My letter to my lefty friend

Penned in response to my uber-leftist friend’s remarks about the election.

I voted for Obama primarily because I thought he’d at least fill Wall Street with the heads of its bankers. Lefties can’t be happy with Obama and true conservatives must gnash their teeth over Romney. Both are ideologically flawed and neither have any idea of how to effectively lead the nation. The “debate” essentially comes down to accusing the other guy for what he’s NOT telling us.

Elections these days simply boil down to marketing. There’s nothing of import being discussed and no real plans being put forth because the whole system is simply about the quest for power. And as we now know, the party in power becomes the party about power. No rational person can ever believe that anything good will ever get accomplished under this system. It is hopelessly broken. Libertarians, such as myself, look on with a combination of horror and befuddled amusement. Both sides are nothing but hypocrites.

And again I agree that there’s too much money in the system, but unlike 98% of the population, I know why it’s there. Simply because Big Money does the cost-benefit analysis and sees that it’s worth it. Money pours into elections because elected officials have the power to confer favors. Because the government has so much say in who gets what in the economy, of course money will pour into the process. Under this scenario, you’d be an idiot to ever believe you can keep it out. Until government is stripped of its abilities to GRANT favoritism of any kind, this will dog us until the Chinese finally march in. This is the end effect of government interference into the economy and the cronyism that results. It is a ratchet effect that strangles real progress because it deprives average Americans access, not only to their elected officials, but also to true economic opportunity.

I liken our government to a computer left on for far too long without a restart. Over time, it accumulates all kinds of crap that just bog it down and make it increasingly inefficient. People keep trying to make it do things for which it was not originally designed. The original system software was fine, but now it’s time for a reboot to shed the viruses and the bloatware.As far as your assessment of other politicians, and especially of Warren, intelligence doesn’t make you right. Warren’s dismissive regard for private capital is irresponsible, essentially ignorant,and bespeaks of her arrogance. Too many people like her are tragically unaware of how a free market economy — and I mean one devoid of cronyism — actually work. Sadly for Massachusetts, she’s not being challenged by anyone with any real substance. Well, probably no one is. Our system doesn’t allow it.

Oh, and Barney Frank ought to keep his mouth shut about assessing the mental health of others. A bigger boob never walked the halls of Congress. You know, you should really try to stop branding everyone who disagrees with you as sociopaths. I always try to keep in mind that even those I disagree with have view points that are usually products of their own personal experiences. Most people don’t “drink the Kool-aid.”

I’m reminded of the question you once asked me about my mother, wondering why after all these years she was still a registered Republican and would vote for a disaster like W. I really couldn’t give you a good answer at the time, but the question simmered in my head for quite a while. I couldn’t reason with her, and that bothered the hell out of me, but then I remembered a WBUR piece that ran during the Romney/Kennedy Senate race in 92. WBUR went out and interviewed voters about their preferences. What became clear in the piece was that Kennedy’s support largely came from older voters in general and from those who remembered Jack specifically. In other words, they really didn’t care what Teddy was saying. They remembered in their youths how much they loved his brother AND WHAT HE REPRESENTED TO THEM. The voters who might have preferred Romney tended to be younger, high-tech industry workers, but their apathy (indeed antipathy) toward Kennedy wasn’t enough to get them to vote for Romney, so most of that group just stayed home on election day.

My mom was no different. My mom came of age in the era of Eisenhower. That period left a lasting, immutable imprint on her political views. We’re all susceptible to the same thing. Tip O’Neil might have thought that all politics is local, but I’d say that all politics is TRIBAL.