Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Irony of Suburban "Covenants, Codes, and Restrictions" Is That Private Government Is More Intrusive Than Real Government

Many suburban subdivisions are minutely regulated by Covenants, Codes, and Restrictions.  These can cover just about anything that is visible from outside your house.  Legally, it is like living in a shopping mall.

Suburban homeowners give up a great deal of their freedom in the interests of keeping up the property values of the whole neighborhood. The task, and bane, of Homeowners Associations is enforcing these rules.

The irony is that these same suburbs are also more likely to be home to the kind of conservatives who resent government regulation of their lives and property.

There is no logical contradiction here - choosing to enter into a private contract to give up your liberty is different from being subject to regulation whether you personally chose it or not.  But in practice the homeowners association restricts many "small government" conservatives much more than the government does.

And the people who live in the super-liberal bohemian neighborhoods in the city have, in practice, much more freedom about what they do with their property.

Monday, September 19, 2016

A Revealing Dialogue About What Trump Supporters Think is Not Great About America

A friend posted a Statista poll on Facebook. The lead finding was in response to this question: "Compared to 50 years ago, life in America today is ...".  Clinton supporters said "better" by a margin of 59 - 19%; Trump supporters said "worse" by a margin of 81 to 11%.

In the comment thread, I asked "What is it that Trump supporters think is worse today?" My friend, humorously, responded "Apparently everything and it is all Obama's fault?" 

The dialogue that interests me today is what happened next.  A guy I don't know, who uses the "Don't Tread on Me" flag as his profile picture, entered the discussion.  I will call him "Tread".  I have edited the discussion that followed for concision, but not changed Tread's responses.

Tread: it actually isn't ALL Obama's fault. He had help. LOTS of help

Me: To do what, exactly?

Tread: nothing good

Me: But, specifically, what is worse now than in the early '60s? By nearly every measure of social development, with a couple of exceptions, things are much better now, especially for black people, women, handicapped people, gay and lesbian people, immigrants, youth, and educated people. The core Trump constituency - less educated white men - seems to think that making America better for all of those people (the majority of Americans) somehow has made America as a whole worse. Is that what you think?

Tread: and you are blue and I am not. there's no use arguing with you or trying to proove ANY point that is contrary to your view. So now, I stop. ... I do not want to go down the rabbit hole "to do what" 

Buck [another friend who uses "Buck the NRA" as a profile picture]:  I will venture a few guesses for you on what Trump supporters believe was better before:
1) Jobs for those who are uneducated paid a living wage ... 2) Women were more likely to stay home with kids ... 3) Being white was not a liability in any sense. ... 4) More children were born within wedlock and more of those who weren't were put up for adoption into heterosexual married homes.

Tread:  "Family Values" was a thing & so was being raised. Respect for others....and things. Traditions. [Note: the ellipses were in the original.]

Buck: I consider "political correctness" respect for others. That was most definitely NOT a thing in the 1950s.  I consider family values, valuing all families of all shapes sizes, religions, and make-ups. Not judging children on the perceived sins of their parents- in fact not judging others sinners at all.

Tread: "political correctness"... in my opinion, the single largest detriment to the continued existance to this country. It allows an encroachment of values which are opposite to the good order and continued existance of this country. That encroachment will not cease until this country mirrors certain other less desirable locales.

Buck: When I hear you complain about "encroachment", I hear equality. You are unhappy with being required to treat people you look down your nose at as if they are worthy of equal respect.

Tread: if "equal respect" means changing the values this country has held since long before you and I were born, then yes. I live in Christian country. We can coexist peacefully together, untill you try to change the values of this country from that of a Christian view to that of a value set that is directly contrary to the Christian founding principles, then yes, absolutely I find fault in it.