Thursday, November 4, 2010

Leaders With Facial Hair Are A Bad Sign II

Continuing my thoughts on the Marxism video posted on TheOakInitiative's YouTube channel. Here I'll begin to address the points that Mr. Boykin makes in support of his suggestion that the U.S. is in danger of becoming a Marxist country.

First, I'd like to thank everyone who joined the conversation after my first video, especially those of you who challenged me. I'm in this for the conversation; I want us all to find the truth, and the odds that I have it already are pretty slim. The two main objections I got were (1) that Boykin deserves more credit for knowing what he's talking about than I give him, and (2) Marxism really is bad, whether we like Boykin or not.

Being the argumentative soul that I am, I could get bogged down debating these points with you guys. But that would be beside the point. I want to focus on one thing: it may be true that something terrible is happening in the U.S. and we must take action, but I want to know whether this message itself is justification for doing so. If a man breaks into my house and I call the police saying, "Get this guy out of here because he's ugly," then although it's true that the guy should be removed, my reasons are not going to convince the police. We're the police here; we should have good reasons for taking action. Maybe someone can demonstrate some good reasons. My question is whether Boykin has done so.

<clip 00:32 00:45 bailouts>

It wouldn't matter to most of Boykin's viewers whether this is Marxism, socialism, communism, or any other socioeconomic / political philosophy. It also wouldn't matter whether this is an example of "nationalizing major sectors of the economy." Even if I had the skill, the facts, and the inclination to convince his viewers that he's completely wrong here, I'm convinced that they would still say to themselves something in the form of "bailouts equal bad." What Boykin seems to be counting on, however, is that most of his viewers will have forgotten by now that "the bank bailouts were requested by President Bush and his Treasury Secretary, former Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson. (Paulson also wanted the bailouts to be "non-reviewable by any court or any agency.") The bailouts passed and began before the 2008 election of President Obama." I'll put a relevant link in the love bar. Go read it; it's short, and it dispels seven other widely believed myths concerning the current political climate.

<clip 00:48 00:51 redistribution>

Boykin spends a little time apparently answering anyone who might claim that they (whoever they are) haven't redistributed wealth, but the same predicament occurs here as the one I mentioned above concerning the term "Marxism." It just doesn't matter whether we call it "redistribution of wealth" or something else. Whatever it's called, in Boykin's book, it's bad. Lacking any useful knowledge concerning the labyrinthine health care reform bill, I'll take a step back here and just talk about what I think should happen concerning health care. Not in order to promote my views (although I wish I had the skills to do so), but to make my point very clear, rather than just tossing out a nebulous label.

I think that absolutely every last health care provider in the country should be entirely tax-supported; no one entering a health care facility should ever need to bring money or expect to get a bill for services. Now, bash that all you want, but your bashing will be off-topic, because it's not my political views I want to talk about here; it's the principle that I want to talk about. I will assume that Boykin and anyone who agrees with him would definitely call my idea a massive redistribution of wealth, and that's fine with me; call it whatever you like. But I have to point out that whatever you call it, I cannot tell the difference between taxpayer-supported health care and taxpayer-supported military, police, fire protection, highway building, and come to think of it, the bailouts. Please, someone do tell me if my thinking is fundamentally flawed here.

<clip 01:07 01:12 discredit opposition>

Are you kidding me? Are you seriously going to tell me that discrediting the opposition is a potential sign that Marxism is coming? Since when, in the history of humankind, has there ever been a time when people did not discredit their opposition? Everyone does this. Sometimes the opposition even needs to be discredited, because they're not credible. I'm shocked that Boykin can say this with a straight face.

That's Part II. Thanks for watching.

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