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, March 30, 2012

A good sign

The Republican Party supports a lot of things that I do as well, and that is one reason I remain a Republican, even though there are some things that Republicans tend to favor that appall me. For example, the fact that Michele Bachmann was, and Rick Santorum still is, considered a serious candidate for the Republican nomination, testifies that enough bigoted homophobes inhabit the Republican Party that the kind of appeal to that kind of hostility can work in the party. Closer to home, gay District of Columbia Councilman David Catania, originally elected as a Republican, found the party so uncomfortable a political home that he became an independent a few years ago. That this sort of thing exists in the Republican Party saddens me, as I feel some grief that the party I consider my political home can be charged with such an intolerant stance. And therefore, I was happy to read a posting in The Daily Beast (under David Frum's name, but by Ryan Prior) entitled “A Strong Republican for Congress… Who Just Happens to be Gay.” (The posting was made 3 days ago, but I just saw it today.)

It seems that Richard Tisei, an openly gay Massachusetts state senator, is running for the GOP nomination for Congress in a district where the incumbent Democrat, Rep. John Tierney, just might lose because of his wife's possible involvement in a gambling scandal. And though Tisei has a primary to get through in September, he has the support of the most important Republicans in Massachusetts, especially popular Senator Scott Brown. While there have been two openly gay Republicans that have served in the House of Representatives, Steve Gunderson and Jim Kolbe, they were originally closeted and were involuntarily outed. If Tisei wins the nomination in the September primary and goes on to win the election in November, both of which seem likely, he becomes the first openly gay Republican elected to Congress. And that may send a message to gay Americans that they don't have to choose between being gay and being Republicans. Which is a very good thing.

There is absolutely no reason why there is any incompatibility between supporting conservative economic ideas and being gay. But gay people have felt that the GOP is hostile to them, and have flocked to the Democratic Party for that reason. I think that the election of Richard Tisei would be a great thing, not just because it may be a Republican takeover of a Democratic seat, but because it would place in the Congress the kind of Republican that is sorely needed: someone who does not share the “social” agenda of the Bachmanns and Santorums, but still hews to Republican ideas on the things that matter. Let's hope he wins.

Of course, I wonder how Michele Bachmann will take it, sitting in the same caucus with him!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Now it's "wait and see"

The Supreme Court has heard all the arguments, and it's a matter of waiting to see what they decide. But the prospects look good. When someone like Jeffrey Toobin, CNN's legal expert, who had predicted beforehand that the health care law would survive the Supreme Court, now calls it a “train wreck for the Obama administration,” I think that's a good sign. Obviously, people who are on one side or the other would tend to see the prospects as pointing their way. So when someone finds that it looks as if he has been wrong, that counts for a lot. But, it is not in the bag. And we won't really know until June.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Reports I hope are true

Today the Supreme Court heard the actual arguments on the individual mandate in the health care law. (Yesterday, they only considered the question as to whether the law was subject to the terms of the Anti-Injunction Act, which would, if so, mean challenges could not be filed for a few years. And yesterday it appeared that just about all the Justices, liberal as well as conservative, agreed that it was not.) And reports seem to show that there is at least a majority (including Justice Anthony Kennedy, whose decision is often the one that makes a majority) that will declare the individual mandate unconstitutional. (See also this report.)

I hope those reports are accurate. If ever there was a case of overreaching by the Congress, this seems to be one.

(David Frum disagrees. And usually I agree with a lot of Frum's ideas. But he's dead wrong here.)

Monday, March 26, 2012

And now the final test of "Obamacare"

One thing that is very special about the United States is the importance placed in compliance with our Constitution. We have a Constitution that is over two centuries old, and it is agreed that all brabches of our government must abide by it. (By contrast, in the United Kingdom, Parliament is all-powerful. It has been said that the only thing that Parliament cannot do is “make a man a woman, or make a woman a man.”) The constitutionality of laws enacted by Congress and signed into law by the President is always open to challenge before the Supreme Court. And the court began today to take up the so called “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” of 2010 — frequently called “Obamacare.” Whatever this court decides, it is certain to be as controversial as Roe v. Wade, and all of us are waiting with bated breath to see what they decide, since there are a substantial number of lower court judges who have made conflicting decisions on the question.

