Version 1.0, updated March 12, 2013
by Glenn F. Wright
politikos—1. of, for, or relating to citizens 2. befitting a citizen, like a citizen, civic, civil 3. consisting of citizens 4. living in a community
Politics is one of those things, actually the major thing, in life where everybody feels they are entitled to offer an opinion about it. The most important opinion citizens are supposed to offer is their vote, although sometimes that vote is delivered by a bullet instead of by a ballet.
In the United States, in part because political speech is a constitutional right, which so far is protected (at least if you’re not held by the US government to be working for terrorists), political violence committed by citizens against the government is infrequent, and extremely ineffective in provoking political change.
On the other hand, political violence, committed as an instrument of power maintenance and extension, by the various coercive arms of the US government against its citizens, and against countless and nameless other human beings as well, is a consistent feature of the American imperial system.
Part of our discussion in this FAQ will deal with the answer to a question much on the minds of a certain, armed and hysterical, minority of citizens:
Short Answer: because the US government is a lot better armed, and a lot better practiced at the art of killing than its citizens. Anyone who thinks the government would not fire upon and kill its own citizens, is not paying attention. And that's just a reflection of the violent US citizens, who kill thousands of their own, every year.
It is however the exercise of First Amendment rights, not those of the Second Amendment, that engages most Americans in the political process.
Talking, incessant talking, opinion-giving, now dumbed-down to Facebook “liking”, is how people do politics in the USA. The one time, that most people vaguely recall anyway, that we stopped doing that, and started shooting each other in a widespread organized fashion, during the Civil War, 750,000 Americans died, with millions more physically and mentally maimed for life.
That is why most sane Americans, all three of them, do not want another civil war in America. But increasingly we see people rhetorically and often martially gearing up to once again start killing their fellow citizens—over political differences!
How stupid is that?
Well, it is how the USA began, if you recall. Sometimes, people simply pull apart to the point they can no longer stay together. And then, often, bad things happen.
It is good then to understand some basics about this most dangerous condition of our 21st-century lives—the condition called politics. Because the last thing the world needs is a massively-armed United States of America incinerating the Earth in a thermonuclear civil war.
- What is Politics?
- Which Kind of Politics is the Best?
- But Doesn't Everybody Accept The Fact That Democracy Is Best?
- What Is The Real Difference Between Liberals And Conservatives?
- What Is Compromise And What Is So Great About It?
- Who Is The Worst President In History?
- Who Is The Best President In History?
- What Are States' Rights?
- Why Should Abortion Be Legal?—OR—Why Can’t All These Uppity Women Just Shut Up And Stop Killing Babies?
- Why Are Guns Enshrined In The Bill Of Rights, And Not Health Care?
- Why Can’t We Just Lock-and-Load Our Bushmasters And Overthrow The Government?
- What Else Can I Read About This Politics Stuff?
First, we should ask, what is the reality of human existence? And that reality is governed by one, evolutionary fact—humans tend overwhelmingly to live in collective organizations, and not as loners. In fact, the word “loner” implies a defect in the proper socializing of an individual. For the most part, in our world, the value of your individual freedom, and most especially the obligation you owe to others, and to the state, respecting how you exercise your freedom, only has relevance in a social context.
Of course, representatives of the collectives write these rules of psychological and political propriety. Since human beings exist in collectives, and since human beings have conflicting opinions about what decisions the collective should make, and how it should make these, different systems of processing collective politics have emerged over the centuries.
These systems basically diverge with respect to where power and authority in the collective government is concentrated, and how it shall be dispensed to (and especially against) all the people.
In an autocracy (from Greek: auto, meaning “one”, and Greek: kratia, meaning “power”), one person has absolute power to make decisions that regulate the entire collective. On the other end of the spectrum, anarchy (from Greek: an, meaning “without”, and Greek: arkhos, meaning “ruler”) is the condition where each individual has absolute power to govern only themselves and no other.
It is popular to assume that “chaos” is necessarily a consequence of anarchy. However, anarchists themselves have never advocated such a thing. Anarchy is founded upon the belief that human liberty is the principal and really only basis for establishing good government. It simply is a logical result of this view, that a government devoted to human liberty would be individually authorized and distributed.
