Punchinello’s Chronicles

May 10, 2010

The Rabbi, the Atheist, the GOP and the Tea Party

Ayn Rand once told a story about a time when she was a young woman. She’d been excited about watching a live debate between a rabbi and an atheist, thinking she’d get some information about religion. It was a strong and heated debate, and Rand wanted to take a moment to say hello to the two contenders after the presentation. Then she happened to catch the two gentlemen as they were preparing to leave the auditorium. She was astounded to see them smiling and laughing together, talking about going for a bite to eat.

The problem for Ayn Rand was that she was an idealist, even at a young age. She assumed that when two people hold a public debate, they’re making their positions clear from a philosophic foundation. It never occurred to her that there could possibly be a split between what someone holds to be philosophically true, versus their personal emotions and beliefs. This was her first experience with philosophic hypocrisy and empty, theoretical rhetoric.

Rand came away profoundly disappointed, but with a much better understanding of how people pay only lip-service to their philosophy. She couldn’t imagine two people with such diametrically opposed views about the nature of existence having ANYthing to say to each other on a personal level!

Today, we see the same thing on a national and even global scale. The acronym RINO stands for Republican In Name Only. It refers to politicians who cloak themselves in the Republican party name, only to get re-elected. After all, politicians no longer have any interest in governance or managing the nation’s future; they’re only interested in the next election. These RINOs know that the majority of American voters are somewhat conservative and middle-of-the-road ideologically.

Even more strangely, we see Democrat party politicians who cloak themselves in strongly liberal positions for the same purpose of getting elected. They cater to the extreme special-interest groups of the liberal ideology, then become “moderate” Democrats when they win the election. They’re the so-called Blue Dog Democrats.

The net result is that we have an almost completely meaningless, hypocritical industry of politicians doing nothing whatsoever to solve the nation’s and world’s problems.

The recent primaries in Utah demonstrate that incumbent GOP politicians no longer are getting a free pass from the electorate. The Tea Party movement, made up of ideological and principled conservatives, targeted Robert Bennett and cost him his seat in Congress. Why? Aren’t the Tea Party members right-wing extremist Republicans?


For a long time I’ve tried to explain to friends of mine that there’s a complete and foundational difference between a conservative and a Republican. The only reason there are so many conservatives in the GOP is that of the two parties, it’s usually the Republican party that vaguely approaches the core principles of conservative thinking. In the past 10 years, that’s come to an end.

Neither the Republican nor the Democrat party politicians bear even the slightest resemblance to conservative thinking. Almost none of today’s politicians understand anything at all about reality. All they’re interested in is getting money to be re-elected, and when they’re elected, spending public money to bribe the population. It’s “bread and circuses,” like in ancient Rome. Keep the masses distracted with entitlements and television, and maybe they won’t notice what’s going on.

Sadly, today’s Republican party is so devoid of ideological principles, they’re wandering in the desert when it comes to connecting with the Tea Party. Likewise, the so-called mainstream media has abdicated almost entirely its charter to be the watchdog of the political system. Instead of the Fourth Estate, keeping the politicians honest, we now have a journalistic community acting as a pass-through for whatever meaningless press releases they’re given.

There are a growing number of conservatives entering the Republican party, especially in this year’s primary elections. The Tea Party functions on thought and analysis, not emotion and grudges. In that respect, Tea Party members have no trouble remembering what happened in December 2009, the TARP and bank bailouts, and the $14-trillion (and growing) budget deficit. Those conservative voters are no longer interested in “compromising” and voting for the best of two miserable choices.

Conservatives have stepped away from both Republicans and Democrats, looking for politicians who will be statesmen-and-women. Tea Party members understand that taking control of the GOP is a better option than forming a third party. That being said, if in November of 2010 there isn’t a strong movement toward fiscal responsibility, I think we may see the formation of an actual third party for the 2012 elections. After all, the Republican party itself was an outgrowth of disenfranchised voters fed up with the status quo.

It’s quite simple, really. Any politician who would like the backing of the growing Tea Party need only show that he or she makes no distinction between philosophy and actions; no distinction between what they say and what they do. We’ve run out of time as a nation, and “theoretical” discussions about money and economics won’t cut it anymore.

