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.

Continue reading “It’s the System That’s Racist”

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”

Rules for Reasonable Radicals

So, you have some fresh outside-the-box political ideas that you think are wonderful – and some of them are. Or maybe you want to restore some excellent ideas from the past that have fallen out of favor. How do you get your ideas implemented?

And how do you get them implemented before you are too old to enjoy the benefits?

Well, let us start with what not to do.

  • Do not expect to get far with “education” alone. Most people aren’t theorists, and most of those who are will take your theorizing as a challenge for debate. (When I say “aren’t theorists,” I am include many who have the brain power for serious philosophizing but just plain aren’t interested of using up brainpower on ideas with no plan for application.)
  • Do not rely overmuch on woo woo, flim flam and/or positive thinking. Yes, mind games can persuade and motivate, but they can also lead to delusions and dead ends. Appeal to Reasonableness – a mix of Reason, empathy, and common sense based on observation.
  • Do not wait for society to collapse and then come knee walking to you and your party for a solution. Bad systems can last for a very long time. Rome did not fall in a day. Britain has yet to recover from William the Conqueror. Russia has yet to recover from the Mongols.
  • Do not resort to violent revolution. The benefits of your ideas are uncertain. The death and destruction of civil war are a certainty. And most revolutions fail.
  • Do not point at the Man Behind the Curtain. Conspiracy theories are for losers – even when the conspiracies are real. Trying to get the public to pay attention to hidden power centers rarely pays off, and can make you look like a crank. Take positive action instead. If you are effective the, hidden powers will come out from behind the curtain to fight you.

So what should you do?

Continue reading “Rules for Reasonable Radicals”