Hey Jim DeMint, what's so bad about empire?

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You can count me as one of the many who would like to see the GOP, and government in general, adopt more business-minded principles.

If it was up to me, all decisions made by our elected officials would be based on cost and cost alone. No rhetoric. No morality. No party line. Just money. Profit.

A war in Afghanistan. Not worth it. That is unless, you take into account the coming oil crisis. And quite frankly, we need our hands on as many pipelines as possible. I've watched Dune enough times to know that he who controls the spice controls the universe.

Incarcerating pot heads and minor drug offenders. Really, do we need to keep building prisons to house these guys? Seriously, I don't like the idea of paying for daycare for my own kid, much less somebody else's.

"I Believe" license plates, Christmas carols at schools, Intelligent Design in the classrooms. The courts have been pretty clear on these — and any legislator who pushes them in order to win the support of his constituents simply doesn't care about wasting taxpayer money. He is a douche. And a hypocrite.

Public education. Yeah, it's expensive. But the better it is, and the better educated the populace is, the better society as a whole is. Crime is tied to poverty, and poverty is tied to education. An educated populace is a productive populace. And when you're being productive, you don't have time to steal cars and break into your neighbor's house. At least not until your lunch break.

Now, ideally, the Tea Party should take a similar point of view. They claim to be all about the money. Time will tell. But already it's become clear that the religious fundamentalists who've helped marginalized the GOP, in some ways reducing it to a party of warmongers, anti-abortionists, and angry white guys, have already establish a foothold in the movement (Really, guys? The war on Christmas? That's so 2004.)

And that's a shame.

We can't continue to spend at the levels we do today and hope to remain prosperous. That is, unless we continue to expand the reaches of our empire.

See, an empire sustains itself by bringing in new territories, leveling new taxes, and, most importantly, increasing trade amongst its various holdings and making sure those pathways remain secure.

Now, Jim DeMint doesn't understand what we are. He still thinks the U.S. is a tiny isolated nation, and he's afraid that we're turning into a socialist one at that. And he's afraid that this socialism will rob us of our freedom. He's wrong. For one, capitalism isn't going anywhere. And two, what's so bad about empire?

An imperial government doesn't care what you do, as long as they get a few ducats in taxes. Taxes are just the price of business, whatever your business may be. It's like that fee you have to pay when you use an ATM that isn't at your bank. You may not like paying it, but dammit if the service isn't a lifesaver. Businesses have to be fairly compensated for providing transaction routes and governments have to be paid for making sure those routes are secure.

Just because the United States is an empire, and will continue to be, doesn't take away from the freedom that you and I possess. In order to survive, empires have to be tolerant of its citizens; they have to let the people buy and sell, feast and fondle what they want and when they want it. That's just business. That's freedom.

And what's the function of business but to run free. To get bigger. To grow. To bring in more revenue. To increase profits.

And that's more or less the direction the U.S. been heading since, well, we were founded, and it's not going to change. (Do I really need to list all the instances of our imperial expansion? The Louisiana Purchase, Florida, Texas, the West Coast, Alaska, Hawaii, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam, Samoa, Iraq, Afghanistan ... hell, you can probably through Japan too. Any country where the U.S. is the standing army, that's ours and has nuclear weapons, for all intents and purposes, it's ours.)

So let's all raise a glass to the Pax Americana. The economy might stink right now, but business is good. And it's going to get even better.

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