Thursday, October 20, 2016
The arrogance of anger
The Left are chronically angry. There is always something in the world that is not right and must be changed IMMEDIATELY if possible. Each Leftist probably has his own little wellspring of anger and some may be dispositionally angry: Nothing may suit him. He is in a permanent state of upset and disquiet. The things that Leftists usually say they are angry about -- inequality, racism etc. -- are probably just convenient hooks to hang his expressions of anger on but there always seems to be some real, genuine anger motivating him. Often it is just that he is not getting the recognition and praise that he thinks he deserves.
And that anger explains many things about the Leftist. It explains his impetuosity for starters. "Pass a law" is his recipe for fixing everything. Finding the source of the problem he identifies and devising solutions that might work given time are alien ideas to him. The slow build that leads to permanent structures and systems is not for him.
The anger also explains the arrogance of Leftists and their pretence to elitism. Anger never considers that it might be in the wrong. It always feels itself to be in the right. It has no self-doubt. If Leftists really were an intellectual elite there might be some reason to regard them as wise governors but any ability they do have is nullified by their anger and urgency to change no matter what. And that is why Leftist policies always have unfortunate side effects. They may confer some benefit but also do a lot of harm.
The "Affordable Care Act" (Obamacare) is a classic example of that. For the great majority of Americans it has made health insurance LESS affordable. It was just not well thought out because it had to be enacted URGENTLY.
And for most Leftists, no parade of facts and logic will wean him off his poorly-considered beliefs. The habitual anger of the Leftist is hard to give up, because wanting to feel/be right is part of human nature. From the basic physical survival drive, through to intellectual and moral issues we like to be right.
That confidence in one's own rightness is however thoroughly deplorable in the Christian tradition. As it says in Luke 18:
"He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt:
“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed[a] thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’
But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’
I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
I like that scripture and believe that it forms part of my personal values. The Pharisees there are directly analogous to the modern-day Left, who think that they know it all and are confident in their own righteousness. So it is no wonder that Leftists hate Christianity. Christ condemned them. Leftists much prefer the arrogant religion of Mohammed.
One way to reduce regulations? Give states the power to reject them
The current session of Congress, much like the ones that preceded it, has been filled with gridlock, recycled policy debates and little progress on the challenges facing our nation.
But on the day the House adjourned until November, a ray of hope emerged: A resolution to combat the regulatory state and revive federalism was introduced. There may be hope after all for the republic.
Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) introduced H.J. Res. 100 on Sept. 28. This simple and elegant resolution would amend the Constitution "to give States the authority to repeal a Federal rule or regulation when ratified by the legislatures of two-thirds of the several States." The states could repeal "any Presidential Executive order, rule, regulation, other regulatory action, or administrative ruling issued by a department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States."
The amendment would help redress the massive power grab by the federal government at the expense of the states that has continued nearly unabated since the administration of President Woodrow Wilson. This trend is contrary to the notions of our constitutional republic. As James Madison wrote in Federalist Number 45:
The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. ... The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.
This balance has been turned on its head primarily by the rise of the regulatory state and federal rule-making. This regime involves Congress handing over authority to bureaucrats to issue regulations and rules that impact nearly every area of our lives, from education and transportation, to the financial sector and the environment.
As the Competitive Enterprise Institute has explained, regulations cost our economy $1.885 trillion in 2015, and the cost of complying with regulations is higher than what the IRS will likely take in from individual and corporate taxes in 2015. About the only way citizens can impact the regulatory state is through the notice and comment period, when they can object to or support proposed regulations before they become law.
The regulatory state has spawned a bureaucratic bouillabaisse of rules: major rules, significant rules, economically significant rules, rules issued under good cause, interim final rules and direct final rules. Consequently, a body of law has developed around the regulatory state: the Administrative Procedure Act, the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and the Congressional Review Act. Some of these laws have attempted to gain control of the leviathan that the regulatory state was destined to become.
But the flood of regulations continues.
Enter Bishop's resolution. H.J. Res. 100 would give state legislatures —legislative institutions that are very close to the people — the ability to repeal regulations that, in their view, are harmful or burdensome. Citizens of states will be able to lobby their state representatives more easily than lobbying Congress. That will in turn allow states to claw back their powers by undoing regulatory actions that undermine their authority and the economy.
When Washington gets too big and bullies the states, the constitutional amendment proposed by H.J.Res. 100 would be a resource the states can utilize to check a federal government that is more zealous about promoting the regulatory state, executive orders and administrative rulings, than the guarantee of the 10th Amendment.
A recent article in The Washington Post highlighted a study by Jennifer Bachner and Benjamin Ginsberg about bureaucrats in Washington. The article explained that:
For their part, the bureaucrats are aware that they're not average Americans. In fact, respondents to the survey tended to overestimate the distance between their own opinions and those of the general public. More often than not, they misjudged how the public felt about federal spending on various programs, such as education or social security or defense.
Bachner and Ginsberg call this phenomenon the fallacy of "false uniqueness." They interpret it as a sign that many public servants have internalized a sense of superiority. Perhaps, as they write, "officials and policy community members simply cannot imagine that average citizens would have the information or intellectual capacity needed to see the world as it is seen from the exalted heights of official Washington."
These bureaucrats and their views are the inevitable outcome of a federal government that prioritizes bureaucratic fiefdoms at the expense of states and makes rolling back regulations about as onerous as possible. H.J. Res. 100 would redress the grievances of citizens who know that their federal government has assumed a degree of control over the states that is forbidden by the Constitution.
Amending the Constitution should be done deliberately, thoughtfully, and for the most important of reasons. H.J.Res. 100 satisfies these requirements and then some. Its debate and passage by Congress and two-thirds of the states will go a long way to help restore the balance between the people and those who govern on their behalf.
APOLOGY: I have undergone surgery and experienced a prolonged cable service outage within the last 24 hours so I am putting up less than I usually would -- JR
For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in). GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.
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Posted by JR at 1:32 AM