However, since considerable enlightenment of the human spirit is necessary to give anarchy any chance of working, without its devolving into a number of unfortunate alternatives, it is generally understood that the massively unenlightened human species currently requires some kind of adult supervision.
Thus our various forms of archon-based government.
And yes, you may reasonably object: where are these adults of which I speak?
“Best” for what exactly?
The convenience of the autocrat?
The needs of the many or of the least advantaged?
The greed of the rich?
The wide divergence of basic values in human attitudes about life, and how that forms opinions about what is best in politics, often makes governing, that relies upon a more distributed consensus (e.g., democracy), extremely difficult. That is especially the case when the determination of what is necessary is itself a hopeless exercise, because the basic values of the political opponents vary too much for any agreement to be reached. At that point, government stops working and the people begin to ponder alternatives.
In large collectives, especially in ones which formerly prospered as republics, breakdowns of this sort have often led to simplifications: the replacement of democratic forms with some version of oligarchy (rule by the few) or autocracy. Basically, the people will often settle for “stability”—which supplies confidence in a likely future—over destabilizing and sometimes very destructive political freedom and the uncertainties caused by its inevitable conflicts.
This raises a question. Is the stabilization provided by a defective regime or collective truly beneficial?
Obviously, if there is a “defect”, it would seem the answer should be “no”. On the other hand, if the alternative smells of a “final solution”, or the remedy is a “pox on both houses”, higher values—concerning the sanctity of life (if one believes in that)—may be offended by acting to “dissolve the political bands” forming the collective.
As the Declaration of Independence itself argues:
“Prudence, indeed, will dictate, that governments long established, should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”
In plain language, people tend to put up with a lot of heinous bullshit before they will lose all hope and either defect to another land, or take up arms and fight the oppressor. That mankind should be found virtuous in suffering evils at all, seems a dubious proposition, and if righting oneself is correct tomorrow, when the evils have gone on for one day longer than is tolerable, why should people suffer that extra day? Or any day?
But doesn't that conflict with the quotation above about extremism and liberty?
Yes, it does. We live in a complicated world.
And these complications—or often cheap simplifications (e.g., demagoguery) being weighed in our time, all over the world, respecting the great question of which kind of politics, or government, is best?
Ever since the Greeks began analyzing political systems, 2500 years ago, it has been generally accepted that democracy is better for some things, like producing the most freedom for the most people, but also is poor at other things, like creating a stable political system.
And before you say, hey, the USA has been really stable, remember you’re talking about a nation that has been at the brink of destruction a number of times, including of course the Civil War. Currently, the USA is experiencing another round of extreme polarization in the factions of its citizenry.
Nobody thinks that this will lead to some kind of dissolution of the union, via another civil war—ok, actually some people do think that’s a coming attraction—but as the Greeks pointed out, the best form of a democratic state, one which might last a while instead of devolving into tyranny, is one that blends democracy with freedom-restraining, and majority-blocking elements (checks and balances).
The USA has attempted to employ that kind of blended solution, in a democratic republic, but the extreme economic disparity currently wiping away the middle class and creating extraordinary antipathy between the classes, is rendering a situation where the USA is democratic in name or theory only.
An entrenched oligarchy, really a plutocracy allied with other special interests supporting the oligarchy, has gradually rendered the political process as little more than a rubber-stamping political theater, where voters choose between slightly differing brands of magistrates who will protect the bodies and the properties of the wealthy against the interests of the majority of powerless and seemingly petrified citizens.
If the USA had a true or truer democracy, which is a prospect made much easier to achieve through the use of technology, there is no doubt that the voters would move the nation back towards a situation described by Aristotle as being the natural condition of a democratic form of government:
“Every citizen, it is said, must have equality, and therefore in a democracy the poor have more power than the rich, because there are more of them, and the will of the majority is supreme.”
As we know, in the USA, the poor certainly do not have more power than the rich, and many Americans are denied anything approaching equality. The USA was never intended to be a state that affirmed rule by a simple majority. Every sort of obstacle to real majority rule was put in place by the Founders to insure that the wealthy masters of America, which included the Founders themselves, would not be overthrown by the rabble of the majority.
