About This Blog

Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) was the greatest economist of my time. His greatest works can be accessed here at no charge.

Mises believed that property, freedom and peace are and should be the hallmarks of a satisfying and prosperous society. I agree. Mises proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the prospect for general and individual prosperity is maximized, indeed, is only possible, if the principle of private property reigns supreme. What's yours is yours. What's mine is mine. When the line between yours and mine is smudged, the door to conflict opens. Without freedom (individual liberty of action) the principle of private property is neutered and the free market, which is the child of property and freedom and the mother of prosperity and satisfaction, cannot exist. Peace is the goal of a prosperous and satisfying society of free individuals, not peace which is purchased by submission to the enemies of property and freedom, but peace which results from the unyielding defense of these principles against all who challenge them.

In this blog I measure American society against the metrics of property, freedom and peace.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

On The CNN Presidential Debate From Las Vegas

I wonder what purpose these debates serve other than to allow the national cable media to influence the outcome of Republican primaries that are essentially local or regional in character.

I've asked myself: Why would CNN and MSNBC use precious air time to shower attention on Republican candidates they, arguably, do not want elected? The only answer that makes sense is that these left-leaning media see a tremendous opportunity to frame the discussion and encourage the Republican candidates to trash each other, providing hours of campaign ad material for the Democrats. Last night the Republican candidates obliged on both counts.

The spectacle of the Republican frontrunners shouting at each other, talking over each other and trading half-baked insults was, as Newt Gingrich pointed out, not the way to win the White House. The problem is Newt participated in the melee, admitting after his attack on Romeny that he himself had once supported individual health care mandates! This all feeds nicely into President Obama's storyline that he is the only adult in the room and that Republicans don't care about fixing the nation's problems just gaining the Presidency. I imagine Democrat campaign ad producers are smiling from ear to ear this morning.

The moderator, Anderson Cooper, deftly reminded candidates of contentious comments they had made one against the other, then encouraged them to fight it out on stage. The candidates -- especially those like Perry with something to prove and Santorum with something to gain -- eagerly took the bait. The result? Serious Republican proposals on tax reform, border security, spending cuts, health care reform and ObamaCare repeal were buried in a cartoonish and obscure fog. The entire debate smacked of eight candidates desparate for power, willing to say or propose anything to help themselves get elected.

Well done, Anderson Cooper and CNN. Mission accomplished. Talking points for the left were handily generated. Cain's 999 tax reform plan is a fruitcake idea. Romney's promise to repeal ObamaCare is hypocritical and disingenuous. Ditto Perry's criticism of Obama's Mexican border enforcement efforts. Republicans are selfish, establishment-loving Latino haters. Obama really is the only adult in the room.

This is not to take the candidates themselves off the hook. On the contrary, the entire field of candidates remains disappointing.

All right of center and even mid-stream thinkers agree now that another four years of Obama will be fatal to this country as we've known it. Anybody but Obama is a popular slogan. However, is it prudent?

In the next four years a new Republican administration will have to shepard a repeal of ObamaCare through the Congress, uproot all vestiges of Obama socialism now entrenched in the Washington bureaucracy, force the Washington elite to accept massive cuts in spending, make critical and well-founded decisions in coming economic crises, and convince the public to accept a significant overhaul of entitlement programs and the welfare state culture, not to mention act as a strong guiding hand in the rebuilding of social and moral ethics in our society. This effort will require a President who is libertarian/conservative to his core, much as Obama is socialist/progressive to his core. A mealy-mouthed McCain sort cannot do and will not do what needs to be done.

Are the Republican frontrunners up to the task? Is Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich or Rick Perry or Herman Cain the knee-jerk, feel-it-in-your-bones, economically astute, libertarian/conservative Republican needed to save the Union? Hardly. I'd have to hold my nose to vote for these so-called RINO's and economic illiterates. Herman Cain is the most attractive of the lot but only because he has no record. We only have his words to hold him to and they are critically suspect. I don't have confidence that, if elected, any of these men would turn the country around as needed.

Santorum, Bachmann and, especially Paul, seemingly have the right stuff for the job philosophically and economically, but they lack charisma and electability. So where does that leave us?

Very, very worried about the next four years and the future of this nation. And very, very hopeful that Ron Paul, Michelle Bachmann or Rick Santorum can pull a rabbit out of the hat. Or, better yet, that a charismatic, libertarian/conservative will step forward at the last minute and take the nomination.

The debate transcript is here.


John Galt said...

I agree with you, Sherman, that the planning and moderating - what moderating? - was purposely guided to let them throw mud at each other. Santorum was one of the worst. Gingrich was the better behaved but that is easy when you don't have all the guns aimed at you.

Once we are passed the first 3 primaries there will be only Romney and one other and things will settle down.

Not long since I wrote the piece called "The dangers of the Republican Debates".

Sherman Broder said...

So true. Who do you think the one other might be?

skudrunner said...

They are all losing ground with these repeated, fruitless debates. It gives the leftists more ammunition to use against them since the "moderators" have a self serving interest of their own, the reelection of Obama.

It was the media who elected him in the first place and, since they control opinion of those incapable of rational thinking, it will be the media who reelects him.

Sherman Broder said...

Good comment, skudrunner. I hope you are not prophetic. I hope that this time around the people are smarter.