The Siege Bill Reader
The de facto position of the Democrats in what I’m coming to think of as the annual government shutdown scare is maybe more ridiculous this year than it’s ever been before. This year is criminal hostage-taking at its finest—the Democrats struggling to set up a heads-I-win-tails-you-lose without anybody noticing.
To boil down the essentials—Democrats want DACA. No surprise there. They’ve spent long enough screwing over average Americans with their policies that said Americans have become a little unreliable at toeing the party line. If you wanted votes the way the Democrats do—and, of course, had the moral compass of a prostitute, and an understanding of American civics like a Soviet middle-schooler or, then again, a modern Harvard humanities graduate—you’d probably want DACA too. Indeed, when they think of DACA, I imagine Democratic senators unwittingly contribute to the strength of the Trump economy—since they likely are doing much to stimulate the handkerchief industry while they try to manage their drool.
What’s not to like? Illegal Mexican aliens come pre-indoctrinated with the socialist ideals that have made Mexico so amazingly hospitible that said aliens can’t stand to live there anymore; they don’t care much about government corruption because corruption is government where they come from, and that’s music to the ears of the party that gave us, say, the Clintons; they are dirt poor so, by corollary, they’re easily bribed with welfare programs; they’re a convenient source of gardening and housekeeping staff for the Democrat-voting oligarchs of California, whose East coast friends are therefore inclined to think fondly of them; and best of all, they are authentic non-Americans—who by and large understand America’s philosophical roots even less well than the average Democrat, and in many cases hardly even speak English. Put simply, they offer myriad opportunities for Democrats to give themselves more power while continuing to systematically dismantle America—if only they can get their hot little hands on them.
Republicans want to pay America’s military. Some would say that’s the least we could do, given the immense sacrifices they make for the good of the country. They devote years of their lives—and sometimes, unfortunately, lose their lives entirely—in order to preserve the United States against enemies. Unfortunately salaries for troops come from the government, so if you want to pay troops, the government technically has to be functioning. Given that Republicans do not have a supermajority, that unfortunately means that that you have to get some Democratic senators to agree that perhaps we should pay the troops. And this is a problem, because regardless of the lip-service they’re required to pay, asking Democratic senators to pay the people who protect America from enemies is, at the best of times, like trying to sell Fireman’s Ball tickets to arsonists. They simply can’t get into the spirit of the thing.
So the Democrats have come up with a lovely idea—sure, we’ll let you pay the troops. Just give us DACA. Or, to translate this so it’s unadorned—we’ll let you pay the people who protect America as long as you institute a key policy for destroying America. If the Democrats were laying siege to a castle—which in some ways is exactly what they’re doing, since they seek, essentially, to starve our military into submission— this would be something like saying “we’ll be happy to break our siege, as soon as you open the gates and let us in”.
Disgusting? Yes. That’s politics for you. The inevitable question is, what are you gonna do about it, Jack? Well, I have an idea. Remember, ultimately we need to diffuse the ability of the Democrats to force the country to make a huge, difficulty-to-reverse mistake—but we also can’t sacrifice our fighting men and women who they’ve taken hostage. Wrest that away from them, and their position isn’t half as strong. Well, I can’t promise this’ll work, but here’s my thought. Perhaps it is, at least, a nucleus or a beginning for others to build upon.
Washington can’t reliably guarantee that it’ll support our troops. It may well be up to us.
Okay, now I base the possibility of this plan on a few key things. First, although it is certainly true that not every member of the military is conservative, I nonetheless feel that the average Democrat’s view on the military is closer to the average Democratic senator’s than to ours. Not to put too fine a point on it, conservatives are probably more likely to know and keep up with a military family in their friend circle, especially in these polarized times. Secondly, Republicans are consistently more likely to put money into extra-governmental causes than Democrats— exemplified by higher charitable giving on the Right, for example. This, of course, is not really a case of charitable giving—this is just having the backs of our friends and neighbors while the people in Washington try busily, on the one hand, to threaten them with bankruptcy so as to use them as a cheap bargaining chip for, on the other hand, rendering the thing they have devoted so much to and sacrificed so much for moot. So it’s both pretty resolutely extra-governmental, in that Washington couldn’t be bothered, and certainly a worthwhile cause. Thirdly, though I appreciate that the Obama economy pretty thoroughly depleted many of our cash reserves, and many of us are still high… or perhaps, low… and dry, the first year of the Trump presidency has gone some little way towards beginning to turn things around. I wouldn’t say anyone I know has money to spare, not after a decade like the last one. I certainly know I don’t. But perhaps we have just enough margin to stretch what we have a little further now. Some companies are giving bonuses, some businesses have started hiring again, some commodities like oil are, if not hitting their record lows, at least a little less dear on average. Maybe we have a little wiggle room, just in time for it to serve a purpose.
I’m not asking you to draft a check for a whole salary. Just based on the military people I know, I don’t think they’d accept it. But find your military friends and help as you can, and operate on the understanding at the outset that a rough period is coming up for them. Just as you’d help have the back of a friend who was bereaved after a death in the near family, or otherwise going through a difficult time, this will be a time for inviting people over for dinner or bringing meals over, lending a hand with housework and fetch-and-carry stuff, and yes, maybe helping out with a rent check or a car payment here and there. But I’m not, as such, suggesting an extraordinary task, just an ordinary one at an extraordinary time in America’s history. These are humble things, but if we can pull them off, we may be able to help provide the necessary buffer to get through what is, in fact, a siege.
Because if the Democratic senators decide not to bend, then ultimately, our long term strategy has to be to push through until we can replace them. Best case scenario, we can actually continue to take ground in the next election and, at the very least, put the fear of G*d in the Senators who survive this year. Even though, as a high-level stratagem, importing foreign socialists probably is the Democratic party’s best shot, individual politicians may decide that keeping their own bread buttered is more important to them than the party. Why not? It’s a calculation a fair number of politicians have consistently made over the years. This would require an unprecedented election season, where the Republican base shakes off the coating of ennui that usually accrues on a winning party after an election and faces up to the fact that the Democrats, on the other hand, have wasted no time in lining up another existential threat to the nation, to follow on Hillary Clinton.
Worst case we may have to hold out longer, and then we really will need the improved economy to hold out, because after all, TANSTAAFL is still built into the nature of the universe. In which case, well, though the constant fight is surely stultifying, I’m afraid that’s simply indicative of the truth of the political turmoil under the surface of the United States—people who disavow our founding principles so vehemently that they would see us destroyed got just about to the brink of succeeding. Now we sit watching the long, slow, tense struggle, both sides trying to get the upper hand and deal a fatal blow, but on such a giant scale that every twitch, one way or the other, takes weeks to evolve. It’s horrific while also being extremely dull, like the mathematics of entropy or an unassuming but highly poisonous plant spreading through a garden.
But if we succeed, then we will be managing to take from America’s most fervent enemies their most potent chance of destroying us. Moreover, we will have turned simple friendship—not to say, citizenship—into a gentle, and subtle, but highly effective shield for America in its time of need. We may well be able to make ploughshares do the work of swords. I doubt it will ever get recognition if we can pull it off. It is, by intent, distributed and personal, and hence reflects our deepest beliefs, since that’s just the way that we recognize the world innately to be. It won’t get you accolades or medals or probably even speech, but it will stop a friend getting unfairly screwed over and it might well get us all a future.
As I say, I don’t think this is an end-all, be-all idea, but it’s what I plan to do. I submit it as a starting point. And anybody, anybody at all who has other good ideas, I welcome them.
We must survive the siege.