In fact, if you think about it, and most people are wise enough to avoid ever doing such a dire thing as thinking, but in 1776 and 1789, providing full rights to the majority of Americans was the very last thing the rich white old male masters had any idea of establishing.
After all, the Founders didn’t even count women as enfranchised citizens. And they constitutionally sanctioned the widespread use of slave labor in a land whose founding documents blather about freedom and equality.
Aristotle went on to say the following, and see how different is this description from anything we see in 2013 USA (either we have botched this democracy idea, or democracy was never much of an idea to begin with):
“This, then, is one note of liberty [that the majority of poor people should rule] which all democrats affirm to be the principle of their state. Another is that a man should live as he likes. This, they say, is the privilege of a freeman; and, on the other hand, not to live as a man likes is the mark of a slave.”
Increasingly, Americans are realizing that while they might not bear the literal chains of slavery, the social contract of the USA has rendered the mass of the citizenry little more than indentured servants in an economic system which obscenely empowers and privileges a relatively small number of sociopathic predators.
Having written the above about the hopeless condition of the American version of democracy, or the democratic-republican form of government, it might seem that I am suggesting it doesn’t matter who you vote for.
That is not what I am saying.
So wretched is our situation, that we are forced into affirming the distinguishably better of two markedly regrettable choices of major parties. How did it come to this, that Americans have to vote for a center-right Democratic Party to save themselves from being driven into farcical fascism by the circus clowns of the Republican Party? ''
It’s pretty simple, really.
The Republican Party, realizing back in the mid-1960s that the Democratic Party had thrown away the South politically, by passing landmark civil- rights legislation that deeply offended the Southern white racist rubes, made the cynical choice to take in this rancid region of the nation and make Southern white, thoroughly Confederate, values the basis for GOP values.
All that talk about the 10th-Amendment rights of the states to be their own private plantations—that’s straight out of the rationales of Southern, pro-slavery advocates, who would eventually push for secession in the leadup to the Civil War. Even somebody like Sam Houston, who famously stood against secession in Texas, affirmed that Texans had the right to manage their property interests (in owning other human beings) without federal government regulation.
The degeneration of the Southern white mind was accomplished through the isolation of its breeds from any enlightened cultural miscegenation. Taught to uphold through racism the vile institution of slavery, and then to defend the South and its Confederate heritage postbellum, Southern whites have, as a class, been a festering sore in the American soul since the beginning of the USA.
When the Republican Party, in an act of Pyrrhic cynicism, decided to embrace the values of their erstwhile enemies, the CSA rebels, the moral centerpiece of the GOP argument to America became explicit racism, misogyny, antirationalism (including a deep antipathy towards science and education in general), and class hatred of poorer Americans, gay Americans, and really any Americans that couldn't fit neatly into a 1950s Wonderbread-sponsored sitcom.
Although, in truth, that is really unfair. The 1950s crew of American sitcom families shared basic strains of decency, which seems way too liberal for the crypto-Klan goons of the post-1960s GOP.
Recycled Confederatism dominating the party of Lincoln was truly an ironic development, but, for a very long time, it posed few problems for Republicans getting elected. Democrats, perhaps being shocked and awed that a political party would stoop that low, to the point of mocking its own founding principles, sought not to fight the Republicans, but to seek some way to compromise with them.
That way has driven the Democrats further and further to the right, as Republicans correctly determined the Democrats would be just as willing as Republicans to betray their former convictions for political pragmatism. For a long time, this made the Republicans look strong and deeply devoted to their demented principles, and it made the Democrats look like cowards.
One example of how this has worked in our current politics is the Tea Party, an organization whose battle flag is the very one raised up at the beginning of the secessionist movement in the Old South.
The Tea Party is devoted to “taking back” the USA from a laundry list of much-despised “others”, starting of course with the “Other-in-Chief”, the President of the United States. While the Tea Party has worked hard to convince itself and the USA that Barack Obama is not really an American, the secessionist fervor of Tea Partiers harkens back to its literally unAmerican roots in the Confederate States of America.
