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, September 12, 2012

What the Democrats are saying

I get a lot of e-mail, ostensibly from such people as Mitt Romney and John McCain, asking me to donate money to the Romney-Ryan campaign. I don't have a lot of money, so I don't donate; I figure my blog posts contribute more than I could afford, so I think I'm doing my part. My wife is an enrolled Democrat, and she gets entirely different appeals, mainly by postal mail, since her e-mail presence on the Net is not as great. And recently, one of those letters — four printed pages long — arrived in her mail. Now, they did a good job of personalizing it — her first name appears in the text of the letter several times — and it ostensibly comes from President Barack Obama himself. (In fact the return address on the back of the envelope says “Obama Victory Fund 2012,” with a Chicago address. But the upper lefthand corner of the front of the envelope, where you might, at first glance, think is the return address, says “President Barack Obama.”)

Now my wife, though (as I said) an enrolled Democrat, is not a big fan of President Barack Obama, so it is a bit of a laugh that she gets a request for campaign donations. She is not certain of what her vote will be this November, but has said that it will “probably” be for Mitt Romney, but if not, then for a third-party candidate; certainly not for Obama.

Well, I don't often see what kind of nonsense the Democrats send out in their campaign funds appeals, so it was interesting to read this letter. Since it was addressed to Democrats, it is not terribly surprising that it began:

Four years ago, you and I began a journey together.

Of course, the addressee, my wife, did not begin that journey with Pres. Obama — she voted for John McCain — but the Obama campaign headquarters had no way of knowing that. However, one thing that my wife agreed with — and, in fact, so do I — began a few short paragraphs down:

Over the next several months, this path to the 2012 elections will take many twists and many turns. Polls will go up and down. And in the coming weeks, Governor Romney and I…

(remember, this purports to be from Pres. Obama)

…will spend time debating our records and experience, Republicans and Democrats will have a frank exchange on the issues — as we should.

Though we will have many differences over the course of this election, there's one place where we stand in complete agreement with our opponents. This election is about our economic future.

Again, I will skip a few short paragraphs to another point that I cannot find objectionable:

… what is holding us back is not a lack of big ideas. It isn't a matter of finding the right technical solution. Both parties have laid out their policies on the table for all to see. What's holding us back is a stalemate in Washington between two fundamentally different views of which direction America should take.

And this election is our chance to break that stalemate.

The next sentence is the request for that monetary donation, addressed to my wife by her first name. Of course, to my mind, the best “chance to break that stalemate” is to send Pres. Obama packing, back to Chicago, and put Governor Romney in his place at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue!

In the next few paragraphs the letter refers to Romney's promise to reduce stifling regulations and lower taxes — of course, in terms that imply that this is a bad thing — the description refers to “regulations designed to protect consumers and workers” without mentioning that these regulations have cost millions of jobs by making money that would better be spent on wages go into lawyers' pockets defending companies from frivolous suits, for example. And the letter speaks of cuts to programs such as “medical research grants for things like Alzheimer's and cancer and AIDS,” but these are mere speculations; the Romney budget has not been presented in full, so Obama is picking and choosing where the cuts will fall, not producing anything that is justified by an actual Romney proposal!

Of course, the letter presents the repeal of “the Affordable Care Act” as “eliminat[ing] health insurance for 33 million Americans.” Romney would repeal this bizarre monster of a legislative act, to be sure, but he will certainly propose new legislation which will provide for those Americans who want it to have affordable insurance — without forcing it on people who do not need or want it, and without making people violate their religious tenets. Of that I am certain.

One point that I think is interesting to read, though I suppose not unexpected, was:

The economic vision of Mr. Romney and his allies in Congress was tested just a few years ago. We tried this. Their policies did not grow the economy.

Well, the big laugh that these words brought was because the recession that we are in now began only a few months before the election that brought Pres. Obama and the Democrats in Congress to power! Pres. Obama is claiming that the 3½ years he's been in power has not been enough to grow the economy — that he needs four more. But Pres. Bush had about four months to fix the economy — not years, but, I repeat, months. So can he really say that “[w]e tried this ([t]he economic vision of Mr. Romney and his allies in Congress)” and “[t]heir policies did not grow the economy”? No, the whole point is that the country, in a scare caused by the economic drop, tried then-Senator Obama's ideas, and it was his policies which did not grow the economy. The Republican policies were not given a chance.

I'm not going to cite more of the letter; I think I have shown the kind of appeal the President is making. Yes, I agree that this election is a choice between two fundamentally different views of the way this country should go: the view of Abraham Lincoln — that I quote in the header to this blog:

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.

or the view of Karl Marx:

From each according to his abilities; to each according to his needs.

I know which way I want this nation to go. With Lincoln — and Mitt Romney; not Marx — and Barack Obama.

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