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.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Where are the moderates … in either party?

In the Providence Journal, there was a column, dated today, by Froma Harrop, which she entitled “We All Need Moderate Republicans,” but which was indexed by Real Clear Politics as “Where Are the Moderate Republicans?” But it's not just in the Republican Party that moderates seem to have vanished. I can't name a moderate in the Democratic Party in the Senate, with the exception of Joe Manchin. So the better question is “Where are the moderates in either party?”

Perhaps I have the answer. There is no more segregation in the South. With the end of Jim Crow, Southern Democrats, who formed a party of their own within the Democratic Party, mostly became Republicans. Their conservatism moderated the Democratic Party when they called themselves Democrats, but it has pulled the Republican Party rightward. And the northeastern Republicans, no longer able to play off northern and southern Democrats against each other in Congress, lost power.

Partially, too, it represents the decline of the rural areas (whilch were largely Republican) in the North. In a state like New York, the Republicans could win statewide office because New York City, which was 60-70% Democratic, had about 50% of the vote, while the rest of the state was 60-70% Republican, and also had about 50% of the vote. The suburbs used to be part of that 60-70% Republican “rest of the state,” but it seems that when a lot of urbanites moved out to the suburbs, many retained their Democratic allegiance. New York State is now reliably “blue.” I can't speak for other Northeastern states, but I suspect something similar happened, with cities like Boston and Philadelphia sending Democratic voters to formerly reliable Republican suburban and even rural areas.

So that's the probable answer. The end of segregation in the South, and the combination of rural areas turning into suburbs with “white flight” into those suburbs by urban Democrats who continued to vote Democratic, killed moderation in both parties. How do we revive it? Beats me!

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