Now, the best thing of all about these roots is that Republicans get to remind everybody that it was THEY who freed the slaves, while Democrats were the pro-slavery party. The Republican commitment to civil rights has, let us say, waned a bit since 1865, and especially since 1965.
Meanwhile, back in the “center”, where Barack Obama and the Democrats live, we should note that the reason Democrats now occupy the center-right position in the American political spectrum, is that, with a ruthlessness challenging that of the Republican embrace of the Old Confederacy, the Democrats decided post-Michael-Dukakis to turn its back on its traditional constituencies, and instead became the party catering to the whims of big business, rich people, the military-industrial complex, and the extraordinarily twisted puritan work vice. The latter boils down to the poor needing to learn Mitt Romney's idea of the “dignity” of hard work—for little or no pay.
If you are confused at this point, and are saying I've got the parties mixed up, because it sounds like, in the above paragraph, I'm describing the Republicans, no—I'm describing post-Dukakis, Democrats—who inherited or coopted a lot of the traditional Republican positions.
The neo-Republican Party, meanwhile, slowly but surely became a carnival sideshow, with barkers, clowns, buffoons of every sort, pushing the Confederate agenda. Only in 2012 did that ploy of the right wing become so desperately stupid and depraved, with two pro-rape Senate candidates for example, that the GOP realized it might be time to start basing their base someplace other than in Jeff Davis' Mississippi.
You often hear pundits bemoan gridlock in government, and they blame the “lack of compromise”. They talk about compromise as being essential for the running of a democratic government, where nobody gets everything he wants.
Except, for a long time now, Republicans have actually gotten almost everything they wanted, so much so they just kept demanding more, until finally their demands became so outrageous that even cowardly Democrats decided to stop racing to the right-wing-nut side of the aisle, and began saying “no”, at least a little bit, to Republicans.
This the GOP has interpreted to be a “refusal to compromise” on the part of Democrats, a bizarre complaint from a party that had based a good bit of its rhetoric on a mindless policy position of refusing to raise taxes on rich people for any reason. Meanwhile, Republicans continue to claim, against all evidence to the contrary, that they are “conservative”.
However, voting to continue spending, knowing in doing so you are adding to a deficit that is increasing the debt, is not conservative. Demanding that it is “unprincipled” to actually ask Americans to pay their bills, Republicans are actually economic extremists who have worked hard for many years to bankrupt the USA. So far, they haven’t achieved this goal.
As for compromise per se, there is no way American voters should stand for it.
The remedy required to address our current structural and moral deficit is to eliminate compromise, and to push for the total eradication of the Republican Party and all it has stood for in the last half century. The USA needs to pull far back to the left to have any hope for the nation returning to an Aristotelian balance in the democracy, where the mass of citizens still provides some check on the power of the plutocrats.
No, this is not an important question, but you can say you read this answer here, and feel confident that will matter if you have some kind of bet on about this or something.
So, what does “bad” mean when it comes to presidents?
Pretty simple: if the nation is a lot worse off when you leave office than when you came in, that would be a good indicator. Then you have to talk about the values you are using to determine what “worse off” means. For example, while many people have suffered greatly in the USA since 2008, the one group of people who could never claim things are all that bad (for them) are the rich.
In fact, regardless of the fact that futures for young Americans have gone from not so great to dire under Barack Obama, rich Americans have done great. In spite of this, young Americans voted for Barack Obama overwhelmingly in 2012, while wealthy Americans voted for Mitt Romney. Well, of course, because even though Barack Obama helped rich people get richer, Mitt Romney was the personal representative of the 1%. He would have opened the bank, and let his rich, raider, buddies take everything.
Anyway, so, based on our metric, who is the worst?
Oh, you know, Abraham Lincoln. Who else?
His election caused the greatest rift in the nation’s history, and a horrible civil war that killed 750,000 Americans and permanently maimed millions more. Lincoln was so hated by so many Americans, one of them impeached Lincoln with a derringer bullet. Dishonorable mention: George W. Bush.
No, this is not a trick question. But the answer may make you think so.
