Happy Birthday libertyPell
Friends, libertyPell began about two years ago. Thank you for your support, your ideas, your comments and your interest. I have learned a lot and here is where I think we are. Never will your comments be more welcome than today.
libertyPell began in June of 2011 in response to three decades living in Washington and observing increasing levels of political and economic dysfunction. Four finance-related careers built the foundation for a concern that eventually the government will run out of money or at least the ability to borrow it.
It is a blog about the “business of governing” including winning elections, profiting in either money or power from the federal government (or access to it) and telling the 99% of Americans who are not involved what to do. Business is good. The “business of governing” happens in Washington, where income and wealth are the highest in the nation. But the customers – the 99% who are not involved — hate it. Only about one in 10 Americans trusts the government to do what is right or approves of the way the Congress is doing its job.
Though it was not always so, the “business of government” is fighting. More accurately, it is getting paid to fight because, in the phrase the “business of government,” the first word is far more important than the last.
If you are a progressive, your frame of reference is the oppressed or the oppressor.
If you are a conservative, it is civilization or barbarism.
If you are a libertarian, it is freedom or coercion.
Solutions are impossible because nobody lets go of his narrative. “We” are good “you” are evil.
But, if you are in Washington, even these don’t matter as long as you are being paid to pretend that they do.
libertyPell is “classical liberal” in outlook, committed to the ideals of limited government, constitutionalism, rule of law, due process, liberty of individuals, free markets and ultimately a political process that functions through the informed consent of the governed.
Liberals of the classical variety are sometimes confused in the United States with Libertarians but never with the more modern variety that abandoned the word in favor of progressive.
Finally, libertyPell, though neither “young,” as in the first paragraph nor “she,” as in the later ones, is decidedly “detached” on the axis described by David Brooks in his recent advice column for political writers: Engaged or Detached?
“You probably have some idea of what you believe, but have you thought about how you believe it? That is to say, have you thought about where you will sit on the continuum that stretches from writers who are engaged to those who are detached?”
“The engaged writer closely and intimately aligns with a team. In his writing, he provides arguments for the party faithful and builds community by reminding everyone of the errors and villainy of the opposing side.”
“The detached writer also starts with a worldview. If you don’t have a philosophic worldview, your essays won’t even rise to the status of being wrong. They won’t be anything.”
“But the detached writer wants to be a few steps away from the partisans. She is progressive but not Democratic, conservative but not Republican. She fears the team mentality will blinker her views. She wants to remain mentally independent because she sees politics as a competition between partial truths, and she wants the liberty to find the proper balance between them, issue by issue.”
“She would rather have an impact upstream, shaping people’s perceptions of underlying reality and hoping that she can provide a context in which other people can think.”
“Detached writers generally understand that they are not going to succeed in telling people what to think. It is enough to prod people to think — to provide an idea or piece information that sets readers on a train of thought that takes them far in front of whatever you put down.”
“The detached writer understands that, at the top level, politics is a bipolar struggle for turf. But the real fun is down below, sparking conversations about underlying concepts, underlying reality and the underlying frame of debate.”
Politics is partisan; solutions are smartisan and spin is the weapon of choice for the enemy.