You can think of them as the Three "R's," the three folks that help you learn what to make of the current mess in America, the Mess of Obama.
From Robin of Berkeley, the recovering liberal, we get "The Rape of America." Here's what rape is all about.
Give me what you have because I want it. Whether it's the iPod torn from your ear, or a big chunk of your income, or your standard of living, no matter. I want it, I demand it, give it to me.
What does this mean? It means that that politics is about taking.
From Roger Scruton, conservative philosopher, we get "Gratitude and Grace." Grace, from the Latin , gratia, means giving.
The idea that the world is sustained by gift is second nature to religious people, who believe that they should be givers in their turn, if they are to receive the gift on which they depend for their salvation.What does this mean? It means that religion is about giving.
From Robert Samuelson, economic writer, "The Poisonous Politics of Self-Esteem." Although " the standard view of politics is that it mediates conflicting interests and ideas." Yet more and more, politics is conducted in moral terms.
President Obama pitched his health care plan as a moral issue. It embodies "the core principle that everybody should have some basic security when it comes to their health care," as he said when signing the legislation. Health care is a "right"; opponents are, by extension, less moral... People backed it because they thought it "the right thing"; it made them feel good about themselves.
So on this view, people are using politics to set a moral agenda.
But I suggest that getting moral content out of politics is a chimera.
Government is force, and once you resort to force to enact your moral agenda, you no longer have a moral agenda. You just have force. Because morality is about you giving and sacrificing, not the other guy.
So now I want to fold this into my general theory of The Greater Separation of Powers between the three sectors: political, economic, and moral/cultural. Under the Greater Separation of Powers, we have the separation of church and state, and also economy and state, and also church and economy.
Thus we have state as the locus of taking, economy as the locus of exchange, and religion as the locus of giving.
Politics is about taking; if you carry politics into the economic sector you infect the process of exchange with taking: Robin of Berkeley's Rape of America. If you carry politics into the moral/cultural sector you make religion into a power trip, you transform giving into compulsory taking.
The great mistake of our liberal friends is to imagine that, by distributing benefits and "social justice" through the political system they are "giving."
But that cannot be so. A gift must be freely given, otherwise it is just a tax. When people who believe in giving through politics get into power, all they end up doing is raping the people. Because rape is an act of power, and politics is power.
That's why we believe in limited government. We believe in limiting the scope of taking, the arena of force. Only when you limit forcible taking can the sturdy fruits of work and exchange come forth. Only when you limit forcible taking can the delicate flower of grace and giving open its petals and bloom.
Government is force. Politics is power. All the rest is narrative.