27 June 2015


The US Supreme Court dropped a number of bombshells in its current session that have caused elation among some and provoked outrage among others, but how this all will play out depends on how the political class conducts itself, and there the record is mixed. The two decisions that involve sharp political differences got all the attention, but the worst was actually the one that basically said that the government can declare discrimination even where there is no discrimination. That means the government can redefine reality as it wishes, which is rather totalitarian notion that could destroy individual autonomy. 

With regard pretty much ratifying Obamacare, there is little Republicans can do about it now, at least as far its overall purpose of enabling health care for everyone. If it is repealed it has to be replaced by something else that accomplishes the same thing. The way it was passed was stupid, its detail awful, and its implementation inept. That said the only options now remaining are to come up with something else or to improve its many flaws. It has cost me a few thousand personally by putting a really stupid limit on Medical Savings Accounts, but that is the sort of thing that can be tweaked and is what Republicans should focus on. A wholesale reboot is unrealistic now unless all the bases are covered, and what they should address are areas where some people have been screwed and fix them, along with improved management,  and also lightening the government’s heavy hand. 

With regard to same-sex marriage, let it be. I say this not because of the tenuous basis of the court’s ruling, nor without regard to historical tradition, nor using rights as a basis for it, but rather on what really matters- human connection and compassion. The reason this must now prevail has nothing to do with ideology, spiritual beliefs, or politics. It is reflected in how things make sense today, as opposed to how they once were, due to an increased awareness of the circumstances of others and our personal feelings towards them.  For almost everyone is either related to, or friends with someone who is gay, who they care for and who IS in some way part of their lives. As this has risen in consciousness it has thus become personalized, and in this life what matters most is personal. 

This is in fact a conservative position, because we believe fervently in the personal, we recognize there is a distinction between the private and the public, and we reject the left’s ongoing attempts to politicize all aspects of life. That is also why I have no sympathy for gay activists, (or various other kinds of activists) because of monomania. People are not defined by one characteristic, but have many attributes that are equally if not more important to them. Being gay is not a political condition, it is a human condition.

As far as tradition goes, for many things in human affairs that is where we first look, primarily because it represents the accumulated knowledge and wisdom of prior generations. But it is not immutable and is always subject to change over time as more things become part of our collective consciousness. We learn, adjust and change, but it is gradual not radical change. That is also the conservative position. To oppose any change based on tradition is not conservative, it is reactionary. Finally, there is no way that you can take away a right that has been granted. This is in no way as calamitous as some people think. It will simply become part of the fabric of things, and in rather traditional ways at that. 

Politically Marco Rubio deserves credit for simply stating it is  now the law and let’s move on. On the other hand, while the President was conciliatory in his speech in South Carolina, subsequently instead of trying to bring people together he then took the odd step of covering the White House in rainbow lights, effectively rubbing it in on people upset by the decision, rather trying to unify everyone. It was a fleeting, gratuitous gesture, and was simply counterproductive. He should have used the moment more wisely. I don’t care about the lights as such, or what they represent, but it would be one thing if it were, say lit green on St Patrick’s Day, and various other occasions, but it isn’t and it shouldn’t be. It’s not the Empire State Building and this not the kind of leadership we need now. 

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