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Posts Tagged ‘politics’

The G8 leaders’ limos will be driving past fake storefronts ‘stocked’ with fake goods later this month, according to IrishCentral.

 

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Letters from an Ohio Farmer takes a look at the shift in presidential politics a century ago, and the fallout today. The post begins:

We have noted in these letters that the modern presidential campaign has become a long, long job interview, which favors applicants who are good at running for president but not necessarily those who are good at being president.  A vetting process that favors those who are good at electoral politics over those who are merely good at governance is obviously detrimental to America’s republican experiment. Serious as that problem is, it seems to me that the danger to constitutional government from modern presidential politics goes even deeper.

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From Mr. Smith and The Ides of March, by Robinson O’Brien-Bours:

While both Clooney’s and Capra’s films depict a political system rife with corruption, there is a hugely important difference between the two. Clooney’s dark and pessimistic tale brings no closure to it, and no hope; one leaves the theater with a bitter sense of disappointment and cynical contempt for our political process. It is a tragedy where everyone loses, much like the tale of Julius Caesar that the title alludes to.

Mr. Smith, though, has a far different, more lasting, and more important tone. It depicts one decent and determined common man, surrounded by petty bunch of political thugs, who nonetheless makes a difference. This is not to say that its title character, Jefferson Smith, is alone in his feelings–the people support him, and there are even members of the Senate who likely support him as well, but are yet complicit with the villains through their silence. Smith still wins in the end, though.

Perhaps this is too idealistic. Perhaps the cynical transformation of Gosling’s Stephen Myers is closer to the real thing than the determined support for lost causes exhibited by Stewart’s Smith. If that is the case, though, then the fault is not with our system of government, but with us. We are the government.

Many Americans over the past few years seem to see our country through the same jaded vision of The Ides of March, and are tired of it. Perhaps, then, now is the perfect time to revisit the 1939 classic, which came out just in time for Nazis, Soviets, and Fascists to all ban it for its dangerous idea. When Hitler banned American movies in France, one Parisian theater played Mr. Smith nonstop for the month leading up to the ban. Tyrants are threatened by the idea that individuals have power; mortified by the possibility that one single person has the power to change the world. The reason they fear this is because it is true: good men, armed by the truth and common decency, can do more to change the world than all the armies and propaganda of tyranny and corruption in the world combined. It just takes hard determination in face of the harshest adversity.

Read the whole thing.

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Letters from an Ohio Farmer provides a great little history and philosophy lesson, in The American Mind.

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Michael Gerson and Peter Wehner  were on this morning’s Focus on the Family broadcast discussing how Christians can and should engage today’s culture.  Much of the discussion was tied to material covered in their book: City of Man: Religion and Politics in the New Era.

The discussion was worthwhile, and the book sounds like it might be a good one to read.

If nothing else, listen to this 10:16 bonus audio on Early Christian Response to Government. There is much we can learn from people who offered hope during times of severe persecution.

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I hadn’t heard about the film Agenda: Grinding America Down, until today. My internet connection is bad today, so I could only make it through part of the trailer, but what I saw looked promising. Here is the recommended reading list to go along with the documentary.

Agenda won the Best of Festival Jubilee award in 2010 from the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival. Press release here. Hmmm. “The 92-minute film was produced and directed by former Idaho legislator Curtis Bowers.” Somebody from my part of the world… And somebody who has seen government from the inside… Interesting.

hat tip: Franklin Springs blog

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There are reasons to think not, according to Union Chutzpah by Julie Ponzi, and Union Myths, by Thomas Sowell.

As both authors point out, there are added problems when you have public sector unions.

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Steven Hayward is working on a series looking at the differences between the original Progressives of about a hundred years ago, and the folks parading under that banner today. Here’s part one, as posted at No Left Turns. (He’s cross-posting, with slight variations, at the Power Line blog.)

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Peter W. Schramm brings some sense, and a historical perspective, to the discussion on political rhetoric in the United States of America. The post at No Left Turns begins:

I spoke to a tea party group on Saturday morning at 9 a.m., just hours before the horrific event in Arizona.  We had a perfectly fine time, I spent most of my time explaining to friends how remarkable this country was, indeed, why it was exceptional.  At one point I tried putting it something like this: You people actually invented politics, or good politics, if you like.  Before you came along and discovered your own American mind on the subject, politics was nothing more than power, force, fraud.  Whoever had the biggest guns ended up ruling, and it didn’t really matter that he ruled on behalf of the one, the few, or the many.  The rule was arbitrary and cruel and terrifying to all those being ruled.  Nothing else–life, liberty, property–had as much certainty or permanence about it, as the certainty that all rule was a result of force or accident.  Certainly there were times when that rule was less arbitrary and more gentle than at other times, and human beings were grateful for those accidental moments were brief.  Politics was really nothing more than civil war and terror.

Then the Americans discovered a different way, because now politics had a different purpose.  After asserting their natural rights, and their freedom to govern themselves, they also tried to limit their own rule.  And they did.  Self government brought forth a rightful rule in the Constitution and the rule of law, therefore was based on something not arbitrary.  And they also knew that within that constitutional construct they reflected, deliberated, and argued.  This was now both a right and an obligation…

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Two posts over at Mere Comments are on unrelated subjects, but somehow struck me as two parts of a larger picture.

First (simply because I read it first): Scots Warned Against Looking at Big Picture with Intelligence in Mind. This looks at reaction to the opening of Glasgow’s Centre for Intelligent Design, and its supposed dangers to Scottish children. Must not let the bairns be exposed to the idea that the world might not be entirely purposeless, you know… It might confuse them?

Please note, if you will, that the president and vice-president of the new center come from the realms of genetics and medicine. If you have not had a chance to look into what’s been discovered in microbiology lately, please dig up a good DVD or online source or something. When you see that a single cell is about as complex as a megacity, it tends to make you wonder if that widely-booted-about theory about mud glopping together in just the right way under just the right circumstances and presto-being-a-functioning-live-thing just might, possibly, be a bit behindtimes – good enough for the less-knowing of the nineteenth century, perhaps, but no longer necessarily the best explanation given the evidence, now that we can see into cells, and better understand blood clotting (what a procedure that is!), now that more fossils have been collected, etc., etc.

And then, from Anthony Esolen: I Confess, I Paid Attention to the Election. Esolen talks about the collapse of our political thinking, and how although gains were made, all too often political battles still seem to be between radical worship of materialism and softer worship of materialism, and… oh, go read it. I’m making it sound dull, and it isn’t.

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