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.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The trouble with Herman Cain

There are two groups whose allegiance to the Democratic Party has been overwhelming: my own group (American Jews) and, in the last few decades, and even more monolithically, African-Americans. So it is heartening to see a few Jewish Republicans coming into prominence (like Eric Cantor, the #2 Republican in the House of Representatives), and the same can be said of African-Americans like Herman Cain. But Cain poses one big problem.

Yes, it would be nice to have an African-American candidate opposing President Barack Obama to take the "racism" accusations off the table. And unlike President Obama, Mr. Cain has excellent credentials as a businessman in the real world, having been the CEO of a well-known corporation making pizzas for the public. Being a businessman is something that teaches you a lot about economics, which will be a major issue, perhaps the major issue, in next year's Presidential election.

But Mr. Cain has one major problem. He has never held any political office. And this means he has never had to engage in the give and take that a President (or any politician) needs to immerse himself in. No President, no Governor, no mayor, ever gets his way 100% — he has political opposition to work with (even the Mayor of Chicago has some, though it's pretty weak!) and this matters. We have just seen how practical politics is making Herman Cain rethink his catchy-slogan "9-9-9" taxation plan. One of his talking points has been the simplicity of his plan. No exemptions — all people are treated alike and all income is treated alike. Well, when he sees the real world, he sees you can't do that. All of a sudden, his plan has grown exemptions.

Had he some political experience, he probably could have seen from the beginning that his original 9-9-9 plan would never fly.

One of the problems we've had with President Obama is his need for "on-the-job training." He has had some political experience, but not enough (before becoming President, he had a couple of years in the Senate and a few more as an Illinois State Senator). Can we really afford to have a President with none at all? (Even if he has the business experience that President Obama lacks!) I don't think so.

We need a President with both experience running a business and experience in a high political office. That is why Mitt Romney is such an attractive candidate.

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