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.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

End of the line for Arlen Specter, but for moderation as well?

It looks as though Joseph Sestak has beaten Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary. And this follows Specter's becoming a Democrat to avoid being defeated by Pat Toomey in a Republican primary. I'm not happy, though obviously if I lived in Pennsylvania it would bring some relief, as I'd have a tough choice in November if I'd lived there and Specter had won. For on many issues I agreed with Specter, but I could not be very comfortable with supporting a Democrat who would vote for Harry Reid's leadership in the Senate.

What really hurts is that Specter, when he was a moderate Republican, was almost my ideal Senator. And seeing that he left the party because he could not win the Republican nomination, and yet, with all his support from both sides in Pensylvania, he could not win the Democratic nomination either, makes me wonder: Is there any place in American politics for someone who is not an extremist? I hope so, but it certainly seems grim. Charlie Crist, in Florida, had to run as an independent; he may be popular enough to win that way; independents rarely do, but Jesse Ventura in Minnesota and Lowell Weicker and Joseph Lieberman in Connecticut have done so. (Though it was years ago for some of these; have things changed?)

I hope that this trend toward extremism can be reversed; I'm not sure my hope will be fulfilled, however.

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