Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Confluence of Left and Right

One of the things that fascinate me about the Rand Paul controversy is how it is exposing the longtime confluence of conservatives and liberals. For 20 years, I’ve been arguing that there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between a conservative and a liberal — or, if you will, Depublicans and Remocrats — and the liberal-conservative reaction to the Paul controversy is confirming my point.

Consider these aspects of the welfare state: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, food stamps, public (i.e., government) schooling, public (i.e., government) housing, SBA loans, mortgage guarantees, foreign aid, bank bailouts, FDIC, education grants, corporate subsidies, and many, many more.

Every one of those programs entails the socialist principle of using the force of the state to take money from people to whom it rightfully belongs in order to give it to others.

I ask you: What liberal does not ardently believe in every one of those programs? What conservative doesn’t also believe in them? Oh, they might argue over which reform should be adopted to deal with the ever-increasing economic crises that come with such programs. But they’d never challenge the nature or existence of the programs themselves. They have come to believe that it is an important role of government to use the force of government to take from Peter to give to Paul.