To me, there is no question; the law is clearly unconstitutional. Congress cannot make people buy a private product like health insurance. The argument that states make drivers buy auto insurance is irrelevant — Congress is bound by the strictures of Art. I, Sect. 8 of the Constitution (and a few additional paragraphs in some of the amendments that give Congress the right to enforce those amendments by appropriate legislation), while the States have powers, by virtue of the Tenth Amendment, to do a lot of things that the Federal Government cannot. But some people claim that the commerce clause of Art. I, Sect. 8, or perhaps the taxation clause of the same article, gives Congress the power. And the Supreme Court does not always rule in conformity with the way I would read the Constitution: one recent example is Heller v. District of Columbia, where the Court invalidated D. C.'s gun control laws based on its reading of the Second Amendment. So we have a nervous three months or so to wait before the Court's actual decision comes out. Perhaps, though, people attending these hearings will be able to discern, from the questions the Justices ask the lawyers arguing the case, how they are likely to rule — or more specifically, how Justice Anthony Kennedy is likely to rule, since the others, by their general ways of reasoning, are almost certain to divide 4—4.

It is going to be a long wait.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Article IV - and marriage

Article IV of the United States Constitution states: “Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state. And the Congress may by general laws prescribe the manner in which such acts, records, and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof.” And this clause generally has been taken to mean that if you have a driver's license issued by one state, you can use it in another, or if you get married in one state, you are married everywhere else, too. But this clause has been strained by the fact that different states have decided differently with regard to the issue of same-sex marriage.

Jessica Port and Virginia Anne Cowan, though living in the District of Columbia at the time, went to San Francisco in 2008 to take advantage of the fact that same-sex marriage was legal in California at the time. They married, and eventually bought a home in Maryland. But in 2010, they decided their marriage wasn't working, and filed for divorce. Since they remained on amicable terms, with nobody contesting the divorce, one might think this would be easy — as undoubtedly it would be if one of the women were a man. But the judge in the case decided that since Maryland did not allow same-sex marriage (a law has been passed to allow it, and signed by Governor O'Malley, but it will not take effect till next year, and still could be overturned in a referendum), the marriage was not valid, and thus he could not grant a divorce! You might think that, since the marriage was invalid, they might be satisfied — they would, in effect, have the same result as if they were divorced, namely the women were unmarried under Maryland law. But it has been pointed out that if one of them wanted to marry again in a state which legalizes same-sex marriage, she'd run the risk of being considered a bigamist.

The whole thing is very confusing. One same-sex couple has been granted a divorce in the very same courthouse where Port and Cowan were denied one. And other judges have gone both ways on the issue. So the Maryland Court of Appeals will have to decide the matter. But if this were not a same-sex couple, I'm certain that no judge would rule that a California marriage would be invalid in Maryland.

What really does Article IV mean in such a case? Will the U. S. Supreme Court eventually have to rule?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Rick Santorum - closet Democrat?

Today I read this post in Tom Bowler's blog, Libertarian Leanings:

Rick Santorum now says he would just as soon have Barack Obama win a second term if Mitt Romney beats him out for the Republican nomination, which at this point seems assured.

“You win by giving people a choice,” Santorum said during a campaign stop in Texas. “You win by giving people the opportunity to see a different vision for our country, not someone who's just going to be a little different than the person in there.”

Santorum added: “If they're going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk of what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate for the future.”

Santorum was referring to an unfortunate statement by Romney campaign adviser Eric Fehrnstrom who said that the fall campaign would be a new start, “almost like an Etch A Sketch.” Santorum jumped all over it, promoting it as evidence that Romney will say anything to win the presidency.

Hmmm. Pot, meet kettle. It's a stunning statement by Santorum which he made while campaigning in front of conservatve crowds in Texas. If it has any effect at all, though, it may just hasten his departure from the race. Quite frankly, I'm in favor of that. With his strongest support coming from the most conservative of us, Santorum strikes me as a candidate most unlikely to win in the general election.

South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, it seems, doesn't disagree. While Rick Santorum was turning the Romney campaign gaffe into a major gaffe of his own, DeMint stepped up to say, it's time for the Santorum and Gingrich campaigns to reassess.

