Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Citizens Sound Off on Book/Congress Project

Good questions/observations in italics from friends, foes, and neutrals, followed by my responses.

What can you bring to a body of 435 folks from a politically hamstrung district that 16 years of equity can't?

Alone, virtually nothing. The goal is to be another one in a district-by-district national effort to build a truly conservative majority. 

If the district is "hamstrung," it's because of weakness at the top of the ticket. This shouldn't be a swing district regardless of registration. Notice that Romney won Douglas County and D2, and got more votes than Terry in Douglas County and in D2. A significant number of Republicans are not happy with Terry. Republicans can win the county and district if the right candidate runs. 

What equity? Chairman of a subcommittee of the Energy & Commerce Committee? That's our big payoff? The country is going down the drain and we can't afford to waste a single spot in Congress that could be claimed for red-blooded fiscal conservatism.

I’m a right of center Dem, and am like you, fed up with both parties. I didn’t vote for either party’s Pres nominee, nor have I ever voted for the ineffectual Lee Terry. I’d like to hear more of your plans b/c I know you are a man of character. 

From the cover email, however, I am concerned about your thoughts on a safety net. It may be that SS and Medicare are not viable long term options, but I do not believe in social Darwinism or in eliminating the safety net that those too old, too sick, too incapacitated depend on for survival.

If SS/Medicare are eliminated, do you propose to create another safety net? If you propose to eliminate it altogether, I would not be in favor of same. In my view, life in a society without a safety net for those incapable of caring for themselves would be nasty, brutish and short (Hobbes), not to mention in conflict with my faith.

I agree strongly we need a change in the 2nd District, someone beholden to neither party (including Tea Party), but beholden only to his own conscience. I can tell you that there a lot of Dems and GOPs who either dislike Terry or hold their nose and vote for him for lack of a better alternative.

I want the federal government out of social services, including running a pension program and subsidizing health care. States are free to set up whatever they want. At the federal level, it's unconstitutional, it doesn't work, and we can't afford it.

You may want a fire extinguisher handy because the book might set your hair on fire. I actually take a veiled swipe at our church for making us feel we are unchristian if we don't subsidize out-of-wedlock birth. I do say in the book that if a reader comes away thinking I don't care about the underdog and don't think there is an obligation to help fellow citizens, then I failed as an author. I just don't want the federal government to be involved.

Maybe there's a way to proceed that I haven't thought of and would be palatable to you and other Democrats. Maybe not, but I want to find out.

You’ll have some significant convincing to do with me if you are proposing elimination of successful (for the past 80 and 50 years) social safety nets without some kind of comprehensive and realistic alternatives. Or are you really a true Libertarian?

I have to convince you that the safety net has been a disastrous failure, that trying to help people through the federal government is unconstitutional, it doesn't work, and we can't afford it.

No, I'm not a Libertarian. We are obligated to help each other. I just don't want to do it through the federal government.

As you know Aristotle considered “politics” to be a most noble enterprise, and so he limited it to only certain people of the polis. It still is noble but political campaigning for positions in “politics” and for maintaining positions in “politics” has gotten in the way. You have chosen a long haul endeavor. Blessings for that decision and for all of the multiple decisions that will have to be faced – for yourself and for the family.

"Political society exists for the sake of noble living." Aristotle's pronouncement probably sounds like sarcasm to the modern ear.

A confession of sorts: I take a swing at the church (or at least a faction within it) for promoting the argument that Democrats are good and Republicans are bad because Democrats support federal government spending on the poor. I believe we all have an obligation to help each other, but not through the federal government.

Good luck and God be with you. I have no doubt in your convictions or your abilities. I’m afraid though, ‘old boy,’ that the neo-fascist regime will reject you and spit you out.

You could be right. If that's God's will, so be it.

I mentioned you just yesterday as an example of the kind of politician the conservative movement so badly needs; that is, a smart, truly principled, but winsome person . . . one who is not afraid to make enemies but who doesn't make them unnecessarily as they patiently, persuasively present their case.

A few already have said whoa, this is a little more harsh than Mr. Friendly on the radio or at public events. And it is. I'm pushing it a bit, but I figure what's the point of running as another politician who will admire the problem without proposing a solution? If there's a painless solution out there, I can't find it. If I do not convince you, you would do me a great favor by telling me where I failed.

This email [forwarded by a friend to others] originates from a high school friend of mine, Chip Maxwell. Chip was student body president at Prep our senior. He has always had the "political itch" and continues to scratch it. He MIGHT be seeking to unseat Lee Terry, who incidentally is a good friend from my freshman and sophomore years at the University of Nebraska. Chip's ideas are radical, down home, and damn near impossible.

[As long as it sells the book I'm fine with that.]

I'll buy a copy! And I may even read it. 

[Again, as long as he buys the book . . . ]

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