BLANCO: How I Became a Republican (and what I’ve learned since), Part III

Editor’s Note: This is Part III of Jeff Blanco’s series relating his journey to the Republican side. Find Part I here, and Part II here.

We all think we have good ideas, but implementing ideas without understanding their consequences will always end terribly.

American socialists think they can get or give free stuff without ever thinking about what the results will be. They don’t understand that free money from the government isn’t there to lift you up, it’s there to kill your dreams. They believe that they can continue their life as is without surrendering total control of their dreams.

This has been understood throughout American history. There’s a famous quote which has been attributed to Thomas Jefferson, though in recent years its provenance is disputed, which goes like this: “Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have. The course of history shows us that as a government grows, liberty decreases.”

Jefferson would have understood this, whether he said it or not.

Experiences confirming the destructive effects of government giving out free stuff helped shape my ideology today. In many ways they solidified my conservative views and helped me differentiate to more independent views. They’re also the root of my cynicism of politicians.

One day, while discussing an issue, I suggested a solution that would work and the response that I got floored me. “But if we solved the problem, what would we do for a living?”

I’m not going to go into who said that to me because this is a much broader problem that invades politics on both sides of the aisle.

Take the war in Afghanistan as an example. Most of us can agree that the war should not have taken as long as it did, and lots of people now say that we were lied to for twenty years. While I reserve my judgement on that war, for argument’s sake, I’ll agree. If some people were benefiting from the war in Afghanistan, what is the incentive to win it? This is not a criticism of our soldiers in any way, they were obeying orders from the chain of command, doing what they needed to do, and following what they believed in. They are there to fight. With the right people leading them, they’ll win. With the wrong people, the war becomes endless, fought for the benefit of a few.

The mentality of politics for the benefit of self invades both sides of the aisle and it’s important to be mindful of the people you support. They’ll capture an issue, position themselves as the people to solve it, and then do nothing to actually solve it. In some cases, they’ll actually make the problem worse.

There’s the “Carrot/stick” approach, in which victory gets re-defined and always remains out of reach. We went from “two weeks to slow the spread” to an impossible dream of “nobody can ever get it again.” You can see what that ultimately looks like by taking a look at Australia.

There’s the extremist approach where they take issues to the fringes so they have something to talk about, but never come up with a reasonable solution. AOC and Bernie Sanders are really good at this.

There’s the product approach where the person sells you an idea but is only interested in having a career in selling the idea. You keep sending them money and they make a career out of “fighting for you.” Democrats and leaders in the minority community have long abused the loyalty that minorities have given them. This infrastructure bill is an example, if it doesn’t pass, they’ll just blame Republicans for the conditions of the roads. If it does pass you can be certain that a few years from now, the roads will be worse, they’ll still say the rich need to pay “their fair share,” and they will have another huge infrastructure bill to get your hopes up.

And in the worst cases, they push ideas that sound good, but they know the adverse affects will make the problem worse. A historical example of this would be Marc Anthony withholding grain from the Roman people. While the starving people blamed Octavian for the problem, Marc Anthony continued to withhold the grain. When the people finally blamed Marc Anthony, the problem became solved.

It’s easy to point out the people on the other side but not so easy to see the people on your side who do more harm than good. While you can take any issue and find people who will use these issues for their own personal benefit, I will cite a few that will open the door for you to recognize.

Take the coronavirus pandemic. Can you think of anybody who has benefitted from COVID? Maybe becoming a superstar with daily television appearances and would disappear if the issue went away? Would somebody benefit financially if we’re required to get booster shots every six months? Has the definition of victory changed? Do some people benefit by keeping this issue alive?

Or poverty. As a politician, by positioning yourself as “helping the poor,” does your support base grow by lifting the poor out of poverty? Or do you benefit by expanding the number of people in poverty and thus create more political clients? Do you actually go into poor areas and help poor people become financially independent? Or do you push programs that make the poor more dependent?  As Matthew 4:19 says, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”  Some people are more interested in making you dependent on them giving you a fish and have little interest in helping you feed yourself for a lifetime.

How about racism? There are those who use racism for their own agenda, but ignore real racism. Imagine a black man running for office and a white girl dressed in a gorilla costume throws eggs at him and calls him racial names.

Pretty racist, right?

But that’s exactly what happened to Larry Elder in California and not a peep from many people who claim to fight racism. These people are easily identified. They’ll hold all white people accountable today for atrocities that happened 400 years ago, but gloss over some of the worst offenders (Margaret Sanger, President Andrew Johnson, Kermit Gosnell) and some of the worst events (Opelousas Massacre, New Orleans Riots) because of their political beliefs. They’ll easily wash away those events because “the party has changed since then.” They hold people who weren’t born yet accountable for what happened 300 hundred years ago, but won’t hold a party accountable for what they did 100 years ago, or even last week.

They’ll excuse criminals, hiding behind racism and accusing people of wanting to put criminals in prison because of their race, yet a large percentage of the victims of these crimes are minorities. How is protecting minorities from being harmed by criminals racist? Do people who protect criminals who harm minorities really care about minorities?

You can best see who they are not by their words, but by their acts. A person will tell you who he is by how he judges the world. A thief will tell you everybody else is a thief, a liar will tell you everybody else is a liar, and a racist will tell you how everybody else is racist.

Continue to Part 4
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