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, November 06, 2013

The lesson from yesterday's elections

Christine O'Donnell and Sharron Angle in 2010. Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock in 2012. And now, Ken Cuccinelli. All have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Every one of these lost to a Democrat, in an election that the Republicans could have won with a better candidate. And yet, I wonder whether the extremists of the Right have learned the lesson: A less-than-pure conservative can win (see Chris Christie) where a perfect, give-no-quarter conservative will not.

Virginia's gubernatorial election was an even sadder story than most. Ken Cuccinelli lost by only around 56,000 votes (Note: In my original post I said 30,000 votes, but later results call for a correction), out of about 2 million cast. It is almost certain that a more moderate candidate would have won. After all, even the outgoing Republican lieutenant governor, Bill Bolling, refused to endorse Cuccinelli — and some believe he actually supported Terry McAuliffe, the Democrat who will be Virginia's next governor. When your candidate for governor is opposed by one of your own top state officers, that is a sign you've done something wrong.

Meanwhile, Gov. Christie was re-elected with a fraction of the vote that appears to have topped 60%. Several Democratic office holders openly supported him. You can't implement your programs without being elected to office, and while Christie may not be as conservative as some Tea Party types might like, he will definitely be more conservative than anyone the Democrats might put up. Supporters of other GOP hopefuls ought to realize this.

New Jersey is a liberal state. In the same election, yesterday, they passed a liberal referendum question on the minimum wage. Yet Christie got more than 3 votes for every 2 that went to his Democratic opponent — a proportion of the vote that hasn't been reached by a Republican statewide candidate in New Jersey since the 1980s. It is clear that New Jersey's citizens appreciate his first term as governor. He probably will not get 60+% of the New Jersey vote in a presidential race in 2016, but he can carry some states that no other Republican is likely to. And carrying states means winning electoral votes. And electoral votes are what you need to win the Presidency.

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