Top down vs. bottom up


One of the biggest differences between how the Left and Right view politics, morality, ethics, etc., is that the Left believes that the “ends justify the means,” whereas the Right tends to believe that the means are just as important as the ends.

Another way to put it is that the Left tends to believe that their goals are so noble, so important, so crucial to the survival of humanity itself that pretty much anything is allowable in order to achieve them.

The Communists famously believed it was worth killing tens if not hundreds of millions of people to achieve their utopian, Marxist goals. Mao Tse Tung once famously quipped, “You have to break a few eggs to make an omelet.”

You see such a mentality on a smaller level today. BLM and Antifa activists believe it’s acceptable to riot and loot in order to help (somehow?) achieve racial equality and justice. That’s why the politicians of the Left are so unwilling to denounce, much less resist, such destructive actions. They figure that the goal is so important that if a few businesses get burned down or innocents killed, such is the cost of progress.

Or look at abortion. Both the Right and the Left see the problem: a woman who doesn’t want to have a baby has gotten pregnant. The Right is willing to solve it, but not if it involves doing something wrong, like killing the unborn child.

The Left, in order to solve the problem with minimum inconvenience or suffering for the mother, chooses abortion.

Whatever moral qualms there may be about the act of abortion is subsumed to the primary end of “helping” the mother, though those of us in the pro-life camp believe, with evidence, that such forms of help ultimately harm the mother.

You also see this dynamic in politics, especially those aimed at toppling the administration of President Trump. Democrats and the media figured that Trump was so “deplorable,” despicable, and beyond the pale, that anything they did to undermine or remove him was justified. Lie, cheat, abuse power, permit rioting, all was fair game when battling the terrible, evil Trump.

Ironically, they accused him and his allies as being threats to our democratic institutions, but it was their capricious use and abuse of such institutions, like the FBI, CIA, the election process, and journalism itself that really undermined our faith in our republic.

But, no matter. Gotta break a few eggs to make an omelet.

I know we on the Right are not perfect and that Trump is engaging in some “by any means necessary” tactics right now to try and claw back an election win, but that is the exception, not the rule.

Another big difference between the Left and the Right is motivation.

Generally, a Leftist wants to sweep in, solve a big problem with a big program, and take credit for it, have their name attached to it…. Anything like that sound familiar? (Hint: Obamacare.)

The regimes in the USSR and Communist China were also big on this, calling their overall progams Leninism, or Stalinism, or Maoism. They used “Five Year Plans” to fundamentally re-make society, the economy, and their respective countries. Those guys wanted the credit for doing something big, usually with disastrous results and piles of corpses.

Right-wingers prefer, instead, to make structural changes that unleash the power of the crowd (and not the mob), of the many, to create solutions for all. This is the premise behind free-market capitalism.

Create enough incentives and pathways for people to make good personal and economic choices, and wealth will be created, people will rise out of poverty, and persistent social ills will be solved, or at least ameliorated.

Sure, government will need to make rules to curb excesses and fill in gaps, but generally government’s role in this scenario is that of facilitator, whereas in Leftist regimes, government is the executor.

Obviously, such deep, hidden, and unsexy measures don’t generate a lot of credit, power or prestige for the politicians who enact them, for they are by design meant to push politics and politicians into the background. Leftists don’t like that. They want to be front and center and take the credit, and gain the power.

So we have two very different approaches to governance: one where any means are justified to achieve top-down, government programs to solve societal problems, and another where the ends are only as good as the means used to achieve them, and where power is devolved to the populace to solve problems through the free exchange of money, services, and ideas and credit for progress is diffuse, not concentrated.

I know there are exceptions to this rule, but the fact is that the freer and more prosperous the society, the more like the Right it is, and the poorer and unfree, the more like the Left.

Think about that as we see the executive branch return to the Left and watch how they use their power to do big things (“forgive student debt”) that infantilizes citizens, making them dependent on individual politicians who promise to give them more and more, while all the while taking away others’ property and rights to achieve those ends.

Bread and circuses, my friends, bread and circuses.

Trey Hoffman

Peachtree City, Ga.


  1. Ok, Stew and Owl, I give up. I didn’t see what I saw. The boxes were empty. No ballots. No false votes. Sorry I assumed something was wrong. I overreached.

    And you are correct – I should distrust these stories from the get go – never imprint my own beliefs or suspicions upon them. I am so embarrassed.

    Biden will be my new President and we will deal with that the best we can. If its alright with you, I’d like to keep my 2 Senators, OK?

