Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Paul Ryan's Family: An "Idea"?

In the world of Paul Ryan, America is 'an idea.'  Slightly more fastidious people would use the term 'country,' but the problem with 'countries' is that they have 'borders.'  To Rep. Ryan, 'borders' are soooooo 20th-Century, ya'know.

Rep. Ryan seems to have an understanding of the term 'subsidiarity,' one of the principles on which this  "idea" country was founded.   For countries, subsidiarity requires "borders," without which such claptrap as 'laws and constitutions' are irrelevant. 

But subsidiarity begins in other social arrangements.  They are called "families."  Families join other families to create towns, cities, counties, and States, and in the US, those States joined to create the country.  Subsidiarity was reflected in the Bill of Rights, particularly the 9th and 10th Amendments.  (It still is, if anyone actually cared about the BofR.)

The term 'subsidiarity' refers to a theory of governance whereby the smallest possible unit of gummint resolves a given problem.  So, for example, if a neighbor's dog is an all-night barking machine, one goes to the dog-owner to ask for a correction.  If that fails, one calls either other neighbors OR the local cop-shop for assistance, not the State Police or the US Department of Justice.


We know that Rep. Ryan thinks that his family is greater than 'an idea;' to him, it is an institution which deserves both preservation and protection  His house does have doors with locks, after all, and those doors and locks are actually "borders.".  But we also know that Rep. Ryan thinks that the US should allow swarms of people free access to the country, effectively erasing the country's borders.

Paul has a problem here:  he cannot hold 1)  that his family should be somehow 'inviolable' AND 2)  that the USA should not have borders.  That is (in the words of the immortal Spock) not logical.

So, Paul:  after you remove the locks from your doors and allow the first 500 random strangers full access to your 'family quarters,' we'll believe you when you intone your flapjaw about the US being 'an idea.'  Until then, Paul, you're an intellectual fraud.   (Or worse, as Paul Kengor points out in this essay.)

1 comment:

Grim said...

I'm more OK with a country than a family being an idea, provided that we can limit citizenship and voting rights accordingly. If you don't share the idea(s) on which America was founded, I'd rather you didn't vote. If you do, I don't care that much where you're from.