I want to take over the world and leave everybody alone
Rex Sinquefield graduated from Bishop DuBourg High School and he’s supposedly something of a libertarian. That’s about all we have in common.
Rex left St. Louis and became a billionaire by inventing stock market indexing or something. I went the Navy and still thank God every day that I have roof over my head.
Rex is a brilliant chess strategist. I struggle to remember how checkers works.
Rex donates huge checks to politicians and ballot initiatives. I donate $15 a month to Catholic Answers.
Rex is spending his billions in an all-out attempt to abolish St. Louis city’s earnings tax. I spend my disposable income on books, mostly.
Like I said, Rex and I don’t have much in common.
Rex is financing Better Together and its tyrannical plan to use a statewide ballot initiative to force St. Louis County and City to become one gigantic megacity with a dictatorial chieftain running everything. The plan is so bad that Ann Wagner and I are on the same side of it. It’s so bad that Rex has his minions threatening anyone of prominence who openly opposes the forced merger. Rex’s goons roam the halls of the capitol on seek-and-destroy missions to take down legislators who opposed the takeover. For a libertarian, Rex looks a lot like a banana republican dictator.
I’ve heard second-hand that Rex’s lifelong preoccupation with the city earnings tax goes back to his troubled childhood. Because of the nature of his obsession’s start, I won’t go into the details. God bless him for doing so much with his life despite the conditions of his youth. And God bless him for wanting to make Missouri better.
But, please, Rex, hire a better strategist. The ones you have are wasting your money and tearing your community apart. Hire a strategist who understands both libertarian economics AND the psychology of persuasion. You’re a smart man and you have the lifetime earnings to prove it. Undoubtedly, you’re great at hiring the right people to manage your money. But you’re doing a poor job of hiring people to strategize and execute on your psychological mission. And politics is psychological.
Your candidates almost always lose. Your ballot initiatives struggle. Your reputation is in tatters. (No one outside of your inner circle would trust you as far as they can throw you.) And this, your signature initiative, is about to go up in flames.
You’re right to believe in many libertarian ideas. Tempered by strong Christian virtue ethics, libertarianism is the natural state of humanity.
To achieve that end state, though, libertarian Christians must live their ethic. That means letting the world see your love.
Love (willing the good of the other) inspires your desire to leave other people alone to live their lives.
Love inspires libertarians to want to educate the people they meet.
Love makes libertarians want people to keep the money they earn.
Love moves libertarians to want every human being to experience the dignity of meaningful work and the pride of earning one’s own keep.
Strongarming people into supporting a half-baked merger scheme isn’t love nor persuasion nor even libertarian. It’s tyranny. And it’s beneath you, Rex.
The city-county split can be, and maybe should be, amicably settled.
The earnings tax probably should be repealed.
There are too many municipalities in St. Louis County.
But your plan, created in secrecy, is a mess, and your methods of shoving it down our throats through a half-cocked constitutional amendment is dictatorial.
My recommendation, as your unpaid strategist:
Withdraw your petition and disband Better Together and the other shadowy organizations you launched in this effort.
Apologize profusely to the people you’ve threatened and hurt.
Invite the most vocal critics of this plan to help achieve the plan’s aims without disenfranchising a million people or bankrupting two governments.
Be open about your intentions.
Understand that chess skills have zero correlation to success in any real world strategic endeavor. (It’s been studied.)
My plan isn’t as sexy or interesting as your convoluted schemes. But my plan doesn’t require threats and hostility. Yours does. Which means my plan is better, even if it doesn’t work. Yours won’t work, even with all your evil threats and empty promises.
Stop acting like that other famous billionaire from DuBourg who runs roughshod over conservatives on Twitter. Start acting like a libertarian with a good DuBourg education. The world will remember you well and God will smile on your efforts even if the they have to shoot city earnings tax on Judgment Day.
It’s okay to want to take over the world to leave everyone alone. But only if you take it over by winning it over, not by beating it into submission.
It’s your move, Rex.