Monday, January 4, 2010

Mike Pence: Understanding Republicans

Mike Pence delivered a speech on September 20, 2010 that perfectly summarizes the intelligent Republican's brain. I don't agree with everything in the speech, but if you are a Democrat or liberal, you should read the entire speech. It will give you excellent insight into why Republicans think the way they do (Hint: it's not because they are brainwashed by corporations). Below is my favorite excerpt:

Power is an instrument of fatal consequence. It is confined no more readily than quicksilver, and escapes good intentions as easily as air flows through mesh. Therefore, those who are entrusted with it must educate themselves in self-restraint. A republic is about limitation, and for good reason, because we are mortal and our actions are imperfect.

The tragedy of presidential decision is that even with the best choice, some, perhaps many, will be left behind, and some, perhaps many, may die. Because of this, a true statesman lives continuously with what Churchill called “stress of soul.” He may give to Paul, but only because he robs Peter. And that is why you must always be wary of a president who seems to float upon his own greatness. For all greatness is tempered by mortality, every soul is equal, and distinctions among men cannot be owned; they are on loan from God, who takes them back and evens accounts at the end.

The entire speech is here. I agree with much of what Mr. Pence says, but his failure to criticize George W. Bush for overreach casts doubt on Mr. Pence's sincerity. In reality, whether one is a Democrat or a Republican, the issue of self-restraint usually arises when the "other guy" is in power.

Also, Mr. Pence's thoughts on the military strike me as immoral. He says that once we go to war, we ought to do whatever it takes to win. But what if the target country poses no threat to the U.S. or was invaded based on a false premise? Do we still crush the country? If so, how does he justify the certain civilian deaths that come with any war in the "shock and awe" age?

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