John Livingston

Great Politics, Poor Government

In 1964 Dobie Grey came out with his hit song called I’M IN WITH THE IN CROWD. The opening line goes: “I’m in with the in crowd, I know what the in crowd knows.” I know who is in the “In crowd” in the Idaho Republican Party. The heart and soul of our party is not reflected by the insiders who are “The in Crowd”. The “in crowd ” exemplifies CONFORMATION BIAS— One definition of confirmation bias includes a tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms or supports one’s prior beliefs or values. People display this bias when they select information that supports their views, ignoring contrary information, or when they interpret ambiguous evidence as supporting their existing attitudes.

The “in crowd” are the antithesis of contrarians. Politicians, captains of industry, leaders in higher education, have for the last 30 years drifted away from thinking critically and taken the easy way out by following “the in crowd”. Ideas circulate in an echo chamber and are regurgitated always with an eye toward conforming to a standard of “conventional wisdom”. In crowders are woke. In crowders virtue signal. In crowders emote deep sympathy and empathy, when compassion is the appropriate action that is required—the key word is action. In crowders “know your pain”

“I’ll show you a really good time,
I’ll make you leave all your troubles behind”

How did you like your Idaho tax rebate check signed by the governor accompanied by a campaign message? No grocery tax relief—as promised, no income or property tax relief. Great politics. Poor governance.

The promise of utopia, the promise that government is the solution to problems, are what those invested in government have always promised. The longer a politician stays in office, the more they become invested in government as the solution to our problems. When all you have is a hammer (government) the problems can only be fixed with nails. Concrete solutions to simple problems instead of abstract strategies that have been tested and failed many times over and that use government as the lever for control and economic salvation, are what those in the “out crowd” support.

“Government is not the solution to the problem; it is the cause of the problem”— Ronald Reagan. It was a regulatory agency that caused the Baby Formula problem. It is a regulatory agency that caused the supply chain translocation problem with the distribution of tampons. It is a regulatory agency that has caused yields of wheat to not keep pace with yields of corn and soybeans because of regulations against genetically modified seeds. Farmers and the marketplace are shifting to those crops where there is more profit; It was a government executive order by President Biden that has created inflationary pressures and raised the cost of oil and all its derivatives causing increased costs to inputs across all industries, increasing the cost of personal transportation, as well as increasing the cost of goods and services across all product lines.

“We breeze up and down the street”.
“We get respect from the people we meet”.

Who is in the Republican in crowd? The Bush’s, the Romney’s, Kasich—Ryan—Boehner—Cheney—McConnell. In our State it would be Otter—Little—Bedke—Winder. And who are the people who they want to respect them—Special interests—IACI, IMA, IHA, teachers’ unions, and even in Idaho a right to work State—The AFLCIO. Not WE THE PEOPLE.

If the “IN CROWD” in Idaho really shared Idahoans’ values why not have Liz Cheney and Mitt Romney come to Idaho and campaign for the Little— Bedke team? If they really shared conservative principles, why not have a conservative proxy like Mike Lee or Ron DeSantis come into our State and campaign? Because the “IN CROWD” in Idaho is not a conservative crowd.

We are a Goldwater—Regan—Trump State, being governed by Rockefeller—Romney—Bush insiders. I don’t want to be part of THE IN CROWD. I want to be part of “the Mod Squad”. There was a TV show that had that name in the late 1960’s. The main characters were three counter cultural young hippies who instead of going to jail for their drug crimes became under cover narcotic cops. I guess conservative Republicans in Idaho are part of the Republican political counterculture.

I am comfortable with being a counter culturalist. The original American Patriots were counter culturalists. Ronald Reagan, Barry Goldwater, and Donald Trump were counter culturalists. The Apostles, early Church Fathers, and many Enlightenment philosophers were counter culturalists. Pretty good company to be in I say.

“I’m in with the MOD SQUAD”

I am going to let my hair grow out.

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