What is to be Done in 2021?

When they have adequate opposition, left wing political parties are fluffy, cuddly, and sometimes useful. They defend Free Speech and the Rights of the Accused. They oppose racism. They call out corporations doing naughty things and demand better conditions for the working classes. Their solutions are expensive and often counterproductive, but their hearts are usually in the right place.

But take away real opposition and a phase change happens. They become crazy, tyrannical, and often bloodthirsty – like gremlins if you feed them after dark. It happened during the French Revolution. It happened in Russia a century ago. It happened in China, Cuba, Ethiopia, Cambodia, Eastern Europe, North Korea… And it’s happening now in Venezuela…and the United [sic] States of America.

The Left has gone from Question Authority to Believe the Science. They have gone from defenders of Free Speech to demanders of censorship and Safe Spaces. From whining about McCarthyism and the blacklisting of Communists to a ridiculous Cancel Culture. Today, the Religious Right has more sense of humor than college campuses. The Babylon Bee is the new National Lampoon. Left wing big city politicians talk of legalizing theft outright – if you are poor. Innocent Until Proven Guilty has given way to Believe Her. Open socialists threaten to take over the Democratic Party. With Identity Politics, the American Left has also embraced racism. And then there were the riots.. It’s as if they are plagiarizing the Nazi playbook, but with WASPs instead of Jews as their villains.

This is something of an emergency situation.

Continue reading “What is to be Done in 2021?”

It’s Official: I’m Going Green

I have been waffling for the last few years on whether to start a new party, and if so, which sweet spot: Upper Left or Eco Conservative?

I have finally decided: Eco Conservative. The reasons:

  • Nobody liked the word Frequality, and I could never find a better word to describe a niche that mixes liberty and more equality–except perhaps populist.
  • The Left has has become humorless and puritanical. I like to crack jokes. I would get Cancelled pretty quickly trying to work with any kind of Progressives in a core alliance.
  • Personally, I live a fairly Christian conservative lifestyle. And I think men in dresses who want to use the ladies locker room should go to prison.
  • I recently saw Planet of the Humans. The environmental movement needs some political allies who understand economics.
  • I like natural foods and tinkering with alternative energy. Starting an Eco Conservative movement should make for good networking opportunities.

I don’t know whether to start a party or a faction within the Republican Party yet. There are decent arguments for both paths. For now I want to work on a manifesto and build a core coalition. Then we will decide on the strategy.

To see the online draft of the manifesto, check out the new site: Green and Free. That’s where I will be making most of my new blog posts and other online writings.

By the way, I haven’t abandoned the idea of mixing in smaller government with more equality. I am simply changing the axes.

The populist positioning will be secondary to the eco part of the branding, but it will be an important part of the brand. You cannot slow down suburban sprawl and the rot of inner cities without some improvement on the economic equality front.

It’s the System That’s Racist

What do you get when you mix 17 parts defective welfare system, 23 parts broken justice system, and 2 parts racism?

Answer: Mass incarceration of African Americans, millions of civil liberties violations, and the occasional riot.

The George Floyd murder is but one data point, albeit a particularly egregious one.

Let’s get real on how to fix the problem. You are not going to fix the problem playing Catch the Closet Racist. You could purge every detectably racist cop, judge, and prosecutor from the system. You could make Modern Indignation Studies part of the mandatory high school curriculum. You could demolish every Confederate memorial. And you would only make a temporary dent in the problem.

By far the biggest evils are measures that lock in the effects of past racism. Unless you have a working time machine, you need to pay attention and learn how to fix the ongoing problems.

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How to Fix the Toilet Paper Shortage Next Week

The U.S. is morphing into Venezuela.

And no, I’m not writing about the multi trillion dollar bailout, the authoritarian quarantine measures, or our President’s jaw boning the private sector. Many of these measures are warranted in a time of emergency. There will be a price to be paid, but so be it.

No, I’m writing about the shortage of paper goods. This is unpleasant, unsanitary and utterly stupid.

We could fix the problem in short order.

But you are not going to like the solution. Your knee will jerk. Your spleen will squirm. Your sense of rightness will be deeply offended.

We need to tolerate some price gouging.

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Looking for the Leverage Points

Politics is a long slog. So is this extended meditation on political strategy. Let’s see if we can extract any useful action items out of this extended analysis. First, quick recap of the story so far:

  • Most political actions are intermediate; they do not yield any changes in law or regulations. By themselves they have no value.
  • Setting a value on intermediate milestones is very difficult.
  • You need to change some minds to change a policy – or you can go all in to implement policies where the minds have already been [mostly] changed.
  • Radicals, reactionaries, and creative political types need allies. Either that, or they need to take over a small country or state, or live on a floating island.
  • Government is being pushed ever upwards to the central level. This makes creative politics very difficult.
  • Those who love liberty and family need to play defense, and wins some soon.

You might notice a problem: these bullet points conflict with one another!

Fortunately, there are shortcuts: single issue organizations, lobbying, and special interest politics.

It is much easier to build an effective coalition around a single issue than for a complete political platform. Organizations such as The Marijuana Policy Project, The Virginia Citizens Defense League, and the Institute for Justice have a far better track record than the Libertarian Party for actually affecting public policy.

Getting incumbent legislators out of office is extremely difficult. Threatening their office is an order order of magnitude easier. Incumbents cling to their seats by listening to active voters. Demonstrate that you have enough motivated voters in an incumbent’s district to swing the next election, and you get an incumbent who changes his mind.

If you want some Big Boy money to play with, get some special interests on your side. Special interest money saved us from HillaryCare. Alas, it is extremely difficult to get special interest money to lobby for that which is positively good. We do need some type of medical reform, and the insurance industry isn’t going to be for it! Special interest money is like the One Ring of Power – useful but very dangerous. So we need to be careful here.

So, what are the best options for single issue lobbying for those who love liberty and think that Mayberry and Lake Woebegone would be nice places to live?

Continue reading “Looking for the Leverage Points”