The overall wild-ass guess as to how much money is floating around in debt (derivatives) ends up somewhere in the neighborhood of half a QUADRILLION dollars! That’s 500,000 Billion dollars! It’s 500 Trillion dollars! Numbers like that are to all intents and purposes meaningless. There’s not enough paper in existence to print that kind of money. It’s only possible with digital money that doesn’t exist.

Greece is failing, and after that comes the rest of Europe. There’s also Japan and the US, and don’t forget that China may look wonderful but they’re in the middle of a bubble economy as well. Russia already collapsed, as did Argentina. For the first time in modern history, the entire planet is using “fiat” money — money backed by nothing at all other than government say-so. What will our current flock of politicians do to fix the problem?


Today’s politicians don’t understand money. They don’t understand economics. They don’t understand work. They don’t understand jobs. They have no idea what “business” means. And the Tea Party voters can see this abysmal lack of mental capacity clearly written on the faces of those politicians. The first step is to immediately freeze all government salaries, including all union members who work in the public sector.

Do you think that’ll happen anytime soon, given today’s politicians? That’s why we need to remove anyone who’s been in office for more than 4 years. Any incumbent who actually does have a grasp on reality will survive the primaries and has nothing to worry about. But there are only a handful of such politicians.

To replace the rest of them, we’ll require people who aren’t interested in their own power and authority, and who aren’t simply trying to get re-elected. We need principled leaders who will vote in the best interests of the country.

If our elected officials continue to pay lip-service to idiotic obsolete theories, the United States will continue its downward spiral until we’re the same as Greece. (We’re already there, it’s only that you don’t hear about it in the everyday news.) This is the time when we finally see that philosophy isn’t some fancy discussion for late-night kitchen-table discussions. Philosophy is the way we explain and talk about reality. But if you don’t “believe” that reality is objective and stands outside of your own feelings, then so be it.

Ayn Rand also was fond of saying that whenever there are two or more fundamentally contradicting positions, reality will be the ultimate arbitrator. Just so, we’re now seeing exactly that effect taking place. Conservatives and liberals hold fundamentally opposed views of the nature of reality. Liberals currently are running the United States government. The Tea Party represents conservatives. Conservatives are not at all the same thing as Republicans.

How do you suppose a starting salary for a typical office manager got to be $50,000? Only a little while ago it was $30,000. Did office managers suddenly become more valuable? There’s a major surplus of people looking for jobs. Is that why we pay them more money?

It’s because inflation and the devaluation of the US dollar has been going along, faster and faster. In another year or so, we can expect that same office manager to start, right out of college, with a salary of $100,000 per year. The only problem is that a gallon of milk will cost $14. But look on the bright side: you’ll pay 90% of your salary in taxes, if you’re working. Only 10% of the population will even pay taxes. Everyone else will use funny money.

Politicians get paid with someone else’s money. They’re not accountable to anyone. They do whatever they feel like doing, as long as it makes the voters feel good. Do you feel good?



  1. “Any politician who would like the backing of the growing Tea Party need only show that he or she makes no distinction between philosophy and actions; no distinction between what they say and what they do.”

    Well, that pretty much rules out support for any Republican or Democrat. And indeed, freedom and independence today begins with freedom and independence from the two-party state and duopoly system of government.

    Comment by d.eris — May 12, 2010 @ 5:13 am | Reply

  2. Although it appears as if the entire Republican and Democratic party political body doesn’t act according to their words, it’s really not true. It’s only that so few politicians have this type of integrity. One of the best ideas I’ve heard in a long time is to mandate that upon winning an election to federal or state office, the winner must physically sign a pledge to uphold the Constitution of the United States.

    In theory, the oath of office ceremony includes this pledge. In reality, it’s just words that disappear the next day. For most politicians, not all of them. I think if we can start with a paper contract (pledge), the next step would be to install a breach-of-contract repeal or recall option in every state legislative process.

    The idea would be to provide for the voters, or perhaps the state senate the capability to remove from office those politicians who campaign on one set of promises, but who then vote on the opposing ideology when they’re in office. A breach of contract.

    Comment by Punchinello — May 12, 2010 @ 4:59 pm | Reply

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