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.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Last night's debate

I don't have a television in my room. And I really didn't want to stay up till 10:30 anyway (I could watch a stream on my computer) — I'm not a late-night person. So my plan was to get up today, look at a transcript (the New York Times, as is typical, provided one), and also at some of the comments, because I knew that, as a strong Romney supporter, I personally would be more impressed by his ideas than the president's, but it's important to see how others saw the debate. And I'm thrilled.

Romney did what he had to — point out that Obama was continually lying about Romney's plans, and remind the audience that we have not done very well in the nearly 4 years that Barack Obama has been president. He said one thing that I think is one of the major reasons to elect him: in Massachusetts, he faced a legislature 87% controlled by the opposition party, yet he managed to work with them, while Barack Obama forced bills through that not a single Republican could support. And even after the people of Massachusetts (yes, Massachusetts!) elected a new Republican Senator specifically on the basis of his opposition to “Obamacare,” the Obama/Reid/Pelosi machine forced it upon the American people.

But as I said, I wanted to see what others thought. And, for example, Andrew Sullivan (probably as great a cheerleader for Obama as there is at the moment outside the Obama family!) said:

Look: you know how much I love the guy, and you know how much of a high information viewer I am, and I can see the logic of some of Obama's meandering, weak, professorial arguments. But this was a disaster for the president for the key people he needs to reach, and his effete, wonkish lectures may have jolted a lot of independents into giving Romney a second look.

Obama looked tired, even bored; he kept looking down; he had no crisp statements of passion or argument; he wasn't there. He was entirely defensive, which may have been the strategy. But it was the wrong strategy. At the wrong moment.

If Andrew Sullivan, who admits he “love[s] the guy,” thought the debate was “a disaster for the president,” that “Obama looked tired, even bored; he kept looking down; he had no crisp statements of passion or argument; he wasn't there,” the debate was a success in the way I would mean: it showed up the President for what he is, and spotlighted Mitt Romney as what he will be if elected.

I admit I'm a cheerleader for Mitt Romney in this election. So I really needed to see how the debate affected people like Andrew Sullivan. As I said, I'm thrilled!

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