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A Catholic, Randian Objectivist, and vegan Libertarian walk into a Tea Party

A Catholic, Randian Objectivist, and vegan Libertarian walk into a Tea Party

One of the best aspects about the SoCal Tax Revolt Coalition is that we are a true mixture of Republicans, Libertarians, Independent Conservatives…and Democrats!

The nature of the 2009 movement is complex, and as 40% of our group is NOT Republican, we reject any assertion that we are a “Rebranded GOP“. Furthermore, the evolution of our group and other citizen activism organizations clearly demonstrates the power and flexibility in leaderless organizations (see , “The Starfish and the Spider”: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations.)

As an example of how policy ideas are maturely discussed among informed citizens, and our goals are not derived from top-down dictates, I wanted to share some dialog between three of our San Diego pundits: A Catholic conservative, a Randian objectivist, and a vegan Libertarian discuss the role of social conservatism in fiscally oriented agendas.

The Scratching Post’s Catholic conservative does some data point analysis:

Data Point 1: The Washington Times has this bit about the ongoing destruction of the traditional family. It’s worth reading the whole thing, but this statistic in particular is important.

Married couples with children have an average income of $80,000, compared with $24,000 for single mothers.
Data Point 2: ABC had a 20/20 segment on polyamory wherein they look at it in an open-minded fashion. (H/T: Ann Althouse)

…If you want a smaller government and lower taxes, you’re going to need more people earning $80K and fewer people earning $24K. ABC News is fighting you tooth and nail on that one, even if they’re too indoctrinated in progressive, open-minded conventional wisdom to get it. The 20/20 piece relies entirely on interviewing couples who are two or more standard deviations off the mean for their behavior. It’s a conversation held entirely within the white, highly-educated, upper-class, progressive bubble. The entire piece is an act of non-judgmentalist fantasy….

Sixteen trillion dollars later, we’re all doing our own thing on the edge of a volcano that is about to erupt. More people earning $24K and fewer people earning $80K has been the result and it’s a recipe for fiscal disaster.

As you hope and wish and work for a smaller government, rewatch that 20/20 piece and try to work out how you’re going to get it with morals like that.

Shane Atwell, the Randian Objectivist, chimes in with an observation:’ve bought into collectivist class warfare ideas. Whether or not Americans will agree with limited government has little to do with their wealth. It has to do with their ideas. We have to change them. And if they are irrational as you say they weren’t always so. They aren’t by nature. They were taught to be by the collectivist who control the schools and universities.

W.C. Varones, Vegan Libertarian, responds: We’ve had the better argument for the last century but continually lost ground to the free lunch crowd. You can’t reason with slackers on the take.

The Scratching Post’s Catholic responds:

The Fed isn’t printing $1T+ per year and handing it over to President Obama to spend in support of married, $80K-earning families. Without growing centralized authority and reduced political freedom, there’d be fewer expensive, government solutions proposed and enacted. The fiscal crisis has been fed by the breakdown in traditional morality and the loss of political freedom.

If the Tea Party stands for personal freedom and financial responsibility, I’d suggest that it firmly support all three things – traditional morality, political freedom and fiscal sanity. None of them will succeed on their own.

Ultimately, I think the Tea Party is best served by emphasizing personal actions and working toward maximum local impact. Additionally, as the GOP loses in the 2012 Senate races in Missouri and Indiana show, conservative candidates are better off highlighting fiscal matters instead of being manipulated into offering opinions about socially personal subjects.  Economic freedom leads to personal liberty.  And I say that as a Catholic.


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While it’s true that governments will collect more income taxes when individuals are earning more money, that’s not a moral justification for government interference in the marketplace. People are not cows to be milked.

The moral justification of capitalism does not lie in the altruist claim that it represents the best way to achieve “the common good.” It is true that capitalism does—if that catch-phrase has any meaning—but this is merely a secondary consequence. The moral justification of capitalism lies in the fact that it is the only system consonant with man’s rational nature, that it protects man’s survival qua man, and that its ruling principle is: justice.

Capitalism, the Unknown Ideal, Ayn Rand, 1966

Having been about to log off, I’ll be brief. Per my Festivus comment:

1. If the Catholic and the vegan Libertarian can’t agree about morality, hopefully they can agree to confine such controversies within individual states & keep the feds out.

Note that this would immediately short-circuit the questions that shot down Akin and Mourdock. (“That’s an internal matter for the people of _____ and has no bearing on how I will represent them in Washington.”) Too many people suspect we talk about job creation while we scheme to ban abortion.

2. Conservatives should emphasize that we support a market economy and not (necessarily) big business. Unfortunately the Derek Khanna affair was discouraging in this regard. Personally, I don’t care to be lectured on free enterprise by government-subsidized, illegal-alien-employing agribusiness barons.
Leslie, as a practical matter, the ethnic, age, gender, etc composition of your group is relevant to its prospects…?

