How should a Conservative candidate respond to lie-based tactics of intimidation, employed by the Democratic Left & echoed by certain Republican "moderates," trying to suppress a Conservative grass-roots rally against the politics of encroaching Government? The answer is in analyzing claims that it was both irresponsible Statesmanship & a tactical political blunder for Conservatives to threaten to defund the "Affordable Care Act" ("Obamacare"), as a condition for last raising the debt ceiling.
While not necessarily recognized by those promulgating them, three principal lies were involved. One went to the Constitutional duty of a member of Congress; another to questions of the fiscal integrity of the United States; the last to questions of pragmatic political maneuvering. The self-anointed "pundits," who seek to confuse Constitutional duty, tend to be those on the far Left who may, at least, lay some claim to ideological consistency. Those who address questions of fiscal integrity may appear, at first glance, also to represent a form of ideological consistency; yet, more closely observed, can be seen as driven primarily by a desperate, if short-sighted, need to not allow men of principle to create even a temporary impasse, which might rattle world markets. Those in the final group, tend to be self-fancied "experts" on political tactics who, unfortunately, do not understand how to make effective debate points by a reliance on truth & context.
The lie in the premises of those who would compromise a sense of Constitutional duty, is that the Constitution provides a vague empowerment for a Federal bureaucracy, largely unrestrained by specific language. The lie involved in public 'hand-wringing' over "fiscal integrity," is that America (interpreted as our Federal Union) has never defaulted on her debts. The lie involved in the public whining over who will be blamed, if an impasse over 'Obamacare' were to delay funding for all Federal obligations, is an implied presumption that Conservatives, who refuse to fund something they believe to be unconstitutional, must inevitably lose the debate over the complex questions involved.
While tactical considerations, in how to stack an argument, depend upon the perceived concerns of a particular audience with respect to each fallacy; a correct response to any should probably include common talking points. Since the usual argument, by those embracing a political fallacy, is only an endless iteration of particular false premises, the stacking of a Conservative response should be designed to facilitate the use of effective counter talking points--talking points with an obvious advantage in being based on truth--based on reality, not wishes or emotion driven fears;--logical points, grounded on verifiable experience, not hand-wringing or emotion.
We have dealt at some length with the above described lies in such articles as Implied Powers? Clear Limitations!, Grounded On Experience & Reason and Debt Default In America. Here, we will illustrate the underlying point, with a demonstration of how Conservatives could have won the debate--and the minds of the public--had they stood fast with Ted Cruz & resisted mistaken expediency by refusing to fund 'Obamacare.'
The first decision by a candidate, speaking out against funding 'Obamacare' as part of a general funding of Federal operations, should be whether to begin with a discussion of the absence of a constitutional delegation of any medical function to the Federal Government; or with a discussion of how unsuitable, such a highly individual problem as personal medical needs, requiring maximum flexibility by treating doctors, immediately at hand;--how totally unsuitable, the intimate interaction between patient & physician, for supervision & control by a distant bureaucracy! Or, depending upon the audience, a candidate might decide to begin with an easily documented history of how our Federal Government has repeatedly "defaulted" on our public debt, via deliberate devaluations of our currency, before going on to constitutional & medical issues.
Alternatively, for many audiences, one might begin with the obvious question of actual responsibility for a Federal shutdown: Those who would not recognize intended checks on Federal power, and thus refused to accept an agreed funding for what both sides were willing to support; or those who were willing to fund everything their consciences would allow? Such approach also naturally leads to a discussion of the moral significance of a sworn oath.
While each of these points, stacked in whatever order, should be included in addressing most audiences, we will outline how to stack them in a 30 minute telecast in support of Ted Cruz's past effort. A Conservative candidate, speaking without script or teleprompter, should look into the camera (and eyes of the viewer), to discuss, with sincerity & authority, what is essential:
A. The Constitution offers specific delegations, clearly specified functions defined in Article I, Sec. 8. These can be read quickly. They clearly do not rely on vague implications. If one doubts the point, does he not owe it to his way of life to read the document--to verify who speaks truth? (See "Implied Powers?" above. In five minutes, there is time for enough specification, to greatly increase the audience's awareness level.)
B. There is no logical or moral justification for a Federal takeover of the traditional State role, under the Police Power, for regulating health issues; no justification for any level of Government, imposing bureaucratic interference with the ordinary relationship between patient & doctor, with regard to choice of treatment. Factors, such as the ancient oath that all Physicians take (to not refuse help to any patient, regardless of ability to pay), can be briefly set forth, as well as a focus on how peculiarly local, immediate & unique, to each patient, are the actual services required--as well as the expected right to absolute privacy, to which we have been accustomed. Emphasis, on each sub-topic, should be on how clearly counter-productive is the involvement of a huge, distant bureaucracy, in trying to redefine that relationship.
C. A brief discussion of motives for promoting an intellectually confused, morally compromised, bureaucracy to dictate health care over the entire sub-continent; motives inconsistent with a community actually managing its own most intimate local concerns. The motives are consistent only with deliberate interference with individual rights to the social benefits (advantages) of living in a particular community, where responsible people manage their own most intimate concerns. (The motive for the imposition of centralized power over what are traditionally local areas of focus, has usually been the imposition of compulsion driven theories in place of a level of personal responsibility that actually promotes progress towards a better life.)
D. If there is an impasse over a debt ceiling vote, because the factions in Congress cannot agree on a spending level, or on what to include within an appropriations bill, resulting in a shut-down even of Federal programs that all factions support, who is to blame? Is there no common sense? If those objecting to a Federal take-over of medical services, are willing to appropriate money for other services, but those seeking to force funding for a Federal take-over of medical services block any appropriation bill that does not include such funding; does anyone, aggrieved by the failure to fund another unrelated program, not understand who has caused that failure?
E. Finally, on the subject of the Credit of the United States: Can an impasse over raising the debt ceiling, while men of principal use their leverage to hold the line on excessive spending on legally questionable programs--which lead to increasing deficits & a declining dollar--possibly do as much damage to the Credit of the United States, as those always voting to increase those deficits? (See "Debt Default In America," above.) Federal involvement in individual & local health care, is not only incredibly intrusive & wasteful. It is probably the single greatest threat to the future value of the dollar; the single greatest contributor to continuation of a progressive debt default, which, however denied, has been going on since FDR devalued the dollar in the early 1930s! Paying debts incurred in specific dollars with vastly cheapened nominal dollars, does not honor obligations. Stop pretending that it does!
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