How to figure out what is right and what is wrong in American politics


Each country has her own definition of what is GOOD and what is EVIL and this definition is unique and makes the country and the people of this country unique. Each country is strengthening the GOOD and constraining the EVIL in domestic and international affairs.

Politics is a tool for creating government and public forces capable and aimed at strengthening the GOOD and fighting the EVIL.

So what is the moral foundation for defining the GOOD and the EVIL in our country?  

Our country is a Judeo-Christian country founded on the moral values of Torah/Bible, or – in more general terms – on the concepts of Ten Commandments. That is clearly embedded in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and in all founding papers that led to the formulation of those two documents.

It happened about 240 years ago. And in the first 150 years of her existence – following the Judeo-Christian principles of Ten Commandments – our country became the most powerful, the most admired and the most economically successful country in the world. All that began to change and we began to decline about 50-70 years ago – under both democratic and republican administrations – when we began the GREAT CHANGE – the change from the Judeo-Christian principles in the politics to the man-made, election-oriented principles. And now we are in real trouble – the trouble of $16 trillion debt or about $200 thousand per family of four – and nobody knows how to get out of this economically/socially/security-wise almost fatal situation.

Now let’s compare the major concepts of the political ideology of Democratic and Republican parties and see which party’s ideology is closer to the Judeo-Christian moral values which provided the historic greatness of our country. This comparison will be done for ten mostly debated concepts such as:

1)     Social justice: near equal distribution of wealth (through the government mandatory taxation) vs. near equal distribution of opportunities (through free-market opportunities)

2)     Separation of Government and Religion: separation of religious organization vs. separation of Judeo-Christian spirituality/morality

3)     Economy: government-regulated economy vs. free-market economy

4)     International security: diplomacy vs. military

5)     Science and technology: government investment vs. private venture capital

6)     Education: centralized government monopoly vs. localized individual innovations

7)     Health: government health care through mandatory taxation vs. free-market individual health care

8)     Taking care of those who cannot take care of themselves: government vs. charity/mitzvah

9)     Local safety: local mandatory taxes vs. individual choice

10) Budget deficit: elimination through extra taxation vs. elimination through growth and reduction of social benefits and government size.
=====================================================

