Politics

On the Limits of Government, Part 1

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Part 1 | Part 2 Where reason cannot instruct, custom may be permitted to guide; and every nation seems to consult the dictates of prudence, by a faithful attachment to those rites and opinions which have received the sanction of ages. — Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire A pillar of American constitutional ... [click for more]

Barack Obama: The Peace Candidate?

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Why would anyone think that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama is the peace candidate? True, before President Bush sent an invasion force to Iraq and before Obama was in the Senate, he made a speech saying intervention would be a mistake. But after the invasion, in 2004, he said he wasnt sure how he would have voted when the ... [click for more]

Clinton and Obama Struggle for Power

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Many Americans are spellbound by the historic contest for the Democratic presidential nomination between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Forgetting the political context, it is indeed something spectacular, even inspiring. A woman and a black man have reached a pinnacle that just a few years ago seemed impossibly far off. If it were happening outside politics, it would be something ... [click for more]

The New Politics: Squaring the Circle

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How many times will people be fooled by a presidential contenders claim that he is a new kind of politician? Sen. Barack Obama has made this the centerpiece of his campaign. He strives to hold himself above the partisan fray and talks about changing Washington. As a result, some people look on Obama as a savior who needs to be ... [click for more]

One-Party System

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I can predict the winner of the presidential election even now: the government. In a one-party system, that's how things work. One-party system? Yes. The American political scene makes much more sense if you think of the two parties as two divisions of the same party. Admittedly that is hard to do at first. All American politics is presented as ... [click for more]

George Bush, Big-Government Man

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In an unscripted and candid moment, a top spokesman for President-elect Barack Obama let the cat out of the bag. On Meet the Press, interviewer Tom Brokaw asked transition co-chair Valerie Jarrett, I wonder if, as a Democrat, which has always represented the party of big government, ... there will be a kind of paradigm shift this time, that ... [click for more]

GOP Statists

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Any remaining pretense that the Republican Party is the party of free markets has been blown to smithereens in the election season. Even the lip service to free enterprise has become scarce, as the major candidates threw their arms around flagrantly statist economic proposals. This is vividly illustrated by the Bush-Pelosi “stimulus package,” which was ... [click for more]

The Capsizing of American Democracy

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American democracy is capsizing as a result of the vast increase in the number of government dependents and government employees. This has created a voting bloc that overwhelms every other potential force. H.L. Mencken quipped in the 1930s that the New Deal divided America into “those who work for a living and those who ... [click for more]

The Demise of Conscience, Part 1

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 As libertarians have long pointed out, both the welfare state and the warfare state have brought immeasurable damage to our country. With its various programs of confiscatory taxation of income and capital to accomplish its coercive redistribution of wealth, the welfare state has brought standards of living lower than otherwise would ... [click for more]

Ron Paul, Fox News, and the Conservative Life of the Lie

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Last week television commentators Greta van Susteran and Shepard Smith, treading cautiously and with a bit of trepidation, wondered aloud why their employer, Fox News, was banning Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul from its New Hampshire presidential debate. Permit me to explain the likely reason: the life of the lie, the life that conservatives have ... [click for more]

Are Conservatives (Undocumented) Aliens?

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Conservatives are strange and fascinating creatures. Their minds operate in a strange, Bizarro-like universe in which delusion and deception seem to be considered normal. Consider, for example, the most recent Republican presidential debate. Let’s leave Ron Paul out of the picture for the time being. The rest of the candidates were standing there and periodically proclaiming how committed ... [click for more]
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