Government, taxes, tribalism and the circle of absurdity
Tribalism is a fun thing to watch, but I can’t imagine it’s a fun thing to be a part of. With the pro-abortion people ranting about constitutional rights, there are better than 2 to 1 odds that those same people are pro-gun control, and will engage in mental gymnastics to justify the dissonance. But I’m seeing a particularly fun strain of thought surface that goes a bit like this:
Democrats: Banning abortion is unconstitutional, besides, banning abortions won’t work. Also Democrats: We need to ban guns to protect innocent lives.
Meanwhile, we have the other side of the coin, but switch where you see abortion and guns. Republicans say banning guns won’t work but banning abortions
Now, while the gun crowd has a much better claim to the constitutionality of their field because guns are actually referred to in the 2A rather than a fairly tenuous definition of “due process” in a Court decision, both sides fail to see the irony in their statements. The act of banning anything is rarely, if ever successful. If it is successful, evil still exists, and the people are defenseless. This can be as comparatively simple as the situation in the UK or as malignant as any dictatorship you care to name.
To be clear, abortion ismurder, it is killing an innocent life. When is a matter of debate. However, both sides lay on the two extremes. The pro-abortion argument seems to have moved toward “you can kill the baby, even after it survives the abortion attempt”, and the anti-abortion crowd seems to have planted its flag on “life at conception”. For what it’s worth, a baby can be born at 22 weeks. So it can be said that somewhere between conception and birth (and closer to conception than birth) is viability. How the country goes about handling it is still unresolved, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to make a biological argument for abortion, so the pro-abortion movement has had to move to a more emotional one to bypass the biological facts and philosophical implications that come with it.
Leaving that aside, both sides are now realizing that, in their own way, government is a threat to our rights. There are many paradoxes like these where government is the source of the problem. For example, the people ranting about how we need higher taxes to help people? Are they so eager on Tax Day content in the knowledge that they are paying the government money they earned andthat it likely isn’t going to where they want it?
It’s times like these I appreciate the libertarian perspective. Lower taxes, looser gun laws, even looser abortion laws. That way, people can donate to causes that the current government would not give to and these two major issues would be no more. You can tell me my gun is bad (and I can easily win that argument) but you can’t stop me from owning it. I can prove to you abortion is killing a life, but I can’t stop you from getting one.
But I suspect the hypocrisy mentioned about, regarding bans and constitutional infringements would also be ignored if taxes were lower so people could give to causes they support. The key reason is because Americans seem to have a major problem bearing not merely the philosophical and financial burdens of their beliefs. Do we really believe that the people would use the money they (are allowed to) save on taxes (by the gracious and mighty State)? Do we honestly think they’d donate to cancer research, or Planned Parenthood?
I doubt it. As we discussed last year in “Brick”, the individual has been so reliant on the government being the one that does everything for the poor and sick and homeless that we would look at whatever we saved and say to ourselves “what can we do with this”. The government needs to do everything for us, it needs to curtail speech, ban guns, care for the sick, homeless, poor, disadvantaged, and veterans. It needs to manage roads, the healthcare system, military, weather system, post office and the police, fire and EMS, all of which need to operate at maximum efficiency, which never happens. While none of this is possible and very little of it is advisable, any addition to allow government to do more is advocated with the tiresome phrases “We as a society/culture/nation/people” have a “moral obligation” to “do something”, and if you disagree you hate the above mentioned groups and whoever I missed.
The government doesn’t need to do more, it has done quite enough, observe the VA, the endless battle over “muh roads” which never seem to really improve it appears that the easier route to take is to simply talk about what government does well: The military, the post office, and the National Weather Service. Beyond that, everything is a mess.
So, the people need to be united in a cause, where they can be taught to be effective and shown that they can beeffective at all. However, talk of unity is has already been overused to the point that “unity” is a euphemism for “loyalty to one extreme or the other”. And here we return, almost poetically to the crux of the problem. As evidenced by the almost Boston-smug ironic pontificating on the socials about how tribalism has led both sides to miss a simple truth: It’s notwhat you’re banning that is absurd, it’s to make the attempt at banning anything at all. Banning anything in this country does not work. And I’ll close on a few examples. First, the needed nod toward Prohibition. Anyone hear about how that worked? Yeah, I haven’t either.
Now, to ban abortions is a logistical nightmare I cannot fathom. It may be easier to find doctors who practice them through their license to practice medicine, but even then, the scale is too great, it’s just a matter of who can get away with it at that point. With firearms, you have to first get every gun owner to register; an unconstitutional act that it seems many will defy (look at Connecticut, that didn’t go over well.) Then you get the military to trek across every square mile, to take firearms from civilians who have done nothing wrong and may not comply with the order. This is to say nothing of the fact that the military may not even comply with the order. The oath each member of the armed services takes is to support and defend the Constitution against enemies foreign and domestic. Granted, “I will obey the orders of the President” is in the oath as well, but in this scenario, the President is demonstrably an enemy of the Constitution.
And so we are left with two sides saying banning one thing will work, but banning the other won’t fix anything. Banning either is a logistical nightmare that, especially in the latter case could lead to violence, and there seems to be a contingent among us that is aware of this absurd dichotomy. Some of us remain convinced that despite this, government is the best and perhaps only force that can solve the problem which logistically cannot be solved, and many tax dollars are going to exacerbate this very dumb cycle.