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.

Friday, February 19, 2010

More "ideological purism"?

It seems that Senator John McCain is facing a primary challenge from a former Congressman who has since become a conservative talk show host, J. D. Hayworth. One more case of "ideological purism." For Hayworth has been characterizing McCain as someone who campaigns as a conservative but legislates as a liberal. And of course, this implies that McCain isn't "conservative enough," whatever that means. Well, (to quote McCain in another context!) I have news for Hayworth and his ilk: McCain is, by general United States standards, a conservative. The American Conservative Union has given him ratings ranging from the 60s to the 80s, and while some people argue that makes him rather liberal compared with other Republicans, it is still on balance (compared with the US center) conservative.

The thing that bothers me is that the conservatives who want to get rid of people like McCain will, if they get their way, force the United States leftward. Because hard-right conservatives will drive the American voter into the Democratic fold. Even the conservatives' hero, Ronald Reagan, understood this. (See my earlier posting from June 25, 2009.) I had hoped that the recent success of our newest Senator, Scott Brown of Massachusetts, might teach them a lesson. Brown is a Senator because the Republicans, including the conservatives, were willing to back him, even though he was hardly a far-right conservative. If they had refused to back Brown, Massachusetts would have elected Martha Coakley, and Pres. Obama would have gotten his far-left program through the Senate.

John McCain deserves re-election. And if the Republicans reject him in favor of Hayworth, this risks giving the Democrats the seat, for Arizona, no matter how conservative a state they see it as, still can elect Democrats. (How about ex-Governor, now Obama's Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano?)

Let us honor Reagan by using Republicans' energy and money to fight Democrats, not defeat genuine conservative Republicans who may simply not be "conservative enough."

I was happy to hear people like the conservative broadcaster Mark Levin proudly endorsing Scott Brown for the Massachusetts Senate seat. But his endorsement of the Hayworth challenge to John McCain is a serious mistake.

Monday, February 01, 2010

What the GOP needs

It has come to my attention that when Scott Brown, the newly elected Senator from Massachusetts, was asked what kind of a Republican — conservative or liberal, for example — he was, he responded

I'm a Scott Brown Republican.

Well, I think that's what the GOP needs — not specifically Scott Brown Republicans, but Republicans who are themselves, not somebody else's idea of what a real Republican is.

We need Scott Brown Republicans, John McCain Republicans, and it's a shame we lost Arlen Specter to the other side because some ideological purists made it hard for him to remain in the GOP.

Don't get me wrong. We need the conservatives, too. But their own hero, Pres. Ronald Reagan, recognized that you can have an ideologically pure party, or you can have a majority party, but you can't have a party that is both.

That's why, for one thing, I'm unhapy that there are people who are challenging John McCain's re-election bid in Arizona. To them, McCain is insufficiently pure as a conservative. It's people like those challengers who will ensure that the Democrats control the U. S. government!