“They can drag it out to the convention if they want, but I think if some of them look at where they are, the best thing they can do is maybe look at throwing their support behind the one who might be our nominee — and that’s beginning to look like Romney,” he said.

Even though he has so far steered clear of making any 2012 endorsements, Senator DeMint is not at all uncomfortable with the Romney as the Republican candidate. He was, after all, national co-chairman of Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential bid. Now, his focus is on defeating President Barack Obama.

“What I can tell conservatives from my perspective is that I’m not only comfortable with Romney, I’m excited about the possibility of him possibly becoming our nominee,” DeMint told reporters on Capitol Hill.

Santorum as the conservative savior is an image that looks less and less realistic the further along we go. He's now gone so far overboard campaigning to save us from Mitt Romney, that he offers an Obama second term as a viable alternative to himself. Could he have come up with something dumber to say? Senator Santorum, please go away.

It is clear that Rick Santorum has no business putting himself forward as a Republican. His campaign is clearly designed to do one of two things: either win the nomination and lose to Obama because 75% of the American public hates everything Santorum stands for, or lose the nomination and make sure Mitt Romney loses to Obama. Either way, Rick Santorum is clearly simply a closet Democrat, running so that Obama's winning is assured. I concur with Tom Bowler's “Senator Santorum, please go away” comment.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Whatever happened to freedom of the press?

It's not clear as to whether this is White House censorship (one more assault on the Constitution by our President!) or media being so subservient that they'll just roll over and play dead at Obama's command, but this interesting post just appeared on Dylan Byers' blog on Politico's site:

The White House is now confirming that it asked media organizations to pull a report about Malia Obama's school trip.

“From the beginning of the administration, the White House has asked news outlets not to report on or photograph the Obama children when they are not with their parents and there is no vital news interest,” Kristina Schake, communications director to the first lady, told me via email. “We have reminded outlets of this request in order to protect the privacy and security of these girls.”

On Monday, the AFP reported that Obama's daughter was on a school trip along with a number of friends and 25 Secret Service agents. The story was picked up by Yahoo, The Huffington Post, and the International Business Times, as well as U.K. publications like the Daily Mail and The Telegraph and other overseas publications like The Australian.

But on Monday night, the story had been removed from those sites. The AFP page for the story now links to a story titled "Senegal music star Youssou Ndour hits campaign trail," as does the Yahoo page. The Huffington Post page now links directly back to The Huffington Post homepage. The Daily Mail, Telegraph, and Australian stories now lead to 404 error pages, reading "page not found." The International Business Times story also links to the IBT homepage, though a version of the original story still exists online.

Nobody made the press scrub stories on Amy Carter or George W. Bush's twin daughters. But Obama's girls are off limits.

Thanks to Tom Bowler, whose blog, Libertarian Leanings, posted a note about this and thereby called my attention to it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Illinois result

At first last night, it looked as if Mitt Romney would actually get twice as much of the Illinois vote as Rick Santorum. I suppose that was because the Chicago area vote came in faster than the downstate vote. But the final result was a bit closer. As I read the results, with 99% counted, it was 46.7 percent to 35 percent, and that is still a landslide.

Santorum wins the rural vote; Romney the urban and suburban. And this is just like Ohio and Michigan — except, because Chicago is such a big part of the Illinois electorate, Romney's win was bigger in Illinois than in those other two Midwestern states. Everything falls into pattern. This is the way it is in the Midwest. (In the Northeast, Romney wins everyone's vote. And in the South, Santorum wins — except in Gingrich's home state of Georgia and next-door South Carolina.)

Mitt Romney now has a big lead in the delegates — more than double Santorum's total mdash; and it is going to be just impossible for Santorum to make up this deficit. And this is the way I like it.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Other primaries that are coming up

In the first week of next month, the primaries will be held in Maryland. And for the presidency, my task will be particularly easy as far as choosing how to vote, though I need to make six selections: I just have to look for the three delegates and three alternates whose name is coupled with the "(ROMNEY)" tag on the ballot.

