Friday, April 13, 2012

Don’t Fear the Straw Man!

I woke up today to a really special treat in my local paper. Today’s syndicated editorial was this piece of absolute drivel from Kevin Horrigan. I am starting to wonder what it takes to get a job like his, because the more I read of these things the more I wonder why anyone cuts a paycheck for them. This is by far the worst example of these that I have seen in a long time. It is supposed to read as this ever so clever and intelligent satirical take on the complaints of people that want government out of their way, and we are supposed to realize how ever so important government actually is to all our lives. Questioning the state seems to be the silly, silly thing to do in this case.

It is actually a kitschy little piece of shit that has been written literally a thousand times before, and much, much better than this. It is in the end straw man after straw man, with absolutely no thought involved. Fireman, oh dear! The garbage collection? Well we need that I guess. EPA, TSA, USDA, FDA oh my! Drivel, plain and simple. The impetus for this bit of genius is of course the evil Republican budget, which will destroy us all (by spending trillions and trillions of dollars). We saw this same article a dozen times with last years proposed budget. Just keep bringing up the firemen and the FDA every time someone talks about the size, scope and cost of government, that will win the debate! If we were to consider cutting anything we will of course be delivered upon the corporations so they may poison and mistreat us into an early grave while collecting their evil, evil profits. The only thing left of the once mighty United States will be the military which the Republicans will never cut. We will all be poor, poisoned, malnourished wage slaves that die early thanks to a lack of single payer health care.

Someone actually paid this man for this thing, and some asshat at my local paper thought it to be profound enough to reprint, which is just mind boggling. This adds nothing at all to the conversation, nothing at all. Just because we were born into a system in which the government provides certain services are we never, ever allowed to question the cost, utility, need or delivery method of said service? If a community can save its taxpayers money and deliver a better service if it is contracted out (say garbage collection) we should never consider it? If there is an example of say, semi-private air traffic control systems that possibly function better than our own, is it possible that we are allowed to talk about reforming our horribly broken and wasteful system? Do I need Mr. Horrigan’s permission to bring it up? Can I, or any other independent or libertarian minded individual, bring up the fact that we can not go on like this in perpetuity? One trillion over drawn this year, and mind you that is without a budget. The government is on autopilot, spending money we do not have while arguing over which paltry table scrap is going to get cut or taxed. Being Americans, you know those people who are supposed to have the right of self government, can we ask a few questions of this behemoth? Is that ok with him you think? Our government freely admits that it wastes many, many millions of times more money than he was paid to sleepwalk his way through this piece of tripe, is it possible that we could ask them to, I don’t know, stop? Maybe? Please? We have a right to input, just like him. If he believes that all people should simply go along with the plan, not question the system or how well it is doing things, then that is his prerogative. Some of us would like to maintain a little shred of liberty and freedom, and maybe take an opportunity every now and again to question the plan, to occasionally ask for an accounting of how, where and why OUR money is being spent on OUR behalf telling US what we may and may not do with our time, fortunes and lives. Seem fair to anyone else?

Do not fear the straw man for he does not advance the conversation or save the republic from eventual collapse, and he lacks a brain after all.

4 comments:

  1. And here I've spent the last ten years thinking Kevin Horrigan was just spouting his opinion to the local readers in my city of St. Louis. I never dreamed that his writing was considered such quality that it might be syndicated and not local. To be sure, sometimes Horrigan's columns rightly point out corruption and hypocrisy on the right, but this last column was way too full of straw men to be taken seriously.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't attest to the body of his work, and if this reflects generally on it, I really do not understand how he has a career. I could of wrote the thing in about 40 seconds and it would have been indistinguishable from a thousand other ones I have read. I guess when you get to the "big time" you are allowed to phone it in from time to time, but those are the ones that should stay local. Either add something to the discourse or stay home, that's what I would think.

      Delete
  2. I loved your post and similarly hated the original article, so much that it inspired a blog post of my own. The premise - aren't these pro-government statements fallacious arguments from ignorance?
    Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I liked yours as well, thanks for letting me know.

      Delete