Friends, I have been maintaining a deliberate radio silence on this topic, even though I have been following it really closely. But it feels like its finally time to stop shying away. Please bear with me if you find this post long winded and/or boring. I have been really struggling with figuring out who’s the better President…So let me get my thoughts out on what’s going on, because honestly I am still struggling.
First, let me say some stuff about America and build a case for why I believe what I believe.
America and India have some very important things in common. We are the two biggest Republics that broke out of the British Empire. One is the world’s oldest democracy and the other is the world’s biggest democracy. BUT, there is a crucial difference between our two democracies. When Americans were setting up democracy, it was a big new idea …and they had to feel their way around, fumbling, falling over, trying to figure out how to set up a democratic system. On the other hand, India just signed up to a readymade model of democracy… our Constitution, right from its Preamble, is a cut and paste job from American and French Constitutions mixed in with British Parliamentary traditions.
In doing so, Indians missed out on something crucial. While we adopted a democratic FORM, we never got to think about the FOUNDATIONS of democracy. It was like memorizing a mathematical formula rather than understanding it. We never got to think about the moral basis of what government is and what it should be.
Let me give an example. Let us take the first phrase in our Constitution: “We the people..”. Every Class 6 kid is made to memorize this as part of school Civics. The line is copied right from the preamble to the US constitution. While we memorized the words, we as a nation never really debated what they meant. Why would they start with “We the people…?” The answer is that the founders of the United States had to first explain the source of their power. In the 18th century, this was a significant intellectual question. Was their power coming from a king? Was their power coming from God? The founders thought and thought…and finally came to the conclusion that the power was coming from the PEOPLE themselves. Hence, the words: “We the people”.
Hence, debates about the source of government power, about the legitimacy of government power, etc. came to be embedded in the American psyche. The way we remember India’s freedom struggle, we place too much emphasis on WHO was wielding the power before 1947 rather than WHAT were those powers being wielded. Let me explain this subtle point : British rule was unjust for TWO reasons:
(1) Brits have no right to make rules for Indians.
(2) Brits made bad rules for Indians.
As a nation, we forgot Reason #2!!! As soon as power was transferred to Indian hands, we were perfectly fine with letting our new democratically elected government do anything it wanted. We never questioned the moral basis of the authority of our new bosses. If we refuse to listen to Britian’s PM, why should we listen to India’s PM? Is it because India’s PM is brown skinned and Britain’s PM is white skinned? The stock answer is that India’s PM is elected by us and we have heard that democracy is a good thing and so we should all listen to India’s PM. End of story. Formula memorized but not analyzed. The conversation about RIGHTS and LIMITS of government power never took place.
What is the ideal world? A world where no one can tell anyone else what to do. After all, what moral basis is there for one human being to dictate to another? Well, we need laws to keep up a society. Now, here is the crucial part: every single law comes at the cost of liberty and liberty is precious! This is not to say that we shouldn’t have laws, I am just saying that we should be aware that laws come at a PRICE…a very hefty price! I didn’t say reject the formula, I just said that we should understand its implications fully.
Liberty is the life blood of humanity. Imagine if you had to go to a market and pay for everything you need with drops of your own blood. Would you buy anything except the barest possible essentials? When we understand that we have to pay with our precious liberty for every law we pick up, we arrive at the first moral principle:
THERE SHOULD BE AS FEW LAWS AS POSSIBLE.
Even so, who should get to make these laws? We vote for the lawmakers and lawmakers make the laws. But wait, laws passed by lawmakers apply to everyone, not just to the people who voted for them. Even if the party I vote for gets 99.99% of the vote, what moral right do I have to deprive the other 0.01% of the people of their liberties? How fair is it for me to say that I can take away your liberty because more people are on my side than on your side? How is it any different from mob rule?
This brings us to the second moral principle.
DEMOCRACY IS MOB RULE.
Again, am I against democracy? I would be, except that there is no known system that is fairer than democracy. Which brings us to our third moral principle:
DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED GOVERNMENT HAS A MORAL OBLIGATION TO BE LIMITED TO PASSING AS FEW LAWS AS POSSIBLE.