  2. Stranger Than Fiction December 2, 2020 at 11:31 am

    Flagger – Where else would one look? Qanon? The National Enquirer? Pravda?

    If your main source of news is SNL, Cobert, Comedy Central, CNN, MSNBC, Chuck Todd, etc (all who have declared a war on Trump and admitting to bias reporting)…then you must be a Democrat/Lib.

    If you have not figured out that media is not news reporting now, but an arm of the Democratic Party…then you must be a Democrat/Lib

      • OK Owl and other “show evidence” guys.

        First the source everybody hyperventilates about -this one is the governor of GA (finally).

        The evidence would be the video of the poll watchers sent home, the largest counting site being pretend-closed and then the huge boxes of ballots pulled out or dragged in and counted.

        Some will say this is not evidence until it shows up in court. some will say it proves nothing because the votes could have been for Trump and some will say other creative things – just wait and see.

        Me? I’m saying this looks like evidence of a crime – sort of like a dead body lying in the street is evidence. Let’s investigate!

    • Thanks Flagger – I suppose if you can’t provide a reliable source for an accusation, you merely attack the inquirer.

      We’re all still waiting for any credible source that demonstrates voting fraud. The silence is deafening!

      As usual, truth is stranger than fiction!

  3. Stranger than Fiction, you are no stranger to fiction…facts are strangers to you. In both cases, Garland and Barrett, the right wing Followed the Law and the Rules in place. That situation continues today as the Trump lawyers bring forward reams of evidence proving fraud at epic levels in the USA but you call it “fiction”.

    Leftists are the culprits of unrest; they have been prosecuting a four year coup attempt and you say “Fiction!” Anyone watching knew that they would try to steal this election, it’s just the next step in the coup against the American people. 80 Million votes for this aged relic – milliins more than cast for the golden one, Obama? That’s fiction for you…but you seem to be a lover of such fiction, as long as the ends justify the means.

    By the way, did you turn in any neighbors for having too many friends and family over for Thanksgiving? Sounds right up your alley – make sure you report me for hate speach!

      • yea, I too think some evidence – any evidence would add something to the discussion. I said early on that the Sidney, Rudi election scenario was either the biggest scandal in modern history or huge joke.

        I’m getting close to spotting the clown car and that disturbs me because I certainly believe something happened. I don’t think Sidney and Rudi and Jenna and others could get that worked up in front of a national audience just because Trump told them to go make something up. Something, I might add has a lot more credibility that the Russian hotel room story. Or the Ukranian phone call.

        But, I guess if the powers that be (DOJ and FBI used to be a power) can ignore Hunter Biden, they can ignore this. I still hear Sidney telling us the info is coming in like a fire hose and hundreds of affidavits confirm a rigged election. Normally, meaning in the old days before the press became AWOL, you’d see at least one of these people being interviewed on 60 Minutes (fat chance) or elsewhere.

        • You’re almost there Mr. Morgan. Please keep in mind Donald Trump was a reality tv host for many more years than he was a political figure. He knows how to put on a show and that is the only honest thing we know about the man.

          Please always compare your news sources with other independent media if possible. Fox & OAN are not the only sources out there and Facebook is NOT a reliable place to gather information. I would also submit the likes of 60 minutes have not gone AWOL, the American electorate that has, preferring conspiracy theories to real life.

          • Don’t need any advice on multiple news sources sonny, I was doing that long before you or the modern internet was born. Of course it is much easier now and my daily input consists of 5 national newspapers plus The Citizen and AJC, 8 different media platforms that are certainly diverse in thought, but seem seriously devoted to actual news instead of sports or entertainment. I’ve bookmarked 6 TV sources and every day m TV viewing is 2 real conservative, 2 crazy liberal and 2 that seem to be trying to be straight with the news.

            With all that I just can’t shake the feeling of the Deep State resistance to Trump and the fact that there must be something squirrely about those ballots that show no down ticket votes – only Biden. What legitimate Democrat voter votes for Biden and then leaves the other Dems in his state hung out to dry? Hundreds of thousands of them – all in the same 3AM batch? Were there other similar ballots for Trump?

            And those “hundreds of affidavits” ? Don’t try and tell me Trump the showman made this vote scandal up and he cast Sidney and Rudi in starring roles that were guaranteed to demolish them professionally if they were spoofing. Much more likely the judges “not giving standing” to the Trump suits is a way of keeping the evidence/affidavits from the public.

            Of course all this will come out later – it always does.

          • I’m glad to hear you try to get your information from a variety of sources that is great news! But, you go on to claim there is a deep state resistance? What evidence do you have of this claim? Just a “feeling”? Which of your sources would you like to provide to the rest of us so we can identify that this deep state exists. I have found no reputable source that corroborates the existence of a deep state.

