Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – Politics and civics are not the same thing. Voting is a political act. You’re making a decision, choosing one politician over the other. You’re not choosing a roommate. Civics is the actual activity of practicing what we call [r]epublicanism, which is why we preach republicanism here; republicanism does not require politicians. This is where everyone is so damn confused on this: republicanism requires fewer politicians and many more active citizens. If you want self-government, you’re actually going to have to self-govern, meaning you’re not going to transfer the power, the responsibility, or the authority to anyone in the political class. The point of the exercise is that a virtuous, moral people do not need non-stop nanny state political supervision to the extent that we have here today. The problem is that we are no longer a moral, virtuous people. If we were, we wouldn’t need the political class. Check out the rest in the audio and transcript…
Mike: Morgan in Kentucky, you are next up. How you doing?
Caller Morgan: I’m doing better than I deserve.
Mike: Good. Glad to hear it.
Caller Morgan: I got to tell you, this election, I’m glad it’s almost over. It’s not been a whole load of fun for me, but I did get to have some the other day.
Caller Morgan: This guy contacted me. He got my phone number off Facebook. I’m in business, so my number is out there. He called me up and wanted me to work a phone bank for Romney. I said, “Look, you really don’t want me. I’m pretty much a screaming liberal. I appreciate the offer.” He says, “Well, we gotta get a bum out of the White House.” I said, “Well, if the whole goal is just to vote for the other guy, you really don’t need to count me in.” I just told him, “I plan on voting for Gary Johnson.” Of course, the whole screed followed about wasting my vote and you know how they are, wonderful people. I said, “Look, it’s not a statement, it’s just my conscience. I’m a guy that just doesn’t particularly care for a whole lot of government and that’s how I’m voting. I’m voting for a guy whose opinions are close to mine.” Of course, he said, “Enjoy your time in the prison camps.” I said, “You have a wonderful day. I hope God blesses you. Thanks for the call.”
Then his tone changed and he said, “I just don’t understand why you would do that. Mitt Romney is all about the Constitution.” I said, “Really? Tell me, fill me in, educate me.” He starts in, “He’s going to do all these wonderful things.” I said, “I haven’t heard anything yet. Here’s what I know. The Romney/Ryan ticket is talking about saving that wonderful Ponzi scheme social security, unconstitutional. Medicare, unconstitutional. The man supports the Patriot Act and preemptive war, and most certainly interventionist warfare. Count me out. I appreciate your call. If your conscience and your goal is you’ve got to have Mitt Romney because you believe he’s the right person, then go for it. Please, don’t ever call me and ask me to do something because we’ve got to get ‘the wrong guy’ out of office.” I love these people.
Mike: You’ve got to give it to them, they’re consistent, aren’t they?
Caller Morgan: I guess. It’s wonderful to have a centrally-planned economy.
Mike: Dr. Kevin Gutzman, author of James Madison and the Making of America, a fantastic book everyone should read, said something yesterday I had not heard anyone say. He said something about the Overton principle. He said basically that the Romney campaign was about as far right or to the conservative end of the spectrum as you can go and achieve an electoral majority in American politics today. The Romney campaign had applied the Overton principle and calculated that these are the things that we think we can do and say and achieve election. I don’t know what the opposite effect is, who does the liberal side of the Overton effect, but that’s what Professor Gutzman said.
I thought about this yesterday. I thought about what we’re always told we must practice, which is smart politics and pragmatism and you’ve got to be a realist, stop living in your Ron Paul fantasy world I’m told over and over again. That’s what I’m hearing in you right now, a lot of idealism, a lot of commitment to principles and archaic, antiquated documents that we don’t follow any longer. You really need to get into the 21st century, Morgan. I’m just telling you what they tell me. Living in the 18th century is just a fantasy. It’s not coming back. We could wish we had a bunch of guys standing around in white powdered wigs that were going to do what’s right, but none of it is going to pass. We’ve got to make do with what we have. We have lemons, so we’ve got to make Romney lemonade.
I counterbalance that by saying — this comes from an article that my friend Winston Elliott the third had written the other day, and that is that we confuse politics with civics. Politics and civics are not the same thing. Voting is a political act. You’re making a decision, choosing one politician over the other. You’re not choosing a roommate. Civics is the actual activity of practicing what we call [r]epublicanism, which is why we preach republicanism here; republicanism does not require politicians. This is where everyone is so damn confused on this: republicanism requires fewer politicians and many more active citizens. If you want self-government, you’re actually going to have to self-govern, meaning you’re not going to transfer the power, the responsibility, or the authority to anyone in the political class. The point of the exercise is that a virtuous, moral people do not need non-stop nanny state political supervision to the extent that we have here today. The problem is that we are no longer a moral, virtuous people. If we were, we wouldn’t need the political class.
To me, the exercise we’ve been engaged in for almost 100 years now, incessant partisan rancor over who controls the political class and the political power. We’re dealing with this from the wrong side of the argument. We’re on the wrong side of what we have power over and what we can fix. If we begin the acknowledgment that it is the lack of moral certitude and virtuousness in the people, then we can begin to effect the repair. A virtuous statesman will do less damage to his neighbor under God — because God will not smile on it; God will frown on that damage being done — than a non-virtuous, amoral person will do. To me, that’s the light at the end of the tunnel. How beautiful that it is light, that we have descended into darkness, Morgan. Run to the light!
Caller Morgan: I couldn’t agree more. It irks me because so many people say, “I’m entitled to this.” No, you’re not. Get your hand out of my damn pocket.
Mike: I love that.
Caller Morgan: It kills me. I used this example with one of my more progressive relatives. If I walked up to you on the street, pulled a gun, robbed you and then gave that money to some homeless person or some other person you think needs your help, you’d still have me arrested for armed robbery. How is it more moral to let my government do it than for me to do it?
Mike: There you go again being an idealistic person and quoting 19th century Frederic Bastiat. This is going to get you nowhere.
Caller Morgan: I know it. I made the mistake of getting a history degree. Another one that irks me, I hear people say all the time, “This is a democracy.” No, it’s not. Democracy is two wolves and a sheep. Tonight’s vote: what’s for dinner, grass or lamb? I respond that this is a republic with a well-armed sheep who says, “You may want to rethink your vote.”
Mike: [laughing] I love this guy.
Caller Morgan: By the way, if you could get permission to use it, you should get this thing from Tim Slagle, he’s a comedian, teaching your kids about taxes. It is absolutely the most brilliant explanation of the tax system I’ve ever heard.
Mike: In the opening monologue the first hour today, I relayed the story that as you trudge off to the polls believing you’re going to fix what ills us today and by the pull of the lever that’s what’s going to repair it, understand that according to Terrance Jeffrey, the editor at Cybercast News Service, CNSNews.com, “If Americans under the age of 18 were required as a group to pay off the entirety of the federal government’s debt in equal shares, each would now need to pay about $218,676. The government debt has increased under Obama $143,255 per American under 18 to approximately $218,676 per American under 18–a climb of $75,421 or 53 percent. As of November 1, total national debt was $16,221,685,381,838.28, according to the Bureau of Public Debt.” It’s a bureau, though. How much can you trust that?
Caller Morgan: I better get my 17-year-old out and get him a job now.
Mike: Morgan, thank you very much for your very thoughtful phone call, my friend. I appreciate it.
End Mike Church Show Transcript