Because the best president in the history of the USA is: Abraham Lincoln.
Despite presiding over the Civil War horror show, Lincoln took advantage of the blood and the catastrophe to do what should have been done in 1776. He got rid of slavery in America.
For that act alone, and it is something that cost Lincoln his life of course—along with all those other American lives—Lincoln wins best president ever. Honorable mention: Franklin D. Roosevelt.
In the beginning of the USA, a compromise was worked out that enabled slave states to exist in the nation, even though slavery was obviously inconsistent with the alleged founding principles of the country.
If the Constitution did not explicitly prohibit something or explicitly empower the federal government to regulate an activity, so the argument went in the 10th Amendment, then the states and the people would be able to do whatever (heinous) thing they desired.
Even after losing the Civil War, Southerners continued to exploit and discriminate against black people, for example refusing to engage black people commercially (just because they were black) because Southern whites argued that such behavior constituted a private matter, not explicitly covered by Constitutional affirmations declaring black people real US citizens.
In 1964, the Civil Rights Act included provisions which outlawed this “private” behavior, because Congress argued that it was commercial behavior covered by the Commerce Clause.
Yes, you could throw people out of your home for pretty much any reason. But you could not refuse commercial service to people just because you don’t like their skin color or ethnicity. Opponents claimed, as they have been claiming since the beginning, that the feds were trying to impose morality on people.
And the federal response has basically been to say “you’re right, we are, and that’s a good thing.”
The States’ Rights argument is waning in its appeal, as the reality of the demands of running the enormous American empire is increasingly seeing courts throw out the right of anybody to counter the feds in their accumulation and expression of power. This is often not a bad thing. But sometimes it certainly can be.
Again, the reality is that the USA is too big, and the ideas at stake are far too important, to allow states to wag the dog.
But, you say, what about stuff like marijuana possession and consumption rights—aren't those being pioneered in the states?
Yes, but the same principle that enables doper states like California to push against federal limits to the freedom to get high, also enables redneck states like Arkansas to try to ban abortion.
What we need to be doing is pushing for a saner, simpler, federal rulebook, especially on the big issues, because letting 50 competing legislatures interpret the crazy book of rules as they see fit is crazier still.
First, something easy: MEN HATE WOMEN!
What’s that? You think that’s a little extreme?
Well, read some history, or preferably a lot of history.
Men view women as incubators and caretakers of the men’s DNA spew, and also as the cause of all human woe and misery, which is basically saying the same thing.
• Eve just wasn’t made right. So says Adam as he blames her, and all subsequent women by association, for destroying the sweet deal Adam had with God in the Garden of Eden. This dumb Bible story, believed by so many peabrains to be a news report telling what actually happened, has gotten millions of women beaten and killed over the centuries.
• The Greek version of “it’s Eve’s fault”, is called Pandora’s Box—like jeez, try some subtlety with the metaphors, you know? Men well understand that if women weren’t around, things would just go better. Men would be happy and gay. Really gay. And also, if you have a box with all the evils of the world locked up in it, some dumb broad like Pandora will totally go nosing into it and wreck everything. So, since they are around, and are obviously dangerously stupid, women had better be kept in their place, under the tight control and regulations of men. And so has it righteously been for centuries.
• In the American Western mythos, it is women, who emasculate men by civilizing them, and who are the destroyers of wild frontier liberty. See, if you’ve got a bunch of dead indians, buffalo, bears, and wolves, the Western mythos tells us that it may have been men pulling the triggers to put Nature (who by the way is a BITCH) in its grave, but it was the women forcing them to do it in order to make the West safe for weak, white females and their useless, greedy, brats.
Now, these ideas, which get repeated all over the world in different forms, validate and perpetuate a global misogynistic worldview.
Men start off assuming women, in addition to being conveniently smaller and weaker physically, are the chief moral problem to be overcome and overseen.
Second, and as a consequence of this worldview, overwhelmingly it is white men in the USA who make the laws telling women how to manage the consequences of the DNA-seeds spewed into them by men.
In many cases, these legislating males want women—and girls!—who get pregnant from being raped, to have their rapists’ babies. That’s how much men hate the idea of women controlling their own bodies.
