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Wednesday, January 30, 2008
posted by Kyle Hampton | 7:03 PM | permalink
From the results last night, there appears to be two distinct mistakes being made by supporters of John McCain. The first mistake is that voters have mistaken McCain for Gen. Petraeus. McCain is correct in identifying himself as one of the chief advocates for a change in military strategy. It is one thing, though, to have been an advocate for change and the actual accomplishment of it. It is not McCain that has been implementing strategic and tactical decisions. That post has been occupied by David Petraeus. To equate or conflate the two is to seriously misunderstand McCain’s role in the success in Iraq. McCain was an important voice, but that is all we can credit him for. McCain would have us not distinguish between the advisory role that he has played for the last 25 years in the Senate and the executives (Petraeus, Reagan, etc.) who have actually brought about the real changes McCain has only talked about.

The second mistake being made is the diminution of the role that the economy plays in our individual and national liberty. The principle and lasting accomplishment of Reagan’s tenure was a rethinking of the economy. Through the reorientation of the economy, Reagan was able to not only end the stagflation of the 1970’s, but was able to win the Cold War. It was through economic dominance that the United States beat the Soviets. It was not the result of superior battle strategies (given that there weren't any military engagements as such), but through prosperity brought about through a strong economy. Likewise, today our ability to defeat our foes (i.e. al Qaeda) abroad and compete with rivals (i.e. China) depends on the health of our economy. Reagan’s use of the economy to defeat the Soviets is one of the underappreciated truths of our time.

Milton Friedman’s book Capitalism and Freedom notes the relationship between a free and prosperous economy and individual freedom.
On the one hand, freedom in economic arrangements is itself a component of freedom broadly understood, so economic freedom is an end in itself. In the second place, economic freedom is also an indispensable means toward the achievement of political freedom.

The first of these roles of economic freedom needs special emphasis because intellectuals in particular have a strong bias against regarding this aspect of freedom as important. They tend to express contempt for what they regard as material aspects of life, and to regard their own pursuit of allegedly higher values as on a different plane of significance and as deserving of special attention. For most citizens of the country, however, if not for the intellectual, the direct importance of economic freedom is at least comparable in significance to the indirect importance of economic freedom as a means to political freedom.

A citizen of the United States who under the laws of various states is not free to follow the occupation of his own choosing unless he can get a license for it, is likewise being deprived of an essential part of his freedom. So is the man who would like to exchange some of his goods with, say, a Swiss for a watch but is prevented from doing so by a quota. So also is the Californian who was thrown into jail for selling Alka Seltzer at a price below that set by the manufacturer under so-called "fair trade" laws. So also is the farmer who cannot grow the amount of wheat he wants. And so on. Clearly, economic freedom, in and of itself, is an extremely important part of total freedom.

Viewed as a means to the end of political freedom, economic arrangements are important because of their effect on the concentration or dispersion of power. The kind of economic organization that provides economic freedom directly, namely, competitive capitalism, also promotes political freedom because it separates economic power from political power and in this way enables the one to offset the other.
Thus, our economic freedom has a close relationship to our political freedom. Increasing regulation of our economic freedoms (McCain-Feingold, McCain-Lieberman) are essentially assaults on our political freedom. Our tax burden (votes against the Bush tax cuts) likewise limits our political freedom. These are not old positions that McCain has learned from, but are currently held positions where McCain seeks to limit our freedom. By doing so he diminishes our political freedom and our ability, as discussed above, to fight our foes and compete with our rivals.

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4 Comments:


OK who writes this stuff?! I just friggin' LOVE this blog. I LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 30, 2008 at 9:35 PM  


Hey-

When this is all done, let's start a conservative book club. Try to interest people to have a personal responsibility in things, saving monies for themselves, saving morals an principals for themselves. Talk about economic conservativism, not just fiscal conservativism...



I wish Mitt would just give Huckleberry a cool 1 million parting gift, So he would go back home to Ark and live comfortably with the 1200 felons he released early....

Than it would leave our party with A Mitt vs Mcamnesty one on one battle...At that point people may open their eyes and realize there is only one choice to represent the " true conservatives " among us.

BW



The problem is too many people are voting on electibility instead of conservative principles.People are now starting to rationalize their reasons to support McCain rather than being objective about it. McCain has embraced the Rove doctrine that says the GOP needs X percent of the latino vote to win a presidential election so you therefore throw your party under the bus to win. Well guess what. That plan didn't work last summer and now Rove is retired because it backfired so bad.Unfortunately, we may not have 41 rock solid senators to block the idiocy next time around and we'll have 15 million psuedo citizens bilking the social welfare system to the tune of trillions. I don't know how anybody can trade this for electibility. Even Newt came out yesterday against McCain. I really don't know how much more evidence people need that he is not the right person for the party or country.




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