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, October 27, 2010

The homestretch

We are now in the last week before the elections. And clearly there are important races to be decided. (Some people have already taken advantage of "early voting" provisions in their States' election laws to vote earlier than the standard election day. So they just have to wait till the results come in.) At this point I want to review what I've already advocated for the voters of the country.

In one district, the 6th District of Virginia, voters can put a new face in the House of Representatives, Jeff Vanke, who stands for a kind of moderation sadly lacking in today's politics. The Modern Whig Party, which he represents, deserves the vote of thoughtful residents of that district. Unfortunately, some of the remaining 434 districts do not have good choices available to them; there are some where candidates, usually incumbents, are running unopposed. But in most of the districts, voters do have a choice (of varying degrees of viability). It is imperative that the voters choose as many Republicans as possible to retire Nancy Pelosi from the Speakership. If you have a Democrat as a representative, even if he (or she) seems reasonable and moderate, remember that the first vote that Congressman will take in January, if re-elected, is for Pelosi as Speaker. And that is good enough reason to vote for the Republican opponent. (In districts like mine, of course, it won't do much good: Chris Van Hollen will win, even though Mike Phillips would be a far better choice.) But even if it's only going to be symbolic, cast your vote for the Republican.

In the Senate, it's a mostly similar story. It looks to be unlikely that the Senate will actually go Republican, so Harry Reid (or Chuck Schumer, if Sharron Angle can win Reid's Nevada seat) will be the Majority Leader. But in the Senate, the minority has more power than in the House. So again, it's necessary to elect Republicans. However, just as there is one House district where the Republican is not the preferred candidate, there are two States whose Senate seats need to be given to someone other than the "official" Republican candidate. These are at opposite corners of the country, Florida and Alaska. In both States, there are moderate Republicans running independent candidacies, who have real chances to win, running against extremist right-wing Republicans who won the "official" nomination. So Charlie Crist, in Florida, and Lisa Murkowski, in Alaska, deserve people's votes. And in neither case will splitting the Republican vote elect a liberal Democrat. In both States, the Democrat is running a distant third.

Governorships are slightly different. It's not like the Senate, where a vote for any Democrat helps elect Reid or Schumer to a position of power, or the House, where a vote for any Democrat helps elect Pelosi to a position of even more power. Governorship votes stand and fall on themselves. It's still a good thing to elect the Republican in most states — though not in New York State, with the primitive Carl Paladino as candidate. (But he has little chance of winning, so you can vote in clear conscience for one of the numerous third party candidates in that State. And this is exactly what I think you should do.)

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