I was invited to participate in a debate, held in a meeting room at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, CA. Yorba Linda is a Republican enclave in generally conservative Orange County, California, but there are liberal move-ins in their midst. Since I knew people who knew people, they invited me to argue for the conservative position. There were three face-off duos, and I was part of only one of the three. They were timed.
My pay off? –A (rubber) chicken lunch and a salad, win, lose or draw.
The topics for debate:
1. Build a wall vs Let everyone in (Trump’s position vs Sanders/Clinton)
2. Is Black Lives Matter Racist (yes vs no)
and 3. The Founding Constitution vs A Living Constitution
I argued for the Founding Fathers concept of the rule of law, equality, and opportunity. Sidney F., a Jewish Lawyer, argued for the progressive need to change that concept with a “Living Constitution”, which is in line with the thinking of four of the current 8 member panel on the US Supreme Court.
My position was that individuals had the right to trust that laws established based on the precedent of the rule of law, based on individual equality of opportunity, and freedom to do anything that doesn’t step on someone else’s rights and freedoms. I stressed that the Bill of Rights was the hedge against government oppression and that repealing it could create tyranny. A Republic and the rule of law based on precedent with the ultimate arbiter being the US Constitution was the only hedge against even a majority of “visigoths”. Sharia and other concepts of law have no place in the American system.
Sidney argued for “freedom,” approved by committee, with individual achievement subordinated to identity politics aiming at equality of outcome. No one should be free to judge the morality of a situation and act without lobbying others to achieve a majority and gaining approval of people like himself. Thus the law and society requires endless plebiscites, put forward by political activists as exemplified by Jessie Jackson, Barack Obama and Al Sharpton. Correctness is best judged based on the current opinion of college professors, other distinguished PhD’s (who are rabidly liberal and who are hand-picked elites) and select liberal lawyers, Hillary Clinton being one of those named (who are presumably smarter than mouth breathers, such as myself).
Sidney argued that democracy is good, even when there are 51% agreeing to violate the human rights of individuals. He predicted catastrophe in actually turning power over to the people as individuals, to direct their lives as they see fit. Every decision must be made by the government as a whole or a subcommittee of same (also called a ‘soviet’) or it’s illegitimate.
I asked how that worked out for the Jews in Germany between 1938 and 1945 – except you can’t ask most of them their opinion. This is the same tendency seen on campus: find everything problematic, and look to a nanny state or school administrators to take your side and punish those that offend you. In this child’s view of the universe, any disagreement with the perfect utopia of equality is not to be tolerated or compromised with — open debate is too stressful with the endemic problem of micro-aggression so exaggerated grievances and calls for authorities to suppress the disagreeable are the new normal. (War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength)
Sidney’s view of responsible adulthood is to always give up your own moral agency to some group. He supports Hillary Clinton for president.
Not much was accomplished and the chicken was sub-par. I rubbed shoulders with some of the local high panjandrums and it’s always good to keep your name out there, so there is that. Since I will be leaving the area before all that long, there is no soto voce political agenda on my part.