THAT WE ON THE LIBERTY side of the coin don’t argue enough from fundamentals. Too often, we accept the ball on our own ten yard line when on a level playing field, we’d be that far from the other goal on the merits of any question. We let ourselves get tricked into arguing degrees and amounts — whether or not a ten percent cut in a given input will result in a fifty or a seventy percent delta in the result — rather than that the basic question is not a matter for coercive public policy — i.e., government action.
Warren Meyer has a succinct and apposite statement of that line of thought.
But I would take it a step further, and I think this is or ought to be a dispositive argument.
There are certain actions which, regardless of the supposed merits of either an individual case or a general argument, are absolutely forbidden to the government. Our current aphorism reminds congressmen that they do not have the lawful authority to waive citizens’ rights — as in Internal Revenue policy as regards banking privacy, the right against self-incrimination, the right to a trial, the presumption of innocence, the sanctity of property. A congresswoman in recent committee hearings closely questioned a parade of Administration officials demanding each detail the constitutional authority for his actions. Not one could answer truthfully.
We know that Democrats and other leftists feel that rules are meant to be broken, that a puerile excuse trumps black letter law, that because a lot of people (not even a plurality, merely “everybody I know”) think matters ought to be otherwise a law may be freely disregarded. Therefore, it is no stretch at all for them to disregard the fundamental rules of the game — be they economic, political, legal, moral, or natural.
They have decided that reality ought to be consensus-based, and they have made it so.
Or so they think.
But there are enough sensible people in the world (I believe),, to disabuse them of the notion. All we have to do is to point out — relentlessly — how so very wrong the Left is on every question of public policy — including most especially whether some questions ought to be matters of public policy in the first place. In doing so, we take control of the dialectic, and drive leftist memes and themes from the public stage.
But what about the media?
Heard about all the newspapers shutting down? How’s that working out for them, then?