Why the “Rally to Restore Sanity” is a big joke
The rally’s purpose was so that people could have their voices heard over what Jon Stewart characterizes as the radical, vocal 15-20% of people who “control the conversation” of American politics. In other words, Stewart and his flock of sheep were attempting to impose their moderation on everyone else. This, of course, is not unlike the repeated pushes for bipartisanship and congressional collegiality that no one ever takes seriously.
And why would we take them seriously? The fact of the matter is, we’ve handed the entire the game over to the radical fringe already. Here is the ultimate answer as to why politics is so nasty, and why it will probably never become civil again:
We’ve politicized everything.
Think about it. In recent history, Americans were able to make most every decision for themselves and in their own best interests. That is emphatically not the case anymore. For example, with the passage of Obamacare, even simple decisions such as which doctor to see are no longer questions to be answered by the patient – they are now political questions. How to pay for health care? Political question. What kind of health care coverage to choose? Political question. Whether to seek health care coverage at all? Political question.
Of course it doesn’t stop with Obamacare. Would a rational person support the wasteful corn-ethanol industry? Absolutely not, but we’re no longer allowed to choose non-ethanol-blended gasoline in our cars. Does anybody but the most hysterical paranoiac think that taking water bottles onto airplanes will kill us all? Absolutely not, but we’ve handed that decision over to the bureaucrats too. Does anybody really think that social security will be solvent when we retire? Hell, it isn’t even solvent now, but we’re still forced to toss our money down that drain. After all, my retirement is now a political question.
The list goes on and on and on.
Even things that individuals acting rationally would never even consider doing are now no longer decisions left to those individuals. For example, we’ve collectivized banking. If allowed to choose, would we give our hard-earned cash to bail out the crony-capitalist bankers who robbed the country? Of course not! But sorry, we don’t get a say, because that’s a political question now. Would we keep pumping money into Fannie Mae even though it’s burning through billions while simply delaying the ultimate day of reckoning? Of course not! But again, we don’t get a say because that’s a political question now. In a free and fair world, would I choose to have my currency continually devalued? Are you kidding me!? Of course, that’s not in my hands at this point either.
The more power we give government, the more important the choices that government makes on our behalf. And naturally, when we’ve politicized the most basic, personal, and important choices, the politicians will have much more to fight about.
The economy, indeed the whole system of human interaction, economic or not, is so innately complex that political “solutions” imposed from above will never work – which naturally leads to unrest, incivility, and yes, “insanity.”
The ultimate problem, however, is not the lack of sedate, moderate discourse. Attempting to “restore sanity” to a system in which every decision is a political decision is naive and foolish; you might as well be putting a band-aid on a severed limb. Civility will never return to politics until politics returns to its rightful place.