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, November 10, 2012

Comments on this election

Tom Bowler has a blog he calls “Libertarian Leanings,” with which I am often in agreement. And he wrote a post dated November 8, called “Four More Years,” which bears some repetition.

To say that I'm surprised by the outcome of the election is an understatement. I thought Romney would win, and win big, but look how wrong I was. We get another four of Barack Obama.

It's really quite disheartening. Call it a missed opportunity. For all of his faults Mitt Romney is a smart and talented executive. A Romney presidency would undoubtedly have meant explosive economic growth, and might also have gotten us long way toward putting our nation's finances on a sound footing. We have that debt crisis facing us. We need economic growth.

Obama doesn't. In his second term Barack Obama has once again inherited the mess left by George W. Bush. We'll be hearing about that mess for another four years. Obama's victory speech confirms it: The continuing economic stagnation is in no way connected to Barack Obama's policies. Just look at his prescription.

But that doesn't mean your work is done. The role of citizens in our democracy does not end with your vote. America's never been about what can be done for us; it's about what can be done by us together, through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self-government. (Cheers, applause.) That's the principle we were founded on.

This country has more wealth than any nation, but that's not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military in history, but that's not what makes us strong. Our university, our culture are all the envy of the world, but that's not what keeps the world coming to our shores. What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on Earth, the belief that our destiny is shared — (cheers, applause) — that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations, so that the freedom which so many Americans have fought for and died for come with responsibilities as well as rights, and among those are love and charity and duty and patriotism. That's what makes America great. (Cheers, applause.)

I am hopeful tonight because I have seen this spirit at work in America. I've seen it in the family business whose owners would rather cut their own pay than lay off their neighbors and in the workers who would rather cut back their hours than see a friend lose a job.

In his only mention [of] liberty[,] Obama instructs us that our arguments are “a mark of our liberty.” We might have thought that liberty is what draws people to our shores. No. They are drawn by “the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on earth.” It is our strength, he tells us.

He says nothing about the freedom to strive for a better life for ourselves and our families. Instead, we must share. You business owners, sacrifice. You workers, expect less. Take that pay cut so that fellow part-timers can share in the ever shrinking wages. There's just not going to be enough to go around, and you'd better get used to it.

While a Romney presidency promised to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit, in Obama's world entrepreneur is just another job, a government job. The best and brightest will find their way to prosperity in striving to be middlemen, standing between citizens and their entitlements, doling them out according to prescribed formulas of fairness. That is the true strength of Obama's America.

While I might have disagreed with Bowler's expectation that “Romney would win, and win big,” (I figured it would be close, but I thought Romney could pull it out) I certainly agree with most of what he said in this post. But one thing I will not join in is a chorus of columns and blog posts saying what the writer thinks the GOP must do in subsequent elections to come up with a winning candidate. For example, Byron York's column in Friday's Washington Examiner is titled “In 2016, GOP needs a candidate voters believe in.” Frankly, I don't know what it takes to win an election in this country. I simply cannot imagine why anyone at all would vote for a Barack Obama against either a John McCain or a Mitt Romney — and yet, majorities of the people have done so. And because of that, I just give up on trying to figure out what it takes to win an election.

Of course, I can probably point to racism as the real reason that Obama could win both elections: not a racism of whites against African-Americans, as the absence of that was proved by the fact that Obama got millions of whites' votes, but a racism of African-Americans against whites, in that the African-American population refused to vote for a white candidate running against one of their own, no matter how unqualified he was or how terribly he has handled the Presidency. Obama got 95% of the African-American vote in 2008, and 93% this year. If Obama had simply gotten the normal proportion of the African-American vote that Democrats get — and that is still an overwhelming majority! — Mitt Romney would be getting ready to move into the White House.

And that is perhaps the best hope for 2016. Without an African-American at the top of the ticket, the African-American vote will break Democratic by more like its usual proportion, and a Republican can win then. The problem is that Barack Obama will have had his shot at ruining this country's economy already, and that may be irreversible.

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