The Social Contract

This article was originally written as a Facebook post. After having been shared, and then re-shared a couple years later, I decided to put it up on my blog.

I am accussed all the time of being a rich white guy who gets paid a lot of money to write right wing propaganda.Here is the truth.

I joined the Marine Corps after supporting myself for two years on $3.35 an hour, while working at McDonald’s. I only ate when I worked, and as a result, I entered Marine Corps Boot Camp at 5’11”, weighing a whopping 127 lbs. I graduated, three months later, weighing 163 lbs.

My wife did the math. I lose about two grand a year on my blog. I do not write for money. I pay to write. I write as a public service.

Yes – I am a popular right wing writer. But I write what I believe to be true, and I do so to change the world. I do not do so for profit. I pay to write.

The Marine Corps slogan is Semper Fidelis, which means ‘always faithful,’ but the question is: what are Marines always faithful to? Traditionally the answer is ‘God, Corps, Country,’ but in reality it is to the American ideal of rugged individualism – of a country that exists to protect the freedom and liberty of each individual person.

Someone just asked me, “What are the Republicans going to do for black people?”

Let me answer that.

The Republicans are not going to do a damned thing for black people.

The Republicans are also not going to do a damned thing for white people, brown people, or people of any other color. Republicans do not think that way.

The Republicans will however do something for people, without regard for color, if put in a position to do so.

What the Republicans will do is to restore our social contract – a contract that says the role of the federal government is to ensure the liberty of the American people.

If you want free college or free healthcare, don’t vote Republican. The Republican Party will not give that to you, and particularly not at the federal level where doing so is unconstitutional.

The Democrats will not give you free college, or free healthcare, either. What the Democrats will do is to take far more of your income to pay for your college and healthcare, as well as for the college and healthcare of other people. Given the chance, the government will also take more of your income to provide energy, food, housing, and whatever else someone might need to survive. How much of your income will the Democrats take? As much as you let them – the only restraint on taxation is the Republican Party.

The Republican Party is not the party of taking from one person what they have earned, to give to other people who did not earn anything. If that is what you want government to do, do not vote Republican.

Also note that college and healthcare were not considered prohibitively expensive until the government got involved to make them less so.

What the government is good at is charging more, while providing less. If you want to pay more, while receiving less, vote Democrat.

If you want to receive something while earning nothing, vote Democrat.

What the Republican Party will do, if given the opportunity, is to reduce the size and scope of government so that people can keep more of what they earn, to provide themselves with more of what they need or want, and to allow people to provide more opportunity for the advancement of one another.

And you should want that no matter what race you are.

Now – Democrats will play the false binary if you tell them this, and will say, “Oh – so then you want to go back to the days of child labor and sweat shops.” That’s bunk. The choice is not one of either totalitarian government, or no government.

Really there are three basic choices, with a ton of variation as we get more specific:

1) Do you want more government than we have today?

2) Do you think we have exactly the right level of government today?

3) Do you want less government than we have today?

You do not have to pick all or nothing from those choices, either. Perhaps you think we have too much government in some areas, and too little in others. If you are a Democrat, you may well think that the government should be FAR more involved in healthcare, college, and energy production, at the very least. Kamala Harris said in the Democratic Debates, when asked about meat and climate change, that the government should have absolute control over what people eat.

A lot of people today want the government to get out of the business of enforcing the law. If you want that, vote Democrat.

Most people think only in terms of ‘more’ or ‘less,’ without ever getting specific on how much ‘more’ or ‘less’ they really want. What, specifically, do you want government to look like, in different areas, and how much of your income are you willing to give up to to pay for it? With healthcare, if the government could provide it universally for another 20% of everything you make – above and beyond what you already pay in taxes – are you cool with that?

How about if government got out of healthcare entirely, and we saw the cost of medical care decline, while the quality of medical care improved? Are you OK with paying 10% less of your income in taxes, for better medical care you have to pay (less) out of pocket for?

You may say that it is not your own healthcare you are concerned with, so much as the healthcare of other people. Would you prefer that we tax 20% of your income – above and beyond what we already tax – to provide them healthcare, or that we tax 10% more of your income to give them enough money that they can afford medical care on their own?

Don’t just throw moral platitudes at me, like, “I just want to live in a world where people do not need to worry about getting medical care.” Tell me specifically what you think such a world should look like.

Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez can tell me what such a world should look like. It’s called Communist China. Is that your vision for a perfect social order?

My vision is a social contract where the job of the federal government is to protect our liberty. That may not be a perfect social order, but then I do not believe that a perfect social order is possible. I am willing to settle for the best mankind can achieve.