Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Nationwide Ass-blasting

Steve Chapman at Reason has a great quickie round-up of the Democratic and Republic conventions, posing the question "When did freedom become an orphan?" As Chapman points out, each day of the Republican convention had a theme and none of those themes involved freedom or liberty. Monday was "Serving a Cause Greater than Self." Tuesday was "Service," Wednesday was "Reform," and Thursday was "Peace." The Democrats, surprise, surprise, were just as bad. Their daily themes were "One Nation," "Renewing America's Promise," and "Securing America's Future." Let's just say I'm less than impressed.

I just so happened to be watching It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, the extremely politically incorrect FX series on DVD the other night, when this exchange in "The Gang Runs For Office" really seemed to sum up my feelings about politics and about the presidential election.

Dennis: Am I supposed to vote for the Democrat who's going to blast me in the ass or the Republican who's blasting my ass?
Mac: See politics is all just one big ass-blast.
Dennis: It's a coast to coast,...
Charlie: You're going to get you're ass-blasted.
Dennis: ...nationwide ass-blasting


Anonymous rose said...

themes are one thing, policy is another. mccain promises to spend his 1st 100 days in office looking at every agency, department and expenditure to decide whether they serve any purpose and he promises to end those that don't. if he does this would this not be a step in the right direction? i mean it remains to be seen how much he can accomplish in reducing government spending, but a significant, sustainable reduction in spending would be a huge step in the right direction and the only way to sustainably keep taxes low, which is vital to economic freedoms, no?

and as for mccain preaching service...i understand that adam smith eloquently made the case that self-interest is NOT a bad thing, but important for the health of an economy. in trying to tie that line of thinking into mccains speech you're missing the point badly. people don't join the military to serve themselves. this is one of the exceptions where we rely on people to do things that are completely contrary to their own self-interest.

we don't need selflessness for a strong economy. but until we're paying mercenaries to protect us, we rely on the service and selflessness of our armed forces. to cast mccain in the light that you're trying to because as a veteran he believes in service and to ignore the HUGE differences in policy between him and obama is confusing.

11:11 AM  
Blogger lonely libertarian said...

John McCain certainly is committed to reducing waste and fraud in government, it's a big part of what he's based his career on. But there's a huge difference between cutting waste and cutting the scope of government.

But truthfully, I doubt what McCain will really do as President in terms of cutting government, because he hasn't done much of anything to cut government during his 30 plus years in Congress. On the contrary, he's been a consistent supporter of bills that cost taxpayers more money and expand the scope of government.

Politics aside, the truth is that under the Republican President Bush, discretionary domestic spending increased at a greater rate than it did during the Clinton years (probably in big part because of Medicare Part D, Bush's prescription drug plan for seniors). That's not to say Republicans are worse than Democrats on spending, only that they've grown nearly as bad.

The thing is that themes do matter. Even Bill Clinton famously (and erroneously) proclaimed that "the era of big government is over." It's sad that you can't even hear that much from McCain. The more I think about it, the more it really does bother me. Nothing about freedom, nothing about liberty?

If the conventions were any indication of what's important to McCain and Obama, than it sure as hell seems like government is matters to each of them most.

2:19 PM  
Anonymous rose said...

What about my points regarding self-interest, service and our military? Do you at least see where I'm coming from in my criticism?

3:41 PM  
Blogger lonely libertarian said...

I don't mean to argue that service to one's country- particularly this country with it's history- isn't important, because it certainly is. Where would we be without the sacrifices of American men in fighting the Revolution and in fighting World War II, ect.

One could argue that serving really is in self interest, whether in merely preserving the freedoms we have here in the United States, or in merely serving because of the literal benefits that individuals acquire from service. But that's a philosophical point we need not get into.

You're right about the importance of service. However, without freedom and liberty, service is nothing more than servitude. No, that's obviously not what McCain believes in , but that's why it's a shame not to hear freedom and liberty mentioned. So much about service and duty, nothing about freedom and liberty.

3:53 PM  

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