"[T]here are, at bottom, basically two ways to order social affairs, Coercively, through the mechanisms of the state -- what we can call political society. And voluntarily, through the private interaction of individuals and associations -- what we can call civil society. ... In a civil society, you make the decision. In a political society, someone else does. ... Civil society is based on reason, eloquence, and persuasion, which is to say voluntarism. Political society, on the other hand, is based on force." ~ Edward H. Crane
When it comes to the 2012 election, I predict that Democrats will try to portray Republicans as mean or mean-spirited and corporate or corporate-backed (as if having the support of people who actually provide jobs is a bad thing).
Their record on the economy, which they can no longer blame on Pres. Bush despite continuing to try, is dismal.
They're not promoting American exceptionalism, something that voters continue to believe in.
They're trying to divide us by race, income, class, employment - and just about every other category they can come up.
And their general philosophy - larger government - means Americans will have less control over their own lives and decisions.
Their positions are not 'American.' But then, they did say they want to "fundamentally change" our nation. I guess we should have believed them.
The 2012 election will boil down to a basic question of 'who gets to decide.' Who will decide how you will live your life? Who will decide how your money is spent? Who will decide, basically, everything?
Will it be you?
Or will it be the government?
Democrats want the answer to be government, though they'll try to couch it in such a way so that you'll believe they're doing it for your own good.
But think about that for a moment. How arrogant must a person be, especially someone who is supposed to be a servant to the public, to think they know better than you what is in your own good?
You might believe your parents, relatives or friends have your own good at heart when they advise you, but does an elected official? Someone who doesn't know you, your circumstances, your goals and interests? The only answer to that is a resounding 'no'!
And do you really believe that any decision designed for the masses is going to be the best decision for you? It may be, but chances are that it won't. Nothing designed for everyone actually works for everyone - any experience with one-size-fits-all clothing will tell you it NEVER fits 'all.'
Government and the decisions by politicians are no different.
But as Republicans battle Democrats in the election cycle, any argument against government making the decisions will be cast as 'mean,' 'mean-spirited' and 'uncaring.' How could any Republican not see that government needs to 'take care' of people?
Republicans hate children, the elderly, the poor, the down-trodden, the sick, the environment, etc... We want to kill kids, pollute the earth, let sick people die without health care, have the elderly eat dog food, starve the poor, and manipulate workers. Anyone seriously thinking about such claims will know how bogus they are, but they make such good sound bites, willingly repeated by a compliant and complicit press.
You name it and the Dems will say that the opposition is because Republicans are, well, evil. How could they not be, though the actual reasoning behind the opposition to government being in control of your life is never addressed.
No, it's much easier to appeal to the emotion of disliking mean people, which almost all of us do. That way, Dems won't have to address their dismal record - or the record they are proud of which has had the opposite effect of what was intended (think bailouts that backfired, stimulus that didn't, etc...).
Republicans don't have a good track record of communicating the difference between their answer to the question versus the Democrat answer. Sadly, it's hard to communicate a philosophy you don't fully support and too many Republican candidates and officeholders don't have the best of records on letting you control your own life. Despite what they say, some have actions which show they'd rather exercise that control themselves.
Still, they're better than the Dems when it comes to your freedom.
So when you're listening to the speeches, the ads and the sound bites, remember that the 2012 campaigns will all boil down to one easy point:
Who gets to decide?
Who is in control?
Or the government?