            You will have trouble pushing conspiracy theories here.

          • Robert, I am very curious – where is your source for this quote?

            “there must be something squirrely about those ballots that show no down ticket votes – only Biden. What legitimate Democrat voter votes for Biden and then leaves the other Dems in his state hung out to dry? Hundreds of thousands of them – all in the same 3AM batch?

            I’ve heard this allegation numerous times over the last month and no one can point me to the evidence of such. I don’t doubt there were some ballots that only voted in the Presidential election, but to say there were hundreds of thousands of the same kind of ballot dropped at 3 am would be quite a feat.

            What I believe you are referring too is the fact that Biden received more votes than down ballot Democrats. For instance, in Georgia, Biden received close to 100,000 more votes than any down ballot Democrat. Why is this you might ask? Well, it was because the voter split their ticket. In my scenario, I voted for Biden and for any Dem that could potentially be going to D.C. On the other hand, I voted for many incumbents in the local races (which happened to be Republicans) here in Fayette County. This is not unheard of. People don’t always vote straight ticket. Especially if you’re an Independent. A lot of people I know voted for Biden and then straight Republican down ballot. Again, why would they do that? Because they can’t stand Trump, yet they are conservatives that wanted to keep conservative policies, in effect, by voting for Republican Senators and House members. That’s what happened and is completely plausible.

            Now, to Trump. This election was his to lose. Do you realize that he literally screwed himself out of winning here in Georgia? There were over 24000 GOP reigistered voters that voted by absentee in the primaries – but didn’t vote AT ALL in the recent election. 24,000 potential votes. Reasons are varied, but the prevailing notion is that Trump scared all of his supporters into believing that absentee ballots were completely fraudulent. He scared his own supporters into not voting. Could they have voted in person? Of course they could. But, during this pandemic, work, other obligations, etc., they didn’t make it.

            What we’re seeing now is Trump padding his coffers for his 2024 run. He knows he lost, but he’s manipulating his base to continue to fund raise and to pay off the debts that they racked up in the last months of the campaign. Not only is he raising money, he’s showing his base how loyal he is by “fighting” for them. Of course now, you have Trumpers that are thinking about staying home for the Senate runoff. You can’t tell them that the election is rigged while at the same time, tell them to get out there and vote. Does Trump care? Heck no! Trump cares about Trump! Oh, he’ll show up here in Georgia to campaign for the runoff, but he doesn’t give a d a m n, if they win or lose. Why? Because with full Dem control over the next four years it gives him plenty of fodder to keep his campaign and his base engaged. Heck, he’s already planning his campaign kick off simultaneously during Biden’s inauguration. Unfortunately for the country, Trump is not going away. He will be a thorn in the Dem’s and our sides for the next four years and all of those Repubs that even dared to cross him or let their loyalty to him wane, will be in his crosshairs.

            Lastly, I find it hilarious that people are actually believing that Biden was the one that set this whole election fraud scheme up. For months and months it was Ol Sleepy Joe, in his basement, hiding. Old senile Joe Biden, drooling, with one foot in the grave – you know the one – Dementia Joe. The guy that should be in a nursing home. Now, after the election, they believe that he is some kind of mastermind that set this whole systemic election fraud scheme in motion. Ol Sleepy Joe should go to jail for stealing the election. Jeez Louise – you just can’t make this stuff up.

    • ptcalf – If you keep believing fact-free Fox News, your responses will demonstrate the same lack of sophistication. Do yourself a favor and expand your intellectual stimulation. There is a universe of knowledge outside of right-wing silos if you only avail yourself to them. To borrow a biblical injunction, “The truth will set you free.”

  4. Pretty good summary of where we are as a country and written with minimal emotion. I’m impressed. Of course your description is outdated by about 5 years because during that period everyone lost their collective mind and any principles or beliefs that used to guide both sides went out the window.

    Winning at all costs, violence, name-calling, dirty political tricks and blind obedience to each party’s views, combined with unbelievably irresponsible spending taxpayer money on some of the whackiest things defined that 5-year period. Sure there was always some of that before, but it was never this bad. Each side can blame the other. I will blame both.

    And blaming the press is almost too easy, but consider this – quantity vs. quality is the problem. Used to be there were a relatively small number of people on TV bringing us the news. 3 networks and CNN had some super-serious experienced journalists and anchors all of whom had paid their dues at newspapers, radio stations and small market TV learning how to present news factually and without bias. 2 confirmed sources – anybody remember that? So, 4 or 5 at each network, maybe 25 in all.