There will be other races, as well, though. Four people are running for the 8th District Congressional seat now held by Democratic Representative Chris Van Hollen. The district has been redrawn (mainly because Governor Martin O'Malley tried to pack enough Democrats into the neighboring 6th District to defeat Roscoe Bartlett, the incumbent Congressman there). Perhaps this makes the 8th more competitive, though I wouldn't bet on it. But anyway, I have to choose one of the four who are trying to get the GOP nomination. Only one has sent me any campaign literature, Ken Timmerman. So I had to go combing the Web to find out something about the candidates. And it's not Timmerman who will get my support, but Shelly Skolnick.

Skolnick's Website description (he doesn't seem to have his own website, but he was interviewed by the Frederick News-Post) has one thing I like. He is one of the few Republicans who is not afraid to call himself a “moderate.” And that is good reason to support him. I'm still open for suggestions, but it looks as though he will get my vote April 3.

Monday, March 19, 2012

A pattern is appearing

It happened in Michigan. And in Ohio. And it appears to be happening in Illinois, where tomorrow is Primary Day as well. In the large states, as the actual primary approaches, people begin to realize that it's important to have an electable Republican candidate, and swing toward Mitt Romney.

According to Real Clear Politics, the Chicago Tribune poll taken March 7-9, showed Romney leading Rick Santorum by only 35% to 31% -- almost a tie. The Fox poll, on the 14th, showed Romney's lead growing to 37-31. The Rasmussen poll on the 15th had it 41-32, and the most recent poll, by Public Policy Polling, shows Romney beating Santorum in a rout, 45 to 30! Romney's lead is biggest in urban and suburban areas, and this is typical as well — it was those areas that he won in Ohio.

But these, of course, are not the final poll — that will come, at least in Illinois, tomorrow. As they used to say in old-time radio, stay tuned for the result!

Friday, March 16, 2012

The way we vote: why it's not good, and how to fix it

Over on his blog, “The Least of All Evils,” Dale Sheldon-Hess just put up a posting called “The Tyranny of the Majority Weak Preferences,” which really goes to the heart of the problems we have with our plurality voting system. Our voting system tends to favor extremists, as we are seeing now. (And some people who advocate “instant runoff voting” don't seem to realize that it favors extremists, if anything, more strongly than plurality does.)

Please read that post. And if you want to know what kind of a system might eliminate this bias toward the extremes, read William Poundstone's book, “Gaming the Vote.” It describes even more of the flaws of our plurality voting systems, and points the way to fix them.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Since Gingrich stays in, what does this mean?

Well, Newt Gingrich remains in the race, as mentioned in the previous post. So what does this mean? Probably, it hurts Rick Santorum, since some of the people who really dislike Mitt Romney and would be voting for Santorum will instead vote for Gingrich in the later primaries. Gingrich isn't going to take away many votes from Romney — most people whose first choice is Gingrich and second is Romney (are there any?) will vote for Romney since it's obvious Gingrich is out of the race. So Romney, if anything, has an easier path to the nomination. His opposition remains fragmented. Any attacks by Gingrich on Romney, obviously, don't help, but he's got to be concentrating his fire on Santorum, not Romney, since it is prospective Santorum voters he's looking to get. And any effort by either Santorum or Gingrich to hurt the other means that much less effort can be devoted by Santorum to attacking Romney — and that much less effort is needed by Romney to defend himself from the Right instead of attacking President Obama's record.

Thus, as one who favors Romney's nomination, I think that Gingrich's staying in is actually a plus.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Gingrich won't give up

Apparently, even though Rick Santorum beat him in both Alabama and Mississippi yesterday, Newt Gingrich remains in the race. He's really an irrelevancy, of course, but he takes votes from Santorum, helping Mitt Romney. And I can't be unhappy about that. The real story is that even Santorum is far behind Romney in the thing that counts: delegates. The estimate is that Romney has nearly twice Santorum's delegate count — 494 to 251. And big states that Santorum has no chance in have yet to vote. Things don't look all that bad for Mitt Romney.

Friday, March 09, 2012

My take on some recent columns

Regular readers of this blog know that many of my posts are prompted by columns I read in the Washington Examiner, which is, for me, a local paper. The Examiner is a conservative paper, and its columnists all hew to that line to one or another degree (although not always agreeing with everything that each other says). In this way the Examiner differs from the Washington Post, which often prints columns by Charles Krauthammer, probably the columnist in all the papers I see with whom I most agree. But getting back to the Examiner: two columns that appeared earlier this week particularly caught my eye.

