by David Safier
Step aside, Plato. Go back to France, Descartes. Kant, you can't hold a candle to this new breed of philosophes.
Meet the new kids on the philosophical block: the Arizona Republicans.
Take Senator John McComish (R-Phoenix). He knows we have to put conservative philosophy over common sense. Even if taking the mortgage deduction out of Arizona's tax system to create a flat tax sounds like a crazy-ass idea to him, still, he has to bow to the sound philosophical underpinnings embedded in conservative flat tax philosophy.
"I, too, like the idea of keeping the mortgage interest (deduction)," he said.
"But I also understand it goes against the philosophy," McComish continued. "And so I have a dilemma there." [boldface added]
Steve Yarbrough (R-Chandler), a rustic Rousseau, explains his philosophical sensibilities with front porch simplicity. Though he's concerned about losing the mortgage and charitable deductions, he opines,
"We're going to have to take the bitter with the sweet."
I'm sure, if asked, Yarbrough would say he considers cutting out the private school tuition tax credit far too bitter for his taste — considering he gets a 10 percent taste of all the dollars coming through his School Tuition Organization's door.
Then there's Jonathan Paton. Though no longer in elected office, he's getting back in the game as a member of the Rio Nuevo Board. And he wants to make sure the city pays through the nose for Rio Nuevo money it has spent in the past. For philosophical reasons, of course:
Rio Nuevo should seek to get money back from the city in certain cases if it can, he said. "I have a problem philosophically with absolving them for past deeds," Paton said. [boldface added]
Arizona Republicans are emerging as the leaders of a new philosophical age. The Age of . . .?
Let me think. It can't be called the Age of Enlightenment. That name is taken. Let me consult a thesaurus to see if I can find a suitable antonym for Enlightenment. Let me see here . . . Ignorance, Insensitivity, Unconsciousness, Unsophistication . . . Aha! Got it.
The Age of Barbarism is upon us.