Towards A Good Samaritan World

Saturday, July 01, 2006


In the comments of a recent post, Tom Reasoner describes my ideas about immigration as "brilliant and inspired," but he wonders why I'm still a Republican. "You are really a Libertarian," he says.

I'd just as soon see the Democrats take the House of Representatives this fall, or even the Senate as long as it's the senators who voted against the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act-- such as Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania-- who take the fall. That said, my two favorite national politicians (other than Bush) are John McCain and Rudy Giuliani.

Here Greg Mankiw praises John McCain's ringing endorsement of globalization, and his reassuringly alarmist (because we need to open our eyes to it) account of the "tsunami" of entitlement spending that's waiting for us down the road. And Ryan Sager describes how Rudy Giuliani is taking voucher schools and nuclear power on the campaign trail.

I'm a bit distressed to see that Giuliani seems to be more popular than John McCain, though both candidates are well-liked. I like them both, a lot, but McCain a bit more, because his stance on immigration shows real courage and principle. Also his stance on Iraq. But the real shame is that they can't both be president-- or at least, that we'd have to wait until 2012 or 2016. Would one of them nominate the other for vice-president? Would either of them take the vice-president spot?

Either a Giuliani-McCain or a McCain-Giuliani ticket would be excellent. The prospect of that is enough to keep me Republican in the medium term, even if I hope the perpetrators of HR 4437 (the bill that would criminalize illegal immigrants) go down in flames.

UPDATE: Tom says he "just can't stomach the Republicans remaining in power, no matter who their candidate is." Well, there's no accounting for tastes. The Republicans have certainly been spending a lot, but they're getting a bit better, and there's no reason at all to think they're worse than the Democrats would be. Of course, things were better on that front in the Clinton years, but that was largely because of an energized "Contract with America" Republican Congress. Republicans have been pretty light on the regulation side. And the economy has done great under their stewardship. For some libertarians, pacifism trumps everything, but Tom's a soldier, and he even supported the Iraq War, sort of, though not the timing of it. So why the anti-Republican zeal? I think it's a cultural thing: it's galling to enlightened post-religious guys like Tom that a bunch of ignorant churchgoers hold the reins of national power. Tom speculates about Democratic contenders for '08, but doesn't say who he likes best.


  • Well, a McCain-Giuliani ticket would be my preference as far as the Republicans go, but I just can't stomache the Republicans remaining in power, no matter who their candidate is. As for the Democrats, I'd be surprised if Clinton didn't win the nomination, but it looks like Gore might give her a good run. I think of all the serious contenders in the Democratic party, I would have to root for Gore at this point. His career has paralleled Nixon's quite nicely, and he has reinvented himself and distanced himself from the Bill Clinton shadow enough to be appealing to both Red and Blue states, I think. As for VP, I still like Edwards, Obama is good and strong, Lieberman is appealing to those on the right, but my money is on a strong dark-horse, maybe even a female.

    By Blogger Thomas Reasoner, at 12:16 PM  

  • A few points on your update. First, there are a great many Republicans who are Republican in name only, and visa-versa with the Dems. So I don't root for one side or the other generally. I root for issues. One of the big reasons I think the Republicans have forfeited their right to lead the nation is their inability to correct their mistakes (or even try to correct their mistakes, in many cases). The anti-immigration nonsense is just the tip of the iceberg for me. Refusing to act as a check/balance to untrameled Executive authority is another huge mistake, one that less scrupulous presidents, maybe even Democratic ones, will take advantage of in the future. Other mistakes are cherry-picking when they feel like being federalists and when they feel like being centrists, and of course the total mismanagement of the budget and tremendous expansion of entitlements. I haven't even touched the issues like abortion and gay marriage where I'm fundamentally opposed to them on a moral level. So no, it's not the fact that they're religious and I'm not. I wouldn't be able to vote for anyone if that were my main criteria. Sadly, when deists like Christians are opposed, they automatically feel it's because of their religion first, a persecution complex inherited from their founders and worn like a badge of honor. No, fitingly it's deists that are the ones that vote based on faith, not those who are without faith.

    As for who I prefer from the Democrats, I don't like any of them, though I think Gore might be the most palatable option. I'm a Libertarian through and through. I support sweeping voting reforms and 3rd-party participation, and that's not going to happen if people don't vote 3rd-party. So in all future elections until the day I die, I'm going to vote my conscience, I'm going to vote for what I truly believe in, and I'm going to vote for dramatic change in the status quo: I'm going to vote Libertarian (or whatever the equivalent is down the road).

    By Blogger Thomas Reasoner, at 10:40 AM  

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