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, October 17, 2012

Last night's debate

As I've done in the last two debates, rather than stay up late for last night's debate, I slept, and this morning read the transcript and some of the outside comments. Most people consider it a draw; a CNN poll showed a slight advantage for President Obama, but small enough to be within the statistical margin of error.

It would have been nice to have this debate turn out like the first, with Romney crushing Obama so badly that Obama's supporters, like Andrew Sullivan, said “you know how much I love the guy, … 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….” But this time the president worked a little harder. And he brought up that phony “47%” business — taken completely out of context — at the last minute so that Gov. Romney had no chance to set the record straight. Obviously, reading the transcript, I thought Romney had the better of it. But I knew the truth — and some people, who may not, might be fooled by such claims as Obama's that he created 5 million jobs — actually, as Romney pointed out, every one of those jobs was balanced out by a job that was lost.

Each candidate had an agenda. Mitt Romney wanted to point out that Obama's record for the past four years was dreadful, and I think he succeeded. Clint Eastwood's empty chair would, of course, have done a better job with the economy than Barack Obama did. So the Obama agenda was to raise fears among the people about what Mitt Romney would do as President — which has been, all along, the tactic of his campaign. With no defensible record, he can only sling mud. And whether he succeeded among those who knew no better, only time will tell. As Stanley Kurtz, one of the few who reported Romney as having the edge in this debate, said, “The core of Obama’s strategy was to distract attention from his record by rendering Romney unacceptable. That strategy has failed. In its absence, all Obama has is the hope of that his base is now large enough to hand him a narrow victory.”

All Presidential elections where an incumbent is seeking re-election are, primarily, a referendum on that incumbent. Barack Obama is trying to avoid this. He can't defend his dismal record, so he is trying to make it a referendum on Mitt Romney, but not the real Mitt Romney — rather, a caricature who doesn't care about 47% of the American people, who outsourced jobs to China, and such. It is to be hoped that on November 6, the American people see through this sham, and send President Obama back to Chicago, where he can ruminate and perhaps write more books about himself, while Mitt Romney goes about fixing this country's problems.

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