond naive, it’s a dangerous capitulation. Reasonable people will prevail if they eliminate all progressive/statist influence from government.
A lot of writers have a lot to answer for when they continuously promote a dishonest narrative. I’ve watched more news shows than I’ve wanted to watch, and I’ve seen interview after interview with one Republican or another stating what they think is best for healthcare and the nation, yet the narrative is that Republicans have only opposed the Democrat plans. No, the Republicans have foolishly tried to influence the process, but the system is broken. This has to be a co-ordinated campaign of disinformation, given the fact the narrative is so widespread and consistent. I would expect more free-thinking from young minds like those that pontificate at The League of Ordinary Gentlemen. The New Majority I can understand, being lead by someone entrenched in the D. C. culture.