After Shutdown, Be Careful Whom You Call a Hypocrite

You're doing it wrong. You're doing it wrong.

You do not condone taxation by paying taxes any more than you would condone robbery by handing over your wallet during a mugging. We each live under a persistent state of coercion, effectively with a gun to our head. That shifts the spectrum of rational choice. We choose how best to proceed under the coercive conditions we find ourselves persistently in. Beyond that, we can only advocate for change. So you take your Social security benefits while arguing against Social Security. You send your kids to public school while arguing against the horrors of public education. You maintain that robbery is wrong while choosing to yield your wallet rather than be shot. These actions do not make you a hypocrite. They make you rational.

Any elected official has acquiesced to the system simply by running for office. That does not mean that they consent to the status quo. Acquiescence is the acknowledgement that things are the way they are. Consent is condoning how things are. If you really think being principled means doing nothing which acquiesces to the system, you're obligated by that interpretation to stop living in this country while its coercive policies remain. Fortunately, that is not what being principled means.

Applying this observation to the rhetoric surrounding the defund strategy, we must acknowledge that a vote for a continuing resolution no more consents to Obamacare than it consents to any of a dozen other horrendous policies routinely perpetrated by our government. It merely acquiesces to political reality. Changing that reality requires more than “brass ones,” “intestinal fortitude,” or a willingness to “fight.” To change political reality, you have to persuade the public and win not just a single race but the governing majority necessary to go forth and craft law.