Hayward gets his bleak on:
It’s a shame things have come to this. You should have two – or more! – choices who make serious appeal to people with independent minds, as we select the leadership of a government that respects our liberty, no matter how the election turns out. But that is not the choice before you now, and pretending otherwise is foolish and destructive.
Oh, just go read it already.
Update! I should maybe make clear that the “independent” voters to which I, and I think John, refer aren’t the real independents out there, but are the ones pretty much synonymous with what some are pleased to call “moderates”; ie, liberals who are too smug and precious to label themselves as such. Far as I’m concerned, we could do with a lot more true independence of thought, and a lot less slavish party loyalty.
Declaration of Independents update! This is more like it:
Are there differences between Republicans and Democrats? Sure. But over the past few years, at least when it comes to big-picture financial issues, they’re often just matters of degree. We are running out of money; something, it seems, has got to give. To paraphrase columnist Mark Steyn, we used to be rich enough to get away with this sort of malarkey. Now, as he wrote last year, “We’re too broke to be this stupid.”
“The Declaration of Independents” is a refreshing political book in that it kind of, well, hates politics, and it’s worth reading on this issue alone. The authors compare the American political scene to an Edgar Allen Poe-style torture chamber, while declaring politics “a lagging indicator of change in America, the last person in the room to get the joke, the last man to buy the Nehru jacket or stock in Snapple.” They argue, rather convincingly, that anyone who invests a great deal of time worrying about the minutiae of the two party platforms, or even taking them seriously, is likely on a fool’s errand
And, when you think about it, it’s also a sad errand. “We need independence not just in politics but from politics,” they write. “Contrary to the myths perpetuated by liberals and conservatives alike, the winning and losing of elections is not transformative of what matters most.” The things that truly matter in life (our families, friends, churches, communities, teams, relationships, and culture) do not stem from state capitols or Washington, D.C. Most great things in life happen despite politicians, not because of them, which makes the pervasive nature of today’s politics (from ceiling-mounted talking heads in airport waiting areas to mainstream churches pushing the federal government as a charitable arm) seem all the more creepy.
This is where libertarianism makes a great deal of sense, and it doesn’t require privatizing roads or wiping out social safety nets. “Take the government out of nonessential questions,” Gillespie and Welch write, “and the endless disputes that separate us become the subject of friendly dinner arguments, not life-and-death battles over our own confiscated money.”
Yes indeed. Funny how closely their ideas track with those of the Founders, innit? So of course, they must be crazy.