A rapist’s kid might fail to get born! Tragic!
After all, that kid might turn out to be another Einstein—or Dr. Evil or something. So, shouldn’t the silly woman just shut up whining about her mental tortures (or whatever) and give the world that wonderful opportunity?
Third, women are the majority demographic. So, for the entire history of the USA, women have been ordered around like slaves by the minority of males, a minority so hateful in its contempt for women that the Founder Creeps (the white men who used to be called Founding Fathers—there were no founding mothers) didn’t even count women as citizens, but property.
And that’s what it really means when the Declaration of Independence says: “All MEN are created equal…they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
“Happiness” means, mainly, “property”.
After all, the guy who wrote those words owned human beings as property, and he regularly had sex with at least one of them. And that would make Thomas Jefferson, among other things, a RAPIST! But hey, that's what made Jefferson happy. Maybe something else makes you happy.
Also, Jefferson raped a girl 30 years younger than himself. Now, you might ask: does that also make Thomas Jefferson a pedophile? But, such a notion basically did not exist in the USA until fairly recently. In Colonial America and the USA for a long portion of its history, pre-pubescent girls as young as 7 were married off to men.
In other words, state authorized rape of little girls is as American as apple pie—or slavery.
The slave girl Jefferson regularly raped, Sally Hemings, had Jefferson’s baby (the first of six he would produce by his rapings of her) when she was 16. Jefferson never freed his victim, but he did see fit to free their children—although not before he recorded them (again, his own children) as his slaves.
With Founder Creeps like Thomas Jefferson, what exactly are we supposed to be proud of about these rich, repellent, swine?
When they weren’t slaughtering indians and stealing their lands, American pirates were writing rules of engagement to make it easier for rich white men to lord it over all the other humans, especially women.
It was Flo Kennedy (yes, you don’t know who that is, so look her up) who once said about all the white men wanting women not to have abortion rights:
“If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.”
In part, that was a jab at the Catholic Church (again, run by white men), which at the time was threatening to deny sacraments to any Catholic having anything to do with abortions. In fact, the Catholic Church exists as one of the great woman-hating institutions on the face of the Earth.
Compared to the Catholics and their historical body count of tortured and destroyed women, the Taliban and similar Muslim nuts are amateurs when it comes to hating women.
Let me close with as concise and clear an answer as I can provide on this question:
If your life is 100% dependent upon another human being carrying you around in their bodies, you are a parasite! And if your host decides it’s time to get rid of the bloodsucker, that’s their right.
Should that right be regulated, or in any way infringed upon by government?
Possibly, especially with respect to late-term abortions that are not medically necessary. But medically necessary abortions, which are required to protect the health of the host, should be absolutely legal, no restrictions.
And I say “possibly”, because I think there are arguments which are reasonable covering situations where a host simply does not want to continue a pregnancy. Having the state order her to do so is the very essence of tyranny.
The actual life outside is more important than the potential life inside.
One last thing, any law obliging a woman to have a baby had better provide post-partum for the woman and her child in all basic respects: housing, food, and medical care. To fail to do this is barbarism.
Simple. Because the Second Amendment was an 18th-century version of nationalized health care.
Look, doctoring was shit in 1789. People had to have umpteen children, hoping half or a quarter of their brats might actually survive to adulthood. And, if you got a bacterial infection, in a world with no antibiotics—let's just say undertaker was very steady work.
So, death was part of the everyday experience and there wasn’t anything you could do about it. One thing people thought they could do about it was to hand out guns to intrepid pirates, and encourage them to go west into the vast continental frontier, far away from civilization, where the employment of firearms seemed a noble requirement—assuming the pirate wanted to stay alive long enough to steal stuff from the indians.
If nothing else, and this is a point often missed by the gun rights nuts, but guns gave people the comfort of knowing they could blow their brains out. How many gorgeous vistas of unsettled savage nature can you take (literally and figuratively), after all, without going out of your mind? How many savage New England winters? How many choruses of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" down on the dreadful plantation?
As Nietzsche said:
The thought of suicide is a great consolation: by means of it one gets successfully through many a bad night.