Most of the time, it seems Gregory Kane's columns prompt my disapproval. This time was a rare exception. He wrote the column Sunday, and it appeared in Monday's paper under the title: “Rush Fluke apology came too late” I will not quote the whole column in detail, but only the first paragraph; I do recommend that you read it all on the Examiner's site:

If indeed, as some media reports have indicated, Republicans are now “on the defensive” in the contraception controversy, they have one Rush Limbaugh to thank for putting them there.

The main point was that, by using such offensive language, Limbaugh (if anything) attracted support to the woman he criticized. There was a good case to be made — based on religious freedom and the First Amendment — to oppose President Obama's contraception mandate. But Limbaugh's way — to insult the woman who spoke in favor of the mandate — poisoned the air. Mr. Kane, this time you and I agree.

The second column I want to write about came from a columnist with whom I more usually find myself in agreement: Noemie Emery. And while my agreement with Gregory Kane is out of the usual, the fact that Ms. Emery's column agrees with my thought is more typical. Her column appeared in Wednesday's paper under the title “Back to the what, Mr. Will?” and in it, she takes George Will to task. Again, I will not quote the whole column but advise you to read it all on the Examiner's site. But the one thing she said that particularly caught my eye was this piece:

Romney is poised exactly at the midpoint of the Republican Party, strong with those to the right or the left of this center, very strong with the "somewhat conservative," while being conservative enough not to enrage or discourage the base.

This is the best reason why Mitt Romney should be the 2012 GOP nominee, and I like the way she put it.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

"Super Tuesday" results

The results are in, and the big one, Ohio, was slow in coming because it was close. The first returns showed Mitt Romney ahead, then Rick Santorum led for most of the night; when I went to bed, Romney was leading, but it was too close to be certain whether that lead would hold. The final difference is still so close that Santorum can claim a tie. And so there will not yet be pressure for him to withdraw, and the contest will go on.

And the pattern of the results is interesting. Romney won all the counties that were anywhere near the biggest three cities, Santorum won the rural vote (and smaller cities like Toledo). Yet, because the delegates were awarded by a formula that was not strictly proportional, although there was only a 1 point difference in their percentages, Romney gets almost twice as many delegates.

Of course, nine other states voted as well. In some cases, the results were predictable. Neither Santorum nor Newt Gingrich was on the ballot in Virginia, so it was just Romney and Ron Paul. Apparently, Paul got some of the vote from people protesting the ballot restrictions — I can't believe he would really get 40% of the vote in a more open election. But Romney got 60%, and might win just about all the Virginia delegates because of the way they were apportioned.

And two states were “home turf” for candidates — Massachusetts for Romney, where he used to be Governor, and he ended up with almost ¾ of the vote, and Georgia for Gingrich, where he was a Congressman (although representing just one district, of course), and he won nearly half the vote, a big win in a 4-man race. Vermont went to Romney, who seems to be solid all over New England, and Tennessee and Oklahoma to Santorum, who can claim that Romney is not conservative enough to win anywhere in the South (though Romney did win Florida a month or so ago, but that state is geographically in the South but demographically more Northern.)

And that leaves two small, relatively inconsequential states. Idaho was a state some were saying might go to Ron Paul, because it's a caucus and he was working hard there; in fact it was Romney's biggest win, in percentage points, after Massachusetts. And Santorum picked up North Dakota.

In delegate totals, Romney seems to have picked up abouit the same proportion of the delegates at stake yesterday as he had up to then. Santorum will probably say he won enough to keep slogging on. Gingrich got a bunch of delegates, but mainly from one state — Georgia — so his run seems quixotic, as does Paul; yet I can't see any of the three trailing candidates wihdrawing yet. So while yesterday solidified Romney's command, it didn't seem to make much difference in the process.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Mitt Romney is rich. Very rich. So what?

