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.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Let's work together -- this is good for a change

In 1964, probably before many of the readers were even born, much less old enough to vote, I had my first chance to vote in a presidential election. [You had to be 21 then (unless you lived in Georgia or Kentucky), not 18, so I could not vote in 1960, though I was 18 in 1960.] The Republicans nominated Barry Goldwater, who contemptuously dismissed the moderates in the party with his famous quote:

"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice; moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."

I was one of many Republicans who did not vote for Goldwater that year — I felt I was being read out of the party, though this was my first year of eligibility to vote.

Several elections later, the Republicans nominated Ronald Reagan, who was just as conservative, if not more so. But his attitude was much more inclusive: he had named moderate Sen. Richard Schweiker of Pennsylvania as a running mate in an earlier election year, and chose the leader of the moderate faction, George H. W. Bush, as his running mate that year. The difference was dramatic: he won.

Last year, the extremists of the GOP rejected Dede Scozzafava as insufficiently conservative and left her so peeved that she endorsed the Democratic candidate, who won the election in a disctrict that had been Republican since 1870. So Nancy Pelosi got one more soldier in her army. Did this help conservatives or the Republican Party?

I'm glad to see that this year they seem to have learned theie lesson. Last night I was listening to a conservative talk radio program hosted by Mark Levin, who seems to be fervently backing Scott Brown, the candidate who seems to the best hope for breaking the filibuster-proof 60-vote Democratic bloc in the Senate. And Brown is the type of moderate Republican they have often criticized as a "RINO" in the past. Thank you. We need to work together. Conservatives enforcing ideological purity have led to people like Arlen Specter and James Jeffords leaving the party, and you really need to ask again, "Did this help conservatives or the Republican Party?" It really did not.

Let's all work together and support people like Scott Brown, as moderates supported Bob McDonnell, who today takes the oath of office as Virginia governor.

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