Second, and more satisfyingly, and more politically pertinent, guns gave people the comfort of knowing they could blow other people’s brains out. And, out west in the USA, that meant, among other targets, shooting indians, which the US government supported by repeatedly coming to the rescue of its informal invasion force of covered wagons and the intrepid pirate families they carried.
The comforting thoughts of suicide and the useful outlet of homicide got people through on many a dark and dreary night—along with the copious amounts of liquor everybody consumed. Adding guns to this barbaric mix of hopelessness, genocidal national policies, and drunkenness, just made sense to establish as a constitutional right for primitive Americans.
Additionally, of course, some of the Founders argued about the political utility of having an armed population. But since there is no evidence that having an armed population has ever mattered in the least, except to some extent in aiding a rebellion of pro-slavery traitors, the militia concern is answered by each state already having its portion of the National Guard.
The Founders could not imagine, and did not account for, a future where nations could employ single weapons that could vaporize cities. The people can have all the guns they want, but up against the most technologically sophisticated and destructive armed force the world has ever seen, their little Bushmasters and Glocks will be like firecrackers.
The usefulness of the Second Amendment, as a guardian of the political integrity of the nation, or as a means to secure the health and wellbeing of American citizens, seems therefore to have long ago run its relevant course. People can take drugs for their mental illnesses, and the USA successfully wiped out and/or locked up all the competing, indigenous populations a long time ago.
Eradicating the Second Amendment therefore seems a quite reasonable course of action. And, since more and more people need SOMA—really badly need it too—it makes sense to just go ahead and put government-supplied dispensers of feel-good drugs all over America.
Now, somebody—like a centrist jackass for example—might argue that we should provide for gun ownership licensing for those living in rural areas, where police protection is limited or nonexistent. After all, they might need to shoot some dangerous wildlife, or a noisy tourist family.
But, regarding that exception, maybe the time is coming, rapidly, to order human beings to stop demanding the right to occupy the habitats of all the other animals on the continent. Let’s restrict ourselves to a more vertical expansion, and then maybe the coyotes and the wolves won’t need to carry off our pets and small children.
And maybe we can stop pretending to ourselves that is always such a bad thing.
The implication of this question is that conditions in the USA have gotten so hopelessly bad, that citizens feel they are at the same kind of permanent breaking point for their support of the government, as were the original American rebels in 1776.
You often hear people, especially people who love to brag about how they can back up their opinions with their private stockpiles of military-grade firearms, tell you that this is the point of the Second Amendment, to insure the “militia” is ready to overthrow a tyrannical government.
This constant threat from the people's militia is supposed to insure the USA will be less likely to develop or tolerate such a government, but since “all threats foreign and domestic” certainly includes homespun American militias, the federal government of the United States has gradually built a military and intelligence network that can easily defeat any but the most fanatical enemy (i.e., those with Taliban or Viet Cong levels of commitment).
The only reason the USA has ever lost any recent military engagement is that the will of the American people failed when it came time to apply the force necessary to achieve victory. That is not necessarily a failing on the part of the American people, whose sense of decency and shame still occasionally restrains the worst habits of its immensely powerful government.
But weakness of will does often end up committing the USA to military engagements it has neither the moral fiber to win (at any cost), nor the courage or sense of economy to abandon in time for it to have made a real difference to so many dead and damaged human beings (on all sides).
As noted above, there is a difference between a deficiency of means to achieve an end (overthrowing the government by force), and declaring that end to be unworthy of fetishizing—as so many people do.
I believe that fantasizing about overthrowing one's government serves the same healthy coping scheme as contemplating suicide/homicide.
It just makes you feel better.
On the other hand, the moment you feel like actualizing the armed rebellion fetish, or otherwise feel yourself mutating into anything resembling Ted Nugent, you really ought to just step away from the Bushmaster.
- A. US Constitution/Bill of Rights
- B. Declaration of Independence
- C. Comments of President Dwight David Eisenhower regarding military-industrial complex.
- D. Inequality by Rousseau
- E. And lots of other things, which we'll add here and discuss as things go on.