Monday, February 21, 2011

Justin Harris: Centerpoint Firestorm

If there are any aspiring young Machiavellis out there, the recent firestorm surrounding freshman state representative Justin Harris(R) Praire Grove, is an excellent example of how to conduct a character assassination. These are the tactics that the left routinely uses against conservative legislators, that's why there are so few who stick to their guns once in office.

The charges don't have to be true, they just have to have some molehill of fact on which to build a mountain of invective. Volume and repetition are more important than accuracy or context. Maliciousness over merit.

Observe for example, the coverage given by the Arkansas Times to allegations that Harris' day care gives state subsidized day care to illegal aliens. Harris is a key supporter of a bill that would prevent illegal aliens from getting tuition subsidies for college. Tolbert gives more even-handed coverage.

The crux of the complaint is that Harris wants to deny colleges taxpayer money for illegal aliens while his day care gets taxpayer money for "educating" pre-schoolers who are illegal aliens.

A lot of things could be said in response to this, but the first and best one is likely this: The allegations simply are not true. All that is really known is that out of over 100 children, 12 do not have social security numbers. Of those 12, my sources tell me that 11 are definitely citizens. They are still checking on the 12th.

It is not that unusual to have ten percent of preschoolers- some of them still infants, who do not have a social security number. This is especially so in a rural population. I didn't have one until I was 16 and ready to move beyond odd-jobs.

Remember these are pre-schoolers. Many of them are less than two years old. Even if their parents are illegal aliens, under current law (which I would like to change) if they are born here, they are citizens. How many illegal aliens sneak in with children of that tender age? Odds are good that every one of those preschoolers was born in the states, even if some of their parents were not.

The second thing to be said in response to the critics is that under current law it is illegal to exclude such children from programs like the one Harris runs even if they were here illegally. If Harris had excluded such children from his center, the Arktimes still would have been the first to jump him.

The third thing that can be said about this mess is that government has intervened in far too many areas. It drives business now. I doubt it is possible to run a day-care of any size without the government funding. Your competitors will take the money if you don't, and you will be pounded into dust.

If you are in the business, are you a hypocrite if you take the money yet still call for the funding to be cut? Nope. You are a hero. The government is everywhere. We all have to take their money, because they are the ones who have it right now. That does not mean that we believe they should have it. I sell to government institutions, yet I'd like to see their budget cut. Am I a hypocrite? No more than average. Just willing to vote against my own self interest to save the country from unsustainable government growth.

I cashed Bush's "stimulus" check, not because I believed he was doing the right thing, but because I knew that I would be called on to pay back the money he borrowed to send those checks whether I cashed it or not. I had to cash it to stay even. That's why socialism makes us all into liars, beggars and thieves. My leveraged participation does not make me sigh and resign myself to accepting it or what it does to me. It makes me despise the corrupting influence of socialism under any name even more.

No, I don't believe the government should be taxing my family, with a stay-at-home mom, to subsidize Harris' day care center for moms who work. I don't think the government should be taking sides in people's personal choices like that, and if they did take a side, it ought to be the pro-family way. I am sure he runs a fine day care, but I trust my wife more than I trust his daycare to raise my kids. But as long as Harris votes right, that's all I can ask.

The government has threaded itself into every aspect of life so much that its almost impossible to make a living without catering to them on some level. Almost everyone who wants to cut government is to some degree a "hypocrite" on that basis. Give me hypocrites any day who do business with government out of necessity but vote to change that necessity over the openly wicked who suck their living from the public treasury and vote to keep it that way.


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