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.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Comparing the conventions

It's almost impossible to compare the two conventions objectively. If you're a Republican — or just a person whose inclinations are right of center — the things the Republicans say will make more sense, and the Democrats' messages will seem like howlers. If your inclinations are the other way, you'll make the opposite judgment. Thus, Eugene Robinson's Washington Post column is titled, “Obama, Dems Win Convention War,” while Dick Morris of Fox News has a post entitled “It's Advantage Romney After Obama Fails to Move the Needle in Charlotte.” Democratic-leaning commentaries make much of the fact that in Tampa, Mitt Romney's name was not used a lot. But the Tampa convention was more than the convention that was to nominate Romney and Ryan; part of the purpose of the speeches was to show that Republican State Governors were doing good jobs in their States, and therefore we should allow the Republican ideas that work at the State level to rule the Presidency in Washington, D. C. as well.

So how can we compare the conventions? One good way, though it's not totally definitive, is their effect on the polls. On August 28, as the Tampa convention opened, Obama had a 1-point lead, 46.7 to 45.7, in the Real Clear Politics averages. On August 31, at the end of the convention, that lead had narrowed to 46.4 to 45.9, a half point. One week later, the Democrats met in Charlotte. On September 4, when that convention started, the RCP average of polls stood at 46.8 to 46.7; a bare tenth of a percent lead for Obama. Perhaps, in fact, the further drop in the Obama lead was also to be considered an effect of the Tampa convention. But did the Charlotte convention reverse that trend? Obviously not. The lead did not open up again; instead it vanished. President Obama and Mitt Romney are in a precise tie!

Obviously, if the Republican convention had any effect at all, it won over voters to the Romney-Ryan ticket. But the Democratic convention had no effect at all, as far as the polls can determine.

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