  1. Social justice: near equal distribution of wealth (through the government mandatory taxation) vs. near equal distribution of opportunities (through free-market opportunities)
    1. Judeo-Christian approach (JC): God created all humans equal in His image and likeness and everybody should try to reach his/her creative capabilities given to him by God (or Nature, for the atheists) – without the government in a role of human equalizer.
    2. Democratic Party ideology (D): Humans are not created equal – therefore the government should play a role of human equalizer.
    3. Republican Party ideology (R): The government in the role of equalizer paves a road to leaders-dictators (Stalin, Hitler, Mao …) and deprives us from individual freedoms: individual freedoms even with some suffering are much better than “happy spiritual slavery”.
    4. It looks like, R is closer to JC than D.
  2. Separation of Government and Religion: separation of religious organization vs. separation of Judeo-Christian spirituality/morality
    1. JC: The goal of constitutional separation of Church and State is to prevent one of many existing Christian religious denominations from becoming the Government Church thus imposing on other spiritual denominations its interpretation of Bible and related rituals. The Church-State separation doesn’t separate Ten Commandments (the moral principles of Torah/Bible) from the government legislative activities. Moreover, the government legislative activities have to reflect the spirit of Ten Commandments – because we are a Judeo-Christian country.
    2. D: As a democratic country, we should not have preferences to any religion. Jews and Christians should do their religious stuff at home and in isolation of their churches and synagogues. The government role is to take care of the electorate – not to follow the Ten Commandments.
    3. R: Theoretically, Ten Commandments should be the guidance for the government. However the real life may force the government to do something differently.
    4. It looks like again, R is a little bit closer to JC than D.
  3. Economy: government-regulated economy vs. free-market economy
    1. JC: No traditional guidance on this question. However, the Jews throughout their history preferred to do business without any government involvement – government involvement was always bringing troubles.
    2. D: The government should be a leading force in the economy since people cannot regulate themselves – a government-regulated economy is a must.
    3. R: Only limited government regulations are required. A free-market capitalist economy regulates itself better than the government. Government regulations create a corrupt capitalism that is not better than a Marxism-based socialism.
    4. Jewish historic business experience is favors R.
  4. International security: diplomacy vs. military
    1. JC: A prudent combination of diplomacy and military (when the Jews are independent state-wise – 3000 years ago and after 1948) was and is employed.
    2. D: The same.
    3. R: The same.
    4. No differences between D and R, except the visible inclination of President Obama to put the interest of Muslim countries above the interest of Israel.
  5. Science and technology: government investment vs. private venture capital
    1. JC: An individual is the creator made in the image of God-Creator. A collective represented by the government is an obstruction for creation.
    2. D: Major scientific and technological developments are created through government initiatives – only the government is able to accumulate enough money for a serious discovery or creation.
    3. R: Some large-scale projects are worthwhile to be funded though the government – however, a free-market scientific development through venture capital produces better results.
    4. R is closer to JC.
  6. Education: centralized government monopoly vs. localized individual innovations
    1. JC: From Jewish point of view, the best school-level education is a yeshiva-style education, of course with all contemporary subjects, with no government intervention. From Christian point of view, the best university-level education is a Harvard-Cambridge-Yale-style education created in Christian monasteries many hundreds years ago without government intervention.
    2. D: Only the government is able to create a good unified educational system.
    3. R: Government involvement in education failed to produce any decent results.
    4. Decentralized education advocated by JC and R brings much better results.
  7. Health: government health care through mandatory taxation vs. free-market individual health care
    1. JC: There is no clear Judeo-Christian guidance on what might be a preferable way of taking care of your own health – a belief is that your personal health depends on your personal relationship with God. However, the cost of health care is important since the more money you spend on your health care the less money left for your creative work.
    2. D: In the area of health care all people should be equal, and the government should be an equalizer – the government should provide the same free-of-charge health care for everybody. And the free-of charge health care should become a major part of the wealth redistribution effort.
    3. R: Health care is a product people should pay for as they pay for any other consumption products – in the case of health care paying though the private health insurance. The Government may help in organizing and supporting free-market health insurance.
    4. So, what is less expensive and more service-providing – the government health care or the free-market health care? Taking into consideration the severe government budget deficit (that inevitably will lead to financial restrictions in the government health care) it is easy to predict that the free-market approach may be preferable.
  8. Taking care of those who cannot take care of themselves: government vs. charity/mitzvah
    1. JC: Charity/Mitzvah is the way to go. Helping those who are not able to help themselves is an individual obligation – not a government duty.
    2. D: People are greedy and self-absorbed, and they would not do the charity/mitzvah en mass. Only the government is able to help everybody who is in need.
    3. R: Nearly the same D-type approach but more restrained in providing the services.
    4. Charity/Mitzvah is the way to go not only from the Torah/Bible moral point of view but because this way is much more efficient. Indeed, out of $1 collected by the government for helping the needy only 20 cents gets to the needy – 80 cents is consumed by the government for managing the help. Contrary to this, out of $1 collected for charity/mitzvah 80 cents gets to the needy. If for example a typical person pays 10% of his/her taxes for helping the needy (through various social programs) this tax burden can be reduced to 2-3%!
  9. Local safety: local mandatory taxes vs. individual choice
    1. JC: Individual choice is always preferable for people of Judeo-Christian morality because an individual communicates with God – not a collective.
    2. D: Any local authority (village, city, county) has an obligation to impose on its constituency any taxes needed to pay for the collective safety of the population (fire department, ambulance, police, etc.)
    3. R: About the same.
    4. An individual should be given a choice either of paying a tax for improving collective local safety or paying much more for his individual safety-related insurance (home insurance, medical insurance, etc.).
  10. Budget deficit: elimination through extra taxation vs. elimination through growth and reduction of social benefits and government size
    1. JC: No clear guidance on the morality of the living on the borrowed money that is on the government/family budget deficit.
    2. D: You may increase the budget deficit without restrictions to support numerous social programs for the poor. Later on the budget deficit may be fixed by taxing the rich.
    3. R: The rich are investing their money thus expending the economy and creating employment opportunities for the poor. Taxing the rich leads to less investment, less employment opportunities, more people unemployed and in poverty, and therefore greater budget deficit.
    4. Taxing the rich to the max leads to a fundamental change of the spiritual foundation of the country – from a free-market, spiritual-freedom society to a government-regulated, spiritual-slavery society that is an anathema to the Judeo-Christian principles. That’s why R is preferable.

Conclusion:

Neither Democratic-Party nor Republican-Party ideology reflects the Ten Commandments’ concepts in full. However, the Republican-Party ideology is much closer to the Ten Commandments’ concepts and therefore is preferable in the current election cycle. 

About Vladimir Minkov

Vladimir Minkov Ph.D. is a nuclear scientist, published author and writer. He is the co-author of "Nuclear Shadow Boxing", a scientific history of the nuclear confrontation between the Soviet Union and USA during the cold war and is the author of "The Jews and Their Role in Our World", which explores his personal journey to discovering Jewish identity. Having lost much of his family in the Holocaust and finding his search for spiritual development stifled in the Soviet Union, Vladimir migrated to the United States in the late 1970s.

Posted on October 10, 2012, in English-language posts and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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