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, November 23, 2011

Last Night's Foreign Policy Debate

I missed it. I'm not sorry I missed it. Frankly, I think these debates are a bad idea. Think about it. The only lasting effect debates have on elections is when a candidate makes a gaffe. Think back on all the Presidential and Vice Presidential election debates you've watched over the years. What do you recall about them? Should we start with Nixon's sweaty upper lip? How about Bentsen's remark to Quayle? How about Ford's Eastern Europe/Soviet gaffe? James Stockdale? Bush looking at his wristwatch? Al Gore's sigh? Dukakis on the death penalty? Refresh your memory here.

I believe cable channels with a liberal bent are eager to sponsor these things because they know that sooner or later these candidates will embarrass themselves with a gaffe or two. So far, most of them have. Rick Perry's gaffe cost him plenty. Cain has had his share. Bachmann and Santorum haven't helped themselves. Gingrich is a ticking time bomb. (In fact, Gingrich has used the debates to his advantage by giving media bashing answers. Good and popular sound bites, but do we really learn something from these responses about Gingrich's fitnesss for being president?) Romney distinguishes himself by avoiding gaffes because of his vanilla responses.

Save the debates for after the field is winnowed down. Having them now, with all the candidates standing in a row with 30 seconds to describe their position on health care is made to order for a disaster.

That said, here's part of the debate I watched. The video is below.

All of the Republican candidates, except Paul and perhaps Huntsman, endorse the retention or strengthening of the Patriot Act and the obnoxious TSA screenings. None see either measure as a threat to individual liberty. Gingrich, Romney and Santorum made a point of saying, in effect, that in a time of war individual liberties must be sacrificed for the public good.

Paul's point, which they all conveniently ignored, is that today a state of war is constant and continuous. President's, not Congress, declare war these days almost on a whim. Ergo, unless Paul is elected, we can never expect these infringements of our liberties to go away. They will always be with us.

This is not the America I signed up for.


LD Jackson said...

I didn't bother watching the debate, but I did catch some of the highlights. The only candidate who doesn't seem bent on involving us in another war is Ron Paul.

Sherman Broder said...

Exactly. The more I see Paul in action, the better I like him.

A few days ago I read an article somewhere that asked something to the effect of "Do Americans really want liberty?"

Not only do I think they don't want real liberty, I think a good number doesn't even know what real liberty is.