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 20, 2010

The New York State gubernatorial race

Yesterday, on a trip to the drug store to have a prescription filled, I saw among the newspapers on display, the New York Post. And in big letters on page 1 was the headline announcing the Post's support for Andrew Cuomo for Governor of New York.

When I was growing up, in New York City, my parents' favorite paper was the Post, and it certainly would not have been unusual in those days to see it endorsing the Democratic candidate for any major office. In those days, the publisher, Dorothy Schiff, and the editor, James A. Wechsler, were far-left liberal Democrats, and generally if they did not endorse the Democrat for some office, it would be the Liberal Party candidate that got their endorsement (an example was Rudolph Halley who ran as a Liberal for Mayor of New York City.) The one exception I can think of was a gubernatorial election in the 1950s where publisher Schiff endorsed Nelson Rockefeller, and this led to an open split between editor and publisher, where Wechsler put in an editorial, signed with his name (a very unusual practice!) where he stated that he could not go along with the publisher's position.

But Dorothy Schiff sold the Post long ago. And it is now Rupert Murdoch who runs the Post, and Murdoch is known for being rather conservative. (Actually, this, in a way, returns the Post to its roots; the paper was founded in 1801 by Alexander Hamilton, known in his day as a leader of conservative politics!) So the Post's endorsement of Cuomo in 2010 is not the usual thing. And this implies one thing: Carl Paladino is so far off-base that he even repels normally-Republican conservatives.

If I were living in New York State, I certainly could not endorse Cuomo. But Paladino — with his misguided anti-gay remarks and his rather coarse threats to take a baseball bat to Albany — is not a great alternative. So if I were still living in New York I would do what I actually did in 1974, when I did live (at least officially) in the state — vote for a third-party candidate (in that year, Jerome Tuccille, the candidate of the Free Libertarian party, which is what the libertarians in New York State called themselves in 1974). (In 1974 I had actually considered voting for the Democrat, Hugh Carey, because when President Gerald Ford appointed Nelson Rockefeller to the Vice-Presidency, Malcolm Wilson, who succeeded from the Lieutenant Governorship to the Governorship as a result, had been a singularly ineffective Governor, even with a Republican Legislature. What turned me off Carey was that he, in turn, campaigned as if the worst thing that could be said about Wilson was his support for Richard M. Nixon, who I then considered, and now still consider, a much better President than the reputation he has gotten.)

I don't know who is on the ballot in New York State besides Cuomo and Paladino, but if there is anyone else even vaguely acceptable, and you live in that state, that's the one you should vote for!

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