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.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Prospects for 2012

The 2009 elections are just over, and the 2010 elections have not yet been held, but it's really time to look toward 2012. Very likely, Barack Obama will be looking to gain a second term as President, and all people who are interested in defeating this attempt must get together on a suitable opponent.

One person who is already being touted as a candidate is former Alaska Governor, and 2008 Vice-Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, who has just put out a book, which many people consider to be the start of her campaign for the 2012 nomination. One thing she has going for her is that defeated VP canddates are often given a chance to try for the Presidency — look at Walter Mondale and Bob Dole. Another thing in her favor is that history was made in 2008 with an African-American President, and history would be made again if Sarah Palin became the first female President.

But Palin would not get the feminist vote — any more than Clarence Thomas or Alan Keyes gets support from African-American groups. Policy trumps race, and the liberals who constitute the majority of the African-American community consider Thomas and Keyes, if anything, to be traitors. And feminists would consider Palin the same.

Besides, there may by 2012 be two other viable female candidates, if either Meg Whitman or Carly Fiorina gets elected next year. Both of them are talking about running next year in California, one for governor, the other for the Senate. If either gets elected — in the biggest state of all, California — she will immediately become a hot item in the 2012 Presidential sweepstakes.

I do not consider Palin, as some did last year, unqualified. She served as a state Governor, probably the best preparation for the Presidency that our political system provides, and did, so far as I can tell, an excellent job (though quitting makes one wonder whether she could take a 4-year term in the White House). And if she does get the nomination, I would certainly vote for her against Obama. But she is hardly my choice; for one thing, there are more experienced and more highly qualified candidates out there; for another; she's more aligned with the conservative extremists in the party than would make me comfortable.

If either Fiorina or Whitman gets elected next year, she will be a good choice; both have run major corporations, but as of 2009, neither has any political experience, and if either one has, by 2012, this political experience, she will be a great choice. Mitt Romney, who was not my choice in 2008, would be a better choice in 2012, though the reasons for my discomfort in 2008 would still apply — his ideas have changed a lot in recent years, and one can not really be sure how conservative or how liberal he is on those issued where he seems to have effected a conversion. But he has the experience of being both a state Governor (and in a much bigger state than Alaska) and a corporate executive, which makes his qualifications pretty impressive.

A name often mentioned is Tim Pawlenty, like Palin and Romney a state Governor. All I can say is I don't know much about him. Possibly if I did, I'd like him, possibly not, but I can't say very much.

One former Governor I could not support — to the point that if he is nominated by the GOP, I vote third party — is Mike Huckabee. He is the personification of just about everything I oppose: left where I'm right and right where I'm left. And he is the most extreme member of the religious Right since the days of Pat Robertson. It really troubles me to see him leading in polls among Republicans thinking about the 2012 election; One can only hope that by 2012 his star fades.

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