The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

One positive thing you can say about Obama

He knows how to play by the rules. He's taken extreme advantage of the Democratic Party's rules in this primary season. When Hillary Clinton wants to see that the people of Michigan and Florida get counted, Obama points to the Democratic Party rules and makes sure everyone understands that they can't be counted under those rules. (See this post.) He wins big in caucus states, where only small numbers come out so that a few voters can influence a lot of delegates. Meanwhile, in the big states with lots of delegates, he relies on the proportionality rules that the Dems have put in place, so even if he loses, he still gets a slew of delegates. Many people (including Bill Clinton) have pointed out that if the Democrats had allowed winner-take-all primaries and (like the Republicans) a number of major states had used them, Hillary would be leading in the delegate count, probably by a lot. This, among other things, is why John McCain got the Republican nomination relatively early, while the Dems are still going at it.

Of course, the actual Electoral College system used in the general election does use winner-take all (at least in 48 of the 50 states). So Obama vs. McCain would be fought under different rules. I wonder whether Obama will be able to re-orient his candidacy to play by the different rules that will apply for the general election.

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