    Nowadays there are some large uncountable number of networks, websites, media platforms and all seem to be staffed with 20-somethings who have no actual experience, beliefs or talent, but they sure have opinions and they actually believe that somebody cares what they have to say – which is mostly repeating what someone else has already said. Someone who has nationwide exposure really should have more on their resume than being proficient at Twitter and an overpriced degree from a really easy to get into college. No wonder stories about “eliminating student loan debt” are actually produced and aired instead of becoming immediate trash.

    I’m sure my parents and grandparents might have been a little disappointed about the future they were leaving for their kids, but they never felt as negative as I do about what the next 30 or 40 years will bring.
    And we did it to ourselves.

  5. Having quickly abandoned his “love” strategy, Trey returns with another heaping doze of pretzel logic and partisan blindness. In his insular world, conservatives play by established rules while progressives cheat since their ends justify any nefarious means.

    I suppose that is why Merrick Garland is not on the Supreme Court but Amy Barrett is. What conservative would ever change the rules merely to accomplish a “noble” end?

    • Stewie,

      That stuff isn’t a quote, it is an opinion informed by sources. The ballot stuff is from affidavits attached to Sidney’s lawsuits and those are sworn observations of a witness to a crime. Apparently she needs a judge to take this seriously so the evidence get get into court. Might be hard as many judges are under pressure from somewhere. Hard to explain Judge Sullivan’s actions on Gen. Flynn any other way.

      As far as Biden coordinating the whole thing, I agree its laughable. Someone else did this and they told the campaign they had an insurance policy (sound familiar?) and keep him under wraps and quiet. He didn’t but someone or some machine created those Biden only ballots way ahead of time. Hundreds of thousands of normal voters from the same area don’t fill out a just Presidential vote and leave the rest blank. You didn’t, I didn’t, no one I talked to did.

      You must know this is coming out whether thru the court system, another Mueller Commission or in one of the many books probably being written. The political underlings paid small amount of money to do their thing in the middle of the night will not be able to resist a $million advance on a tell-all book “How I helped bring down a President”. There will be a race to be the first published.

        • Try Brietbart New…they do a lot of undercover reporting. Try Foxnews….they actually have opposing guest on and commentators who are libs/Dems…so much that it irks me but I like hearing opposing views. Try Epochnews…..they do their own investigating reporting also. Try Newmax….but I know its a conservative site, but leans the other way too; Bill Clinton visited their offices and gave him 1 million donation funds. Or how about some foreign sources that are not lock and step with the Democratic Party

          • So if Breitbart and Fox News had a leading headline like “Report: Bill Barr Says DOJ Has Not Uncovered Evidence of Widespread Voter Fraud” and almost every other news publication had a headline reporting that same thing would it be enough to convince you that there was no widespread voter fraud?

          • Or you could try WSB TV. Bingo, finally a breakthrough.

            24,000 ballots hidden under a table then hauled out and processed in the middle of the night after the watchers removed from the building because of the “broken pipe” that was fixed 14 hours earlier. Playing right there, right now.

            Can’t make this stuff up. Better yet even the gently liberal WSB/Cox organization is not able to ignore this when it happened in Atlanta. Other media will follow, law enforcement must act.

            And best of all, you have several people that should be easy to identify and get the straight story. This has great potential for underpaid flunky rolling over on the big boss to avoid jail time. You all do know vote fraud is a felony – right?

          • Robert, stop. Take a breath. I assume you are referencing Rudy’s “suitcase” claim presented yesterday. Please read the following from Georgia Public Broadcasting, many other sources will corroborate this reporting.

            “No, there were no ‘suitcases of ballots’ counted in secret
            The most viral claim from the hearing is a 90-second clip of surveillance footage from Fulton County’s tabulation center set up at State Farm Arena. Culled from hours of vote counting, the short clip allegedly shows election workers bringing suitcases of ballots out from underneath a table to be counted in secret after Republican monitors were told to go home.

            But that’s not what was shown and the claims misunderstand the laws and rules around counting.

            State and county officials, including investigators for the secretary of state’s office, said that the video clip making the rounds show the normal tabulation process. No monitors were told to leave, but Republican monitors and members of the media left when some election employees called “cutters” wrapped up for the night.

            Georgia law § 21-2-408 spells out the rules for partisan poll watchers, allowing them to be present and monitor aspects of the elections process. But having monitors there is not required — and in fact, Democrats did not have monitors present at that time.

            As for the so-called suitcase full of ballots allegedly removed from under the table? It was empty, the state’s investigator said.

