Tuesday, October 19, 2010

QotD: Politics edition...

Jim at The Travis McGee Reader wrote an open letter to the Tea Party that concluded with this piece of awesomeness:
Please cleave to the notion that The United States of America is not really a place, wonderful though that place is. It is not an adaptation of Roberts Rules of Order, however important procedures may be. America is an idea, and that idea is liberty, the ultimate sovereignty of the individual human being in his private affairs.
The whole thing is a gem, and worth reading.

Not that I think it has a whelk's chance in a supernova of happening, Jim, but from your lips to God's ears...

15 comments:

D.W. Drang said...

The problem with an Open Letter To The Tea Party is that it is really an Open Letter To Millions Of My Countrymen and -women.

Nothing wrong with that, but referring to the tea party as if there really were a party, with someone establishing platforms, planks, doctrine, and dogma is a mistake.

No, not even her.

Rev. Paul said...

Er, perhaps if he asked them to cling to the notion, rather than to "cleave" (split-it-in-two) to the notion.

Just a pet peeve, but words mean things. I know what he meant, but ... well, you know.

Tam said...

Rev. Paul,

Nope, he's using it right.

Wolfwood said...

So: Democrats think the Tea Party movement is racist, whereas Libertarians think that it's full of theocrats-in-waiting. Got it.

Where the Tea Party would do well is to focus hard on process, not substance, as this is why it's been gaining support. Everyone is in favor of more transparency, less corruption, less incompetence, and less waste. Things like Boehner's idea of getting rid of omnibus spending bills is a fantastic step in the right direction. If the Tea Party can retain its focus on "good government" then it will have done more than We The People frankly deserve.

As someone generally an optimist, I think that once we can curtail a significant amount of the waste and corruption then spending issues become less high-stakes and this all-or-nothing approach can be toned down.

I think we should also note that Jefferson was mostly right, but perhaps too much of a pessimist: sometimes you can substitute toil, sweat, and tears for the blood of patriots when you're looking to refresh the tree of liberty.

Ken said...

As in, "his tongue clave to the roof of his mouth." (Well, that's past tense.)

theirritablearchitect said...

It's up to man to make it that way, the liberty ideal, and I'll hear no arguments to the contrary.

It's the same as the action required to put a roof over one's head, to put food on the table, or to put fuel into your vehicle. Everything that man has ever had, he has had to make it.

It's no different with liberty.

PQ said...

I am often surprised and somewhat disappointed when I see a wonderful idea or a beautiful sentiment expressed in archaic or unusual language. Strikes me as elitist.

Rev Paul has a point and Tam is correct of course, "cleave" means exactly what is in the dictionary, but wouldn't a more common word like "cling" express the idea more clearly?

Tirno said...

Rev Paul,

For your next adventure in dictionary land, (technically) misuse the word "spathic" as an adjective describing a member of the gentler sex.

benEzra said...

"A significant number of you are winning less because you have workable notions about  how to restore liberties and more because you have rekindled the hopes of the window-peeping theocrats."

Unfortunately, that is not an unjustified fear.  Those who are more concerned about mosques, abortion, flag burning, and gays than about individual self-determination are trying very hard to hijack the movement, and they are undoubtedly better organized than civil libertarians are.

 http://www.publicreligion.org/objects/uploads/fck/file/AVS%202010%20Report%20FINAL.pdf

Ken said...

It's a little soon for anybody to be throwing anybody else under the bus, seeing as how the bus has not yet been taken.

Jim said...

Rev. Paul: The great style mentors of the English Language are the scribes of King James and Mr. Strunk. Sometimes I like one, sometimes another. In this case I modeled after Genesis 2:24 which, I am led to understand, is still sometimes quoted by reverends officiating at wedding ceremonies.

Tam: Thank you for the overly kind words and the impressive readership spike, but I am not familiar with this whelk word. Did you mean Lawrence Whelk?

:)

Ancient Woodsman said...

...and hence another problem with getting anything done for real in government.

People on the intertubes are still posturing and arguing about grammar, structure, use & spelling of words, and completely missing the message.

Far too many folks are watching the Super Bowl, as it were, for the commercials and yet have no clue what teams are actually playing the game or what is the real score.

Mike said...

That America is an idea more even than a country is why Ronald Reagan repeated referred to America as "that shining city on the hill."

And using the occasional arcane word is proof of education, not elitism (IMHO).

Anonymous said...

Why a whelk, necessarily? -- Lyle

Ken said...

The point is, it hasn't got a chance in one, all right?