SoCA Conservative Mom | January 1, 2013 at 3:02 pm

The video attached is about open marriages. Vile smug people who are messed up messing up other vile smug people messing up their kids… but I’m not judgmental. 😉

Leslie : Your post is interesting but it supposes the resulting accord may be useful in the larger battle with irrationality. That’s a big leap given the present state of media driven foolishness. The only way to counter that is with mockery. Reveal the “popular crowd ” as the intellectual bedwetters they are. Make it “not cool ” to be aligned with such “loosers.” The fact that they are still hung up on what was “hip ” 50 years ago should make it doable.

Reuters reports on the pope’s New Years address: In his full message for the peace day, the pope called for a new economic model and ethical regulations for markets, saying the global financial crisis was proof that capitalism does not protect society’s weakest members.

It would seem unity among conservatives have been dealt a set back. I’ve not read the entire speech, so the Reuters report may not reflect the pope’s intent. Nevertheless, most will see Reuters’ capsulation rather than the original text.

    gs in reply to MSO. | January 1, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    1. The speech is here.

    2. Excerpt:

    Although the world is sadly marked by “hotbeds of tension and conflict caused by growing instances of inequality between rich and poor, by the prevalence of a selfish and individualistic mindset which also finds expression in an unregulated financial capitalism,” as well as by various forms of terrorism and crime, I am convinced that “the many different efforts at peacemaking which abound in our world testify to mankind’s innate vocation to peace.

    Since, above, I’ve tried to suggest a framework in which secular and religious conservatives can supportively coexist, it’s prudent, but not easy, to zip my lip about this.

    4. I’ll say this much: I was raised a Catholic and continue to respect the Roman church enough to flat-out disagree with it, rather than distorting its message to my personal convenience. If I considered returning to an organized religion, the first two I would investigate are Judaism and Buddhism.

Economic freedom leads to personal liberty. And I say that as a Catholic.

Umnnhhh….as a Catholic, you should know that “economic freedom” is possible ONLY with right action–that is, morally correct action.

In other words, morality, rightly understood, is the basis for economic freedom. So that’s where one starts.

As to “personal liberty”: you mean the freedom to do what is right, of course. That’s the way John Paul II (a Catholic) described “liberty.”

    But you also have to be free to choose “wrong” and suffer the consequences as a result. You can’t direct “right” with legislation — the progressives do just that, and the results are as you see.

      The point I made (evidently rather badly) is that “economic freedom” is ONLY a consequence of moral rectitude by the population at large. IOW, one cannot have ‘economic freedom’ in a society which is largely immoral.

      That is most clear in the cases of young women who are, frankly, sexually immoral. Their “economic freedom” is near zero with that burden of the child(ren).

      But it’s just as clear, albeit more diffused, with the case of immoral people in Gummint. “Economic freedom” is less and less apparent–which is the case you make.

      Our collective problem is that the 10th Commandment is now a dead letter, as is the 5th (see ‘abortion’.) The First is honored principally in the breach, as the idol of mammon is the most-worshipped one in this country. So–with those out of the way, the 7th is almost exit-stage-right.

      If you’d like to have ‘economic freedom’, you’d best be working hard for a morally straight society.

      One cannot legislate morality–you are correct. But one CAN legislatively punish immorality. It was done in the US since the Founding–until, roughly, 1960. Then things began to go horribly wrong.

    For the record, there was neither economic or religious freedom under the ecclesiastical powers of the Middle Ages or later iterations like Cromwell’s ‘Christian Republic’.

    It was only in the capitalist driven, independent merchant cities of the Hanseatic League that minor sect Christians and Jews were free from persecution, protected by secular laws recognizing property rights regardless of the person’s creed.

    Even proto-Constitution documents like the Magna Carta and earlier charter of liberties was a response to the abuse of economic rights (of the barons)

    “There can be no liberty unless there is economic liberty.”
    Margaret Thatcher

I think we’re on the cusp of a radical change to our political atmosphere. I don’t think anyone is truly happy with the two party system. Democrats and Republicans are almost identical from a fiscal standpoint (outside of taxation), and only have a few social differences such as stances on abortion and gay marriage. If you take away the few social differences and the tax positions they’re the same party.


average josephine | January 1, 2013 at 10:20 pm

Per SP Catholic, The Fed isn’t printing $1T+ per year and handing it over to President Obama to spend in support of married, $80K-earning families.

Bernanke is printing $1T+ per year.

After Goldman Sachs extracts their handling fees, some of it goes to Big Business insofar as they can sell bonds at a low, low, low interest rate, or Crony Capitalists insofar as their lobbying pays off tilting the playing field; a lot of it goes into the pockets of public sector employees inside and outside the Beltway. Call it “job creation” for Democrats.

A little of it ends up supporting unmarried single moms earning less than $80k.

[…] recently shared some dialog between San Diego citizen activists regarding the roles of social and fiscal conservatism in deciding “tea party” agenda […]