Friends, this is my political philosophy. You may not like it, or laugh at it, but that’s ok. But I will come out and say openly that I am a Ron Paul supporter.
Even though I was not a US citizen, I have marched with people holding placards of “Ron Paul Revolution”… for limited government, for free markets and individual rights.
That’s Dr. Ron Paul (he’s a medical doctor), Republican Congressman from the 14th district of Texas. My hero. In his lifetime, he has never voted to raise taxes, to expand government power and spending. He wants the Federal Reserve to be audited/closed down. He wants the tax office (IRS) to be shut down. He doesn’t even believe in the monopoly of a single fiat currency (the US Dollar). Indeed, what is wrong with citizens creating competing currencies and trading with them, as long as everyone participates voluntarily? A man called Dr. Bernard von Nothaus did just that, creating the “Liberty Dollar“. He didn’t force anyone to trade with it, some people voluntarily did. One day the Federal Government raided his offices, seized his property and threw him into jail for being a “terrorist”…
So, well, this primary season, my “starting bid” was to hope for Ron Paul’s son Dr. Rand Paul (also a medical doctor), now a Senator from Kentucky, to win the nomination and the presidency. While Rand shares the substance of his father’s views, he has indeed made some “compromises” with political pragmatism that are essential to have a chance of winning in the American system. After all, Ron Paul spent many years fruitlessly running for the Republican nomination, but no one would give a chance to a principled man who would bow to neither the Republican nor the Democratic establishment. Though not perfect, Rand was my big hope.
Well, that didn’t happen 😦
My “reserve candidate” was Scott Walker, the Republican governor of Wisconsin. Once a state tightly in the grip of leftie labor unions, Walker not just broke the power of the unions in Wisconsin, but managed to become vastly popular doing so. The unions thought they could bully him into submission…as they brought thousands of thugs to literally occupy the state legislature in Madison, Wisconsin and arranged for a recall election to bring him down! Ha! Scott Walker ravaged through the left liberal ranks…the voter turnout increased substantially in the recall election and Walker rode a wave of public support to retain power. The silent majority had come out against left wing blackmail. You can see for yourself the compilation of the biased leftie anchors at MSNBC crying as Walker coasted to a big victory in 2012:
No, but Scott Walker made little headway in winning the Republican nomination this year. Sigh 😦
My “second reserve candidate” was the Republican governor of New Jersey Chris Christie. Chris Christie has done a spectacular job of taking on the powerful left wing teacher’s unions in New Jersey. Again, that didn’t work out either 😦
Then, I had my eyes on John Kasich, the governor of Ohio. Another midwestern state like Wisconsin, with a Republican governor facing powerful opposition from entrenched left wing unions. Kasich was running far behind Ted Cruz, the Texas Senator and Cruz was running way behind Trump. Now, Cruz is a pompous jerk, but well, when Trump is in the race, the definition of “jerk” begins to change… I hoped for a miracle till the end…
So, what scares me about Trump? Honestly, I couldn’t care less about his social views which have been discussed no end. What scares me is Trump’s economic policy. Trump is speaking out for unabashed protectionism. The last thing the world needs right now is a protectionist USA. A protectionist USA will throw the $10 trillion Chinese economy into a tailspin and we will be facing panic on the scale of 2008. Too_scary_to_think_about.
Just for the record, I know Hillary is speaking for protectionism too. But that doesn’t scare me as much. Because I am 100% sure that Hillary is lying. Hillary might just be the biggest sociopath liar the world has ever seen. She’s for protectionism right now because that’s what her leftist friends want, she will forget all about it the moment she gets into the White House. And she will do it so smoothly that people won’t even notice. It’s the way of the Clintons…
Of course, it goes without saying that I could never imagine supporting a Communist like Bernie Sanders… In fact, the success of Bernie’s campaign should ring alarm bells in America. There is something seriously wrong with American public discourse because of which a Communist has got so much traction…
Okay…well…back to Trump. He is the Republican nominee now… He says he might pick John Kasich as his running mate for Vice-President. That might be a sign that Trump is willing to end his protectionist stance on the economy. I’m just hoping…
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