Here is a revealing quote from someone who the New York Times feels is a Tea Party member worth an interview. SOURCE She states:
“Let’s see. Some days I’m very Randian. I feel like there
shouldn’t be any of those programs, that it should all
be charitable organizations. Sometimes I think, well,
maybe it really should be just state, and there should
be no federal part in it at all. I bounce around in my
solutions to the problem.”
It is good to have such an admission. And it would even be better if everyone did a little thinking about what in the widest sense is our polity.
It would be easy to say that putting everything off on charity is unrealistic. But what people do not think about is that we already do put everything off on charity — on the not-for-profit solution. What we do not do by government we do by not-for-profit efforts including, to be fair, some services that are government operated.
The fact is that without a truly scientific look at what forms work and what do not, all of our rhetoric about solutions is so much smoke.
I can say from years of work in the UN, UNICEF, and other charitable and not-for-profit institutions that, in the macro sense, the mix of solutions we have works abysmally.
Tomorrow we will have a cyber-push on the landmines issue (the hashtag is #banminesusa ) and no doubt this is an example of the salience of charity. But it does not stop nations from strewing these lethal weapons around. And the US is right there among the biggest offenders.
A Randian would condone making the weapons and selling them to the highest bidder but might despise a government that used them. Unless one was a neocon Randian.
My personal solution to the dilemma is to criticize our global system as benign genocide on this blog, to see capitalism and philanthropy as joined at the hip and to denote myself a radical individualist who happens to be, at the moment, for Obama and his program.
I do not for a minute believe Obama is anything other than a highly competent centrist. That is a positive in my book. The author of the words above is working to zap Patty Murray. I like Patty Murray.
And so forth and so on.
Labels are short-cuts for a mentally deprived media. Tea Party is obviously a label which merely points to a lot of radical individualists, some of whom might not know what a Randian is. I doubt they would cut me much slack. Nor I them.