Understanding The Rules of Power

In a previous post, I stated flatly that I would not be voting for Romney, but instead would be voting for the Constitution Party candidate because that is who more closely represents my beliefs. The question that guided my decision was to ask myself what is the RIGHT thing to do. As you read through the replies – including my own replies – I moved from that position to saying that I WILL be voting for Romney. This post is where I try to put into words how that decision came about.

Early in our history, or perhaps it was an illusion all along, we voted for candidates based on their stated position, their background, and other criteria. While those are still the terms in which we discuss elections, it is only a mask for what is really happening.

America has divided into two very distinct groups. Two diametrically opposed groups with ideas that are completely incompatible, with no room for true compromise. One will be in power and the other will actively oppose anything done by the group in power. The candidate names and the party names are just convenient labels. The two major parties have completely switched roles over the last 150 years, so the only constant is the struggle between the guiding principles of these two groups.

• One group believes that the individual is responsible for his own material destiny, and that government exists to protect individuals from force or fraud and to provide a basic framework for a civilized society. The same applies on the family level but no further. This group is identified by the labels: conservative, The Right, Republican, libertarian, etc.

• The other group believes that government exists to ensure fairness and equality. It is an egalitarian system that believes all people have equal talent and ability and drive, and that if results are unequal then it must be because the system is unfair and it is government’s role to make it “fair”. This group believes it is the role of government to redistribute wealth to ensure equal results. This group is identified by the labels: liberal, The Left, Democrat, socialist, etc.

Since the objective of these two groups is to win a majority of the votes, there is a self-leveling mechanism involved in the party platforms. The Left will move just far enough to the right to try to win a majority, while the Right will move just far enough to the left to try to do the same. If one side won’t move toward the center, then the other side captures those votes and gains power. While the line between the two sides is constantly shifting, it is still a line drawn down the middle resulting in a close election. Landslides are the result of one side failing to read the mood of the country and not adjusting their position accordingly.

To really understand the difference between these two groups, I look as closely at the people who support them as I do the actual candidates. The liberal side is coarse, crude, vulgar, immoral, and aggressively attacks my most basic beliefs taught by The Bible. They are sometimes referred to as the “Free Stuff Army” and the “Gimme-Dats”. As I imagine my grandchildren living in a world controlled by the liberals, it chills me to the bone. I have a duty to do what I can to keep that from happening. Protecting future generations is one of the most basic obligations of the Southern gentleman.

The two basic rules of power in America are:
1) There are only two sides, and they are defined by whether the individual or the government is responsible the individual’s success or failure.
2) We pick the side that we believe is right and vote for that side. The name of the party or the candidate is just a way to identify which side we believe in.

So, what is the RIGHT thing to do once one recognizes how this works? My conclusion is that we pick the side we believe is right and vote for that side. That leaves me with only one option – to cast my vote for the conservative side, which in this election is Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan. It is far from a perfect choice, but what in life isn’t?

About Stephen Clay McGehee

Born-Again Christian, Grandfather, husband, business owner, Southerner, aspiring Southern Gentleman. Publisher of The Confederate Colonel and The Southern Agrarian blogs. President/Owner of Adjutant Workshop, Inc., Vice President - Gather The Fragments Bible Mission, Inc. (Sierra Leone, West Africa), Webmaster - Military Order of The Stars and Bars, Kentucky Colonel.
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7 Responses to Understanding The Rules of Power

  1. James Berry says:

    I still intend to vote for Virgil Goode. I believe that the idea that there are two competing parties anymore is a convenient fiction promoted by those in power. Neither party seems to have the will to make any significant changes in their out-of-control spending. Both parties now seem to support our never-ending Middle-eastern conflicts, One area they say they are different is abortion, but how many times has the GOP held power since Roe-v-Wade? They have done nothing to put an end to the abomination of abortion and Romney has already stated he doesn’t intend to do anything about it either. Nothing will ever change as long as we all continue to support the status quo and vote for the candidates the Republocratic establishment nominates. Please reconsider your support of Romney again before Tuesday, and then vote as your conscience leads.

  2. James, thank you for your (as always) thoughtful post. I certainly won’t try to convince you to change your vote – I went through all those same thoughts myself. Let me see if I can address a few of them though.

    “Two competing parties” – Yes and no. They are competing for votes so that their candidate wins; I don’t see any logical argument against that. Is the party apparatus competing because of deep-seated principles? Probably not, in that each side moves “the line” as needed to gain a majority of votes. Those whose primary objective is to gain power are concerned with power; platforms and positions are tools to accomplish that objective.