Some people point to Mitt Romney's comments about his wife's two Cadillacs or his mentioning that he “didn't make much” from speaker's fees (which exceeded most people's total income last year) as something to be counted against him as a Presidential candidate. Of course, those people would never say a negative thing about John F. Kennedy or Franklin D. Roosevelt, both of whom were certainly fabulously rich by the standards of their day. Some of these people probably even voted for John Kerry, whose fortune certainly was nothing to sneeze at. (And at least Romney earned his fortune. Kerry just married into his.)

So Mitt Romney is rich. Very rich. But I do not see why this should be a disqualification. The real question is, would his ideas for the direction of our government be better than those of the current occupant of the White House? And it is clear to me that the answer is a very strong yes.

Friday, March 02, 2012

More on Reagan, libertarianism, Santorum, etc.

It seems that the Reagan quote in yesterday's post is genuine. In The Daily Caller, there was a nice posting dated January 7, which I just discovered, including the words:

When Rick Santorum’s nephew endorsed Ron Paul in an op-ed in The Daily Caller this week, he wrote: “If you want another big government politician who supports the status quo to run our country, you should vote for my uncle Rick Santorum.” Santorum respectfully and lovingly dismissed his young nephew’s endorsement. The senator said his nephew was just “going through a phase,” and later added: “I am a Reagan conservative. I am not a libertarian. And the people who are calling me a big government guy are libertarians.”

In an interview with Reason magazine in 1975, Ronald Reagan said:

If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism … The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.

Says Santorum: “I fight very strongly against libertarian influence within the Republican Party and the conservative movement.”

Santorum is not a Reagan conservative. Not even close.

Now Jack Hunter, who wrote those words, describes himself with the words:

It surprises people when they learn I’m not a libertarian. As Ron Paul’s official campaign blogger, I’m often perceived as being a libertarian and I am no doubt sympathetic to many libertarian views. But ultimately I’m a traditional conservative — a limited-government constitutionalist of the Barry Goldwater variety. That said, I’m no more offended at being called a libertarian than a heavy metal fan is when called a rock and roller — both terms represent far more synthesis than antithesis. Santorum has no comprehension of this basic philosophical and historical truism.

Being against big government does not represent the totality of American conservatism, but it does represent what Reagan called the “heart and soul” of conservatism. Reagan recognized that the “desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom” was indeed libertarianism but that it was also conservatism. This observation was fairly commonplace on the right during Reagan’s time, when “conservatism” was still more of a substantive philosophy than a Republican marketing tool. For example, in his book “Flying High,” a memoir about the 1964 presidential campaign, William F. Buckley repeatedly refers to Goldwater’s philosophy as “libertarian” and his famous book “The Conscience of a Conservative” as a “libertarian tome.”

In 1960, the first year I could vote for President, I refused to vote for either Goldwater or Johnson. (Under today's rules, when 18-year-olds can vote, I would have been able to cast a vote in 1960. But in those days you had to be 21 except in two States — Georgia and Kentucky — and I lived in neither.) I hsd seen a lot of propaganda about Goldwater, and I had been turned off by his dismissal of Nelson A. Rockefeller (my favorite politician at the time) with the words “I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!” So I did not see, at that time, the value of much of Goldwater's ideas. But now, after nearly fifty years, I wish I could go back and vote for him — though my one vote would, of course, not have made a difference.

I still am more of a Rockefeller Republican than a Goldwater or Reagan Republican. But more than anything else, a Rick Santorum who can say “I fight very strongly against libertarian influence within the Republican Party and the conservative movement” is the antithesis of what I want to see in the GOP's direction. And should he be the nominee, I could scarcely support him. (I am not very sympathetic to Hunter's preferred candidate, Ron Paul, either. But this is not due to his libertarianism, but other things about which I have written before.)

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Reagan's view of conservatism?

On another blog, I read a comment to a posting there, quoting Ronald Reagan as saying: “The very heart and sole [I presume Reagan actually said soul] of Conservatism is libertarianism.” If Reagan said this, it is easier to align with conservatives. But certainly, people like Rick Santorum refuse to accept this: “social conservatives” are quite hostile to people's liberty when it comes to things they deem to be “immoral.”

If Reagan actually said this — I'd like to find out if he did — I'm more aligned with Reagan's type of conservatism than I thought.