The Old-School Liberal

“Freedom granted only when it is known beforehand that its effects will be beneficial is not freedom” — Friedrich Hayek

Romney working hard to put food on his family?

Posted by Poorsummary on October 22, 2007

Romney, from the latest Fox news debate:

All of us on the stage are Republican. But the question is, who will be able to build the house that Ronald Reagan built — who will be able to strengthen that house, because that’s the house that’s going to build the house that Clinton, Hillary, wants to build”

Huh? With uncharacteristic disheveled hair, Romney began tonight’s debate on the wrong foot with this particularly jumbled anthropomorphism of a residential dwelling. The Republican front-runners (with the notable exception of Ron Paul) have long followed suit with Bush on the Iraq war, but now Romney has gone one step further by mimicking Bush’s blundering public speaking skills.

In all fairness, letting one’s tongue get ahead of one’s brain is something every politician and public speaker deals with from time to time. What Romney, Guliani, and the rest of the neo-conservative bunch need to worry about is their disrespect for the constitution, the rule of law, the concept of truly limited government, and individual freedom. Unfortunately, principled, just, and economically sound leadership requires that we allow people to make decisions that are not always the best for them– the reason being that bureaucrats in Washington, if they make the decisions for us, are going to get it much more wrong much more often. To quote Jacob Hornberger, “If you are not free to choose wrongly and irresponsibly, you are not free at all.” An unwillingness of the public to recognize the inherent ineptitude of government in making the correct decisions for individuals is what underlies most of the biggest political blunders of history– from prohibition, to social “security,” to the war on drugs, the war on poverty, the war on terror, and any other wars on abstract nouns we care to dream up. Most people choose to deal in abstracts, ignoring the unintended consequences and inherent violence of government action. Fighting poverty sounds good, but forcibly taking from the industrious to give to those in need is less appealing. Fighting drug use seems like a no-brainer, but “drug use” is an abstract concept that only exists as a shorthand for describing the activities of those who choose to use drugs. The typical politician ignores the injustice of his actions, turning a blind eye to those hurt by the policy he peddles, eager to shake another hand or kiss another baby of someone equally willing to ignore the blatant injustices of a coercive, paternalistic state. To see this phenomenon, this time exhibited by Mitt Romney, but equally practiced by the social planners and statists across the simplistic, one-dimensional political spectrum, click here.

In related news, Ron Paul did not fair quite as well with the pro-war Florida crowd as with crowds past, receiving more boos than any candidate other than Hillary Clinton. It seems the Republican party is suffering from what HBS professor Clayton Christensen calls the “Innovators Dilemma“– the phenomenon of businesses catering so closely to their existing customer base, that they lose sight of the unmet needs of the population as a whole, and are subsequently displaced by new, innovative technologies. In this case, everyone but Paul insists on pandering to the largely pro-war republican base, while losing sight of the vast majority of Americans that wants it to end (and fast– sorry, Hillary; no decade-long pull-out strategy will do). Will the Republican party insist on throwing away an election on an already lost (and virtually unwinnable) war? Probably not– whoever wins the nomination will likely have a convenient change of heart and start talking a lot more about getting out of Iraq after the primaries.

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2 Responses to “Romney working hard to put food on his family?”

  1. hendrickdeman said

    It is interesting to note the statements that elicited the two sets of “boos” given during Ron Paul’s time. The crowd booed the fact that 70% of Americans want the troops home. Okay, perhaps they don’t like that 70% of the U.S. population, I could understand that. The second statement that produced a negative reaction was one of Ron Paul making the case for peace with other countries (Iran specifically) and not always expecting that the world is going to blow up.

    Odd, here I thought “Peace on Earth” was a good thing. Then again neo-conservative theorist Michael Ledeen makes a compelling point against world peace, “…peace increases our peril by making discipline less urgent, encouraging some of our worst instincts, in depriving us of some of our best leaders.” Well, in that case let’s get the bloodbath going! I can see how the Florida audience would be persuaded to boo peace if they thought they might lose some of our best war-loving leaders. Surely it would be a tragedy indeed.

  2. retro said

    As much as I’d like to see a woman president, I don’t trust Hillary as far as I can throw her.

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