    “Abortion and other social issues” – True, their actions generally reflect a luke-warm enthusiasm at best on many issues. Again, each side is trying to carve out a niche among the voters in order to gain power.

    “Neither party has the will to make significant changes in their out-of-control spending” – True, and this gets to the heart of the matter on ALL of this. Making the kind of changes needed to turn our economy around is political suicide – plain and simple. Why? Because our culture is rotten to the core. Our politicians are literally UNABLE to make the changes that are needed to turn this around. They cannot make changes if they are turned out of office, and that is exactly what would happen to them if they actually made those changes. This goes far beyond the scope of a reply like this, but the fact is that we are not voting ourselves out of this mess we’re in. Nothing changes until the culture changes, and I don’t see that turning around any time soon.

    My search was for the answer to “What is the morally right thing to do in this election?” Making a real practical difference is a whole different matter. My decision came down to standing on one side of a social line or the other. Were I to vote for the Constitution Party candidate, I now see that as not so much standing on one side of the line, but standing outside the playing field.

    Again, thank you for actually thinking this through rather than just going along with the crowd. We have ultimately reached different conclusions, but both are based on the idea that we will do what we believe is right.

  3. moss says:

    I’m still undecided between Johnson and Romney. I, like many faced with this decision, have been a faithful Ron Paul supporter. I’m a bit shocked to see that you’ve decided to vote for the tax and spend, race to the middle Republicans. I do believe that the current administration is exceptionally dangerous and divisive. I’m beginning to think that I may regret not voting for Romney when all is said and done. Moreoever, I am deeply concerned about the ability of this profoundly fractured country to peaceably hold this election and transfer power if the circumstances require. I am just entering adulthood and I am bewildered at the country that I am inheriting. I lose sleep over the national debt and the growing welfare state. “We are not voting ourselves out of this mess” — TRUTH. I truly enjoy your blog, please continue to post.

  4. I am certainly no fan of Romney, which is why I tried to make the distinction that we end up voting for one side of a shifting line or the other. The names are just convenient identifying labels. I see myself not so much voting for Romney or the Republicans, as voting for the conservative side of the culture. Is that an accurate assessment? I don’t know, but that’s how I am looking at it.

    I, too, was a Ron Paul supporter and was deeply disappointed in the way he was cut out of the system.

    In the end, we are going to end up in the same place no matter who is in office. It just remains to be seen how quickly we get there. No matter who we vote for or who ends up in office, the result is ultimately going to be the same. The system is fundamentally flawed and it cannot continue on this same road without collapsing.

    There is no “perfect” system of government, and what we have here is probably about as good as Man is capable of devising (though I have my own thoughts on “a better way”). Even at that, it is fundamentally and fatally flawed. Our culture would have to undergo a massive change for this system (both the U.S. and most of the world) to survive intact. That is not going to happen at this stage of the game.

    You said, “I am deeply concerned about the ability of this profoundly fractured country to peaceably hold this election and transfer power if the circumstances require.” That concern is quite justifiable. I can see our long history of peaceful transitions between administrations coming to an end this time. I hope I’m wrong.

    I’ll keep posting. Please keep visiting.

  5. Picwa says:

    You articulated the truth of how the two-party system works. Since Obama wants to discard the Constitution and destroy American culture, our votes are best spent on the candidate most able to stop him. THIS IS REAL POLITICAL WARFARE–NOT THE TIME FOR SYMBOLIC GESTURES!
    From there, we will have the hard work of undoing the mess caused by the leftist in the academy and the media. If Romney wins, at least we will have a chance to continue the battle.

  6. moss says:

    I appreciate your response to my post and just wanted to notify you that I cast my vote for the Republican ticket before work this morning. I have made peace with this decision.

    Picwa, respectfully I do not believe that voting for a third party candidate is a symbolic gesture. The revival of freedom from the paternalistic State will most likely come about at the moment of greatest despair, we will have to hit rock bottom first and it may be very ugly indeed. Is it better to hurry this collapse by voting for a principled third-party candidate or attempt to suture the wounds by voting for the Republican candidates? My state’s motto is “Dum Spiro, Spero,” I have decided, like the author of this blog, to attempt to delay the inevitable and hope for a better future. I pray for a peaceful “revolution” but my knowledge of history and human nature forces me to expect anything but that.

  7. Brandon says:

    The political voting system….One mind operates the two hands. Voting for the lesser of two demons.

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