            “There wasn’t a bin that had ballots in it under the table,” Frances Watson told Lead Stories. “It was an empty bin and the ballots from it were actually out on the table when the media were still there, and then it was placed back into the box when the media were still there and placed next to the table.”

            Furthermore, elections officials say there was nothing abnormal about the tabulation of ballots shown on the video.

            “What the video shows is that they have pulled out plastic bins from underneath the desks,” Fulton elections director Rick Barron said Friday morning. “It was normal processing that occurred there, as Gabe Sterling from the state explained this morning.”

            Sterling, the state’s voting system implementation manager, said that investigators for the state watched the full surveillance video from Election Day and said those bins of ballots were already there and accounted for earlier in the day, while both monitors and the media were there.

            A monitor appointed by the state election board had also briefly left and returned at 11:52 p.m. and another state investigator was there starting at 12:15 a.m. The final ballots were scanned around 12:43 a.m.

            So no ballots were illegally counted in secret, there was no “suitcase” of ballots being added into the totals. The clip is misleading and the claims untrue.”

          • Robert, I’ve held out some hope for your rational thought, but alas, I guess it’s not meant to be. These “gotcha” moments must have you on quite a roller-coaster ride of emotions. The “smoking-gun” video you are referencing is anything but that. owl-nation12 has done an excellent job explaining the misleading video, so I won’t rehash those details, although I’d like to point out, that the points referenced were exactly what I have found in my own independent research and sources. I really don’t know why you or others are continuing to blindly believe stories that “lead” you into an alternative narrative. These narratives continue to lead to court hearings that produce no results. I think we’re up to 41 suits with no wins. Is that telling you something? If it isn’t, it should. Your first reaction to these “breaking” stories should be to distrust them from the get-go. I mean, especially consider the source. Second, apply common sense. You’re being fed a story while watching the video. Turn the sound off and just watch the video feed. What does it tell you? Not much at all. You don’t know who the people are. You don’t know what operating procedures are in place. You don’t know what happened before this clip or after it. Remember, there is over 14 hours of video and they took this brief clip to create a story. Now, if you want it investigated – by all means investigate it, but know that there’s always two sides (or more) to a story. And this business of having party watchers at each site – you need to understand something. By law the polling precinct must make accommodations for party poll watchers, but they are not required to be there while the votes are being counted. It’s not up to polling officials to make sure that poll watchers are at each site. Heck, most rural counties don’t have ANY poll watchers. The poll watchers at State Farm Arena left due to miscommunication on their part, not because anyone told them to leave. Poll workers can’t tell poll watchers to leave – it’s against the law. Back to the video – do you honestly think poll workers are going to commit fraud, knowing full well that they are under video surveillance while a SoS official is right there in the room monitoring everything!? Do you think they are going to set themselves up to be scrutinized by the average Joe Blow on the street? I’ve said it before in the comments – it’s easy for someone like you to sit back and throw stones at the poll workers, yet I haven’t heard you once say that you’ll volunteer to perform the service.

      • Roberta, the quote I was referring to was yours. Thank you for letting me know where you received the information regarding the allegation that there were hundreds of thousands of Biden only ballots dropped at 3 am one evening. That allegation has thus far been unsubstantiated, would you agree? There has been no evidence to substantiate that allegation – would you agree? Now, here’s the interesting thing and this is something you can do. Put your internet sleuthing hat on and go find those actual ballots. You know, the ones with Biden only votes. Better yet, physically go to each county and see those ballots first hand – in person. It shouldn’t be hard to do, you know, since there’s hundreds of thousands of them. If you’re going to push a theory, you’re going to have to bring the goods. You’re going to have to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. I’m fairly certain that pinning your hopes on Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani, or Jenna Ellis is going to leave you very disappointed – you know why? Because they don’t have that evidence either.

        Here’s an article debunking your conspiracy theory and that of Trump’s lawyers – at least here in Georgia. You see, it’s statistically impossible for there to be hundreds of thousands of Biden only ballots cast. Why? When compared to total ballots cast and the numbers of votes cast for others down ballot it doesn’t add up.

        Link removed by author do to comment awaiting moderation. The article is in National Review titled “No, There Were Not 95,000 Biden-Only Ballots in Georgia” Dated November 11, 2020.

        I know people are desperate to believe Trump. I know, people wanted him to win, but you just can’t keep denying what’s right in front of you and instead believing some random conspiracy theorists. Politicians play people. They prey on people’s emotions. They lie. I mean, all one has to do is listen to campaign ads and stump speeches.